'Club Med for terrorists'
In the New York Times, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, refers to Doha, Qatar as 'Club Med for terrorists
Since Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has dragged us into
three rounds of major assaults, and more than 14,800 rockets have been
fired into Israel by the group or its proxies. The discovery of dozens
of tunnels packed with explosives, tranquilizers and handcuffs that end
at the doorsteps of Israeli communities should be enough to convince
anyone that Hamas has no interest in bringing quiet to Gaza or residing
alongside Israel in peace.
It says a great deal that Hamas’s
former Arab backers, which historically have included Egypt, Syria and
Saudi Arabia, long ago abandoned the terrorist group. Only a few nations
still stand by Hamas. Among the most prominent is the tiny Persian Gulf
In recent years, the sheikhs of Doha, Qatar’s capital, have
funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza. Every one of Hamas’s
tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read “Made
possible through a kind donation from the emir of Qatar.”
This hasn’t stopped the Persian Gulf monarchy from serving
as a Club Med for terrorists. It harbors leading Islamist radicals like
the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf
al-Qaradawi, who issued a religious fatwa endorsing suicide attacks, and the Doha-based history professor Abdul Rahman Omeir al-Naimi, whom the United States Department of Treasury has named as a “terrorist financier” for Al Qaeda. Qatar also funds a life of luxury for Khaled Meshal, the fugitive leader of Hamas.
Meshal’s uncompromising stance — he has vowed never to recognize Israel
— has long been an obstacle to reaching a peace deal. But behind Hamas,
Qatar is pulling the strings. According to a report last week in the
pan-Arab daily newspaper Al Hayat, Qatar even threatened to expel Mr.
Meshal if Hamas accepted Egyptian proposals for a long-term cease-fire
in Gaza. All because Doha wants a starring role in any cease-fire
agreement between Hamas and Israel.
It is time for the
world to wake up and smell the gas fumes. Qatar has spared no cost to
dress up its country as a liberal, progressive society, yet at its core,
the micro monarchy is aggressively financing radical Islamist
movements. In light of the emirate’s unabashed support for terrorism,
one has to question FIFA’s decision to reward Qatar with the 2022 World
Qatar’s continued sponsorship of Hamas all but guarantees that, whatever
happens in this round of hostilities, the terrorist group will rearm
and renew hostilities with Israel. The only way forward is to isolate
Hamas’s last major backer. Given Qatar’s considerable affluence and
influence, this is an uncomfortable prospect for many Western nations,
yet they must recognize that Qatar is not a part of the solution but a
significant part of the problem. To bring about a sustained calm, the
message to Qatar should be clear: Stop financing Hamas.
Labels: Emir of Qatar, FIFA, Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, Qatar, Ron Prosor, World Cup