My Thoughts on Saudi Arabia in December 2002

In the light of Roger Boyes’ article in yesterday’s ‘The Times’ (Time to tell the Saudis some home truths) I thought I might post the column I wrote for Wessex Jewish News in the winter of 2002. Here it is, as published:

A year and more after the September 11th attack on the World Trade Centre, the picture is starting to become clearer. First we thought that the threat to the civilized world was one mad fundamentalist Moslem terrorist called Osama. Polish off him and his hundred or so fanatical followers, the thinking went, and we’ll be safe. Then the pendulum swung the other way: over a billion Moslems were poised to engulf us in an apocalyptic clash of civilizations, and we were being faced with the biggest threat since Hitler.
In fact neither of these extremes is true. The enemy is neither a tiny uncatchable guerrilla band nor half the world. It is a large but finite and geographically localised political unit. But it is not Saddam’s Iraq.
The enemy is a creed, a party and a state. Its name is Wahhabism and its state is Saudi Arabia. This evil cult – it is a perversion of true Islam that should not be dignified with the name religion – enforces sharia law without one iota of the mercy that Mohammed intended when he propounded it. Wahhabism relates to Islam as the Inquisition in Spain related to Roman Catholicism, or Pol Pot’s re-education committees related to Socialism. It is the creed of the Taliban. It has also taken hold of Somalia, northern Nigeria and some other petty states; but it is in Saudi Arabia that it poses the greatest threat, and it is there that it must be eradicated.
Everything that antisemites say about Jews is in fact true about the Saudis. They own great swathes of Manhattan, Frankfurt and the City of London. Their financial clout is unparalleled: not the paltry £100 million or so of Bin Laden, but £100 billion or more. Our elected leaders take their suggestions as orders they dare not disobey.
The duty of America and its allies is clear. Once we have polished off Saddam and taken control of his oil, we must turn our attention to Saudi Arabia. The House of Saud must go the way of the Chrysanthemum Throne. General MacArthur’s Japan must be our template for a new order in the Middle East. It is blindingly obvious that the rulers of that region are utterly unfit to control all that oil, which we in the civilised nations need to run the world. It must be supplied to us at a fair price; and the profits from it must go to re-shaping the nations of that region into liberal democracies with freedom of speech, equality of opportunity, a free market economy and equal rights for all.

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ADL reports that 26% of the world harbours antisemitic feelings

This is a guest post by Mum (Mrs. Anne Cooper)

Writing in The Jewish Chronicle (23 May 2013) Prof. Geoffrey Alderman says:
“Devotees of what is termed ‘interfaith dialogue’ need to ponder these conclusions [26% of the world harbours anti-Semitic feelings, rising to 74% in the Middle East and North Africa http://global100.adl.org/ ]. They need to ask themselves whether there is any advantage whatsoever to be gained by seeking an exchange of ideas – a reconciliation of dogmas – with belief systems whose foundations rest, at least in significant measure, on such hatred.”
Let us consider Prof. Richard Dawkins famous quote from The God Delusion (Bantam, 2006): “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
The Almighty is portrayed by Christians as a terrifying Judge Jeffries: no wonder they worship Jesus by comparison. Moslems see Allah as a despotic tribal chief whose lightest word must be obeyed absolutely, while being deemed compassionate and merciful. Both religions are heresies of Judaism, if I may use such an archaic word.
The error of Christianity and Islam stems from the fact their founding fathers interpreted Judaism through the eyes of their own cultures, European and Arabic respectively. But because it is indigenous to us Jews, we read our Tanach as family history. Because our innate character includes violent emotions, fierce temper and loud rants by our dear old Dad, we do not react in terror of His Wrath like Christians. We wait for it to calm down and it will all blow over. We know that we are loved.
Our Scriptures were written uniquely by Jews, for Jews. That is the great divide.
Perhaps, like Edward Lear’s Pobbles who are happier without their toes, Christianity and Islam should leave the ‘Old Testament’ to us. Their own texts will suffice.