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

December 21, 2022 | Fiamma Nirenstein
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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).

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