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Monday, December 5, 2011

Qatar's Dealings With Hamas

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    
Obama and Qatar's Emir sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani
The former leader of Qatar died in 1995.  

Senator John Kerry had "voiced concerns about alleged Qatari government and private support to Hamas, saying in April 2009 that "Qatar....can't continue to be an American ally on Monday that sends money to Hamas on Tuesday."

"August 2009 saw Qatar offer $10 million in cash payments via the Hamas Administration in Gaza to support thousands of unemployed Palestinians".  Most are employed in the government.  The "Palestinians" are the longest achieving people to be on the dole with the U.N. as a displaced people. The $10 million included fishermen facing difficulty because of Israel's blockade of Gaza's coastal waters.  This came about because of ships trying to bring in ammunition used to attack Israel. 

Qatar makes more money than any other Arab country in the Middle East.  Qatar supports the Arab League position backing indirect negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.  Just in April of this year, the Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani visited the White House and said that "the most important issue for us in the region is that Palestine-Israeli conflict and how to find a way to establish a Palestinian state."

He said then that he supported Obama's goal of the existence of two states living peacefully side by side.  Being his good friend, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, seemingly Qatar's chief Theologian,  is a main leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, I doubt his sincerity to Obama.  The Muslim Brotherhood is for the murder of all Jews and the destruction of Israel according to their charter.  For starters, he's all for the destruction of Jerusalem.  Qaradawi believes this so strongly that he has issued a fatwa  stating all this.

Qatari leaders have criticized Israel's decisions on Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria and in additional upkeep building in Jerusalem.  Their mixed signals are reflected in Qatar's position about boycotting Israel.  In September 1994 their decision by the GCC was to terminate enforcement of the indirect boycotts, but maintaining in theory the primary boycott.  There actually had been an Israeli trade office in the capital, Doha, but it was closed by the Qatari government in response to the January 2009 Gaza war and hasn't been reopened. 

Qatar has been supportive of Hamas in recent years and indirectly supportive of Iran and Syria.  They tell others that it's a policy of engaging all sides in the interests of peace.  In October 2006 they were doing some diplomacy to resolve the differences between Palestinian factions and trying to release the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit by Hamas captors.  They even offered $50 million to the Hamas-led PA government and has hosted Hamas leaders for many talks since January 2006.  Tzipi Livni, Israel's then Foreign Minister declined their invitation in Doha in October 2006 because Hamas people would be there.  However, an Israeli delegation did go.  Shimon Peres visited Qatar in February 2007 and declined the Emir's reported suggestion that Israel negotiate directly with Hamas.

Qater kept working on Hamas and Fatah to speak to each other and they came to an agreement in May 2011.  They may even find offices for themselves in Doha because of unrest in Syria.  After all, Khaled Meshaal and other Hamas leaders visited Doha in April and December 2010, meeting with Emir Al Thani and Prime Minister Jabr Al Thani. 

Qatar and Israel do not have formal diplomatic ties.  The Emir of Qatar gave refuge to Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered a theologian of terror for Jews, who was kicked out of Egypt because of leadership in the Muslim Brotherhood.  That was when Mubarak was head of Egypt.  Today the Muslim Brotherhood has gained leadership there, but Qaradawi is settled nicely in Qatar.  One must think of why Egypt couldn't tolerate his religious leadership back then and what it stood for that Mubarak realized.  Hamas has sworn to destroy Israel.  This gives cause to worry about Qatar's connections. 

Our government continues to be Qatar's ally.  They were allowed to use Qatar as a a major military base.  Qatar founded Al Jazeera, the first all news Arabic language satellite TV network in 1995 used to brainwash many into hating Israel along with their news.  Some Americans question the possible support for Al Qaeda terrorists including members of the ruling Qatar family. 

Resource: from Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

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