Qatar’s Baleful Influence Goes Far Beyond the Latest EU Scandal

On December 11, Belgian police arrested Eva Kaili—one of the EU parliament’s fourteen vice-presidents—on charges of “criminal organization, corruption, and money laundering” involving accepting funds from Qatar. Such criminal involvement might explain why Kaili recently termed the Gulf emirate, which employs tens of thousands of foreign workers as virtual slaves under appalling conditions, a “frontrunner in labor rights.” The small monarchy’s efforts to buy influence in the West are extensive. And that’s not all, writes Fiamma Nirenstein:

For example, the chair of the European parliament’s subcommittee on human rights, Maria Arena, has now been forced to step down due to corruption accusations, and it is likely no coincidence that she has tweeted militant declarations of support for the Palestinians and vicious attacks on Israel. This is not simple avarice: it aids and abets an enemy of the West that is pursuing a grand strategy that is a threat to us all.

The most public aspect of this strategy is, of course, the Qatari network Al Jazeera, which has the facade of a legitimate news outlet, but is in fact a mélange of disinformation and incitement. [Moreover], Qatar has long supported terrorism. For decades, it has opened its doors to Islamist terrorists, Taliban warlords, and African insurgents who have taken innumerable innocent lives. Qatar also gave sanctuary and succor to the late Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, along with a platform to spread his radical message to the entire Muslim world. This shouldn’t have been surprising, given Qatar’s longstanding support for the Brotherhood.

The leaders of the terror group Hamas, a branch of the Brotherhood, are regular guests in Qatar, and one of them, Ismail Haniyeh, has established permanent residence in hotels and villas worthy of a multimillionaire. Millions of Qatari dollars flow into Gaza, no doubt to be diverted towards terrorist purposes. Clearly, Qatar is playing the same game with Hamas as it did with the Taliban, which opened a political office in Doha and used it as a base to take back control of Afghanistan.

The U.S. has also credibly accused the Qataris of harboring members of Iran’s terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC).

Read more at JNS

More about: European Union, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar, Radical Islam

Why Saturday Was a Resounding Defeat for Iran

Yaakov Lappin provides a concise and useful overview of what transpired on Saturday. For him, the bottom line is this:

Iran and its jihadist Middle Eastern axis sustained a resounding strategic defeat. . . . The fact that 99 percent of the threats were intercepted means that a central pillar of Iranian force projection—its missile and UAV arsenals—has been proven to be no match for Israel’s air force, for its multilayered air-defense system, or for regional cooperation with allies.

Iran must now await Israel’s retaliation, and unlike Israel, Iranian air defenses are by comparison limited in scope. After its own failure on Sunday, Iran now relies almost exclusively on Hizballah for an ability to threaten Israel.

And even as Iran continues to work on developing newer and deadlier missiles, the IDF is staying a few steps ahead:

Israel is expecting its Iron Beam laser-interception system, which can shoot down rockets, mortars, and UAVs, to become operational soon, and is developing an interceptor (Sky Sonic) for Iran’s future hypersonic missile (Fattah), which is in development.

The Iron Beam will change the situation in a crucial way. Israell’s defensive response on Saturday reportedly cost it around $1 billion. While Iron Beam may have to be used in concert with other systems, it is far cheaper and doesn’t run the risk of running out of ammunition.

Read more at JNS

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology