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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Saudi's arrest in Boston
periled touchy alliance

One would have expected that at least some of the more militant pro-Israel press pundits would have seized on the controversial document pegging the Saudi arrested in Boston as a previously identified alien not permitted to fly on grounds of terrorist associations.

But the so-called "Israel lobby" in the media -- which even the New York Times agrees is a very powerful political force -- has remained mute. The near-unanimity of this decision isn't about Glenn Beck's credibility. It is about the fact that Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu wants Washington completely focused on the curbing or the elimination of Iran's nuclear arms potential. This requires Saudi Arabia, which opposes Iran obtaining atomic weapons, to stay diplomatically close to Washington.

Though the holding of Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi on terrorism charges might not have upset that applecart, it easily could have, offending Saudi Arabia as domestic political pressure forced the scuttling of a plan to let the Saudis participate in a Homeland Security "trusted flyer" program.

This pro-Israel writer didn't get the message, showing that the "Israel lobby" isn't altogether monolithic.

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