October 13, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6644

Cartoons In Saudi Media Express Rage At U.S.'s Passage Of Justice Against Sponsors Of Terrorism Act (JASTA)

October 13, 2016
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 6644

On September 28, 2016, the U.S. Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which enables U.S. citizens affected by terrorism to file lawsuits against countries found to be involved in those actions. Thus, U.S. citizens affected by 9/11 will be able to file lawsuits in U.S. courts against Saudi Arabia for its suspected involvement in those attacks.

The passage of JASTA has been harshly criticized by Saudi authorities, who warned that the new law circumvents the most important principle of international relations - the principle of sovereign immunity, which protects countries against lawsuits in foreign courts - adding that JASTA would have negative ramifications for bilateral relations. This criticism was also expressed in dozens of articles in the Saudi press.[1]

The Saudi rage over JASTA was also evident in numerous cartoons in the Saudi press, which depicted the U.S. as using JASTA to target the Arab and Islamic world and to threaten the entire globe, and also as harming itself and its relations with other countries. Additionally, some cartoons expressed the Saudi argument that one of the new law's aims was financial gain at the Saudis' expense by confiscating billions in Saudi assets, bonds, and currency reserves in the U.S. to fund restitution to Americans impacted by 9/11.[2]  

Following are examples of these cartoons:

U.S. Endangers The World Using JASTA

"America" lights fuse on global bomb using "JASTA" match (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, September 16, 2016)

"JASTA" plane heads towards the twin towers of "USA" and "the world" (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, October 1, 2016)

Americans control "JASTA" bomb strapped to the world (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, October 2, 2016)

U.S. punctures holes in the globe with its "JASTA" beak (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, October 3, 2016)

JASTA is an American gun aimed at the world (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, September 30, 2016)

"America" drops "sovereign immunity" into pit of "the JASTA law" (Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 7, 2016)

JASTA Will Damage U.S. And Its Foreign Relations

U.S. burns itself with "JASTA law" (Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, September 26, 2016)

Right to left: U.S. will use JASTA to point fingers at the world, but will end up having fingers pointed at it (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, October 2, 2016)

U.S. uses JASTA hatchet to chop off its own arm as it reaches out to "Arab and Islamic world" (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2016)

U.S. drives "JASTA" wedge between itself and the world (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, September 18, 2016)

"JASTA" rock set to pull U.S. into the abyss (Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, October 5, 2016)

U.S. works hard to erect JASTA but is ultimately crushed by it (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, October 4, 2016)

JASTA - The American snake is eating its own tail (Al-Sharq, Saudi Arabia, October 7, 2016)

JASTA - An American Weapon Against The Arab And Islamic World

U.S. attacks "Arab world" using "JASTA" rocket (Al-Iqtisadiyya, Saudi Arabia, September 16, 2016)

U.S. lies in wait for Arab world with "JASTA" club (Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, September 30, 2016)

JASTA - An American Administration Money-Making Scheme

"The goal of JASTA" - profits (Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, September 16, 2016)

"JASTA - An American Piggybank" (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, October 3, 2016)



[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6639, Saudi Media Attacks Justice Against Sponsors Of Terrorism Act (JASTA) Passed By U.S. Congress, October 10, 2016.

[2] This claim also appeared in several articles in the Saudi press. See, for example, 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), September 22, 2016.

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