Criticism Flies for Ga. Apology Note

WASHINGTON?A Georgia congresswoman is facing criticism for sending a letter to a Saudi prince apologizing for New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani?s refusal to accept the prince’s $10 million check for terrorism victims.

Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney thanked Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and said she was disappointed by Giuliani, who returned the check last week upon learning the prince had suggested U.S. policies toward the Mideast were partly to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks. Alwaleed also said the United States should ?adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause.?

?I think he should have recognized your right to speak and make observations about a part of the world which you know so well,? McKinney said in the four-page letter, dated Oct. 12.

McKinney also wrote that she was concerned about reports of ?a pattern of excessive, and often indiscriminate, use of lethal force? by Israeli security forces against unarmed Palestinians.