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How JASTA could be Read in Saudi Terms | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. President Barack Obama (C) and Saudi King Salman (R) walk together following their meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 20, 2016. REUTERS

The legislation allowing the United States to sue sponsors of terrorism under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) and publicly targeted against Saudi Arabia for the 9/11 attacks had been strongly opposed by the kingdom, which considers it harmful to its long-standing alliance with the U.S.

Addressing all the world’s states, JASTA cannot be outlined as a direct conviction solely targeting Saudi Arabia.

The bill’s ripple effect, however, would entail dragged legal procedures and judicial complications that would indeed concern Saudi Arabia; nonetheless it will not be an earth-shattering political crisis. The Media had blown up speculations and redefined JASTA in hyped terms.

What is more is that after U.S. President Obama vetoed the bill, congressmen realized that the legislation would also turn against the States’ best interest, therefore have resorted to reviewing and watering down the bill. However, the bill still compromises international law on state sovereignty.

Despite the legislation being enough to choke a horse, it is not a subliminal political divorce embedded in the form of a bill, as some had been exclaiming.

At a time Saudi Arabia receives taunting concerns on what JASTA could mean for the kingdom; it is crucial to remember that Saudi Arabia’s trip to statehood and self-determination was never a walk in the park, the kingdom is long experienced with overriding hardships.

Established over the tough foundations and extreme conditions of a scorching barren desert, mounting all obstacles with inherent wisdom, rationale and resilience, Saudi Arabia had come a long way.

Founders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had beat challenges and existential threats through employing prudence and pragmatism. Spending a lifetime in politics, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz has built acumen for toppling tough trials, JASTA being the most recent of them.

JASTA has birthed a very critical situation internationally—the current circumstance calls on international solidarity and resilience, and foremost on turning a deaf ear to all opportunists provoking a sharp reaction.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, had set an example in the political tact needed to incapacitate JASTA’s consequences— the legislation’s targeting of Saudi Arabia, is clear and indisputable, and the only viable option is to fortify the nation as much as possible.

Saudi Arabia’s approach to JASTA will be according to its long documented discipline and tolerant reasoning—the next step in such a response demands thinking outside the box accompanying with thoughtful evaluation.

The bill is not the kingdom’s toughest challenge met, yet it does ask of Saudis to question and examine what is JASTA exactly, what does it stand for, and why it came to be?

Even though the causes behind JASTA cannot be completely attributed to Saudi Arabia, a reflective review by the kingdom will aid in realizing reform, which secures national immunity against harm.

Saudi Arabia has to look into reasons accountable for marring its image as a tolerant country, and the means of restoring truth to how Saudi Arabia is portrayed worldwide.

Moreover, the kingdom needs to place a scrutinizing assessment to ties with countries that place it in harm’s way, regardless of intentions. Added to the composure needed, straightforward and serious questions must be asked, so that the air is cleared.

Pravinee Hurbungs once said “don’t fear the enemy that attacks you, but the fake friend that hugs you”– the saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies, and perhaps that should be kept in mind while reviewing JASTA’s aim from a Saudi scope, whilst of course sustaining poise and political wisdom.