Friday, August 01, 2014

Stop Qatar!

I feel sorry for the Gazans, they have been warned by the IDF to leave certain areas and the places they have gone to are not safe either.  They are cooped up in the densely populated Gaza Strip in the middle of a war with nowhere to go.  It is Hamas which is responsible for their fate, having very clearly initiated hostilties against Israel by firing thousands of missiles into Israel's populated areas and also trying to attack civilian settlements from tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border that open inside Israeli sovereign territory.  These attack tunnels, of which so far Israel has found about 34, which were constructed at great expense over a period of years, have no other purpose than to infiltrate Israel and murder Israeli civilians. 
The most recent calamity to befall Gaza civilians was the attack on an UNRWA girl's school in Jabaliya where several hundred internally displaced persons (IDPs) were sheltering and reportedly 17 were killed. An IDF tank shell may have caused this carnage, even though the UN had warned the IDF where its schools and facilities are located.  But, there is also the strong possibility that a missile fired by Hamas caused the death and destruction (see ).  At this point no-one knows for sure and we should hold off making judgements based on insufficient evidence.  It should also be noted that if Hamas was firing from the school or close nearby this makes the school a legitimate target according to the Geneva laws of war.  This is precisely what we mean when we say that Hamas uses the civliian population as "human shields" to try to either prevent the IDF from returning fire or in doing so causing civilian casualties that Hamas can use for PR purposes against Israel.
Of course, it is easy to say that in war these kinds of terrible incidents happen, even if the IDF is trying to avoid civilian casualties. But the fact is that a war is going on, the IDF have lost 57 men and ultimately the Gazan people are responsible, since they originally elected Hamas in 2005.  They certainly had no doubt of Hamas's intentions, especially in regard to Israel.  Hamas made clear that it is in a state of war with Israel and intended to pursue that war, as they did in 2006 and 2009. 
This time around the Gazans and Hamas have much less support then they did last time there was a conflict.  People in the West say that Israel is isolated, but in fact it is the other way around.  It is Hamas and the Gazans who are almost totally isolated from the Arab world.  Hamas is not popular in the mainstream Arab world where they are seen as allies of the Sunni Islamist forces of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the al Nusrah Front in Syria and ISIS (Islamic State) in Iraq.  The Arab League is conspicuously absent from the proceedings.  Why has Hizbollah, that has tens of thousands of missiles also ready to strike all over Israel, not coming to their aid.  The answer is simple, Hizbollah is Shia and Hamas is Sunni and they are on opposite sides in the Syrian conflict, Hizbollah supports the regime of Pres. Assad, while Hamas opposes Assad and moved from Syria to Qatar.
In all of this Qatar is the weak link, they are certainly susceptible to US economic pressure.  Instead of US pressure being put on Israel to stop defending itself, US pressure should be put on Qatar, that has no natural allies, to stop funding Hamas.  That would be the surest way to put a stop to Hamas and their periodic wars against Israel that causes so many Gazan casualties.  To stop the loss of life in Gaza, Congress should take immediate action against Qatar, that would really hurt Hamas.  Qatar is a small country with only 275,000 actual Qataris and ca. 1.5 million expatriates (mostly Indian), but they are among the richest people per capita in the world due to their tremendous oil and gas reserves.  But, they are playing a double game, they are the location of the largest US military base in the Middle East, because they are scared of Shia Iran, yet they are the most conservative Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam and are supporting Sunni extremist groups like Hamas.  They want to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and this is their weak point, a worldwide campaign to prevent this if they don't stop supporting Hamas, al Nusrah and ISIS would certainly be justified.  Americans, write to your Senators and Congressmen, "Stop Qatar!"


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