The XX Factor

The Saudi Standard

Yesterday the New York Times published an Op-Ed by Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal on the ever-reliable themes of “Why it’s all Israel’s fault,” and why Saudi Arabia isn’t going to participate in making peace. Prince Turki begins with the assertion is that because Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, and it has all that oil, “[T]he kingdom holds itself to higher standards of justice and law.” And what standard would that be? Without its great good petrochemical fortune, the civilized world would view Saudi Arabia simply as a desert outpost of oppression . There is strict gender apartheid: Women are regularly beaten by government-sanctioned thugs, are not allowed to drive, are under the complete control of male relatives; there is no freedom of speech for its citizens; political parties are banned; the only religion allowed to be practiced is Wahabism, etc.

Al-Faisal goes on to distort the history of the Arab world’s attempts over the decades to destroy Israel. His biggest gripe seems to be that Israel has not gone along with allowing itself to be annihilated. He says supporters of Israel cite the “outdated” charter of Hamas, which he acknowledges calls for the eradication of Israel, yet does not explain what is “outdated” about it, since that was and remains Hamas’ animating principle. Then he acknowledges more bloodshed would be unfortunate, but implies it’s coming unless Israel agrees to concessions that would mean its destruction. Why would the Times run such a collections of lies and distortions?