Friday, February 04, 2005
As seen on Power Line: a global conference on anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism will be convened tomorrow in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. No representatives from Israel were invited, or will be welcome. Nonetheless:
“We have invited all countries that have suffered from terrorism to the conference, and all have agreed to take part,” said Prince Turki ibn Muhammad, assistant undersecretary for political affairs at the [Saudi] Foreign Ministry...If Israelis do attend, after all, I'll apologize. But as it stands, this is abominable. The inexcusable part is that the United States will send an official delegation, headed by Homeland Security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend.
The conference was initially announced at the UN General Assembly in September by Saudi Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Mizar Midani. When asked why Israel was not invited, he accused the Jewish state of “being responsible for extremism in the region.”
Convening a conference on terrorism without inviting Israel is like holding a symposium on the 9/11/2001 attacks and not inviting Americans. Without Israel, this conference can only have one purpose -- as a repeat of the infamous Durban conference of 2001. That the United States is participating in such a conference at all indicates that we learned nothing from the first one.
Powerline has covered this well, and points out four articles in the New York Sun by the executive director of MEMRI: part I, part II, part III, and part IV. If you haven't read them, please take a moment to do so.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice, this does not bode well for your future performance as Secretary of State.
UPDATE: Slightly off-topic, but worth remembering -- it takes a special sort of chutzpah to leave Israel out of a list of "countries that have suffered from terrorism". The terrorism Israel faces, from official arms of the Palestinian Authority, is chilling.
Do you remember what the Nazi Sieg-Heil salute looked like, and what it represented? Not everyone does -- Janeanne Garofalo does not, for example. But there are others that do.
UPDATE II: Also courtesy of PowerLine, here's an update. It quotes Frances Townsend, the head of the American delegation; the full speech is available here.
The part that got to me was this:
We are the product of different cultures, different religions, different educations, different forms of government and many different experiences.This, at a conference on terrorism from which Israel was explicitly excluded? What a pathetic joke.
But today I invite you to put differences aside and seek common ground.
Had such a statement been made in the presence of an Israeli delegation, I would have applauded. As it is, this is a farce, and very much a transparent one.