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July 9, 2024 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 620

Response To Claims Posted Online About The Authenticity Of The Qatari Documents Published By MEMRI

July 9, 2024 | By Yigal Carmon*
Qatar | MEMRI Daily Brief No. 620

1. About the claim that the figures are contradictory because the sum of $50 million appears twice, in 2012 and in 2018, and yet another sum was added in 2012: The answer is that there is no contradiction. The claim that there is a contradiction is because of a fixation on the concept of a lump sum of $50 million, and thus any mention of it contradicts the previous mention. But if we are open to the possibility that we have only a partial picture – isolated components in a broader puzzle which is not known to us because the matter has not been investigated – we can assess that there were more cases of $50 million, and of other sums as well. Then it will become clear that there is no contradiction and that the duplication is part of a broader picture that is still not completely known.

2. About the claim that the documents published by MEMRI in December 2023 are not from Project Raven because the French investigator who said that they were has retracted his statements: The answer is that it could also be assumed that his retraction came when it became clear to him that he was about to be quoted in publication as saying that the documents were from Project Raven.

3. If we free ourselves of the fixation that there was one-time sum of $50 million, and accept that there could have been additional times and additional and other sums, and that the picture we obtain from the documents is only partial: Then, we must necessarily conclude that, and I repeat, the documents published by MEMRI, weighty as they may be, are only prima facie evidence. It is precisely for this reason that an official criminal investigation is called for. If the investigation shows that these terrible suspicions are unfounded, we can all relax.

4. In general, the Israel part of this entire affair cannot be separated from Qatar's activity and use of its money to acquire status and influence in the world, and anyone who tries to separate it is showing his ignorance: The broader picture, which is familiar the world over, is that Qatar buys status and influence. To think that these suspicions are baseless only in the case of Israel is naïve, and could constitute concealing a crime.

Let me mention several names that have appeared in publication and whose receipt of funds from Qatar has been proven: Prince (now King) Charles – who has acknowledged that he received $3 million from the then-Qatari prime minister mentioned in the documents we published; a European Parliament vice president, who was arrested by Belgian police and in whose home was found millions of dollars from Qatar; U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, who is now on trial on charges of accepting bribes from Qatar; and the well-known case of Qatar's bribe to FIFA.

It is notable that others mentioned in the December 2023 MEMRI report include the former South African president; then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife; another top French official, minister Jean-Marie Le Guen; the Human Rights Watch organization; Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt; French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy; and even Islamic militias in northern Mali. Israel is but one of many.

In order to understand the Qatar phenomenon and its possible ramifications for Israel, I recommend watching two MEMRI TV clips: Former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jassim: We Had Journalists On Our Payroll In Many Countries, Some Of Them Became MPs; Most Arab Countries Were Doing This, from February 2022, and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir In 2018: Qatar Sponsors Terrorist Groups, Harbors Terrorists, Spreads Hate, Seeks To Topple The Regimes In The Gulf Countries, from September 2018. The first is a Kuwaiti TV interview with the former Qatari prime minister who signed one of the documents we published, and the second is an interview with the Saudi foreign minister against the backdrop of the 2017 crisis between Qatar and its neighbors.

Below are MEMRI reports on Qatar's activity and use of its money to acquire status and influence in the world:

More Documents Regarding Alleged Transfer Of Qatari Funds To Hamas 'In Cooperation With Binyamin Netanyahu' – July 8, 2024

More Qatari Documents Regarding Funds From Qatar To Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – July 1, 2024

The Raven Project Leaks – Minutes Of December 2011 Meeting Between Qatari PM And French Philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy Discussing Plans For Overthrow Of Assad Regime – April 16, 2024

Exchange Between Former South African President Mbeki And Qatar Confirms The Veracity Of The Raven Project Leaks – December 27, 2024

The Raven Project Leaks: Qatar Reportedly Ordered Payment Of Six Million Euros To Wife Of French President Sarkozy In 2009 – December 26, 2023

'Project Raven' – The Origin Of The Qatari Government Letters Leak – December 22, 2023

The Raven Project Leaks: $15 Million Reportedly Paid To Islamist Movements In Northern Mali And The Sahel – November 29, 2023

The Raven Project Leaks: Qatar Reportedly Paid $10 Million To Lebanese Politician Walid Jumblatt In 2018 – November 29, 2023.

The Raven Project Leaks: In 2016, During His Tenure As Qatari Ambassador To France, Mashal Bin Hamad Aal Thani, Now Qatari Ambassador To The U.S., Reportedly Bribed French Minister – November 22, 2023

The Raven Project Leaks: Former South African President Reportedly Received $2 Million For Thabo Mbeki InstituteNovember 22, 2023

The Raven Project Leaks: Alleged Qatari Support Of 3 Million Euros For Human Rights Watch –  November 21, 2023

Documents Reportedly Reveal 2010 Agreement Between Then-French President Sarkozy And Then-Qatari Crown Prince Tamim Bin Hamad, In Which Qatar Pledged To Pay Sarkozy 300 Million Euros – November 20, 2023

* Yigal Carmon is Founder and President of MEMRI.

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