ARAB-US RELATIONS - Jan. 9 - Saudi Press Hits Clinton.
(Analysts dismiss the possibility that the unprecedented criticism in Saudi newspapers, which are subject to state censorship and frequently reflect government policy, may have been government-inspired). According to Khaled al-Maeena, editor-in-chief of the daily Arab News, the editorials reflect the "pent-up frustration of the way Clinton has tried to force a deal down the throats of the Arabs to make himself look favourable to the Israelis". Another analyst says: "When something is rumbling under the surface of the Saudi political structure and in the absence of any formalised method of expressing political opinions, the press is the first safety valve". And if the target is not the government, or its bureaucracy, then the US is the next line". (Since the start of the Al Aqsa intifada, on Sept. 28, 2000, teachers in schools and preachers in mosques throughout Saudi Arabia have encouraged the comparatively small but growing boycott of US goods and services as a way of protecting at what they see as the US alliance with Israel. US fast-food and retail franchises, notably in Saudi Arabia, have reported a sharp decline in the number of customers).
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|Publication:||APS Diplomat Recorder|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jan 13, 2001|
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