We have called many times over the years for a sort of "Manhattan Project" for innovations toward the goal of energy independence. Imagine all of the ridiculous political and moral compromises Western countries would not make -- whether with Saudi Arabia or Libya -- if not for blackmail over oil.
DUBAI - A member of the Saudi royal family has pledged $900,000 to a bounty offered by a prominent cleric to any Palestinian who kidnaps an IDF soldier, according to comments aired on a private TV station on Saturday.
Prince Khaled bin Talal, a brother of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, told Daleel television over the phone that he decided to contribute to Awad al-Qarni's bounty after the Saudi cleric received death threats for offering $100,000 to capture an IDF soldier.
"Dr Awad al-Qarni said he was offering $100,000 to only take a prisoner but they responded by offering $1 million to kill Awad al-Qarni," Prince Khaled said, according to a recording of the call published on Daleel's website.
"I tell Dr. Awad al-Qarni, 'I will be in solidarity with you and pay the remaining $900,000 to take an Israeli soldier prisoner so that other prisoners can be freed,'" he added.
Qarni said on his Facebook page this week that he made the offer in response to a similar reward promised by an Israeli family for anyone who catches the person who killed one of its members in 1998, following a prisoner exchange agreement earlier this month of more than 1,000 Palestinians for the captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.
Qarni is well known in Saudi Arabia for his outspoken views but is not part of the official clerical establishment.
But he clearly has friends in high places.