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December 11, 2017 4:21 pm

The Mysterious Motivation of Jewish Leaders Who Visit Hamas’ Funders in Qatar

avatar by Shmuley Boteach


President Donald Trump meets with the emir of Qatar in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 2017. Photo: White House / Shealah Craighead.

The Al Jazeera network, founded and owned by Qatar, has featured some of the most grotesque antisemitism ever aired on television. For example, they famously televised the talks of arch Jew-hater Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

In one sermon, obtained by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), al-Qaradawi claimed that the Holocaust was divine punishment of the Jews, adding that “next time, God willing, it will be at the hands of the believers” — his way of beseeching Muslims to engage in a genocide of the Jews.

Another segment on Al Jazeera, also discovered by MEMRI, was a birthday party put on by the network for a terrorist who brutally murdered a four-year-old Jewish girl by smashing her head against the rocks of Nahariya’s coast. As one might expect in a tribute to such a “hero,” the party was complete with an oversized cake, a melodious band and a fireworks show.

Now, the virulently anti-Israel government of Qatar, which pays for and distributes these videos, has launched a well-funded propaganda offensive in the American Jewish community — hoping to influence its leading members to support the regime. With Qatar deeply embroiled in a diplomatic crisis with much of the Arab world — which has in turn blockaded the small, yet powerful emirate — the Qataris seem to be using the American Jewish community to help them appear moderate.

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Of course, the thought of Qatar actually changing its egregious stance on Israel, the Jewish people and support for terror is absurd. There has been no word on toning down the antisemitism and bitterly anti-Israel content on Al Jazeera. Hamas, which Qatar is the chief funder of, has not only refused to adopt a more peaceful approach toward Israel, but seems to be doubling down on its blood-drenched, murderous methods. The emirate hasn’t even threatened to expel the Hamas leaders who call Qatar home should they continue to espouse their genocidal hatred of the Jews.

Qatar, it appears, won’t actually do anything productive to earn Jewish friendship. As the world’s wealthiest per-capita country, it has decided instead to purchase a new image.

What we know so far is that Qatar has already put a substantial amount of cash towards hiring a Jewish-owned Washington PR and lobbying firm to make inroads in the Jewish community. I recently saw the person who is leading this effort at a right-wing Jewish charity event. We also know, according to reports in The Jerusalem Post, that at least three major Jewish leaders — Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents, Rabbi Menachem Genack of the Orthodox Union and Martin Oliner of the Religious Zionists of America — have recently been to Doha, the capital of Qatar.

More shocking than the fact that some Jews have allowed themselves to be used as tools of Qatar’s false philosemitic facelift is the fact that this development has been met by a deafening silence in the very community it threatens. Even as Qatari influence creeps into and throughout the American Jewish community, one barely hears any protest.

That’s not to say that the Jewish community has lost its voice.

When Linda Sarsour spoke on an antisemitism panel at The New School, the Jewish community was in justifiable uproar, with its leaders offering extraordinary eloquence in their censures. The Jerusalem Post editorial board, which alone has published courageous editorials condemning the Qatari propaganda effort, decried the event as “a forum of “anti-Semites on anti-Semitism’” that “makes as much sense as a KKK forum on civil rights.” The Anti-Defamation League’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, tweeted that “Having Linda Sarsour … leading a panel on #antisemitism is like Oscar Meyer leading a panel on vegetarianism.”

These denunciations were significant and impactful. But Sarsour’s maximum capacity for harm against Israel pales besides Qatar’s funding of a terror organization like Hamas, and the daily anti-Israel poison of Al Jazeera.

There was recently a wave of criticism against the Zionist Organization of America, headed by Mort Klein, over its decision to host Steve Bannon as a speaker at its annual gala. At the ZOA dinner, Bannon identified Turkey, Qatar and Iran as the foremost threats in the Middle East, especially because of their hostility toward Israel. Astonishingly, while he spoke, there were Jewish leaders in the audience who had just returned from a visit to the emir of Qatar.

So why are Jewish leaders suddenly parading themselves in Doha?

The passage of time will no doubt unearth significant information about the mysterious hold that Qatar suddenly has on Jewish leaders, and the strange and deafening silence that has gripped so many communal organizations, as the chief funder of Hamas slowly spreads its tentacles and its resources in elite New York Jewish circles.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom The Washington Post and Newsweek call “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international bestselling author of 30 books, including his most recent, “The Israel Warrior.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

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