Giuliani rejects $10 million from Saudi prince
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the city would not accept a $10 million donation for disaster relief from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the September 11 attacks.
"I entirely reject that statement," Giuliani said. "There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification for it when they slaughtered 4,000 or 5,000 innocent people."
Prince Alwaleed gave the mayor a check after a Thursday morning memorial service at Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the attacks.
The prince offered his condolences to the people of New York, but after the ceremony he released a statement suggesting the United States "must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack."
"The check has not been deposited. The Twin Towers Fund has not accepted it," Giuliani said in a statement late Thursday.
The prince's statement said the United States "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause.
"While the U.N. passed clear resolutions numbered 242 and 338 calling for the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip decades ago, our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek," the statement said.
Giuliani flatly rejected the prince's position. "To suggest that there's a justification for [the terrorist attacks] only invites this happening in the future," he said. "It is highly irresponsible and very, very dangerous.
"And one of the reasons I think this happened is because people were engaged in moral equivalency in not understanding the difference between liberal democracies like the United States, like Israel, and terrorist states and those who condone terrorism.
"So I think not only are those statements wrong, they're part of the problem," Giuliani said.
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