As the world’s richest per-capita nation and Hamas’ staunchest ally, the emirate is in a position to make a difference for the people of Gaza.
A Palestinian man inspects the scene of an Israeli air strike on a Hamas security forces site in the southern Gaza Strip October 17, 2018. (photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)
Gaza is in serious trouble.
For nearly a year, news wires have been rolling out stories detailing the humanitarian crisis plaguing the Gaza Strip. The people of Gaza, we are told, do not have the access they need to health care, power or even water. More than half of all medicines are in critically short supply. Electricity is provided for just a few hours daily. Water, too, is being supplied at about 70 liters per capita per day (LCD), far less than the World Health Organization’s recommended amount of 100 LCD. Add to this the fact that the Palestinian Authority has declared diplomatic war on Hamas and is refusing to hand over the funds Hamas needs to pay its government workers and keep the bureaucracy afloat.
What has been long assumed is now beyond question: Hamas has driven Gaza into the ground.
At this point, the bloodthirsty killers in control of the strip are overdue for an official reclassification. Hamas is no longer a terrorist organization, but a terrorist disorganization.
Clearly, something needs to be done.
As the world’s richest per-capita nation and Hamas’ staunchest ally, the emirate is in a position to make a difference for the people of Gaza. As such, one might expect the emirate to pressure Hamas into adopting policies of real change. They could, for example, force Hamas’ leaders to bow out of their obsession with violence. They might force them to redirect government funds and attention from carving terror-tunnels and fashioning missiles to improving infrastructure and casting whatever lines they need to provide their citizens with sufficient health care, energy and water.
Of course, Qatar did no such thing. As we all saw in Qatar’s cynical campaign to get American Jewish leaders to help them earn Trump’s trust and support, the emirate does not, on any level, believe in progress and reform. In trying to woo American Jews, the emirate could have toned down the cascade of antisemitism that is their state-owned Al Jazeera network. They might have also forced Hamas to return the bodies of kidnapped IDF soldiers so that their families might have a grave at which they could pray. Again, they did nothing of the sort.
The colorless, terrorism-supporting monarchy chose to confront these issues with the only thing they’ve ever been able to offer: cold, hard cash. In a move strikingly reminiscent of the $100,000 payouts made to multiple Jewish organizations, Qatar sent millions of dollars into Gaza. Unlike the hushed effort to buy off American Jewry, this was a decidedly photogenic operation. In a move described by fuming PA officials as that of a “gangster,” the Qatari ambassador to Gaza, Mohamed Al Emadi, released a photo of cash-packed luxury leather luggage piled into the trunk of his luxury SUV, itself on its way into Gaza. The money – all of it American currency – would be used to pay the majority of the 40,000 civil servants hired by Hamas since 2007 who have yet to see a paycheck. Apparently briefed for the photo-op, workers assumed nearly identical poses with hundred dollar bills fanned out in hands raised triumphantly in the air above.
So far, $15 million has been brought in. Another $75 million is due to follow.
I wish only the best for all those in Gaza who are not actively engaged in terrorism against innocent Israelis. That said, there is nothing innately wrong in government workers being paid for their work. Nevertheless, Qatar’s actions herein provide nothing of a solution to the suffering citizens of Gaza. After all, this cash will only fortify the root of all Gaza’s perils – the heartless, child-sacrificing deathcult that is Hamas.
Every ounce of agony within the Gaza Strip can be traced back to Hamas. Right on the heels of their electoral victory in 2007, Hamas laid waste to the democratic system that brought them to power. In its place, they instituted a harrowing regime of built on fear and intimidation. Prominent critics of the regime face summary executions enacted by kangaroo courts. Lesser offenders are shot through the knees, leaving them eternally maimed. Public executions have been as brutal as they have been routine, with suspected traitors being dragged through the streets of Gaza City from the backs of motorcycles. Homosexuality is a capital offense and boys are encouraged to murder their own sisters should suspicions of “dishonoring” the family arise. Freedom of the press is replaced with state-sponsored children’s programs that feature Mickey Mouse throwing grenades and a talking bunny rabbit dying in a Gaza hospital after an Israeli air raid.
If Hamas doesn’t grant its citizens their God-given rights, at the very least, we might expect that they’d protect them. After all, it appears to be self-evident that a government’s highest mandate toward its citizens is, if not to guard liberties, then at least to keep them safe.
Far from protecting its citizens, however, Hamas has shown a disgusting willingness to put them in harm’s way.
Since taking control of Gaza in 2007, Hamas has provoked three wars in just over 10 years, hiding weapons caches in civilian areas to draw maximum destruction. All the while, their leadership hung out in villas in Cairo and, of course, Qatar.
During the many border-protests that Hamas has instigated over the past year, local leaders urged civilians “not to fear death but to welcome martyrdom.” Hamas then militarized the protests – again, simply to rack up dead Palestinians to fuel their utterly sinister PR stratagem. According to The New York Times, “The breach of the fence was no mere protest. Those assaulting it threw firebombs and rolled burning tires at the fence to try to melt it; at least some carried pistols.” With dozens of Palestinians killed in the fighting, their efforts clearly paid off.
Yet, Qatar believes itself to be helping ordinary Gazans by keeping these monsters around. Even if Qatar were to send $90 billion into Gaza, the scourge of Hamas oppression and mismanagement would not be even partially alleviated.
Instead of encouraging such futile “donations,” leaders around the world – including those in Israel – need to explain to the terrorism-funding, antisemitism- spouting Qataris the clear and simple truth that Palestinians don’t need their money. They need their freedom.
The writer, “America’s Rabbi,” whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the Founder of The World Values Network and, most recently, the author of The Israel Warrior. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.