Once again, Rudy Giuliani has demonstrated why his tenure as Mayor of New York these past years marked a transformation of our city. There are those who say that he should have accepted the $10 million for the World Trade Center victims fund from that Saudi prince who accompanied his check with the advice that the United States “should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause. Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of the Israelis while the world turns the other cheek.” They said the Mayor should just have issued a disclaimer.
However, in typical Rudy style, the Mayor, getting to the heart of the matter said, upon rejecting the money, that this sort of thinking “is part of the problem… There is no moral equivalent to this attack. There is no justification for it… To suggest that there is any justification for it only invites this happening in the future.”
Of course, the Mayor was right. Taking the money would ineluctably serve to give credence both to the prince's substantive remarks and to the notion there is some political dimension to what happened. And, as the Mayor said, this could only encourage other such terrorist outrages. Thus, in no way was he going to allow the $10,000,000 to buy identification with the solution.
The Mayor's principled and clearheaded stance stands in stark contrast to what some in the State Department are saying. We were dismayed to read that a spokesman, Richard Boucher, drew this distinction:
Essentially, there are, on some planes, two different things. One is that there are violent people trying to destroy societies, ours, many others in the world. The world recognizes that and we are going to stop those people. On the other hand, there are issues and violence and political issues that need to be resolved in the Middle East, Israelis and Palestinians…. They are clearly issues that are different.
Can such talk have any other effect than to embolden the worldwide terrorist enterprise and encourage Osama bin Laden's allies to commit violence against America's closest ally?