Note to Peretz: Don’t Put Down the Contributions of Arab States to Haiti’s Relief Effort

In a bizarre post at the New Republic, Editor in Chief Marty Peretz denigrates the contribution of Arabs and Arab states to the Haiti relief efforts. 

The Arabs don’t care a fig, not for their impoverished and backward own, and certainly not for strangers. That’s why their presence in Haiti amounted to a couple of bucks from Saudi Arabia and maybe from some other sheikhs.

An afterthought: Who would want Arab participation in the rescue effort? This was serious work and dangerous work. Amateurs weren’t welcome.

In fact, Saudia Arabia is the third largest contributor to the $575 million United Nations Flash Appeal for Haiti.  The top two are the United States and Canada, at  $379,689,687 and  $77,625,378 respectively. This amounts to 32% and 6.5% of the total appeal. Right behind Canada is Saudi Arabia, which is contributing $50,000,000, or 4.2% of the total appeal.) Does that money not count?