Thursday, October 25, 2012

Emir of Qatar's Visit To Hamas Could Change Everything

Khaled Abu Toameh writes about how the Emir of Qatar's visit to Hamas changes everything -- after all, if this was all about Qatar's concern for Palestinian Arabs, what took him so long?

The visit is not so much an issue of good will or solidarity as it is an opportunity for Qatar to further its own interests, interests that do not further the goals of moderation in the region:
Qatar has always been supportive not only of Hamas, but Muslim Brotherhood and many jihadi organizations.

...The emir came to the Gaza Strip to offer not only financial aid to Hamas, but also moral and political backing. The visit, the first of its kind by a head of state to the Gaza Strip since Hamas seized control over the area in 2007, was aimed at helping the Islamist movement break the state of isolation in which it has been since then.
So what does the visit by the Emir of Qatar to Gaza accomplish?
Among the points Toameh mentions:
  • Abbas's attempt to create an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 lines is undermined
  • Qatar's becomes a major player in the region and in the Israeli-Arab conflict
  • The influence of Syria, Iran and Egypt over Hamas is instantly weakened
Regardless of what one may think of the corrupt Abbas and his incompetent regime, having the Palestinian Authority usurped -- once again -- by Hamas is dangerous not only for Israel, but to the degree that it strengthens jihadism, any rise in the influence of Hamas is a problem.

Similarly, Qatar's increased presence is not a prescription for moderation in the region.

All of which makes State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland's statement
"We share Qatar's deep concern for the welfare of the Palestinian people, including those residing in Gaza."
more than just a bit disingenuous.

And if you still think that the Emir's visit to Gaza changes nothing, keep in mind that as soon as the Emir left, Hamas fired 80 rockets at Israel.

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