So I get back from a trip and I find that–amazingly and unexpectedly, heh–the Europeans are kissing up to the Saudis. Judith Klinghoffer puts it this way:
WILL BLAIR AND SHROEDER BETRAY DENMARK IN JEDDAH?
In the latest chapter of the cartoon scandal, organizers of the international Jeddah Economic Forum said no Danish businessmen and economists will be invited.
The Director General of Public Relations at Jeddah’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Faycal Batawil, said Tuesday the decision was taken “to express solidarity with the feelings of anger sweeping the Muslim world as a result of slandering Prophet Mohammed in Danish newspapers.”
Saudi businessmen express solidarity with the feeling of their angry countrymen. (a Muslim friend wrote me that “the prophet warned his disciplines against anger,when asked what is the worst vice, meaning our, Arab Muslim vice, and three times the prophet said anger.”)
Will American and Europeans dignitaries and businessmen express solidarity with the feelings of their countrymen and oppose the boycotting of Danish businessmen for being citizens of a country which as a free press? This morning Ed Morrissey was kind enough to pick up my posting on the disgraceful Saudi attempt to punish Denmark by evicting her from the Jeddah Economic conference. He adds:
This isn’t any little backwater conference, either. The Saudis have invited high-profile people from around the world for seven years to the JEF, hoping to take leadership on economic development, especially in the Gulf region.
As a new WTO member, the Saudis are not permitted to boycott or encourage the boycott of another WTO member. Indeed, EU Commissioner, Peter Mandelson warned the Saudis that the EU may take legal action at the WTO “if Saudi authorities condone an informal boycott on Danish products in the Middle East.”
Is the boycotting of Danish businessmen permissible? Will EU solidarity kick into action?
Will Cherie Blair and Gerhard Schroeder stand with the Dane?
Will Al Gore and Steve Forbes demonstrate the American support to an ally which stood by US?
Finally, I’ve just came across news that some Danes have been participating and encouraging the boycott of Israeli goods. I must admit I am deeply disappointed. I hope the silent Danish majority will stand up with me and mine as I have stood with them.