NY tells Saudi to shove it

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New York rejects $10 million donation from Saudi prince

By KATHERINE ROTH, Associated Press

NEW YORK (October 11, 2001 4:19 p.m. EDT) - City officials rejected a $10 million check to aid relief efforts from a Saudi prince Thursday after he suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East were partly to blame for the World Trade Center attacks.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, in a statement released by his publicist during his visit to ground zero, said: "At times like this one, we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack. I believe the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause."

The comments drew a rebuke from Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, followed by an announcement that the check was rejected.

"We are not going to accept the check - period," Sunny Mindel, the mayor's communications director, told The Associated Press after The AP asked her office about the prince's statement.

Giuliani, at a City Hall news conference, said such remarks "were part of the problem" behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

"There is no moral equivalent for this attack," the mayor said. "The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification when they slaughtered 5,000, 6,000 innocent people. ... Not only are those statements wrong, they're part of the problem."

The prince, an outspoken member of the Saudi royal family, is a major investor in American companies. After his tour of the Trade Center ruins, the prince initially called the attack "a tremendous crime."

"It's just unbelievable," he said. "We are here to tell America and to tell New York that Saudi Arabia is with the United States wholeheartedly."

But in the statement, the prince said the U.S. government should "adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause."

He added: "Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek. ... Arabs believe that if the U.S. government wanted, it could play a pivotal role in pushing Israel to sign and fully implement a comprehensive peace treaty."

Alwaleed is chairman of Kingdom Holding Co. and was No. 6 on Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest men for 2001.

The prince presented an envelope to Giuliani during his visit to the disaster site. At about that time, the publicist handed the three-page statement to journalists. In his spoken comments to reporters, the prince did not criticize U.S. policies, saying instead, "I came here to show my allegiance to New York."

Alwaleed said prime terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden, a Saudi, does not represent Islam's Wahabi sect, the strict interpretation founded in Saudi Arabia.

"This guy does not belong to Wahabis," he said. "He does not belong to Islam or any religion in the whole world."


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 11, 2001


Good for you Rudy!

-- Steve McClendon (ke6bjd@yahoo.com), October 11, 2001.

"Here!" "Here!" "My arms up and hand waving!" The guy in the panama hat...I'll take that $10.000.000." "Yessir ree, no problem with me. Why I even like camels. I smoke them...see, right on the package, a came

-- don park (dpark@magick.net), October 11, 2001.

Hyperlink: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,2001350006- 2001353844,00.html

Wouldn't you feel insulted if your large money donation was rejected because it was accompanied by constructive criticism? I sure would! And I'm not easily insulted. FRIDAY OCTOBER 12 2001 US anger at lax response BY ROLAND WATSON Washington: The White House is frustrated with the lack of help from Saudi Arabia in freezing Osama bin Laden’s assets and tracking those behind the September 11 hijackings (Roland Watson writes). The Saudi regime has so far refused to clamp down on the assets of bin Laden or other al-Qaeda figures, despite repeated requests from Washington.

It is also failing to meet CIA and FBI requests for background information on those of the 19 hijackers carrying Saudi passports, severely hampering the investigation. It is threatening to create a rift between the US and the ruling House of Saud that could prove a major obstruction to the President’s war on terrorism. Washington’s greatest concern is the unwillingness of the Saudis to clamp down on charities and organisations that channel money to bin Laden, as 19 other countries have done. A key problem is that Saudi Arabia lacks a bank system that would allow money to be tracked. Offers from Washington to help to set one up have been refused.

William Wechsler, who worked on counter-terrorism in the National Security Council during the Clinton presidency, said the Saudis always claimed they had the financing of terrorists under surveillance and under control. “But they have not had either the legal regime or the political will to take the kind of actions the United States wants,” he told The New York Times Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd., Fair Use for Educational and Research Purposes Only

-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), October 12, 2001.

"Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek. ... Arabs believe that if the U.S. government wanted, it could play a pivotal role in pushing Israel to sign and fully implement a comprehensive peace treaty."

Constructive Criticism? A slanted and provocative statement. The Palestinians do it to themselves! They could be gainfully employed in Israel, RIGHT NOW, if they stop the crap! But alas the majority are pawns of those that will settle for nothing less than the elimination of Israel.

-- Steve McClendon (ke6bjd@yahoo.com), October 12, 2001.

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