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Craig Murray

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Murray speaking in 2007
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Craig Murray (1958–) is a former British diplomat and current writer who is considered by some an expert on international affairs but is considered by others a conspiracy theorist with traces of antisemitism (most people who have an opinion on him are themselves a bit strange or untrustworthy). He writes mainly on his own blog at CraigMurray.com but also for other fringe publications such as The Truth Seeker, and has published a memoir, Murder in Samarkand (2006).[1][2] This book was adapted by David Hare for BBC Radio Four, starring David Tennant as Murray.

He is a defender of Julian Assange and has some unorthodox views on sex. And he is himself the subject of various conspiracy theories, which claim conspiracies of Jews or the British state are trying to silence him.

Born in Norfolk in 1958[3], he was a promising young diplomat appointed British ambassador to Uzbekistan at an early age, until he was removed from the job in 2004. He claims this is because he was criticising human rights violations by the Uzbek government.[3]

Ideas[edit]

He has argued that Britain's voting system is corrupt and fraudulent and election results are not to be trusted.[4] This is not a widespread view (Murray's complaints about the voting system are most frequently echoed by right-wingers seeking to suppress the vote).

He has promoted the idea that Russia is not responsible for the 2018 chemical weapons attack in Salisbury, England.[5][2] Indeed, he has suggested that Israel may be responsible, and on Twitter suggested that the parliamentary group Labour Friends of Israel were involved in a cover-up to attribute blame to Russia.[6][7][8]

Legal disputes[edit]

In 2007 his website was shut down in the UK by lawyers for Uzbek business magnate and football fan Alisher Usmanov,Wikipedia's W.svg and in 2008 he was the subject of legal action from "private security contractor" Tim Spicer over a book he was yet to publish.[9]

In 2017 he was sued for libel by Jake Wallis Simons, associate editor of the Daily Mail Online (a man you wouldn't expect to be much of an arbiter of truth or falsehood).[10] The offending article has been taken down, but seems to have been connected with allegations of antisemitism in the British Labour Party. Anti-Israel (and possibly antisemitic) blog Rehmat's World claims this is part of an organised campaign against critics of Israel[11] — presumably an international Jewish conspiracy (It isn't clear that Murray goes this far). The case was settled in November 2017 with a statement that "Mr Murray accepts that Dr Wallis Simons is not a liar, and Dr Wallis Simons accepts that Mr Murray is not an anti-Semite. They are both pleased to have resolved this dispute amicably."[12]

He is also a supporter of Scottish independence (though born in Norfolk). It is claimed by fans of Scot Nat conspiracy theories that he is being targeted by the powers that be as part of a wider scheme to destroy the independence movement.[13]

Antisemitism or anti-Zionism[edit]

Murray has a habit for blaming Israel for lots of things well beyond the oppression of the Palestinian people (see above), and he wrote a book called Zionism is Bullshit: Selected Speeches, Interviews and Writings: Volume 1[14] (which Murray claims he was banned from advertising on Facebook[15]). Because of this, he has been accused by right-wing sources beyond Wallis Simons of associating with and defending anti-semites.[16][17][18] (He was also inadvertently caught up in an antisemitism scandal when First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon retweeted something containing an antisemitic cartoon and a separate link to a Murray article[19] but that does not reflect on his own opinions.)

He has repeatedly spoken out about the excessive use of "antisemitic" as a slur or way of shutting down criticism of Israel, comparing attacks on critics of Israel to McCarthyism and calling Israel an "apartheid state".[20] He has also defended Ken Livingstone against repeated allegations of anti-semitism.[21]

Murray is fond of using "Zionist" as an indiscriminate insult for his enemies, throwing the label at Christopher Hitchens as well as more obviously pro-Israel writers such as Nick Cohen and Melanie Phillips (this in a blog post celebrating Christopher Hitchens' death).[22][23]

References[edit]

  1. Review: Murder in Samarkand, David Leigh, The Guardian, 12 August 2006
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam, Craig Murray, The Truth Seeker, 15 March 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 See the Wikipedia article on Craig Murray.
  4. British democracy: no better than Uzbekistan's, Craig Murray, The Guardian, 8 April 2008
  5. UK's claims questioned: doubts voiced about source of Salisbury novichok, The Guardian, 15 Mar 2018
  6. Craig Murray Goes Conspiracy Again!, Harry's Place, March 15 2018
  7. [1] CraigMurrayOrg on Twitter, 7:58 AM - 15 Mar 2018
  8. Russian To Judgement, Craig Murray, Mar 13, 2018
  9. A national disgrace, a global menace, and a pre-democratic anachronism, George Monbiot, The Guardian, 15 July 2008
  10. Save Craig Murray, Craig Murray, 6 Sep 2017
  11. UK – Jew editor sues ex-diplomat for supporting Palestinian, Rehmat's World, 7 September 2017
  12. The End of the Affair, Craig Murray, 7 Nov 2017
  13. 'Save Craig Murray' — former UK Ambassador and Dundee Uni rector being sued by the Daily Mail for libel, Reddit, 2017
  14. Zionism is Bullshit: Selected Speeches, Interviews and Writings: Volume 1 (Collected Political Works of Craig Murray), Craig Murray, ed Kirsten E MacDonald, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 23 Jun 2017
  15. Interview with Craig Murray, Randy Credico and Dennis J Bernstein, Mint Press News, 1 Feb 2018
  16. Guardian legitimises Craig Murray's anti-Israel conspiracy theory on Russian spy poisoning, UK Media Watch, 18 March 2018
  17. My Anti-Racist Comments on Israel, Craig Murray, 29 Apr 2016
  18. [2], Marlon Solomon (supergutman) on Twitter, 26 Sep 2017
  19. Sturgeon says sorry for MSP's retweet of antisemitic image, The Guardian, 12 Nov 2015
  20. The New McCarthyism – The "Anti-Semitism" Hysteria Gripping the UK, Craig Murray, CraigMurray.com
  21. Ken Livingstone: Stubborn and Wrong, But Not Anti-Semitic, Craig Murray, 5 April 2017
  22. Christopher Hitchens RIP, Craig Murray, 16 Dec 2011
  23. Hitchens and the anti-Zionists, Dave Rich, Community Support Trust, 20 Dec 2011