Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism

Dore Gold

Excerpts from Reviews and Commentary

William Safire, New York Times, February 24, 2003:
The Saudi ruler is all lip service but no help; that family's blackmail payments to Hamas through a charity front are devastatingly documented in former Ambassador Dore Gold's new book, Hatred's Kingdom.

David Hirst, The Guardian, May 1, 2003:

You won't find the newly published Hatred's Kingdom in any Saudi bookshop, but it is so much in demand among high officials that the government has brought out a reprint of its own.

Toby Harnden, London Daily Telegraph, 14 May 2003

Some senior officials, most notably in the Pentagon, echo the views of Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, whose recent book, Hatred's Kingdom, cites the Wahhabi extremism of Saudi Arabian clerics as a root cause of terrorism.

Hypocrisy, he argued, was a central problem. "The Saudi regime can pay U.S. public relations firms to portray Saudi Arabia as America's tolerant partner while Saudi preachers and state-controlled religious texts spew anti-western invective."

He concluded: "Despite Saudi Arabia's insistence to the contrary, the record makes it frighteningly clear that the Saudi kingdom is, at this point, with the terrorists."

"Indeed, it is Saudi Arabia that has spawned the new global terrorism. Unless the Saudi regime feels pressure to change, the hatred that has motivated a horrifying series of worldwide terrorist attacks...will only go on."

Prof. Joseph Kostiner, Head of the School of History, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Post, May 16, 2003

"Gold's well-written and cogently argued work definitely helps explain the special Saudi role in international terrorism."

Hume Horan, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2003:

Muslim thinkers who had for centuries credited Islam's worldly stature to its monopoly on divine truth began to ask themselves, "What went wrong?" And their next question was, "How can we regain our former estate?" Dore Gold's Hatred's Kingdom (Regnery, 309 pages) describes such attempts at return. The book opens with a lucid account of how the Saudi royal family came to power in the mid-18th century. Mr. Gold argues persuasively that contributions from some of Saudi Arabia's wealthiest families, and from charitable arms of the Saudi government, were important for al Qaeda's evolution.

Alex Alexiev, Commentary Magazine, May 2003

Among the Wahhabis

What will the next strategic stage in the war against terrorism look like? One might hope that it would be a campaign to destroy the vast infrastructure that begets, nurtures, and sustains Islamic extremism. To do that, the U.S. would have to accept a fact it has so far refused to face: that Saudi Arabia, our putative ally, has been and remains the chief ideological and financial enabler of our most virulent enemies. After Saddam, a showdown with the House of Saud is, or should be, inevitable.

Hatred's Kingdom, a timely new book by the Israeli scholar and diplomat Dore Gold, lays out the grounds for this looming confrontation more powerfully than any other recent writing on the subject. Gold's lucid, dispassionate, impressively researched narrative debunks much of the conventional wisdom, establishing in a systematic way the dark reality of Saudi involvement in fomenting terror.

Gold also explains the central role played by the Wahhabi sect in shaping the broader current of Islamic extremism. As he extensively documents, the Saudis have sheltered and co-opted virtually every Islamist ideologue and movement of the past century, from the leaders of previous generations like Muhammad Rida, Hasan al-Banna, and Abu al-Ala Mawdudi to more contemporary figures like Abdullah Azzam and Muhammad Qutb, the mentors of al Qaeda's leadership. Wahhabism remains the prototype ideology of all violent Islamists. As Gold quotes one radical cleric, "Osama bin Laden is a natural continuation from Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab."

A further service performed by Hatred's Kingdom is to dismantle the self-serving propaganda of Saudi Arabia and its apologists. Since the attacks of September 11, the Saudis have maintained, for instance, that terrorism is a result of America's cruel indifference to the suffering of the Palestinians, a position to which many European governments and the American Left uncritically subscribe. Apart from the inconvenient fact that the vast majority of the more than 150,000 recent victims of Islamic terrorism have been Muslims, it is clear, as Gold demonstrates, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has never mattered much to Riyadh. Despite their visceral dislike of Jews, the Saudis historically have paid little attention to them, feeling much more threatened by rival Arab powers like the Hashemites in Transjordan and Iraq, Nasserite socialism in Egypt, Syria, and Yemen, and, more recently, the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein.

For the general reader interested in the origins of Middle Eastern terrorism, Hatred's Kingdom will shed a great deal of light; for policy-makers in Washington, it ought to be required reading.

Jeffrey Gedmin, Die Welt, May 24, 2003

"Indispensable reading"

Joseph A. Kechichian, The Middle East Journal, Summer 2003

"[a] thoroughly researched study"

Dr. Joshua Teitelbaum, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Report, December 15, 2003

�...certain for many years to remain the standard work on the political and terrorist effects of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, the Islamic world and the West.�

Hatred's Kingdom was featured on the New York Times Bestseller List for three weeks in March 2003. It also appeared on the Washington Post Bestseller List.

Hatred's Kingdom is available from, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Steimatzky's, and other leading bookstores.