Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
The ZOA repeatedly urged the previous administration to take strong steps to end Qatar’s material support to designated foreign terrorist organization, Hamas. Qatar has furnished Hamas with hundreds of millions of dollars of funding and weapons that enabled Hamas to build multi-million dollar terror tunnels and launch thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians; harbors Hamas war criminals in Qatar’s capital Doha, where Hamas’s leaders direct terrorist operations against Israeli civilians; funds hostile-to-Israel U.S. think tanks; gives Hamas diplomatic support; and provides extensive media/propaganda support to Hamas and other Israel-bashers and Jew-haters via the Qatari-owned and funded Al-Jazeera network.
During the Qatari Emir’s October 2012 visit to Gaza, Qatar’s Emir pledged $400 million to Hamas-controlled Gaza – more than Hamas’s entire annual budget. The New York Times called Qatar’s huge contribution to Hamas “transformational” and “the latest step” in Qatar’s “ambitious campaign . . . to leverage its outsize pocketbook in support of Islamists across the region.” Liberal Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz wrote that “Without the support of Qatar and Turkey, Hamas would never have started this bloody [2014 Gaza] war that has caused so much human suffering.” (See “ZOA: U.S. State Department Should Designate Qatar A State-Sponsor of Terrorism, and Suspend Qatar Airways FAA License – Unless Qatar Ceases Its Financial Support of Hamas: Columbia, Cornell, G-town, Brookings Should End Relations With Qatar,” Aug. 21, 2014.)
Just a few days ago, Al Jazeera falsely accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “mass atrocities” against Palestinian Arabs. Qatar also facilitated recent “reconciliation” talks between the Palestinian Authority (PA)/PLO and Hamas “to counter Israel”, at a meeting in Doha attended by PA Dictator Mahmoud Abbas, PLO official Saeb Erekat, Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh, and the Foreign Minister of Qatar. (“Abbas Meets Hamas Leaders in Qatar,” by Dov Lieber, Times of Israel, Oct. 27, 2016.)
On Monday (June 5), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, and a powerful military leader in Libya all severed ties with Qatar, citing Qatar’s support for “multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region,” including the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas’ “parent”), Hamas, Iran, Al Qaeda, the Houthis, and ISIS.
ZOA accordingly agrees with President Trump’s tweets on Tuesday: “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!” (Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump, 6:44 AM – 6 Jun 2017) and “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding… …extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!” (Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump, 6:36 AM – 6 Jun 2017)
ZOA urges President Trump to continue to insist upon a “hard line on funding” and upon ending Qatar’s propaganda, financial, weapons, and media support for Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist terrorist entities. To do any less would undermine and controvert President Trump’s achievements in Riyadh.
If Qatar does not promptly end its material support for Hamas and other Islamist terrorism, the ZOA urges the administration to adopt the following remedies:
(1) The U.S. State Department should determine that Qatar is a State Sponsor of Terrorism under the Export Administration Act, the Arms Export Control Act, and the Foreign Assistance Act. Designating Qatar as a State Sponsor of Terrorism would also enable Israeli and Arab victims of Hamas’s rocket attacks, executions, and those forced into service as “human shields” (or their surviving families) to sue Qatar in the United States, and potentially recover some of the oil and natural gas-rich nation’s assets.
(2) Suspend the FAA license to operate in the United States of Qatar’s national (government-owned) airline, Qatar Airways, inasmuch as Qatar is violating U.S. law by funding and providing other material support to Hamas and other designated foreign terrorist organizations.
(3) American Universities (including Columbia University, Cornell University and Georgetown University) and cultural institutions and think tanks (including MOMA and the Brookings Institute) should be required to end or suspend their programs in Qatar.
(4) Build up U.S. bases in Bahrain and/or other GCC nations to enable the U.S. to leave the U.S. al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar.