- how widely Qatar's captive, fabulously-well-funded Aljazeera satellite news channels are watched, how massively influential they are on public opinion in places that get very little uncontrolled access to news and views and how extraordinarily well-resourced they are (with "more than 4,000 staff around the world" and 70 globally-dispersed bureaux - only the monstrously large and powerful BBC has more)
- the utter hideousness of Hamas' terror-centric actions, ideology, history, views, plans and ethics; and
- that Qatar is soon - unless stopped - going to be the host of the world's most watched sporting tournament, the 2022 FIFA World Cup
But first a little background:
One week after hosting U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Qatar will be hosting a conference by Hamas. Is there a better symbol of Qatar’s two-faced foreign policy?
Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is officially designated as a terrorist group by the United States, the Europe Union, Canada and Israel. Its human-rights abuses have been condemned by by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. It earned its "terrorist" title the old-fashioned way, through decades of killings and kidnappings. Hamas has rained rockets into Israel, causing death and destruction, since 2001. Its shower of Fajr-5 and other rockets have struck Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv. Hamas deploys suicide-bombers who kill Americans visiting Israel, as well as our Israeli allies. Its 15-member governing body, which it calls without irony its politburo, has been based in Qatar since 2012.
Likewise, Qatar’s support for terrorist groups, like Hamas, is not in doubt. Hamas’ head lives in a hotel in Qatar’s capital, where he moves about freely. Qatar’s sheikhs have poured billions in the Brotherhood and its offshoots, including Hamas, over the years, according the U.S and EU reports. What's more, the Qataris don't deny their support for Hamas... ["Why Is Our Ally Qatar Hosting Terrorists Like Hamas?", Richard Miniter in Forbes Magazine, April 28, 2017]
|Doha, Qatar [Image Source]|
According to Times of Israel, which focuses sharply on Qatar and Hamas and thank goodness for that,
One of the most wanted Palestinian terrorists, believed by Israeli intelligence to have planned the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in the summer of 2014, has moved to Lebanon after being expelled last month from Qatar.Those last words highlighted in yellow-marker are enraging.
Lebanese terror group Hezbollah is hosting Saleh al-Arouri in its Dahieh stronghold in southern Beirut, Channel 2 news reported Monday. Citing unnamed Palestinian sources, the television station said that Arouri and two other senior Hamas figures have relocated to the Hezbollah-dominated neighborhood in the Lebanese capital, an area heavily protected with checkpoints on every access road...
On June 4, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt decided to cut ties with Qatar and force it out of an Arab coalition fighting in Yemen, claiming that it supported Iran and Islamist terrorism. Yemen joined the boycott a day later...
On June 5, Palestinian sources confirmed that Qatar — which is embroiled in a boycott by Saudi Arabia and four other Arab states — had asked several top Hamas officials to leave for Lebanon, Turkey and Malaysia...
In its report Monday, Channel 2 said that Arouri may have chosen Beirut because the list of countries willing to host him are now limited and he fears Israel may try to exact revenge for the murder of the teenagers...
The list of Hamas officials Qatar has asked to leave its territory — reportedly gleaned from interrogations of Palestinian security prisoners in Israel — included Arouri, who is said to be the group’s military commander in the West Bank and the founder of the West Bank branch of its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...
Israeli intelligence officials believe that Arouri helped plan the June 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens — Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel. That event was followed by a sharp crackdown on Hamas operatives in the West Bank by Israel, to which Hamas responded with heavy rocket fire. The rocket fire was answered, in turn, by Israel’s launching of a major operation against Gaza, which turned into all-out war between Hamas and the Jewish state during that summer...
Qatari officials have reportedly apologized for having to expel Hamas officials, but said it came as a result of “external pressures.”
["Top Hamas commander, booted from Qatar, said hiding with Hezbollah", Times of Israel, July 3, 2017]
Qatar, a family-owned business operation camouflaged as a country, expects to be - and for the most part is - treated as a regular sovereign entity. Its royalty is received as your average noble rulers. But the bottom-line reality is that Qatar operates just like a thuggish Mob family and its Mafia culture does. Their principal allegiance is to fellow thugs. Do the appropriate people in the White House, the Department of Defense, the State Department comprehend this?
As for Arouri, we have had reason to bring him into our commentary numerous times in the past few years. For instance
- "11-Sep-14: Freeing terrorists: The price in human lives lost and in justice perverted keeps getting clearer" where the thug's central role in the brutal 2014 kidnapping and murder of three young Israeli seminary students turned this country inside out
- "18-Sep-15: Jerusalem Watch | Ongoing violence" which examines what we knew then about his central role in fomenting - from his safe haven in Turkey - the vicious Arab-on-Israeli violence that ebbs and flows in Israel's capital where we live
- "11-Dec-15: The price of the Shalit Deal and the countries that help it keep rising" where we traced Arouri's trajectory as a founder of Hamas' so-called military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades: 18 years behind Israeli bars, then freed in the run-down to the catastrophic Shalit Deal in 2011; then Jordan, then Syria, then Turkey.
- "22-Dec-15: Has a Hamas terror insider just been thrown out of Turkey?" which starts with this: "If the name Saleh Mohammad Suleiman Al-‘Arouri is not familiar to you, it should be."
And Qatar's "aristocratic nobility" - a key American strategic ally - have just begged forgiveness for having moved him along to another safe haven? They must be praying hard that their beloved comrades in Hamas don't hold a grudge.