Qatar is an anomaly in the Arab world. It is a peaceful, westernized, modern State with about 50% of it’s total population of 3.5 million people living in the capital city Doha, that is an advanced modern city. How did this come about? The leaders of Qatar, that has some oil deposits and oil revenues, decided some time ago that they could not rely only on this income forever. They decided to embrace westernization and modernism and exploit their strategic location in the Persian Gulf halfway between Europe and Asia. They built a huge modern airport, founded an international airline and then developed all the amenities needed for an attractive tourist center. They have malls, hotels and museums, as well as advanced architecture, desirable housing and a lavish life-style (GDP per capita ca. $140,000 pa). So what is wrong with this picture?
There is terrorism throughout the Arab world. Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya are in meltdown, Egypt is a financial basket case and Iran is a militant threat to the whole Middle East. So how is it that Qatar can develop surrounded by this chaos? The answer pure and simple is that Qatar pays them off, they pay.blackmail to the terrorists. There are no bombs from ISIS or al Qaeda or any other terrorist group in Qatar because Qatar supports the terrorists in order not to be attacked. It helps that the Qataris, who constitute only 12% of the total population, are strictly conservative Muslims.
They have been supporting ISIS and al Nusra rebels against the Assad regime in Syria, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Today the Jerusalem Post reported that Qatar will subsidize electricity generation in Gaza to overcome the power shortages there to the tune of m$12. They are equal opportunity terrorist supporters. If you think this is a new phenomenon think again. This kind of payoff was paid by Kuwait, until it was invaded by Saddam Hussein, and by Saudi Arabia, until Osama bin Ladin declared war on the Saudis for being too pro-American. This is an old strategy in the Arab world, pay off the terrorists so that they attack everyone else.
I recently watched the Qatar Open tennis tournament. It looked to all intents and purposes totally real. They even had female ball girls with short skirts running after balls for male and female tennis players, some with even shorter skirts. But, there were no Muslim demonstrations against this immoral practice. There were even western-clothed females in the audience who appeared to be Arabs. Yet, there are no attacks against Qatar.
Don’t get me wrong, I applaud this development of Qatar, it’s really the only way for the Arabs to go to escape their monumental backwardness and poverty. But, to maintain that society and that development they have to support the terrorists to attack the West and us. An example of their tenuous situation is that they try to show that they are influential with both sides. Currently they are supposedly attempting to organize a prisoner exchange between Hamas, that they bankroll, and Israel. Hamas holds the bodies of two IDF soldiers who were killed in the last Gaza conflict and also two Israeli citizens, one Ethiopian and the other Beduin. Israel holds several Hamas terrorists.
It is not putting too fine a point on it that Qatar owes its freedom and prosperity to the protection of the USA and potentially that of Israel if they are threatened by Iran. Which way will Qatar jump?
PS. After the funeral of Millie at 2 pm on Thurs shiva will be from 3- 9 pm and on Fri 10-2 at our home, 3 Carlebach Sr., apt. 5. We will not sit shiva next week for personal reasons. Thanks to all those who responded to the announcement of Millie’s death with condolences. They are much appreciated.