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memri
October 26, 2001 No.
291

Terror in America (19): Saudi, Syrian, and Palestinian Authority Press Attack Giuliani and U.S.

When New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani rejected Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talal's $10 million donation to New York City following the latter's comments on what he referred to as the root causes of the September 11 attacks, newspaper columnists in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the Palestinian Authority attacked Giuliani and the United States:

Mahmoud bin Abd Al-Ghani Sabbagh, columnist for the Saudi paper Al-Riyadh, wrote a column headlined: "Al-Walid's check, the homosexual governor [sic], and the propaganda war": "The words of [Prince Al-Walid] did not, of course, please the Jewish lobby in the home of the largest Jewish community in the world. Because the governor [sic] of the Big Apple is a Jew, he refused [to accept the donation] and caused a storm."

"Giuliani said: 'The Prince's declarations are grievous and irresponsible; these Arabs have lost the right to dictate [to us what to do]. What we (America) must do is kill 6,000 innocent people.'"

"By Allah, I am amazed at your act, you Jew; everything Prince Al-Walid said was true…"

"What happened proves beyond any doubt the public insolence, the open hatred, and the collapse of American democratic theory. If democracy means a governor who is a homosexual in a city in which dance clubs, prostitution, homosexuality, and stripping proliferate – the U.S. can keep its democracy."[1]

Dr. Abd Al-Wahed Al-Hamid, also a columnist for Al-Riyadh, wrote: "Giuliani's act exemplifies the stupidity of a number of top American officials who repeat the same mistakes that aroused great animosity towards them, not only in Arab and Islamic regions, but throughout the world…"

"The problem is with Giuliani, not with the declarations of Prince Al-Walid bin Talal. With his idiotic behavior, Giuliani denied the victims of the building that collapsed the aid they need. He sacrificed the public interest for a private interest, manifested in his desire to draw closer to the Jewish electorate…"

"Doesn't Giuliani know that even some political activists in 'Israel' are criticizing America's blind support for Israel?!… They know that the long-term ramifications of this unbalanced policy will only bring disaster. This is what Rudolph Giuliani, and all the other Giulianis, must realize!!"[2]

Joining the attacks on Giuliani were columnists in the Palestinian Authority mouthpiece Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. Editor Hafez Al-Barghouthi wrote: "New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani was obsessed by his hatred of Arabs even before the terrorist attacks on New York. He hides his first name, chosen for him by his Italian father, so as not to remind the Jewish voters of the infamous Rudolph Hitler [sic]. This is why he prefers to shorten it to Rudy."

"There is an intense offensive against Saudi Arabia [in the U.S.] because it is not automatically signing up for the American war; on the contrary, it has many legitimate reservations regarding Western policy towards the Arabs…"

"Anyone following the Israeli and American columnists smells a media trap aimed at accusing the Saudi kingdom of terrorism, and even of harboring terrorists. [This is] not because it is true, but because Saudi Arabia is fighting alone on several fronts to protect the uniqueness of Saudi policy. It will not enter into another's war when it does not know where that war is headed; it fights terrorism in its own way and protects the interests of itself and its citizens…"[3]

Al-Barghouthi's colleague, columnist (and Palestinian Authority high ranking official) 'Adli Sadeq, attacked New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who declared his support for Giuliani and criticized the Saudi regime: "Friedman… says that the U.S. is not responsible for what he calls the widespread 'frustration' among young Saudis that makes them support bin Laden. He contends that it is not Washington that maintains an autocratic regime, and denies young people their political rights. He chides the Arab countries for their failure to [deal with] the challenges of development, and says that North Korea's average per capita income in 1950 was similar to that of Arab countries, but that today Korea has left the Arab states far behind. According to him, the U.S. is not responsible for this."

"Thomas Friedman is a liar and a fraud. The U.S. is the enemy of the democratic aspirations of the Arab peoples; it is the friend and protector of dictatorships and autocracies; it is the number one schemer against development in the Arab world."

"With regard to the media attack on Saudi Arabia, I maintain that Riyadh is doing the right thing. Refraining from joining the Americans… is counted in the tally of the Saudi government's good deeds."[4]

Talal Salman, editor of the pro-Syrian Lebanese daily Al-Safir, wrote that "the American president has missteps, some of which are laughingly bizarre, and some of which are stupid and not seemly for the most dangerous man in the world…"

"President George W. Bush, who is not known for his intelligence or his knowledge of what is happening in the world, tried to correct the misstep of his top diplomat [U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who referred to the possibility of an American attack on Syria] and promised Syria that until further notice (!!) it would remain outside the circle of his rage and his bloody vengeance…"

"In this circle might also be the two insults that the American government directed at Prince Al-Walid bin Talal… one by the Zionist New York mayor whose public feelings go far beyond what Israel demands of him, and another by the spokesman of the American State Department…"

"The condition for accepting Arab money (with the exception of the money that was plundered) is that [the donation] not be contingent upon any political condition, that it expresses absolute and unconditional loyalty, and that it emphasizes submission to the 'master' without the latter having to say thank you. The master is benevolent enough to accept the money …"[5]


[1] Al-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), October 15, 2001.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), October 17, 2001.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Al-Safir (Lebanon), October 13, 2001.