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You Are Cheaper Than the Prize! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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There appears to be no limit to how low the fabrication among Hezbollah and its supporters will sink to. That is the most striking aspect in the battle of ideas against those who are spearheading a campaign to mislead Arab public opinion. The most recent of these comments entails a completely false story that aims to accuse me and Mr. Abdul Rahman al Rashed of treachery.

This fabricated story was featured on an internet forum called Filka Israel, which is one of the key sources for Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrallah’s Al-Manar TV. It is also especially used as a platform to launch charges against the party’s adversaries, accusing them of being agents to Israel and suchlike.

Through this blog, news has been fabricated about Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Saad Hariri, Fouad Siniora, Walid Jumblatt and Marwan Hamadeh, in addition to many respected Lebanese journalists.

Filka Israel is also a source for many Persian websites; ‘Kayhan’ newspaper has quoted Al-Manar TV quoting Filka Israel. Moreover, some Syrian websites follow Filka Israel’s lead, while the aforesaid website is most often described as a news website, which is inaccurate as it is more like a personal diary that is available to all rather than a news site.

According to the false allegations on the website, “the committee entitled with awarding the Friends of the People of Israel Prize, which is bestowed upon figures who have contributed through their public work to support the rights of the Jewish people on the land of their forefathers, has chosen Tariq Alhomayed and Abdul Rahman al Rashed to receive half a million US dollars each, which is half the value of the prize [to be shared].”

Aside from the cheap lies, every detail in this false news contradicts the one before it. After I was accused of being an agent for Saudi Arabia, the website stated that I was an Egyptian national. The truth is that I am a Saudi national and a farmer’s son but I would have been proud of Egyptian nationality, or any other Arab nationality – however; I will never be one of the Arabs that ‘submit’ to Iran.

Yet these fabrications still continue to amuse; they have married off my colleague Abdul Rahman al Rashed who is a bachelor after they said that he was on holiday in Israel with his family. I called him and laughingly congratulated him on his marriage and asked what the weather was like in Israel. Booming with laughter, he said, “Married? This proves that it’s a big lie. Please! I live in a place that is full of dust and humidity!”

Unfortunately, I have become accustomed to the declared and undeclared responses that appear following stories that reveal the misleading nature of the Iranian deception in the region. The systematic attacks on Iranian websites against our newspaper and some of its writers have become noticeable. Such attacks attempt to portray us as sectarian because we have exposed their genuine sectarianism. Moreover, they forget that we oppose Sunni extremism with all its systems and organizations. The best example of this is our confrontation of Al Qaeda with all its symbols and supporters, and in return we were subjected to attacks, threats and slander. It is my conviction that Hezbollah is Al Qaeda’s equivalent among the Shia.

It is important to point out that our colleague who specializes in the technical side of the paper told me that the photograph they used alongside the fabricated news item was taken from our website via a ‘media company’ in Iran! But please, don’t let this surprise you since they are cheaper than the prize!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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