Another important question raised at Tuesday’s hearings by the California congresswoman Michelle Steel regarded the effects of Qatar’s massive contributions to American universities. The peninsular emirate also hosts and funds Hamas, along with the anti-Semitic and anti-American propaganda outlet Al Jazeera—despite having the coveted status of major non-NATO ally. While U.S. officials have thanked Doha for its role in negotiating the release of some of the hostages abducted on October 7, Jonathan Schanzer notes that they should instead be pressuring Qatar to force Hamas to release the rest:
These American statements are cringe-inducing: . . . when America thanks Qatar for its assistance, it’s a bit like thanking the thug who punched you in eye for bringing you an ice pack. But it’s worse than that. In their efforts to steer the Gaza conflict toward a permanent ceasefire, the Qataris have actively tried to help save Hamas from destruction, which is Israel’s stated war aim.
In addition to Hamas, the terrorists running around in Qatar include al-Qaeda, Islamic State, the Taliban, and others. Famously, the Qataris sheltered the 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, and likely alerted him to the fact that American forces were closing on him, enabling his escape. Despite this track record, the United States has continued to work with the Qataris as partners. . . . As the former Israeli national security advisor Eyal Hulata recently revealed, the Qataris have sent funds surreptitiously to Hamas fighters.
The mask has fallen. The Qataris are terror sponsors, not stewards of Gaza.