As the February 5-8 Saudi conference on terrorism approaches, it is worth examining the Saudi royal family’s position on Jihad against Jews, as well as how this relates to Israel’s exclusion from the conference. Saudi Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Mizar Midani explained that Israel is excluded because it is “responsible for extremism in the region.”
One of the most common forms of anti-semitism embraced in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, is the phenomenon of blaming everything on Israel, Zionists, and Jews (and in recent years the U.S., too). As Sheikh Abd Al-Qader Shiba Al-Hammad stated on Saudi MBC TV on August 6th: “There is no evil in the world that the Jews are not behind… In the depths of history and in the future, and you will find that the finger of the Jews … is behind everything.”
The magazine ‘Al-Jundi Al-Muslim’ (The Muslim Soldier), published by the Religious Affairs Department of the Saudi armed forces, released an article on May 1 in its ‘Know Your Enemy’ section which stated: “The majority of revolutions, coups d'etat, and wars which have occurred in the world … are almost entirely the handiwork of the Jews … in order to implement the injunctions of the fabricated Torah, the Talmud, and the 'Protocols [of the Elders of Zion'], all of which command the destruction of all non-Jews in order to achieve their goal - namely, world domination.”
Blaming the Jews/Zionists/Israel for the world’s ills begins in the upper echelons of Saudi society. Interior Minister Prince Nayef publicly blamed 9/11 on “the Zionists.” Following terror attacks in Saudi Arabia last year, Crown Prince Abdallah blamed “Zionists,” a position that was supported by the most prominent members of the royal family. Prince Nayef explained at the time: “Israel and Zionism are behind Al-Qa’ida.”
Given the fact that Saudi Arabia has never recognized Israel, it is not surprising that the Saudis have a long history of hatred of Jews and support for terrorist attacks and jihad against Israel. It has been documented by official Saudi government sources that committees created by leading princes such as ‘The Popular Committee for Assisting the Palestinian Mujahideen’ and ‘The Support to the Committee for the Al-Quds Intifada,’ which are now the subjects of numerous lawsuits from victims of terrorism, have given more than $4 billion to “mijahideen fighters” and “families of martyrs.”
The daughter of King Saud, Saudi Princess Fahda is the historian of her father's reign and wrote an article last year which stated: “… King Saud made the right diagnosis: 'The Zionist threat is like cancer — in dealing with it neither medicine nor surgery will do any good.' This royal statement was meant to emphasize that the Arabs do not, and will not, accept an Israeli state amidst them.'” She added that under the leadership of King Saud, the Saudi representative to the United Nations called for the U.N. to establish an agency “to help resettle Jews [now in Israel] in their former European homes.”
Saudi Dr. Abdallah Al-Quba wrote in the journal ‘Saudi Foreign Policy’ in 1986 about the official Saudi policy of jihad against Israel: “We will not be blamed if we undertake the method of holy jihad. The racist military religious war that Israel wages … will not come to an end but by jihad. The meaning of holy jihad is a sole … Islamic confrontation, where we would replace our entire spiritual, educational, diplomatic … and military capabilities … into it, for a long persistent jihad.”
All aspects of Saudi culture, including schoolbooks, sermons, media, and government institutions espouse hatred of the Jews. In a show on Iqra TV on August 26, a reporter on the streets asked passersby: “Would you shake hands with a Jew?” Answers included: “No. Because the Jews are eternal enemies;” “Of course not, so I wouldn't have to consider amputating my hand afterwards.” Next, the interviewer asked “If a child asks you who ‘who are the Jews,’ what would you answer?” The interviewees responded: “The enemies of Allah,” and “Allah's wrath is upon them, as the Koran says… They are the filthiest people on the face of this earth… The solution is clear… If only [the Muslims] declared Jihad.”
A statement posted on the Saudi embassy in D.C.’s website detailed that the Saudi terror conference will focus on “the concepts and causes of terrorism.” It was also reported by Saudi officials that all countries impacted by terrorism will be invited. Israel’s exclusion could be because, according to Saudi law, no Jews are permitted to set foot inside Saudi Arabia, as the Saudi Ministry of Tourism website stated last year. It also could be due to the fact the Saudi royal family has always supported Jihad against Israel, and as many of its princes have repeatedly stated, suicide attacks against Israel are legitimate acts of resistance, and not terrorism.
One would hope that the State Department is aware of the Saudi position calling for Jihad against Jews and that any U.S. participation at the conference may unwittingly imply support of this policy.
Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director at The Middle East Media Research Institute