Why Qatar Is a Problematic Ally

On September 14, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Qatari counterpart met and signed an agreement on cultural exchange, followed by an official statement from Foggy Bottom about “shared ideas of tolerance.” Since then, there have also been reports that the U.S. is considering awarding the peninsular monarchy the status of a major non-NATO ally, and even that Doha will be next in line to normalize its relations with Israel. The fact remains, however, that the Qatari educational system is rife with anti-Semitic indoctrination. Moreover, argues Efraim Inbar, it would be strategically foolish for Washington to reward Qatar with upgraded relations:

American consideration of [major-ally] status for Qatar probably also reflects . . . the desire to sell arms to one of the richest countries in the world. But this privileges domestic considerations over longer-term foreign-policy considerations, namely the importance of bolstering allies against foes.

Qatar spends enormous amounts of money in systematic support for the nefarious activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its branches all over the world. The Muslim Brotherhood is an anti-Western and anti-democratic organization. Qatar also funds numerous jihadist groups, and many Qatari citizens have been convicted of regional terrorist activities. Qatar also uses its influential Al Jazeera television network to undermine the stability of its pro-Western Arab neighbors.

Seeking short-term stability, Israel has allowed Qatar regularly to provide funds to sustain Hamas rule in Gaza. Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization intent on destroying Israel. (This Israeli policy is short-sighted and foolish.)

There are [also] indications that radical Sunnis [like Qatar and its allies] are moving closer to the radical Shiites led by Iran. Qatar has been cozying up to Iran for quite some time. . . . Therefore, one has to be concerned that U.S. weapons sold to Qatar might be made available to Iran, thereby threatening American troops in the area.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Al Jazeera, Anti-Semitism, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar, U.S. Foreign policy

Spain’s Anti-Israel Agenda

What interest does Madrid have in the creation of a Palestinian state? Elliott Abrams raised this question a few days ago, when discussing ongoing Spanish efforts to block the transfer of arms to Israel. He points to multiple opinion surveys suggesting that Spain is among Europe’s most anti-Semitic countries:

The point of including that information here is to explain the obvious: Spain’s anti-Israel extremism is not based in fancy international political analyses, but instead reflects both the extreme views of hard-left parties in the governing coalition and a very traditional Spanish anti-Semitism. Spain’s government lacks the moral standing to lecture the state of Israel on how to defend itself against terrorist murderers. Its effort to deprive Israel of the means of defense is deeply immoral. Every effort should be made to prevent these views from further infecting the politics and foreign policy of the European Union and its member states.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Anti-Semitism, Europe and Israel, Palestinian statehood, Spain