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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Qatar’

Hamas’ Supreme Leader Mashaal Warms Up to Abbas

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Khaled Mashaal, the supreme leader of Hamas who lives in Qatar,  spent 10 minutes on the phone with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in what the official PA news agency WAFA said was a “warm” conversation.

Mashaal fled to Qatar from Syria, where he had been living in exile from Jordan until the Syrian civil war came between him and Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

“Mashaal telephoned president Abbas to thank him for his efforts at different levels, particularly sending aid to the Gaza Strip,” WAFA reported, referring to the support sent by the PA to Gaza as it recovers following the major winter storm in recent days.

However, the most immediate and influential help came from Qatar, which donated diesel fuel, and Israel, which shipped it to Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The Fatah terrorist movement, headed by Abbas, and Hamas said more than two years ago they would patch up their differences and establish a unity government, but no actions have been  taken to confirm the announcement.

With the “peace process” considered dead by virtually all parties except  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the phone call gave Abbas the opportunity to promise Mashaal that  the “sacred and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people” are a state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, Palestinian refugees’ rights and the release of all Palestinian prisoners.”

Peace Talks Have ‘Intensified,’ Kerry Says

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said “all the core issues are on the table” in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that have intensified.

A meeting Monday in Jerusalem centered on the issue of sharing water resources, an unnamed Palestinian official told the French news agency AFP. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have met three times in the past four days.

Kerry confirmed on Monday in Paris that negotiators have met 13 times since the end of July, when U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were restarted after a hiatus of several years.

“The pace has intensified, all the core issues are on the table and they have been meeting with increased intensity,” said Kerry, who is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome on Wednesday.

Kerry announced Monday that Qatar would provide $150 million in debt relief to the Palestinian Authority, saying that “for everybody to live up to the challenges of making peace, we have to support them.”

Also Monday, Kerry briefed the 22-member Arab League on the progress of the peace negotiations.

Syrian Chutzpa: ‘Foreign Terrorists’ Invasion is Our 9/11’

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The “foreign terrorists’ invasion” of Syria, supposedly financed and armed by the United States and its allies, have brought on Syria its own 9/11,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told the United Nations Monday.

“The people of New York have witnessed the devastations of terrorism, and were burned with the fire of extremism and bloodshed, the same way we are suffering now in Syria,” Moallem said. “How can some countries, hit by the same terrorism we are suffering now in Syria, claim to fight terrorism in all parts of the world, while supporting it in my country?”

The report of his speech in Turkey’s Hurriyet News did not note whether U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice was in the hall at the time, but its amazing that there has been no storm of protest from the United States.

Perhaps it is not amazing. The U.N. has become so anti-American and anti-anything that represents normal civilization that the very fact that the United States continues to finance it, let alone suffers the insults spouted from the podium, says a lot about America’s loss of intellectual honesty and integrity.

Moallem, perhaps Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’s closest loyal aide who has not defected, represents a country that by all accounts – except  in Iran – has committed atrocities beyond belief and has gone unpunished.

Using the tactic of turning the accused into the victim, a twisted method perfected by the Palestinian Authority and Iran, he told the United Nations, “Terrorists from more than 83 countries are engaged in the killing of our people and our army under the appeal of global Takfiri jihad.”

It’s all Turkey’s fault, he declared, And Saudi Arabia’s. And Qatar’s. And Britain’s. And, of course, it is the United States’ fault.

All of these evil countries armed, financed and trained the “terrorists,” according to Moallem, whose speech was duly recorded without a peep of protest.

The equation of 9/11 attacks with the rebellion is sicker than sick but is par for the course in the United Nations, which has succeeded in making the old League of Nations a collection of angels.

As for the chemical warfare in Syria, it was “terrorists who used poisonous gases in my country [and] have received chemical agents from regional and Western countries that are well known to all of us,” he said.

The hijacking of the United Nations by the Axis of Evil and its radical Islamic sympathizers is all but complete.

The United Nations is the perfect stage for Moallem to denounce the international body, where the West still has influence through the Security Council, for its handling of the Syrian crisis. It should be condemned for its mis-handling the crisis.

“There is no civil war in Syria, but it is a war against terror that recognizes no values, nor justice, nor equality, and disregards any rights or laws,” according to Moallem.

In that case, the question is, “Why isn’t the United Nations fighting a war against Syria?”

‘Sec’y of Nonsense’ Kerry: PA-Israel Pact the Key to Mideast Peace

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry, after meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in London, said that “a final status agreement [between the Israelis and the Palestinians] is important in enhancing regional security and stability throughout the Middle East” (‘Kerry pledges to peace talks during Abbas meeting,’ Breitbart, September 9, 2013).

“Secretary Kerry’s statement is utter nonsense. If the history of recent years — and indeed of the entire 65-year long period of the Arab war on Israel — has made one thing clear, it is that the lack of a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians is manifestly not the cause of the Middle East’s conflicts, violence and bloodshed.

In fact, it is totally unrelated and irrelevant to the present violence and conflict in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Yemen. If Israel didn’t exist, the same problems between and within Arab countries would still exist.

Consider: The Syrian regime of Bashar Assad has killed approximately one hundred thousand people in a war with Sunni Islamist rebels, who have also slaughtered tens of thousands. Massive instability and brutal violence is afflicting Egypt. Yemen has been wracked by internal conflict and thousands have been killed. Libya has become a jungle of jihadist warriors since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. In Iraq, over 5,000 people have been slaughtered in virtually daily suicide bombings just this year. Thousands of Christians have been murdered and many dozens of churches destroyed in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere. Not one of these conflicts has anything to do with the Israeli/Palestinian Arab issue.

Historically, the war waged by Arabs on Israel has had little to do with the numerous other conflagrations besetting the region.

In the 1950s, it had no bearing on the Algerian war.

In the 1960s, it had no bearing on the Egyptian invasion of Yemen, or the bloody emergence of the Ba’athist dictatorship in Iraq, or the Aden (now Yemen) Emergency in which hundreds were killed in violence.

In the 1970s, it had nothing to do with the Libyan-Chad war.

In the 1980s, it had nothing to do with the Iran-Iraq war, in which over a million people were killed.

In the 1990s, it had nothing to do with Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait — though Saddam Hussein absurdly linked them.

(A personal note: I was among heads of American Jewish organizations flown to Qatar in the late 1990s by the Emir of Qatar, who pleaded with us to urge the U.S. Congress to protect Qatar from a feared Saudi Arabia/United Arab Emirates invasion. This feared conflict — in which Arabs appealed to pro-Israel Jews for help — had nothing to do with Israel).

Why is the Obama Administration continuing to repeat false, ridiculous and discredited ideas invented by Israel’s vicious enemies?

It is not in the national interests of the United States for American officials to go around the world falsely stating that the “Arab-Israeli conflict” (which is actually, purely and simply, an Arab war on Israel’s very existence) is the core of the Middle East’s problems and that solving it is the key to regional stability. Not only is it not the core, it isn’t even a factor.

First, it is nonsense.

Second, obtaining an Israeli/Palestinian peace agreement, even if one could, would not solve other regional problems, which are rooted in the region’s ideological and religious pathologies.

Third, the mis-focus on the Israeli/Palestinian divide skews American priorities — as it is doing right now. How can Secretary Kerry make such an absurd statement when Syria is exploding and the region is wracked by violence and instability due to nothing connected to Israel or the Palestinians?

The alleged Israeli/Palestinian “peace process” has become an obsessive fetish which squanders American resources, credibility and standing. Why should the U.S. talk up a bogus peace process that is not going to deliver? Why should it accept the blame for the inevitable failure?

President Obama should publicly repudiate Secretary Kerry’s ludicrous statement.

Morton A. Klein is the National President of the Zionist Organization of American (ZOA).

Kerry Says Saudi Arabia to Support US Attack on Syria

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Saudi Arabia has agreed to support an American-led attack on Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated on Sunday in Paris, where he met with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elarab and nine Arab foreign ministers.

He said “a number of [Arab] countries” are ready to sign a joint declaration blaming Syrian President Bassar al-Assad for the use of chemical weapons.

Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah said that “foreign intervention is already present by several parties,” referring to Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. “We call on all other countries to intervene to protect the Syrian people,” he added.

Qatar’s Risky Overreach

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Originally pubished at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

With seemingly limitless wealth and a penchant for often supporting both sides of the argument, the State of Qatar has become a highly significant player in Middle East power-politics. Recent events in Egypt and Syria, however, have put the brakes on Qatar’s ambitions. In this second part of his analysis of its attempt to influence regional politics, Paul Alster considers how much its flamboyant foreign policy, centered on furthering the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, might be coming back to haunt Qatar.

July 3 was not a good day for Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood’s man was ousted from power after just a year as Egypt’s president, having lost the essential confidence of the country’s powerful military leaders. July 3 was also a black day for the State of Qatar, the country which had nailed its colors and its money firmly to the Muslim Brotherhood mast, and which suddenly found itself the target of outrage on the Egyptian street and beyond.

Morsi came to power in a democratic election, but misinterpreted the meaning of democracy. He and his Muslim Brotherhood backers – primarily Qatar – appeared to believe that having won the election, they could run the country according to their decree, not according to democratic principles as the majority had expected. A series of draconian laws, a spiralling economic crisis, and a feeling on the Egyptian street that the Muslim Brotherhood was paid handsomely by foreign forces, spurred street protests of historic proportions, prompting the military to intervene.

With Morsi gone, Qatar suddenly became “persona non grata” in Egypt.

Qatar sought to extend its influence and Muslim Brotherhood-inspired view of how countries like Egypt, Syria, Libya, and others should be. Qatar was also playing a power-game against Saudi Arabia, another hugely wealthy regional power whose vision of an even more strictly Islamist way of life for Muslims drove a wedge between the two parties.

Another seismic change hit the region just nine days before Morsi’s fall. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani – in power since overthrowing his own father back in 1995 – voluntarily abdicated in favor of his 33-year-old son, Sheikh Tamim.

Tamim, educated in England and a graduate of the prestigious Sandhurst Military Academy, became the region’s youngest leader, with the eyes of the world watching to see if he would maintain his father’s aggressive policy of extending Qatar’s regional influence. Few could have imagined that he would very quickly find himself at the center of a major political crisis as Egypt – a country in which Qatar had so much credibility and money invested – imploded before his eyes.

Within hours of Morsi’s departure, the streets of Cairo were awash with anti-Qatari banners accompanied by the obligatory anti-US and anti-Israel slogans. Al Jazeera – a staunch promoter of the Muslim Brotherhood view in Egypt – was vilified, its reporters attacked on the streets, its offices ransacked. Al Jazeera also had been hit seven months earlier after supporting Mohammed Morsi’s crackdown on young Egyptian demonstrators opposed to the rapid Islamisation of Egypt under the new government.

In the first part of my analysis of Qatar’s policy in the region, I focused on Al Jazeera’s huge influence on opinion in the Arab world and the West, portraying the Qatari-Muslim Brotherhood version of events in a way that the uninformed viewer might believe to be objective reporting. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Al Jazeera’s carefully crafted smokescreen as the moderate voice of the Arab world has taken a significant battering with the events in Egypt. That should serve as a wake-up call to those trumpeting the imminent launch of Al Jazeera America scheduled for August 20.

“There is a lingering perception in the U.S. –right or wrong – that the network [Al Jazeera] is somehow associated with terrorism, which could slow its progress in gaining carriage,” Variety Magazine‘s Brian Steinberg suggested last month.

Dubai-based writer Sultan Al Qassemi observed in Al-Monitor: “Qatar has dedicated Al Jazeera, the country’s most prized non-financial asset, to the service of the Muslim Brotherhood and turned it into what prominent Middle East scholar Alain Gresh [editor of Le Monde diplomatique and a specialist on the Middle East] calls a ‘mouthpiece for the Brotherhood.’” The channel has in turn been repeatedly praised by the Brotherhood for its ‘neutrality.’”

The Economist, reporting in January, reflected the growing dissatisfaction amongst many in the Arab world. “Al Jazeera’s breathless boosting of Qatari-backed rebel fighters in Libya and Syria, and of the Qatar-aligned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, have made many Arab viewers question its veracity. So has its tendency to ignore human-rights abuses by those same rebels, and its failure to accord the uprising by the Shia majority in Qatar’s neighbor, Bahrain, the same heroic acclaim it bestows on Sunni revolutionaries.”

In June, a vocal and agitated group of nearly 500 protesters took to the streets in Benghazi, Libya – the city where U.S Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three colleagues were killed last fall – demanding that Qatar stop meddling in Libyan internal affairs.

“Much of the opposition was directed at Qatar which protesters claimed was supporting Libyan Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood,” Middle East Online reported at the time. “Analysts believe that Qatar is trying to take advantage from a scenario repeated in both Tunisia and Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood, which was an active participant in revolutions, seized power,” the story said.

To the casual observer, it might appear strange that the country that was perhaps as instrumental as any in helping bring about the downfall of the hated Colonel Muammar Gadaffi in Libya back in 2011 should be the target of such vitriol. Qatar, a close U. S. ally, was the main conduit through which weapons transfers were made to Libyan rebels who eventually overpowered forces loyal to the long-time dictator.

As Libyans attempt to create a new order in their fractured country, many now believe that the Qatari regime’s Salafist sympathies contribute to a growing influence of radical Islamist groups in Libya with similar ideological beliefs to the Qatari royals. Concerns had surfaced as early as January 2012.

“But with [Muammar] Gaddafi dead and his regime a distant memory, many Libyans are now complaining that Qatari aid has come at a price,” reported Time magazine’s Steven Sotloff. “They say Qatar provided a narrow clique of Islamists with arms and money, giving them great leverage over the political process.”

Sotloff quoted former National Transitional Council (NTC) Deputy Prime Minister Ali Tarhouni as saying, “I think what they [Qatar] have done is basically support the Muslim Brotherhood. They have brought armaments and they have given them to people that we don’t know.”

And then there’s the question of Qatar’s meddling in Syria’s civil war.

“I think there are two [Qatari] sources of mostly ‘soft’ power – their money and Al Jazeera,” Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli military intelligence, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “They are using their soft power to advance their regional goals. In Libya it was not necessarily a negative. In Syria they are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood [allied to the Free Syrian Army].”

“Now, what you have to assess,” Yadlin continued, “is whether the Muslim Brotherhood is better than Bashar [al-Assad], and whether the Muslim Brotherhood is better than the Jihadists and the Al Nusra Front [supported by Saudi Arabia].”

Yadlin’s pragmatic view reflects the dilemma of many considering intervention on behalf of the rebel forces in Syria. Is it better to try to arm the moderate elements of the FSA and have them replace the Assad regime? Would risking weapons supplied by the West and countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia falling into the wrong hands, possibly usher in an even more dangerous Jihadist regime that could destabilise the region even further?

Qatar played on these fears by presenting the Muslim Brotherhood as a relatively moderate force, but many now fear it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and no less dangerous than the Al Nusra Front terror group, which was added to the UN sanctions blacklist May 31.

Writing for the Russian website Oriental Review.org on May 23, Alexander Orlov reminded readers that Qatar was on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism during the 1990s, and sheltered Saudi nationals who were later revealed to have contributed to the 9/11 atrocities. He suggests that the U.S. turned a blind eye to Qatar’s previous record in return for using the massive Al Udeid facility as a forward command post in 2003 for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Orlov reminds us that Qatar was a major financier of the Islamist rebellion in Chechnya in the 1990s, and that after the Islamists had been routed by the Russian army, the [now former] Qatari emir gave sanctuary to one of the most wanted leaders of the Islamist rebellion, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, a figure who has inspired Chechen Islamists ever since. Yandarbiyev was subsequently assassinated by a car bomb in the Qatari capital Doha in 2004.

Qatar long ago signed up to the Muslim Brotherhood cause. It believed that this alliance would promote Qatar to being the foremost player in Sunni Muslim affairs at the expense of its main rival, Saudi Arabia. Recent events suggest that gamble may have blown up in its face.

Sheikh Tamim’s rise to power appears to have created an opportunity to mend bridges with Saudi Arabia after his father Sheikh Hamad’s antagonistic relationship with Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia was a key Brotherhood supporter from the 1950s until the 9/11 attacks. Then, in a bid to distance itself from the damning fact that 15 of the 19 bombers were Saudis, Riyadh insisted that Muslim Brotherhood radicalization of the bombers was a significant factor. Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad quickly stepped into the breach and became the Muslim Brotherhood’s biggest supporter, offering Doha as a base for spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

It is significant, then, that the new Qatari leader’s first foreign visit was to Saudi Arabia. He arrived there last Friday, reported the Gulf Times. “Talks during the meeting dealt with existing fraternal relations between the two countries and ways to develop them in various fields,” the official Qatar News Agency said.

Tamim’s outreach to Saudi Arabia suggests that the two countries may be on the verge of rapprochement. Where that development leaves the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar’s huge investment in underwriting the Egyptian economy, the funding of rebel forces in Syria, and Qatar’s previous foreign policy in the region, remains to be seen.

The choices Qatar’s newly appointed young leader, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, makes over the next few weeks and months may have a significant impact on regional politics and on Qatar’s future role on that stage for years to come.

“I suspect the Qataris will draw back somewhat,” former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan told Reuters. “Their infatuation with the Muslim Brotherhood has probably been dampened. They’re likely to come around to a position closer to the Saudis.”

Syrian Rebels Elect New Leader

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

The Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition organization fighting against the government in Syria, elected Ahmad Jarba as president following a run-off vote held in Istanbul on Saturday, Xinhua reported.

A senior SNC official Adib Shishakly told Reuters, “A change was needed,” adding, “the old leadership of the coalition had failed to offer the Syrian people anything substantial and was preoccupied with internal politics. Ahmad Jarba is willing to work with everybody.”

Jarba, a tribal figure from the eastern Hasaka province, has close connection with Saudi Arabia. He beat businessman Mustafa Sabbagh who is supported by Qatar.

The announcement was made by the opposition at a press conference in Gonen Hotel, outside Istanbul.

The 3-day meeting also elected three vice presidents: Mohammed Farouk Taifour, Suheir Attasi and Salim Muslit, as well as a secretary general, Badr Jamous.

The Syrian opposition has long been divided by the conflicting views of the Saudi-backed bloc, the Muslim Brotherhood bloc and members backed by Qatar, according to local observers.

The former leader of the coalition quit months ago over disagreement on potential talks with the Assad government.

The Syrian civil war began in March of 2011, with more than 90,000 dead so far.

Israel Cracks New Hamas Ring Linked with Shalit Deal Terrorist

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Israel security personnel have broken up another Hamas terrorist cell linked with one of more than 1,000 terrorists and security prisoners freed last year to bring home kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), IDF and police arrested Bachar Attalah Sa’ad, who lives near Ramallah, on charges of plotting to kidnap an Israeli soldier and shooting Jews.

His boss was Hasham Abed Hajaz, who had been sentenced to 10 life terms in prison for involvement in the murders of dozens of Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Hajaz was deported to Qatar, where he returned to terrorist activities even though he was not allowed to return to his home in Gaza.

He met with Sa’ad in Jordan earlier this year and taught him methods for shooting at Israelis, kidnapping a soldier and recruiting terrorists. Israeli authorities arrested him before he carried out plans to travel to Sudan for further terror training.

“He was supposed to receive four weapons from an unknown courier acting on behalf of Hajaz,” according to security officials.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-cracks-new-hamas-ring-linked-with-shalit-deal-terrorist/2013/06/03/

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