Wednesday, September 14, 2011


By Sarah Walton

On Monday The New York Times offered up blackmail and extortion against the United States and Israel on its Op-Ed page.

The velvet-coated words of menace were put forth by a former director of Saudi Arabian intelligence and former Saudi ambassador to the United States, Turki al-Faisal.

In the proverbial nutshell, al-Faisal said that if the US didn't vote for Palestinian statehood at the UN on September 20th, Saudi Arabia and the whole rest of the Arab World was not going to make nice with America anymore.

"If it does not (vote for a Palestinian state), American influence will decline further, Israeli security will be undermined and Iran will be empowered, increasing the chances of another war in the region."

Does this mean that the US and Israel will become pariahs in the Middle East?

Been there, done that.

What does Turki al-Faisal mean by predicting that Israeli security will be undermined if the US vetoes the UN vote? Does it mean that this will give carte blanche to the Arab world to attack Israel?

Been there, done that.

Besides, with the Arab spring tumult taking place in so much of the Arab world (Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Egypt et al.), who will spearhead an all-out Arab attack on Israel, at least at this time? No one.

The real key hidden in al-Faisal's remarks is Iran. Saudi Arabia hates Iran and fears the growing influence of Iran in the Middle East.

So how will Iran "be empowered" by a US veto in the UN? The truth is, Iran stands to be empowered either way, as far as Israel is concerned.

Iran is well know to be supporting both Hezbollah in Lebanon (through Syria) and Hamas in Gaza. Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank have been talking about patching up their differences and becoming allies. And this is without a unilateral declaration from the UN.

For Israel, this simply means that a UN-sanctioned Palestinian state would give more legitimacy to Hamas, and thereby Iran.

So how would a vote against "undermine Israeli security?" Doesn't make sense.

"The impending fall of Mr. Assad's barbarous regime provides a rare strategic opportunity to weaken Iran."

Does Turki al-Faisal know something the rest of us do not? How does he know that Assad's regime will fall, as that sentence clearly predicts?

Finally, in one last pathetic irony, al-Faisal says that the US allowing a Palestinian state to pass in the UN will create a "state-to-state, win-win" situation for peace negotiations, adding that the "2002 Arab Peace Plan" (essentially the Saudi Arabian peace plan) could then succeed where the Oslo Accords have not.

If you believe that, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you ...

What was al-Faisal saying then?

He was saying that if the US vetoes a Palestinian state in the UN, Saudi Arabia will begin to distance itself from the US. Important to note, however, al-Faisal does NOT say that Saudi Arabia will no longer sell its oil to the US, nor will it forbid the US to use Saudi soil as a base of supplies, weapons, planes and personnel for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that, my friends, is all the US really cares about.

Further al-Faisal was saying to the United States that the real problem was Syria, and that the US should get its act together and help Saudi Arabia bring about the fall of Assad, which would definitely weaken Iran's influence. This statement, at least, is the truth, and virtually the only truth in the whole piece.

In other words, as usual, nobody truly gives a hoot or a holler about Israel, let alone the Palestinians.

Been there, done that.

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