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January 18, 1980 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-01-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, January 18, 1980 5

Whirlwind Lurks Behind Saudi Arabian Political Quicksand

By LEONARD J. DAVIS

In Near East Report

James
Schlesinger's
warning of Saudi instability
was echoed in the press last
week. The former defense
and energy secretary- called
the instability "something

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we have been reluctant to
discuss" and "far more seri-
ous than we have been in-
clined to acknowledge."
The Washington Star has
been the most persistent in-
vestigator of the events in
the Arabian peninsula last
month (November). In a
series of articles, the Star
reported that the attack on
Mecca's Grand Mosque was
not the work of religious
fanatics but of hundreds of
Yemeni and Palestinian-
trained guerrillas bent on
undermining Saudi leader-
ship.
The attack "was part of a
planned general uprising"
directed at capturing Saudi
King Khalid who was
scheduled to be at the mos-
que on the day of the attack,
the Star said.
The attackers "used
Russian AK-47 automatic
rifles," the Star reported.
"They mutilated the faces
of their own dead, appar-
ently to prevent identifi-
cation. The Mecca inci-
dent was a case of fanati-
cism, all right, but the
political kind may have
been more decisive than
the religious."
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Peter Lubin, writing in the
New Republic (Dec. 22), de-
tailed the depth of U.S.
ignorance of events in Saudi
Arabia. Lubin listed the
various accounts of the
identity of the leader of the
uprising; the conflicting re-
ports on the composition of
the Mecca guerrilla force;
and two weeks worth of
Saudi assurances that loyal
troops had retaken the mos-
que.
The blame for not know-
ing what goes on in Saudi
Arabia, Lubin charged, can
be laid at several doorsteps:
The press tends to roman-
ticize and glamorize" the
Saudis; "so-called experts"
distort their reports because
of Saudi-funded "professo-
rial chairs" or because of
"sizable business deals;"
and U.S. diplomats in the
Arab world find their judg-
ment frequently "clouded

because of the implied
promise of a lucrative job in
business, or finance, or
foundation work or 'consult-
ing' that may await comple-
tion" of their , tenure.

"It is as essential that
we truly comprehend the
closed society of Saudi
Arabia as it is that we
comprehend the closed
society of Soviet Russia,"
Lubin wrote.

Almost on cue, columnist
Carl Rowan illustrated Lu-
bin's point. Appearing on
"Agronsky and Company"
on Dec. 22, Rowan accused
his colleagues of distorting
the upheavals in Saudi
Arabia, claiming that the
events were isolated and
relatively minor.
When asked how he
knew, Rowan responded
that the Saudi ambassador
to the United States had

Israeli Experts Downplay
Benefits of Normalization

By YITZHAK SHARGIL

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
An expert on Islam and the
Arab world indicated last
week that Israel should not
expect too much from the
normalization of relations
with Egypt which will be
formally instituted this
month.
Addressing a symposium
on the normalization and its
limitations, Prof. Emanuel
Sivan of the Hebrew Uni-
versity, stressed the latter.
He also warned that Israel
was not keeping abreast of
the Palestine Liberation
Organization's major prop-
aganda campaign to present
itself as a more flexible ele-
ment in the Middle East
dispute, especially to the
American public.
Sivan said that while the
Israeli media has done a
creditable job following the
development of Israeli-
Egyptian relations and re-
porting news of the occupied
territories, Israeli jour-
nalists have not kept up
with the decisive shifts now
taking place in the operat-
ing methods of the PLO.
The symposium was
conducted on the occa-
sion of the award of the
second Ted Lurie Prize in
journalism, presented
this year to Haaretz mili-
tary correspondent Zeev
Schiff for his series on the
attitude of Egyptian mili-
tary leaders and other of-
ficials toward the peace
settlement with Israel.
The award is named for
the late Ted Lurie, editor
of the Jerusalem Post
from 1955-1974.
Speaking of normaliza-
tion, Sivan said many Egyp-
tians are apprehensive over
a deluge of Israeli tourists.
He said deals between
enterprising Israelis and
Egyptian businessmen are
not what Egypt is really in-
terested in. That country,
needs Western capital and
that is something Israel
cannot offer it.
As for know-how, Sivan
pointed out that many
Egyptians claim that Israeli

know-how is transplanted
from the West. so why ob-
tain it from the Israelis
when it can be obtained
from the original source?
Another speaker, Meir
Yaari, who is Kol Israel
Radio's Arab affairs com-
mentator, said Egyptians
think of normalization in
terms of relations with Is-
rael, not with Zionism,
which is a very important
distinction. He said several
leading Egyptian jour-
nalists still boycott Israel
and refuse to set foot on Is-
raeli soil.

Women Workers

JERUSALEM (ZINS) —
Israel's Minister of Labor
and Social Affairs Israel
Katz says women now make
up 37 percent of the Israeli
work force, up from 31.6
percent in 1977 and 34.5
percent in 1978.
• • • • • • • • • • • • •






told him so and would not
mislead him.

Lubin charged that "cur-
rent American policy
toward Saudi Arabia seems
to consist mainly in accept-
ing whatever the Saudis do,
no matter how harmful, or
whatever they demand, no
matter how outrageous, or
in supplying them with
enormous quantities of
sophisticated weapons. .

U.S. arms sales also
came under fire from
columnist Stanley Kar-
now, writing in the Bal-
timore Sun. Of Saudi
Arabia, "the largest U.S.
arms client with pur-
chases this year of $5.1
billion," Karnow re-
minded his readers that
the White House urged
Congressional approval
of F-15s last year because

"the deal was vital to gain
Saudi cooperation in the
Middle East negotiations.
"The Saudis, however,
have . . . failed to do any-
thing to encourage accom-
modation in the Middle
East," Karnow added.

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