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Saudis don’t care about Palestinians, say American commentators

Israel/Palestine
on 60 Comments
Richard Haass of Council on Foreign Relations

Richard Haass of Council on Foreign Relations

Today’s New York Times coverage of Obama’s meeting with the Saudi king yesterday makes no reference to Israel-Palestine. King Abdullah cares about arming the Syrian opposition, and Iranian nukes:

Saudi leaders have also expressed alarm at Mr. Obama’s diplomatic initiative with Iran to halt much of that country’s nuclear program, which they consider a serious threat to the region.

Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations also said that the Saudis are worried about possible Iranian nukes and arming the Syrian opposition. On National Public Radio Thursday, Robert Siegel asked, what about Israel and Palestine. They don’t care, Haass said.

SIEGEL: In that rather lengthy conversation you truncated for us of what the Saudis would tell the U.S. of what they’d like to see happen, you didn’t mention Israel and the Palestinians.

HAASS: You’re right, and the reason is that this issue, if it ever did hold the key to the region, no longer does. Even if it were to be resolved, and I don’t think the prospects are good for it, it would not change the dynamics on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, or really anywhere else. This issue has now become a local issue. It’s of great importance to Israelis and Palestinians, but it’s only of secondary importance to the Saudis and other Arab countries.

Apart from Siegel, American reporters don’t seem to care either. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, responded to reporters’ questions about Obama’s agenda with the Saudi leaders on the plane yesterday. He addressed the Iran talks, Saudi demands to arm the Syrian opposition (with manpads– portable air-defense), Saudi support for the Egyptian military leaders, and Saudi human rights issues.

Rhodes:

[S]tability ultimately is going to be best served by Egypt following through on its commitment to transition to free and fair elections and democratic governance… I think for decades the United States has been invested in Saudi Arabia as a source of stability in the region…

In yet another non-mention of the Israel-Palestine conflict, NPR did another story on the Saudi talks yesterday and reporter Scott Horsley quoted Ben Rhodes, from the above gaggle; Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Saban Center at Brookings (which Haim Saban started to support Israel); and Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (spun off from the Israel lobby group AIPAC).

Maybe the Saudis don’t care about Palestine. But I’d like to hear from a Saudi or an Arab-American, or Palestinian even.

P.S. I’d note that many of the above people quoted are Jewish. Ben Rhodes is half-Jewish. His brother David is president of CBS. Just further proof if it is needed that we are an important element of the US establishment. We have power and– noblesse oblige.

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About Philip Weiss

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60 Responses

  1. Herb Glatter
    Herb Glatter
    March 29, 2014, 12:55 pm

    Whaddya mean “we?”

    • American
      American
      March 29, 2014, 3:18 pm

      LOL…

      Are you being snarky?… noblese oblige?—->”the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity.”

      Sorry but there is not a sign of honor or generosity in the Jewish establishment that you’re talking about…or the gentile one either if you were including them in the current power structure.

      They are all low born riff raft. ..the same kind of riff raff that flushed US honor down the toilet decades ago.

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      March 29, 2014, 4:06 pm

      RE: “Whaddya mean ‘we’?” ~ Herb Glatter

      MY REPLY: Judging from the context, Phil appears to be referring to Jewish Americans.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 29, 2014, 12:57 pm

    “This issue has now become a local issue. It’s of great importance to Israelis and Palestinians, but it’s only of secondary importance to the Saudis and other Arab countries.”

    Saudi and other Arab leaders
    Whenever the Sauds fall (if Israel is still around by then) the sha’ab will put it back on the agenda.

  3. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    March 29, 2014, 1:01 pm

    If he’s talking about the government – and the elite Saudis he deals with – then he’s right, the Saudis don’t care about Palestine. But that’s not new news. They have never cared about Palestine, though from time to time they’ve attempted to use the Palestinians for their own purpose.

    However, if he’s talking about your average Saudi man or woman on the street – none of whom Richard Hass has ever spoken to – he’s dead wrong. I lived in the Kingdom for several years, and can say with certainty that the question of Palestine is VERY important to the Saudi people. And this is despite the fact that their government controlled media has for some time been trying to persuade them that Iran, not Israel, is The Enemy. The Saudi people, to their credit, are not buying it. And neither is anyone else in the Arab world. As John Pilger said, Palestine is STILL the issue.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      March 29, 2014, 1:53 pm

      The reason why the MSM never asks is because they are comfortable with the same Arab autocratic status quo like most Western foreign policy folks.

      And in addition, for someone like Siegel, who is an avowed Zionist, it would also give even more pressure on Israel to do something if he reported about the Arab street.

      For the MSM media, its as if the Arab spring never happened. And they want it to stay that way, less more focus comes on Israel.

      (P.S. Note that Haass is very keen on trying to decouple the conflict’s importance.
      And his wiki says his religion is Judaism, so I am assuming he is a Zionist because of his advanced age. So he has a vested interest too, in trying to downplay this angle. And of course, Siegel, on the same page as Haass, is all too eager to cooperate).

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 29, 2014, 2:41 pm

        ”Note that Haass is very keen on trying to decouple the conflict’s importance.”

        This is very common among the US elite. Many of them have gone out of their way to make the ridiculous claim that Israel had nothing to do with OBL’s hatred of America, for example. This despite the fact that he is on record as saying that Israel’s 1982 aerial bombardment of Beirut made a huge impact on him as a young man.

    • ivri
      ivri
      March 29, 2014, 7:07 pm

      “Palestine is still the issue”
      Pilger is dead wrong and I think you are confusing 2 issues here. It is plausible that the everyday Saudi (or other Arab citizen) still cares about Palestine – after all that issue was center-podium for too long to be just gone overnight. The point is that for the leaders, those who need to deal with everyday decisions, the priorities have been drastically changed. Not that they love Israel – the Saudi leaders used in the past to exercise all the pressure they could on the US to promote the Palestinian case, up to sharp and open rifts (so you are also wrong here). Simply realities have been dramatically transformed recently and leaders can`t ignore such things, while ordinary citizens can. Primarily there is the upheaval in many Arab countries (a relatively new phenomenon – just about a decade old; then there is the fear of Iran and a growing Sunny-Shea split; there is the active Syria/Lebanon front and there is also an increasingly problematic Turkey. And, well, it so happened that the interests of Israel and the Saudis coincide in all of the above (as well as in Egypt and Jordan). That`s Realpolitik for primers, not much more than that.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 30, 2014, 3:43 am

        ”Not that they love Israel – the Saudi leaders used in the past to exercise all the pressure they could on the US to promote the Palestinian case, up to sharp and open rifts (so you are also wrong here)”

        That is total and complete rubbish. The Saudis have NEVER put real pressure on the US to obtain justice for the Palestinians. Never. Sure, they’ve put forward the pretence that they have – and it seems you fell for it – but in reality the Saudis have only ever seen the Palestinians as an irritation to be neutralised. The only real difference is that now they (the regime that is, not the people) are no longer really pretending to care. But in practice, it makes little difference to what they are actually doing – or not doing.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 30, 2014, 4:15 am

        “a growing Sunny-Shea split”

        Sunny and Shea split up long ago. Neither of them has produced any good songs since then.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 30, 2014, 5:10 pm

        Not exactly, RoHa, Shea had a No 1 hit with her first solo after the split:

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 31, 2014, 5:28 am

        “Hit” isn’t the same as “good”.

        But, yes, that one wasn’t too bad.

  4. Edward Q
    Edward Q
    March 29, 2014, 1:01 pm

    Haass makes the mistake of confusing the views of Middle East regimes with the views of the public.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 29, 2014, 1:10 pm

      Exactly. It’s also ironic how Hass brushes off Palestine as a ‘local issue’ which the Gulfies consider irrelevant. If that’s the case, why is America, on a different continent on the other side of the world, so intricately involved in a mere ‘local issue’ in the East Med?

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      March 29, 2014, 1:46 pm

      Well said, he is constantly doing this.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      March 29, 2014, 2:30 pm

      Actually the public doesnt seems too interested in palestinians today.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 29, 2014, 2:47 pm

        What ‘public’? If you’re talking about the Saudi ‘public’, what way do they have of freely expressing their opinions and concerns in this most oppressive society?

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby
        March 29, 2014, 4:03 pm

        MDM

        arab publics in arab states, what public do you talk about?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 30, 2014, 3:40 am

        The Saudi public, obviously, since it’s the subject of this discussion.

        And I’m asking you just how you know what the average Saudi thinks about anything. There is no free press in the Kingdom, and public gatherings of more than 4 (yes, 4) people are outlawed. So how, precisely, can an outsider know what the Saudi people think? I base my opinion on having lived in the Kingdom for several years and discussing these issues – in private – with many ‘ordinary’ Saudis. I’m not claiming it’s a scientific poll – not that polls are very informative in an authoritarian state – but it’s about as much as you can ask for given the absence of channels for ordinary Saudis to express their political views.

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby
        March 30, 2014, 9:45 am

        MDM

        Well if there is no way to find out what saudi public thinks why do you claim they care about palestinians? You cant know that.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 30, 2014, 1:07 pm

        Didn’t you bother to read the posts you’re replying to? I lived in the Kingdom for several years and in that time discussed the issue of Palestine with many Saudis. Like I said, I don’t claim it’s a scientific poll but it is my first hand experience with ‘ordinary’ Saudis.

        In future, you might like to read what people say before you ‘respond’ to it.

      • Justpassingby
        Justpassingby
        March 30, 2014, 1:51 pm

        MDM

        It doesnt matter what people you have talked to in Saudiarabia. Unless there is no poll/proof for it.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 31, 2014, 4:01 am

        Of course not. Actually talking to real live people, in private, in confidence, and hearing the same opinions expressed time and time again, means nothing. Instead we must await the results of a ‘poll’ conducted in one of the least democratic and most oppressive nations on earth, where people get imprisoned for opinions expressed on Twitter. Because people in such nations really speak their mind openly to pollsters, don’t they? Especially when it comes to saying something their government might not want to hear.

  5. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    March 29, 2014, 1:25 pm

    i found this interesting

    Saudi Arabia Denies Jerusalem Post Reporter Access to Country , March 26th, 2014
    http://www.mediaite.com/print/saudi-arabia-denies-jerusalem-post-reporter-access-to-country/

    The world of Washington DC journalism is in an uproar after Saudi Arabia denied a visa to an American journalist in the White House press pool, likely due to the reporter’s affiliation with the Jerusalem Post.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 29, 2014, 2:39 pm

      As As’ad Abu Khalil pointed out, the US has a track record of denying visas to those (mostly Iranians) of whom they disapprove. So they really have no business getting on their high horse here. Which won’t stop them, of course.

      http://www.angryarab.blogspot.com/2014/03/visa-hypocrisy-and-us.html

    • annie
      annie
      March 29, 2014, 3:00 pm

      he should look on the bright side, SA didn’t kill or imprison him. which is more than i can say about how some other countries treat journos.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 29, 2014, 5:44 pm

        In 2007 Saudi Arabia allowed in an Israeli posted in Washington, Orly Azoulay, bureau chief for Yediot Aharonot. She was set to accompany Ban Ki-moon to the Arab League’s meeting. Her visa request was initially rejected but a phone call by Ki-moon got her the needed visa.

        So the rejection this week of the journalist who isn’t even an Israeli, must have something to do with having written something nasty about Saudi Arabia. If not the journalist himself, maybe the JPost.

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        March 29, 2014, 8:03 pm

        Walid

        Michael Wilner the journalist in question knock out this piece the following day

        Obama administration plans no-frills visit to Riyadh

        http://www.jpost.com/International/Obama-administration-plans-no-frills-visit-to-Riyadh-346631

        The Saudi government has done little to stop the flow of extremist fighters into the Syrian conflict – over 2,500 on the ground operating in Syria are of Saudi descent. But the US now believes the two governments have policy interests closely aligned on the dangers of terrorist entities nesting in the heart of the Levant.

        banned for life

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 30, 2014, 8:55 am

        Thanks, Sycamores. I suspect the trip has more to it than simply to discuss the programmed fighters in Syria that have a few countries in Europe super-spooked at the prospect of having these cold-blooded terrorists returning home in their European countries and running free in the streets. Saudia has just passed extremely severe laws (by royal edict, of course) to punish Saudi nationals fighting in foreign countries such as in Syria. It’s ironic that it has been less than a year that Europe and Gulf countries were actually encouraging their nationals to join the rebel forces in Syria. Looks like they goofed on that call.

        But I doubt Obama traveled all the way there to discuss terrorists, since he could have done it over the phone. The visit surely has something to do with asking for the help of the Saudis to twist Palestinian arms to extend the negotiations for the benefit of Israel and to explain to the Saudis what all these cosy relationships with Iran are heading..

  6. Shuki
    Shuki
    March 29, 2014, 1:25 pm

    P.S. I’d note that many of the above people quoted are Jewish. Ben Rhodes is half-Jewish. His brother David is president of CBS. Just further proof if it is needed that we are an important element of the US establishment. We have power and– noblesse oblige.
    +++
    Just further proof if it is needed that you, long ago, abandoned the ability to refer to Jews as “we”. Is there not enough hatred and bigotry against Jewish people perpetuated by the notion that they control the media?

    Moreover, the Saudi’s never cared about the palestinians. Like most who claim to champion their cause, their interest in their plight reaches no further than their hatred towards Israel. That is why they have a law in Saudi Arabia that prohibits them from becoming citizens. With Iran developing nukes and seeking to make Syria an even greater puppet, of course the Saudis have bigger things to worry about .

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      March 29, 2014, 1:46 pm

      Except that we have an exceptional prescence in the American media, without parallel. Also, I don’t think most Jews have a problem in talking about ourselves in terms of “we” in most situations.

      You just protest now because the topic makes you uncomfortable.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 29, 2014, 2:45 pm

      ”That is why they have a law in Saudi Arabia that prohibits them from becoming citizens.”

      Are you in the habit of posting on things you know nothing about?

      Obtaining Saudi citizenship is all but impossible for foreigners, including Muslim Arabs, unless you’re a billionaire like the late Rafiq Hariri. I know Arabs who have been living in the Kingdom for three generations and have known no other home, yet are still on a residence visa – which can be cancelled on a whim at any time – just like any expat who’s there for a few years. So please don’t try to act as though there’s something special about the case of the Palestinians, and that’s it all about ‘hate’ for poor little Israel and Jews. Nobody’s buying your narcissistic desire for victimhood anymore.

    • Walid
      Walid
      March 29, 2014, 4:43 pm

      “… their interest in their plight reaches no further than their hatred towards Israel. ”

      You have that one ass-backwards, Shuki. People hate Israel because of what it has done and continues to do to the Palestinians. Those that don’t give a damn about the Palestinians, and there are many of those, usually don’t give a damn about Israel either.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      March 29, 2014, 4:54 pm

      “Is there not enough hatred and bigotry against Jewish people”

      Very little in reality, Shuki.
      But apartheid risks opening up Pandora’s Box.

  7. March 29, 2014, 2:48 pm

    As you nobly point out these people are all mostly Jews – mostly everything they say about Israel or Palestine is designed to help Israel keep all the territories and support Israel at the expense of everything else – more or less. I am uncomfortable with the dishonesty of this phenomenon, I have been watching this for 50 years, I have spoken to thousands of Jews and I am convinced that what I say is on average correct. We are dealing with people who do not reveal their true feelings but there is a tremendous conflict of interest at play. This is why the situation in the territories is where it is today – one step short of disaster.

  8. American
    American
    March 29, 2014, 3:23 pm

    The Sauds care only about their throne—–only if Arab street sentiment on Palestine threaten to unseat them would they care. The fact however they have made attempts to help settle I/P tells you they know Palestine is an sore issue with Arab street and in their own kingdom.

    • Walid
      Walid
      March 30, 2014, 8:28 am

      “The Sauds care only about their throne”

      Of course they do, American, but if they didn’t, who would? The ruling family that’s comprised of about 20,000 royals that share in the land’s natural wealth has the responsibility of looking after the country’s almost 30 million relatively poor population that’s been asking itself more and more why the country’s wealth is shared by so few. This is why the Palestinian question while it’s on street’s mind, it’s still far from being their prime preoccupation. To that end, the king has allocated a couple years back, $120 billion 5-year plan of social improvements that include unemployment insurance, home purchasing assistance and other goodies to improve the living standard of the average Saudi national, which is not that rich. The country has also embarked on a program to expel foreign illegals that had been working there, some since decades to help create job opportunities for Saudis. In Israel, the expulsions program involves 50,000 illegals and in Saudia, the number is close to 4 million that are on the expulsions list; I wouldn’t be surprised about who is probably doing the coaching. All of these show why the Palestinian problem is not at the top of their list of grievances. Regrettably, Israel also knows it.

      • American
        American
        March 30, 2014, 11:33 am

        @ Walid

        I know all that.
        As I said the Sauds first priority is to maintain their royal thrones.
        The Saudi King -in -waiting made the Saud policy clear when he was announced as the successor a year or so ago—total hard line on maintaining the throne, kingdom and Sunni rule.
        That is what you see Saudi playing out now in the ME from Syria to Egypt.
        And they will ally with anyone who will help serve their purpose..like Israel.
        But the combined Saudi and Israeli influence in the US they hope to used on Iran hasn’t worked, yet anyway.

  9. Donald
    Donald
    March 29, 2014, 7:21 pm

    “I think for decades the United States has been invested in Saudi Arabia as a source of stability in the region…”

    Spoken like this is something to be proud of.

  10. Walid
    Walid
    March 29, 2014, 8:46 pm

    Hass and the others are not wrong in their assertion although they don’t explain why. There isn’t an Arab that is not troubled by what’s been happening to the Palestinians but they are so for different reasons and in varying degrees. In the case of the Saudis, they definitely care, but less than they do about their own problems and worries at home such as the 20% of the country’s population being heretical Shia and concentrated in the country’s richest oil fields in the eastern province and whether or not these would be having a stronger loyalty to the Iranian Shia regime than their own or having nightmares about the prospect of Iran getting the bomb. Saudia also has a 6% unemployment rate that they didn’t bother about until the kingdom instituted unemployment insurance a couple of years ago and hundreds of thousands registered to start receiving benefits. And everybody knows that the oil is going to be eventually drying up.

    So considering their own situation, the Saudis don’t have room to care about the Palestinians. Just about the same situation is happening in every Arab country. Palestinians are not anybody’s priority except for the Palestinians themselves.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 30, 2014, 3:37 am

      ”Palestinians are not anybody’s priority except for the Palestinians themselves.”

      While that may be true – it’s human nature to care most about what concerns you directly, not what’s happening in another country – you could say that’s always been the case and nothing has really changed. When the Saudis were swimming in oil wealth and complacency, they weren’t too bothered helping the Palestinians either. But having lived in the Kingdom, I know for a fact that they DO care, although they rarely put their concern into action.

      What HAS changed is that the Saudi government, along with the other Gulf states, is now actively trying to play down the question of Palestine, to tell them that Iran is the real enemy, and that the I/P problem is basically a ‘swings and roundabouts’ thing with ‘good and bad on both sides’ with the Palestinians being to a large extent responsible for their own plight. This is evident from the Saudi controlled media, even in its English language versions. However, it doesn’t seem that they’ve succeeded in brainwashing the populace – yet.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 30, 2014, 4:54 pm

        “What HAS changed is that the Saudi government, along with the other Gulf states, is now actively trying to play down the question of Palestine, to tell them that Iran is the real enemy,…”

        Maximus, Prince al-Waleed’s actual words to Bloomberg’s Jeff Goldberg were “The threat is from Persia, not from Israel. This was a great empire ruling the whole neighborhood. I’ll tell you something — they are in Bahrain, they are in Iraq, they are in Syria, they are with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas, which is Sunni, in Gaza. They are intruding into these areas. King Abdullah of Jordan had a good statement on this — he said that a Shiite crescent begins from Iran, through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and goes down to Palestine, to Hamas.”

        That should describe how the Saudis feel about the Palestinians. Unless the prince changes his attitude towards the Shia, his chances of becoming Prime Minister of Lebanon at some time in the future are zero; almost 50% of Lebanon’s population is Shia.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 30, 2014, 5:47 pm

        Maximus, Prince al-Waleed’s actual words to Bloomberg’s Jeff Goldberg were “The threat is from Persia, not from Israel.

        Even the Saudis aren’t that stupid. See Saudi Arabia ‘targeting Iran and Israel with ballistic missiles’: Saudi Arabia is targeting both Israel and Iran with powerful ballistic missiles, new satellite photography shown by military experts to The Telegraph suggests http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/10172463/Saudi-Arabia-targeting-Iran-and-Israel-with-ballistic-missiles.html

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 30, 2014, 6:07 pm

        “Saudi Arabia is targeting both Israel and Iran ”

        And Israel and the US are doing nothing about the ones supposedly aimed at Israel. You’re a couple of days early for an April Fools prank.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 30, 2014, 6:27 pm

        And Israel and the US are doing nothing about the ones supposedly aimed at Israel. You’re a couple of days early for an April Fools prank.

        Well I can always use this one for that:

        Earlier this year, a senior Nato decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.

        Last month Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told a conference in Sweden that if Iran got the bomb, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.”

        Since 2009, when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned visiting US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross that if Iran crossed the threshold, “we will get nuclear weapons”, the kingdom has sent the Americans numerous signals of its intentions.

        Saudi nuclear weapons ‘on order’ from Pakistan http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-24823846

        Of course, Sam Nunn’s NTI has been reporting on rumors like that for years, while hinting that the Saudis financed and supplied the Pakistani nuclear weapons program in the first place.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 31, 2014, 5:08 am

        I have no doubts about Saudia having missiles that can reach Iran or of having or waiting for a bomb from Pakistan; Pakistan owes the Saudis plenty. What I found absurd was that some of the missiles were aimed at Israel and Israel doing nothing about it. Given Israel’s paranoia, I can’t imagine this as possible.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 31, 2014, 5:33 am

        What I found absurd was that some of the missiles were aimed at Israel and Israel doing nothing about it. Given Israel’s paranoia, I can’t imagine this as possible.

        It’s hard to say. During the first Gulf War Israel was being hit with Scuds, but was told not to cross any US red lines. I’m pretty sure an attack on Saudi Arabia would cross a lot of them.

        The satellite photo analysis was done by Jane’s magazine and the story was covered wall-to-wall in the Israeli press:
        http://www.timesofisrael.com/saudi-arabia-said-to-target-iran-israel-with-chinese-missiles/
        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4403605,00.html
        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/169812#.Uzk1QKZKauI
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.535109
        http://www.jta.org/2013/07/12/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/report-saudi-arabia-targeting-iran-israel-with-chinese-missiles

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 31, 2014, 9:15 am

        Thanks for the links, Hostage.

    • American
      American
      March 30, 2014, 11:37 am

      ”Palestinians are not anybody’s priority except for the Palestinians themselves.”’….Walid

      That doesn’t seem to be the case as illustrated by the grass roots and growing BDS movement around the world.

      • Walid
        Walid
        March 30, 2014, 4:31 pm

        American, I was thinking mostly about Arab countries. Talk is cheap but when asked to step up to the plate, they head for the hills.

  11. Kay24
    Kay24
    March 29, 2014, 10:57 pm

    Saudis do not care for anyone, but themselves. They have the oil and have other nations beholden to them, because of oil dependency. The US is in bed with a nation, that abuses human rights, women’s rights, and to this day, women are not allowed to drive, nor play prominent roles in their country. Even in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, women had the freedom to drive, and played important roles in society, still we shocked and awed them over there.

  12. Basilio
    Basilio
    March 30, 2014, 4:03 am

    The Saudis are not under a democracy, and they were not polled by anyone regarding the issue. If you polled Saudis and asked them if they cared about the Arab-Israeli conflict, they would resoundingly say “Yes”. It’s true that some in the Gulf are indifferent because they don’t share a border with Israel. The people featured have an ax to grind with Palestinians, and hate them and want to say “Well, see, other people hate them”. And, unfortunately, many of those promoting hatred of Palestinians are American Jews in the media. They don’t represent your average American Jew, they represent Zionists who want to vanquish the Palestinians and help Israel through the media to do so. Let’s be honest about that.

  13. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 30, 2014, 4:56 am

    Check out Juan Cole’s article on the subject meeting.
    http://www.juancole.com/2014/03/channels-demands-brotherhood.html

    Inter alia, Cole says the Saud POV at this juncture is a mirror image of the GOP’s here in the US–except officially SA stands with the Palestinians, not Israel.

    PS: Seems all the Arab state’s take an official stand with the Palestinians. I’m guessing solely because taking Israel’s side would anger the masses, especially the Saud regime, who care about nothing except their 5000 family members.

  14. Hostage
    Hostage
    March 30, 2014, 6:16 am

    Saudis don’t care about Palestinians, say American commentators

    Some of them obviously do. The latest Universal Periodic Review of Israel has several recommendations from Arab States, including Saudi Arabia. Many of them were included over Israeli objections regarding the use of the phrase “the occupied State of Palestine”:
    136.38. Implement immediately all United Nations resolutions, particularly
    those of the Human Rights Council (Saudi Arabia);

    136.138. Stop taking any penal actions against Palestinian children in military
    courts sand halt detention of all children (Saudi Arabia);

    136.195. Commit as an occupying power to allowing the access for the Special
    Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories
    occupied since 1967 (Saudi Arabia);

    136.143. Guarantee the enjoyment of all Palestinians with their culture, social,
    and religious rights as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and
    allowing them to reach places of worship as per the fourth Geneva Convention
    (Saudi Arabia);

    136.198. Submit a report on the human rights situation in the OPT since Israel
    assumed the responsibility for this territory as the occupying power (Saudi
    Arabia);

    136.231. Take practical measures to protect and respect the rights of
    Palestinian refugees and the internally displaced Palestinians and give them
    access to their homeland and their right to compensation for the losses and
    prejudices they have endured throughout (Saudi Arabia);

    137.2. Mainstream the principle of non-discrimination and equality in the Basic Law of Israel that discriminates against non-Jewish children and undertake measures necessary to stop policies and measure that affect Palestinians resident in the occupied State of Palestine (Saudi Arabia);
    137.3. Guarantee freedom of movement for all people as well as free movement of all goods within the Occupied State of Palestine and to and from foreign countries (Saudi Arabia);

    137.5. Put an end to racial and discriminatory measures against the Palestinians in the Occupied State of Palestine, including in East Jerusalem, especially by continuing to building settlements (Saudi Arabia);
    http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/HRC/25/15

    • Walid
      Walid
      March 30, 2014, 7:50 am

      It’s one thing to join in formulating meritorious recommendations at the UNHRC and another to actually do something concrete about them. The last time Saudia did something worthwhile along those lines was in the 70s with the oil embargo that hurt the West and especially the US very bad but after one year, they were sweet-talked into calling it off by what turned out to be empty American promises of help in stopping Israeli oppression. Since then, Saudia’s help has consisted mostly of throwing billions in cash at the Palestinian problem but little else. Like Obama, they talk a good game when it comes to Palestine.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        March 30, 2014, 9:30 am

        It’s one thing to join in formulating meritorious recommendations at the UNHRC

        Correction: Saudi Arabia was the only state that made those particular recommendations. So it’s head and shoulders above all of the great western powers, which were pretty much MIA as usual.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 30, 2014, 1:59 pm

        If I’m not mistaken, the Saudis were the last to join the oil boycott, and the first to end it.

  15. Pamela Olson
    Pamela Olson
    March 30, 2014, 3:59 pm

    I met Tamara Cofman Wittes when I first moved to Washington in 2006 (she was at Brookings then, too), all bright-eyed and hopeful that I would find at least a few like-minded folks around town. I had no idea then who Saban was. My whole time in Washington was one disillusionment after another. I’m actually writing a book about it. It’s one thing to hear how corrupt and morally and intellectually cowardly Washington is — another to see it in action, among people you would otherwise consider friends and colleagues.

  16. Zainab al-Ashkar
    Zainab al-Ashkar
    March 31, 2014, 6:20 am

    The Saudis(and khaleejis in general) are in bed with the zionists. Everyone knows this. Their main mission is destabilizing and bringing down the Levant, a source of resistance to their policies for centuries, and they’ve been envious of our intellectual prowess for much longer. I don’t expect that bedouin filth to care about us or do anything to help us, none of Palestinians do really. Most of us know what’s going on, and not a single bit of it is in our interests. It’s no secret that the khaleejis have resented us, and this is their chance to get a hold of crucial territory where they can run their pipelines through, AND squash their rivals(or betters, depending on who you ask)…it’s a win-win for the imperialists, and we’re the biggest losers.

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