Photo Credit: Flash 90
Hamas' leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (R)

This article was first published in Gatestone Institute.

American allies, especially Qatar and Turkey, have been providing material support to Hamas, which the United States has listed as a foreign terrorist organization. This support includes financial, diplomatic, media and even the provision of weapons that deliberately target Israeli civilians from behind Palestinian civilians who are used as human shields. It also includes harboring war criminals, especially leaders of Hamas, who direct their followers from the safety of Doha. Without the support of Qatar and Turkey, Hamas would never have started this bloody war that has caused so much human suffering.

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Qatar, which is more of a family-owned gas station than a real country, regards itself as untouchable because of its oil wealth. Its residents—they are not really citizens because there are no genuine elections or freedom of speech or religion—are the richest in the world. It can buy anything it wants, including the 2022 World Cup, several American university campuses, some of the world’s greatest art, Al Jazeera television and other luxuries. It can also buy terrorist groups such as Hamas. Indeed, after Iran, which is the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar ranks near the top of this dishonor role of death.

Any individual who provides material support to a designated terrorist group such as Hamas commits a crime under the United States Penal law and the laws of several European countries. If Hamas were ever to be convicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, as it may well be, any individual who was an accessory to such crimes would be guilty as well. It is entirely fair, therefore, to describe Qatar as a criminal regime, guilty of accessory to mass murder.

In some ways Turkey is even worse. Its erratic prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has incited anti-Semitism, provoked conflict with Israel, provided material support to Hamas and undercut efforts to achieve a realistic end to the Gaza War. He has demanded that his Jewish subjects do his bidding, telling “our Jewish citizens’ leaders” that they must “adopt a firm stance and release a statement against the Israeli government.” He has suggested that if they fail to do so they will not be regarded as “good Turks,” thus raising the old canard of “dual loyalty.”

Erdogan also recently said of Israel that “they always curse Hitler, but they now even exceed him in barbarism.” And he responded to Americans who complain about the “comparisons with Hitler,” by saying “You’re American, what’s Hitler got to do with you,” forgetting that Hitler’s forces killed thousands of American soldiers and civilians. He also conveniently forgets that Turkey, which remained immorally “neutral” in the war against Nazism, provided Hitler with the playbook for his genocide, by its own genocide against Armenians. As Hitler asked rhetorically when planning his genocide: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” So Hitler matters to America, as it should to Turkey, which still mendaciously denies that it committed genocide against the Armenians.

Yet it was Qatar and Turkey to which Secretary of State John Kerry turned in his efforts to get Israel and Hamas to agree to a cease fire. This not only infuriated Israel, which considers these two countries as accessories to Hamas’ war crimes, but also Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, which also see Qatar and Turkey as allies of Hamas and enemies of moderate Arab states.

The time has come for the United States and the international community to reassess the status of Qatar and Turkey. These two countries have become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. A nation that hosts Hamas leaders and finances their terrorism should not also host the World Cup. Nor should American universities send their faculty and students to a nation complicit in terrorism that has taken the lives of many Americans as well as Israelis.

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Alan M. Dershowitz is Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author, most recently, of "Trumped Up! How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy," which is now available. This essay originally appeared on the Gatestone Institute website (www.gatestoneinstitute.org).

22 COMMENTS

  1. Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
    2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
    3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
    4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.Psalm 83

  2. I’m so ashamed Obama is the president of my country. Ashamed of the way he has treated Israel. Ashamed he sent Kerry to Qatar to backdoor an arms deal. We know Qatar is a terrorist regime. Shame on this US administration. My country has turned it’s back on Israel. But the majority of my countrymen stand with and support you Israel.

  3. No ceasefire less than 10 hours after hamas agreed to USA and UN hamas resumed attacking. Kidnapped IDF soldier. Is hamas wants to be exterminated for religious ritual, as they keep telling us, it appears they will be getting Christmas presents early this year. Freely.

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