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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 15, 2003

And the wall's came tumbling down

AL-AHRAM WEEKLY has a very interesting article about what's going on in Saudi Arabia in the wake of the Iraqi defeat. Excellent.
You won't find the newly published Hatred's Kingdom in any Saudi bookshop, but it is so much in demand among high officials that the government has brought out a reprint of its own. Its author is Dore Gold, a hard- line Israeli spokesman; according to him, the "hatred" in question is rooted in that austere brand of Islamic orthodoxy, Wahhabism, to which Saudi Arabia officially subscribes, and it found its most horrific, world- shaking expression in the atrocity of 9/11.

The book has further fuelled that Saudi obsession and widespread Arab guessing game known as "who is next?" Next candidate ... for the "reform" or "regime change", to which the new-conservative hawks of the Bush administration, in their drive to "reshape" the Middle East, will turn after they dispose of Saddam Hussein. Syria and Iran are perhaps the more probable ones. But the Saudis see very good reasons why they might be targeted too. Oil -- and the US's inexorable thrust towards military and political ascendancy in the Gulf region that is by far the world's most prolific producer of it -- is one. Religiosity -- those Christian fundamentalist tendencies within the administration for which Saudi Arabia ranks as their most obvious Islamic antithesis -- is another.

But most important, they think, is the Israeli factor -- and their conviction that, for the likes of Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, a right-wing Israel agenda is part and parcel of the American one. "As America's most important ally in the region," said Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki, "we were the Israelis' only serious Arab competitor, on Palestine's behalf, for the ear of American administrations. 9/11 gave them the golden opportunity ... to portray us as the kernel of evil, and fount of terror." MORE
The same link extracts another article about the Arab view of the Road Map. In essence, they hate it because it means that they have to fight terror, give up the right of return, accept Israel and its Jewishness and get less than the '67 borders. Makes for interesting reading.