Did you hear the one about the Saudi Arabian Prince and the guy from Sesame Street?
If you are not familiar with The National Council on U.S. Arab Relations (NCUSAR) you really shouldn’t feel bad. After all, it is difficult to keep track of all of the various Saudi funded propaganda/political efforts in the U.S. Here’s what you do need to know about NCUSAR: like the similarly named Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) this group also has deep pockets and has successfully forged high level relations with some of the most respected institutions and personalities of the limousine liberal left. Their website can be found at http://www.ncusar.org/.
The virulently anti-Israel Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) featured a story on NCUSAR’s annual conference in its December 2010 issue.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud was a keynote luncheon speaker at the “19th Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference.” He has long been a high-ranking figure in the Saudi government and is perhaps best known for his time as the Saudi ambassador to Washington from 2005 to 2007.
The prince told his NCUSAR audience that:
“…there are live human Muppets in Washington, D.C., who are run by AIPAC. Unfortunately what they bring is war and tragedy….”
We can be sure that Prince Turki didn’t plan to label pro-Israel individuals as Muppets. His speech was preceded by a talk from H. Melvin Ming, the chief operating officer of Sesame Street producer Sesame Workshop. Ming’s presentation was titled “Muppet Diplomacy.” Ming was just one of many liberals and Arabists who participated in NCUSAR’s event. Sesame Street was listed as a conferece sponsor along with the largest players in the petroleum industry.
Pressure increases daily on Israel to surrender territory and welcome a Fatah/PLO state in its heartland. The left in Europe and the U.S. gives this pressure its teeth. At the heart of much of this campaign is the notion that there are genuine peace partners waiting for Israel. All Israel needs to do is both end its settlement policy and turn over Jerusalem to the Palestinians so they can have their capital there. Conventional wisdom surely assumes Saudi Arabia is one of the Islamic nations that must be at the moderate Muslim front of the line if Israel makes such moves.
The charges made by the prince sound a lot like the anti-Israel extremism of Walt/Mearsheimer, prevalent in academia (and often funded by the Saudis themselves):
“Israel is a drain on the United States and not an asset, and foreign policy should follow national interest and not that of moneyed political lobbyists and journalist hacks.” (For more from his speech see http://www.ncusar.org/programs/2010auspc_program.html.)
Prince Turki placed nearly the entire blame for all of the troubles in the Middle East on America and Israel. He proclaimed: “The Arab world has chosen the path of peace.” When a former career Saudi diplomat can be so delusional as to say such a thing — while Hamas and Hezbollah are preparing for their next war against Israel — how has his dictatorship earned any place at the table?