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Kerry, Saudis Discuss ‘Fixing’ JASTA; Saudis Try To Mobilize ‘All Arabs’ against the Law

Oct. 21, 2016 (EIRNS)—After a meeting at the U.S. State Department in Washington yesterday, John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir both denounced the JASTA law (Justice Against Supporters of Terrorism Act), and told reporters that the law threatens the “international law” and puts the United States at risk.

The interests of the United states “are at risk as a result of the law,” Kerry said, adding that he and Al Jubeir “discussed ways to try to fix this in a way that respects and honors the needs and rights of the victims of 9/11” while not exposing American troops, “partners”, and individuals to potential lawsuits. All this, Kerry couched in terms of respect for sovereign immunity.

Al Jubeir, mouthpiece for the Anglo-Saudi royals, was specific in making not-so-veiled threats of retaliation (though he didn’t publicly repeat his empty threat of April to dump U.S. Treasuries).

“The United States ... has the most to lose by this, because you have operations all the way from Japan to South America to the Pacific,” Jubeir told reporters,

“and I think that is why the vast majority of countries have come out vehemently and very strongly against this JASTA bill for its dilution of sovereign immunities. And there have been a number of countries that are looking at reciprocal measures, and if this issue takes hold, we will have chaos in the international order.”

Over the last week, Saudi-backed publications have led a charge against JASTA in both Arabic and English media in the Middle East. Having failed to stop JASTA and stop the ongoing condemnation of Saudi backing of jihadi terrorism, the new Saudi battle-cry is that JASTA is against "all Arabs." Special pressure is being put on Egypt, where both President Al Sisi and Sunni clerics have resisted Saudi pressures in several areas.

A sampling of the dozens of articles: Saudi publication, Al Arabiya English today is titled, "JASTA is an insult to all Arabs," in which Egyptian academic Waheed Abdul Majid argues that it must be forbidden to allow lawsuits to proceed on evidence that plaintiffs gathered outside of the state-sponsored commissions. Majid’s article appeared in several Arab newspapers before coming out in English. In AlAhramOnline, the title on Oct. 20 was "JASTA: We are all compromised, states and individuals." The Saudi Gazette yesterday published, "JASTA: Seeds of Anarchy in International Relations."

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