Israeli FM has Saudi Arabia in sights: Report
By MOHAMMED MAR'I ARAB NEWS
Published: May 14, 2010 00:11 Updated: May 14, 2010 00:11RAMALLAH: The rightist Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has launched a global campaign against Saudi Arabia, the Hebrew daily Maariv revealed on Thursday.The report said that Lieberman's decision has been kept secret until now.According to Maariv, the campaign, if launched, will include “the use of various means of leverage and lobbies in the United States, Europe and other places around the world, raising the issue of human rights and the status of women ... in the US Congress, the European Parliament and other venues, a public relations campaign and even lodging complaints with international courts.”The report said that Lieberman’s plan calls for Israel to convey a strenuous message in the next number of days to the US that will include information about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the above-cited activities.Israel will also demand that the US administration intervene and use their influence and the leverage that they have over the Saudis to pressure Saudi Arabia. In tandem, all Israeli representatives overseas will be briefed, as will all the Jewish organizations, the Jewish lobby and Israeli allies in the US Congress and elsewhere so as to begin to “pester” Saudi Arabia, to place on the public agenda the state of human rights in the Kingdom, the status of women and numerous other issues. The possibility of filing lawsuits to either international or foreign courts will also be looked into, among other options.The report said that Lieberman’s decision was made in the wake of a conclusion that was drawn by Israeli Foreign Ministry officials that Saudi Arabia was the principal force behind the global campaign to de-legitimize Israel.Maariv quoted the senior Israeli political officials as saying this week in closed conversations that Saudi Arabia financed a large part of the lawsuits that have been filed in international courts.“They're playing a double game,” a political official said.He added: “The Saudis act as if they are part of the moderate camp and are trying to exploit the West for their own needs, when at the same time they have been financing an orchestrated campaign against Israel’s legitimacy, against Israel’s economy and more. That needs to be ended.”However, the report said that there are Israeli officials in the Foreign Ministry who are not pleased with Lieberman's plan.The report said that these officials believe such campaign by Israel would be gratuitous and would not yield Israel any benefit.