This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, July 31, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Former Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold comes out and showing that Saudi charities are still funding terrorism. This on the heels of the 9/11 report (search) that blots out major intelligence issues supposedly dealing with the Saudis. So who’s hiding what here?
Ambassador David Mack, though, the vice president of the Middle East Institute -- he says it is not the Saudis. It is the U.S. government that’s hiding here.
Both men join me from Washington.
Mr. Gold, to you first. What connection do you have money-wise between the Saudis and terror?
DORE GOLD, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR: Well, one of the big questions is what happened on May 12. We understand that May 12 was a wake-up call for many Saudis. That’s the day in which there was a triple bombing in Riyadh (search). And we also see that the Saudis have been very busy trying to unveil Al Qaeda cells across the country.
But, at the same time, the national estimate in the State of Israel with respect to Saudi support of Hamas is that, today, between 50 percent, maybe as much as 70 percent of the Hamas budget comes from Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi component of Hamas is actually on the increase.
Therefore, while Saudi Arabia seems to be moving domestically on their own terrorist problem, their charities are still involved abroad, certainly in the Hamas case. You would have to ask people from Russia, the Philippines, East Africa to know what is going in other regions where Saudi charities have been active...
CAVUTO: Let’s give the ambassador a chance to respond to that. If that is true, Ambassador, it would appear that Saudi Arabia is giving lip service to our crackdown on terror. What say you?
DAVID MACK, VICE PRESIDENT, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: Well, I’d like to see all financing for Palestinian welfare efforts or political action or whatever -- I’d like to see it go to the Palestinian Authority as it’s been reformed under Mahmoud Abbas, and I think that’s...
CAVUTO: Ambassador, I’m sorry. I just want you to be clear with me on this. I may be slow on the take. Can you unequivocally say that Saudi money is not going to terrorist organizations today?
CAVUTO: So what’s to stop people in this country, sir, from not trusting the Saudis?
MACK: It’s pretty hard to prove a negative. What Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said after his meeting with President Bush at the White House was that Saudi Arabia would like to see these classified sections of the committee report declassified so that people would know what the details are, would know what the nuances were, that they couldn’t be responding to 28 blank pages.
CAVUTO: Well, you make a good point.
And, Dore Gold, you know, when people knew that I was going to have you on, I got a lot of e-mails from people saying, well, that guy hates the Saudis, he’s always had it in for them, he doesn’t even bring proof of connections, yet he always, you know, lambastes them. What say you?
GOLD: Well, you know, anyone who’s read my book, "Hatred’s Kingdom," has seen that I’m not short on proof.
I have an actual letter written by Abu Mazen -- that’s Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority -- complaining to Prince Sulman -- that’s the governor of Riyadh and probably the fourth strongest man in the kingdom -- about Saudi funding of Hamas.
I have that letter in Arabic in my book with an English translation. I have payment documents of the International Islamic Relief Organization.
Now, as far as giving the Saudis an even chance to respond to me, the committee where I appeared today, the Government Affairs Committee, actually invited Prince Bandar and Adel Jubair to appear, and they refused.
So I’m ready to have anybody test the documentation that I brought today this morning to the U.S. Senate.
CAVUTO: All right. Well, Ambassador, what do you think of that? If that was the case then, there’s a growing perception it might be now. What do you say?
MACK: You know, the document that Dore remarked on, the notes from Abu Mazen to the Saudis, was, I believe, dated toward the end of 2002, and I certainly would agree that there’s something going on that the Saudis should have stopped.
The question is have they stopped that now. I mean it’s only very recently that the United States has started direct funding of Palestinian Authority as opposed to funding other institutions.
CAVUTO: All right. Good point.
Ambassador David Mack, I want to thank you very much.
Dore Gold, a pleasure as always. Thank you.
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