Yesterday FrontPage posted Alexander Joffe’s column on Georgetown’s acceptance of the $20 million contribution (with another $20 million to Harvard) from the Saudi prince seeking to promote the image of Islam in the West: “Georgetown sells out to the Saudis.” The New York Sun also reported (subscription required) yesterday that Congressman Anthony Weiner had urged both Georgetown and Harvard to reject the prince’s contribution. In his letter, Weiner chastised them for “accepting gifts from a family that bankrolls terrorist organizations.”
In her Washington Times column, Diana West recalls the eloquent response of General McAuliffe — “Nuts!” — to the demand that he surrender his hopeless position to the Nazis at the Battle of the Bulge: “Muslims and media.” West focuses on the man behind the Harvard and Georgetown contributions — Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud.
Mayor Giuliani asserted our collective self-respect in rejecting the prince’s contribution to New York in the aftermath of 9/11 when it was tendered with the prince’s offensive commentary on America. In shifting his attention to the universities, the prince has found beneficiaries that are unimpaired by any of the limiting notions that guided Giuliani.
West takes note of the prince’s media holdings:
In the West, they include a sizeable stake in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox News, “fair and balanced” pride of any parent company. And Mr. Alwaleed takes pride pride of ownership, anyway in Fox as well. “During last month’s street protests in France,” he bragged to a Dubai audience, according to Middle East Online, “Fox ran a banner saying: ‘Muslim riots’. I picked up the phone and called Murdoch” Rupert “to tell him these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty. Within 30 minutes,” the prince recalled, “the title was changed from ‘Muslim riots’ to ‘civil riots.'” I guess money oops, I mean, peace and tolerance talks. Why else, as noted by Accuracy in Media (AIM), would News Corporation’s Harper Collins have published the prince’s “authorized biography” (#32,910 on Amazon)? In the DVD documentary accompanying the book a royal bonus Rupert Murdoch makes a cameo appearance (presumably “authorized”) to praise Mr. Alwaleed, dismissing Mr. Giuliani’s rejection as so much “politics.”
Mr. Murdoch might well have added that not everyone is too proud to take the prince’s, well, princely sums. In 2002, Mr. Alwaleed contributed $27 million to a Saudi government telethon that raised more than $100 million for the families of Palestinian “martyrs.” Like Harvard and Georgetown like Andover ($500,000), like the Carter Center ($5 million) no Hamas or Al Aqsa alums or legacies (survivors?) were about to give any bucks back.
And why should they? Harvard may have a record of Arab gifts gone wrong, including a $2.5 million donation returned following revelations of the donor’s anti-Semitic, anti-American leanings. “But,” as the Boston Globe noted, “problems with the Alwaleed donation do not seem probable.”
Here’s one. Prince Crimson bin Hoya is not only one of American academia’s most generous benefactors ever, he’s co-owner of ART TV network, the Saudi company that includes what Steven Stalinsky of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has described in the New York Sun as “the anti-American, anti-Semitic, pro-Jihad Arabic TV channel [IQRA].”
I’ve been unable to verify the accuracy of the prince’s impact on Fox’s coverage of the Muslim riots in France. Would readers with any first-hand knowledge please email us?
The Bush administration itself needs to consider the example of General McAuliffe when it receives invitations from outfits like the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Meghan Clyne reports in today’s New York Sun: “State, Justice will appear at MPAC, causing concern.” The Sun’s article opens:
Outrage and puzzlement are mounting over the Bush administration’s participation this weekend in the fifth annual convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, to be headlined by a vociferous administration critic and a former ambassador to Iraq, Joseph Wilson. The convention also will include leaders of MPAC who have made statements considered by many to be anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, and to be supportive of the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.
Wilson is delivering the keynote address at the conference during its fund-raising segment tomorrow night. Nuts!
UPDATE: Diana West writes: “FYI — here’s a link to an AIM press release that includes reference to Fox’s non-response response to AIM about Alwaleed’s claim — as noted not a denial.”