February 21, 2007


Saudis Cozy Up To Jews in America (YOUSSEF IBRAHIM, February 20, 2007, NY Sun)

Extra, extra, read all about it: The Saudi-Jewish entente is here.

The Saudis are rolling out a charm offensive and getting good publicity for it. In the latest manifestation, the outgoing Saudi ambassador, Prince Turki al-Faisal, attended a reception in Washington last month backed by American Jewish organizations to honor a State Department diplomat appointed to -- here comes the chutzpah bit -- combat anti-Semitism.

Prince Turki, the head of Saudi intelligence for a quarter of a century and a senior prince in line to the Saudi throne, was even glimpsed in photos shaking hands with Jews.

That might be a source of joy were it not for the anti-Semitic slurs heaped daily on Jews in the Saudi press, the anti-Semitic diatribes from evangelical-style Saudi television preachers, or the endless references in school lessons to Jews and Christians as "descendants of pigs and monkeys."

Saudi surges of warmth toward Jews crop up whenever danger lurks, but they rarely survive beyond the menace. This time around, the warmth is motivated by Iran's looming Shiite hegemony in the Persian Gulf, a direct menace to Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim states in the region. [...]

But why should American Jews, or anyone else, go along with such a charade?

...everybody actually hates the Shi'a, though for the same reason they hate Jews and Americans.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2007 9:32 AM

So did you grow up listening to "That was the year that was?"

I could sing all those songs by heart by the time I was 7, and I still can.

The amazing thing is that they are as true today as they were then.

"New Math, new hoo hoo math. It won't do you a bit of good to learn new math...."

Posted by: Bruno at February 21, 2007 10:52 AM

So perhaps we should try the solution Randy Newman proposed in "Political Science": "They don't love us anyhow, so let's drop the big one, now."

As for Tom, his best line has got to be in the spoken intro to "Old Mexico": "He majored in Animal Husbandry until they caught him at it."

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 21, 2007 11:01 AM

Like Bruno, I knew the words of every song then and remember them still today.

Posted by: erp at February 21, 2007 11:10 AM

The real reason Iran has been making noises about nuclear power is that it's part of a conspiracy to sell Tom Lehrer records.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at February 21, 2007 1:30 PM

"und I'm learning Chinese" says Werner von Braun...

Posted by: Foos at February 21, 2007 2:18 PM

I had a teacher in high school who played "Vatican Rag" for us on the day before Thanksgiving . . . the day the bishop was visiting the school.

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 21, 2007 3:06 PM

C'mon, grow up. The prince is a politician. When has a politician uttered what he really thinks? If he does, we call it a gaffe. Most of his country men are anti-semite at home, most of Americans are not.
How does he compare with American politicians? Do you remember Hillary embracing Soha Arafat? Do you remember all those politicians voting for the war when it was popular, and try to undermind it when it is not? How do their behaviors differ from the Prince's? They are politicians, weasels in human disguise.

Posted by: ic at February 21, 2007 4:06 PM

He's one of the heroes in Lawrence Wright's Looming Tower.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2007 5:59 PM