Qatar, a Major Sponsor of Terrorism, Shouldn’t Be a U.S. Ally

For years, Washington has maintained good relations with Doha, in part because this oil- and gas-rich emirate is home to a key U.S. air-force base. On February 1, President Biden officially designated Qatar a “major non-NATO ally.” Yigal Carmon, in an interview by Ariel Ben Solomon, argues against the decision:

The relationship between Qatar and the United States is bizarre, and makes no strategic sense. . . . For decades, Qatar has provided financial and political support, directly and indirectly, to virtually every anti-American Islamic terrorist organization. . . . Qatar funded the Taliban throughout America’s presence in Afghanistan, yet the American administration is eagerly thanking Qatar for its “help” in preventing an even greater disaster during the withdrawal last August.

If it weren’t for Qatar, the September 11 attacks might not have taken place. . . . In 1996, the terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad [KSM] had been under Qatari protection in Doha. When the U.S. government notified the Qatari emir that they were coming to arrest KSM for his involvement in terrorist plots, KSM disappeared within hours, only to reappear in 2001 as the mastermind behind 9/11.

Then there is the matter of Al Jazeera, which is owned by the Qatari government and is one of the world’s greatest fomenters of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and jihadism:

The Qatari-based channel has . . . aired calls for terror attacks against American oil installations. It even hosted a birthday party—complete with a large cake, fireworks, and a band—for the released terrorist Samir al-Kuntar, who brutally murdered a four-year-old [Israeli] girl and her father in 1979.

The lesson, says Carmon, is that “crime pays.”

Read more at JNS

More about: Al Qaeda, Qatar, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy

Israel Can’t Stake Its Fate on “Ironclad” Promises from Allies

Israeli tanks reportedly reached the center of the Gazan city of Rafah yesterday, suggesting that the campaign there is progressing swiftly. And despite repeatedly warning Jerusalem not to undertake an operation in Rafah, Washington has not indicated any displeasure, nor is it following through on its threat to withhold arms. Even after an IDF airstrike led to the deaths of Gazan civilians on Sunday night, the White House refrained from outright condemnation.

What caused this apparent American change of heart is unclear. But the temporary suspension of arms shipments, the threat of a complete embargo if Israel continued the war, and comments like the president’s assertion in February that the Israeli military response has been “over the top” all call into question the reliability of Joe Biden’s earlier promises of an “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security. Douglas Feith and Ze’ev Jabotinsky write:

There’s a lesson here: the promises of foreign officials are never entirely trustworthy. Moreover, those officials cannot always be counted on to protect even their own country’s interests, let alone those of others.

Israelis, like Americans, often have excessive faith in the trustworthiness of promises from abroad. This applies to arms-control and peacekeeping arrangements, diplomatic accords, mutual-defense agreements, and membership in multilateral organizations. There can be value in such things—and countries do have interests in their reputations for reliability—but one should be realistic. Commitments from foreign powers are never “ironclad.”

Israel should, of course, maintain and cultivate connections with the United States and other powers. But Zionism is, in essence, about the Jewish people taking responsibility for their own fate.

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship