November 13, 2018 Special Dispatch No. 7760

Saudi Journalist Attacks 'Washington Post' For Publishing Article By A Houthi Leader: The Newspaper Is A Platform For Those Who Cry 'Death To America'

November 13, 2018
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 7760

On November 11, 2018, The Washington Post published an article by Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, chairman of the Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee in Yemen, attacking Saudi Arabia for its actions in the context of the war in Yemen. The article also attacked the U.S., arguing that the only reason it called for a ceasefire in Yemen was to attempt to salvage its pride, after Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ignored American requests to provide clarifications about the October 2, 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Al-Houthi's article elicited harsh responses in Yemen, where Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany tweeted that its publication was shameful, and referred to Mohammed Al-Houthi as a war criminal.[1] The article's publication was also criticized in Saudi Arabia, where newspaper articles described it as a scandal. The harshest of these articles, by Saudi journalist Hani Al-Zahiri in the Saudi 'Okaz daily, was headlined "Why Does The Washington Post Support the Slogan 'Death to America?!" In it, Al-Zahiri claimed that the American left's, and specifically The Washington Post's, hatred of the administration of President Donald Trump had transformed it into a tool in the hands of the enemies of the American people and into fertile ground for incitement against them by terrorists such as Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, whom he called a member of an organization that calls for "Death to America." According to Al-Zahiri, Al-Houthi is no different at all from Osama bin Laden, and if bin Laden were alive today he too would be a regular contributor to The Washington Post. Al-Zahiri even claimed that if a militia like the Houthis were to regularly fire missiles at the U.S., the Americans would summarily wipe it off the map.

The Houthi emblem, which reads: "Allah Akbar, Death to America, Death to Israel, Cursed be the Jews, Victory to Islam" (Source:, April 29, 2016)

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Zahiri's article:

"On November 9, 2018, the day after the announcement that the Trump administration intended to designate the Houthis as a terrorist group, The Washington Post published an article by [one of the leaders of the Houthis in Yemen] Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, who does not excel at reading and writing. We're talking about a livestock-thief-turned-terrorist from Yemen, whose cousin, the leader of the Houthi militia, had given him the title 'Chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee in Yemen.' However, the paper did not publish a photograph of the writer alongside the article, and the reason for this is that the paper didn't want the Americans to know that the official symbol of the Houthi organization... is essentially a piece of fabric that includes the specific phrases 'Death to America, Death to Israel, Cursed be the Jews.'

"The problem of The Washington Post, and of the American left-wing media in general, is that they are unbelievably stupid. The mad lust [of the American left wing] to fight White House policy has caused it to degenerate into hostility against the American people as a whole, and to become a weapon in the hands of the enemies of the U.S., and even in the hands of the enemies of all of mankind. This proves that Trump's description of several of the members of the media as 'enemies of the people' is accurate.

"The truth is that The Washington Post's Global Opinion section, edited by Karen Attiah, is known for asking terrorists and fundamentalists hostile to the American people to write for its Opinion pages.[2] Were Osama bin Laden alive today, he [too would] have a weekly column in this paper. He would send his articles via email from the caves of Afghanistan, and would incite to kill innocent Americans who pass by the building housing the paper's headquarters every day to take their children to school. This proves that [it is] the stupidity of the American Left that [both] nourishes and [is] the source of the greatest support for terrorism in the world – while it hides behind slogans about democracy. The American people, who elected Trump as their president, discovered this truth early on; [they] caused the media a resounding defeat, and created a scandal on an historic [scale], which exposed the lies of the public opinion polls that this media published during Trump's election campaign.

"Mohammed Al-Houthi, the Post's newest columnist, who [brandishes] the slogan 'Death to America,' is no different from bin Laden. For the past three years, he has fired Iran-made ballistic missiles at Saudi schools, universities, and airports. According to public announcements, the number of ballistic missiles launched by Al-Houthi's militias at Saudi cities tops 205, in addition to thousands of shells that have caused the deaths of 112 civilians and have wounded hundreds of women and children. Had this militia established its base in Mexico, adjacent to the U.S. border, and launched missiles at the University of Texas at El Paso or at the George Bush [Intercontinental] Airport in Houston, the Americans wouldn't hesitate to wipe these bases off the map with all possible force. The Saudis, however, did not do this in their war with the Houthis, because of their concern for the welfare of the citizens in Yemen.

"Anyone reading Al-Houthi's lies published in article form by The Washington Post, who has [even] slight knowledge of the personality of this criminal, realizes that he is not the true author of this article, and especially [not] of its concluding section which speaks of peace. It reminds me of an interview conducted by CNN's Anderson Cooper with [Post Global Opinions editor] Karen Attiah in mid-October of this year, during which, in a slip of the tongue, she revealed that she personally writes the articles, or portions of them, published in the paper under the byline of writers from the Middle East. The American people need to know this about their true enemies who sit in their offices in beautiful buildings in the heart of Washington."[3]


[1], November 9, 2018.

[2] Al-Zahiri appears to be referring to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote a column for The Washington Post during the year before his murder at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. For more information about the Saudi press's attitude towards Khashoggi prior to and following the announcement of his disappearance in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7702, The Disappearance Of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi: Before He Disappeared, The Saudi Press Accused Him Of Treason; Now It Is Expressing Concern, October 9, 2018.

[3] 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), November 11, 2018.

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