No Apologies From This Saudi

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When Israel released documents last week purporting to show that the government of Saudi Arabia is financing Palestinian terrorist groups, Saudi officials angrily dismissed the charge. The Saudis, however, are not disputing a key Israeli claim: that money from the Kingdom is going to the families of suicide bombers. In an interview with Time last Friday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal condemned suicide attacks against civilians but acknowledged that the families of the bombers have benefited from millions in Saudi aid given to the relatives of Palestinians killed since the beginning of the intifadeh. "There are 1,800 families receiving aid," he said. "How would [bombers' families] feel if all their neighbors were getting food and medicine, and they were singled out and not getting food and medicine?" Added Prince Saud: "Isn't it better to give assistance to the families of these people, rather than to have the hate fester? What is shameful about helping families, unless you believe in guilt by association?" Prince Saud denounced the charge that the Saudi money is helping breed new martyrs. "Does this money, when it goes to the families of the suicide bombers, tell another boy or girl, 'Go kill yourselves, and we will give your family money?' This is ridiculous." But with the suicide attacks persisting, the Israelis are now playing up the alleged Saudi connection to terrorism--making it even less likely that Israel will sign on to the peace initiative sponsored by the Saudis anytime soon.