Saudis blame Jews for hostile views

Aug. 7, 2002 at 10:02 AM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The Saudi media Wednesday blamed Jews and Israeli sympathizers for a widely reported article in the U.S. press that said Pentagon advisers considered the kingdom to be an enemy of the United States.

The article, published in the Washington Post Tuesday and picked up by other media outlets, cited a briefing given last month to the Pentagon's top advisory body, the Defense Policy Board. In it, Saudi Arabia was described as an enemy of the United States.

The briefing was reported to have recommended that U.S. officials give the kingdom an ultimatum to stop backing Islamist terrorism or face seizure of its oil fields and its financial assets invested in the United States.

The mass circulation Okaz said the description of Saudi Arabia as an enemy to the United States "did not come as a surprise to us because all it's (the Pentagon's) members are either Jews or allies of the Zionist lobby."

The daily Al-Watan accused the lobby of manipulating the U.S. media and political institutions to harm Saudi Arabia's reputation and undermine its credibility in any peace initiative for supporting rightful causes, a reference to support for the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel.

Another daily, Al-Riyadh said the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington last Sept. 11 enflamed blind hatred of Muslims, driving certain people in the United States to call for the destruction of the holy shrines in Mecca and the partitioning of the Saudi kingdom.

Al-Nadwa accused the Zionist lobby of waging a campaign against Saudi Arabia because it represents the religious center of Muslim nations.

"Although it has failed to exploit the Sept. 11 attacks to sow dissent between the United States and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Zionist Lobby has not despaired from taking advantage of any chance to achieve its nasty objective," Al-Nadwa said.

The English-language Riyadh Daily asserted that U.S.-Saudi relations remain strong and well established despite the briefing.

"Those who are seeking to drive a wedge into those relations will not be able to sow dispute between the two friendly countries," the paper said in an allusion to the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States.

Okaz called the U.S. reactions to Sept.11 harsh and said "emotional political decisions went beyond reason, international principles and law by interfering in other countries' politics and imposing changes in line with U.S. understanding."

"Accusing Muslim countries of supporting and financing terrorism and fundamentalist groups were all extreme reactions by the Americans who countered terrorism with terrorism," a reference to the United States response to the Islamist terrorist attacks on New York and Washington last Sept.11.

Of 19 men believed to have carried out the attacks, 15 have been identified as Saudi.

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