memri
August 10, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8885

Saudi Journalist: As A Secret Supporter Of Hizbullah, Qatar Shares The Blame For The Beirut Blast; Deception Is The Hallmark Of Qatar's Foreign Policy

August 10, 2020
Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 8885

In an August 7, 2020 article in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, the daily's former editor Salman Al-Dosari described the "dubious role" played by Qatar in Lebanon, stating that the military and financial aid it extends to Hizbullah makes it complicit in the deadly blast that shook Beirut on August 4. Qatar, he said, employs "a policy of contradictions": it hosts the largest U.S. base in the region and claims to fight terror, yet at the same time it secretly supports terror organizations like Hizbullah and fans the flames of conflict and unrest in various Arab countries, including Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen, with the aim of furthering the Qatari agenda in those countries. He concluded by saying that Qatar's support of Hizbullah is no different from the Iranian support of this organization, except for the fact that Iran pursues this policy openly whereas Qatar does so in secret, and that both countries thus have a hand in the Beirut disaster.

 
Salman Al-Dosari (Source: Dostor.org)

The following are translated excerpts from his article:[1]

"On the day the Qatari leadership tried to present its human face by dispatching medical aid to Lebanon following the explosion in Beirut port, the [American] Fox News channel exposed Qatar's involvement in financing Hizbullah – which seems to be  responsible for the blast – as part of what the channel described as a widespread Qatari plot to finance terror.[2] [According to the Fox News report,] Qatar's role is not confined to financing Hizbullah's weapons, but goes beyond that, for its ambassador to the EU offered a bribe in order to conceal the role played by his country,[3] after two Qatari charities [the Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad Al Thani Charitable Association and the Education Above All Foundation] transferred funds [to Hizbullah] in the guise of food and medicines. This convoluted policy… reflects the ideology that underpins the Qatari regime's foreign policy and its interference in the affairs of [other] countries. It is a policy far more heinous than the direct funding [Qatar openly provides to] its allies or the  hostility it displays towards its rivals. Deception, in complete disregard of the consequences, is the hallmark of Qatar's foreign policy…

"The policy of contradictions is a typical Qatari game: [On the one hand it] hosts in its territory the largest U.S. Base [in the region] and openly flatters the [American] president, [yet at the same time] it incites against the American administration on its media and by means of its diplomacy. It supports the Houthis [in Yemen] with funds and arms, yet it concealed this by taking part in the Arab coalition [that is fighting the Houthis] until its expulsion from [this coalition] in June 2017. It signed the UN convention that forbids countries to support or finance terror, but became involved in supporting terror organizations when it decided to pay $1 billion in ransom to an Iraqi terror group.[4] On the overt level, [former Qatari prime minister] Hamad bin Jassim claims that Qatar acted as a mediator in the 2011 conflict in Bahrain,[5] yet on the clandestine level, he demanded that the Al-Wefaq [National Islamic Society, a Shi'ite political-religious organization in Bahrain] fan the flames of the popular riots in the streets. These are just several examples of the dozens of conflicting [Qatari] positions, which have become an integral part of the Qatari regime's political ideology.

"Qatar's involvement in financing Hizbullah is not new. The German weekly Die Zeit exposed a new scandal involving Qatar's support not only of Hizbullah but also of many opposition parties and organizations [in other countries], in a bid to make [them] comply with the Qatari agenda, officially or unofficially. In Lebanon's case, the last thing the Lebanese people needed was for [yet another] element to interfere in their affairs and support an organization that has effectively occupied the country and rules it by the force of arms, [an organization] that is basically the source of [Lebanon's] problems. Then along came a country and strengthened this organization's policy and supported it financially and militarily, causing everyone to wonder: What is the difference between the Iranian support of Hizbullah and the Qatari support of it? [The answer is] that there is no difference whatsoever between the two cases, except for the fact that Iran does this openly while Qatar does it in secret, based on a double standard and with a strange arrogance.

"The last thing the Lebanese expect from any [foreign] force is to exacerbate its domestic conflicts by supporting one side against the other and strengthening completely unwanted elements. [Yet] Qatar shamelessly dares to persist in its dubious role of exacerbating the conflicts within [other] countries, with no regard for the consequences. So if Hizbullah is responsible for the thousands of dead and wounded and 300,000 homeless caused by the blast at the port of Beirut, Qatar shares this responsibility as well, as does Iran – for all those who had a hand in financing and aiding Hizbullah have a hand in this disaster that struck all the Lebanese."

 


[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), August 7, 2020.

[2] Foxnews.com, August 6, 2020.  

[3] Fox News states that "Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Sulaiman al-Khulaifi, Qatar’s ambassador to Belgium and the NATO [as well as to the EU], reportedly sought to pay a private security contractor 750,000 euros to hush up the role of Qatar’s regime in supplying money and weapons" to Hizbullah.

[4] The reference is to reports that Qatar paid $1 billion for the release of a hunting party including members of the royal family that had been kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq in 2015. See e.g., bbc.com/arabic, July 17, 2018; mobtada.com, March 30, 2019.

[5] The reference is to the popular unrest in Bahrain in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring.

Share this Report:

HELP BRIDGE THE LANGUAGE GAP – DONATE TO MEMRI’S 2020 SUMMER CAMPAIGN