OpinionMiddle East

Qatar must choose sides

If it fails to extradite Hamas terrorists, then the United States should “reassess” its relationship with the Gulf kingdom.

A Qatar Emiri Air Force helicopter and a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer at the annual Flight Line Fest at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, on Jan. 10, 2016. Credit: U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman via Wikimedia Commons.
A Qatar Emiri Air Force helicopter and a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer at the annual Flight Line Fest at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, on Jan. 10, 2016. Credit: U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman via Wikimedia Commons.
Eric Levine
Eric Levine
Eric R. Levine is a founding member of the New York City law firm Eiseman, Levine, Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis, P.C. He is an essayist, political commentator and fundraiser for Republican candidates with an emphasis on the U.S. Senate.

Israel will do what it must in response to the Iranian-backed attack by Hamas on Oct. 7. In support of that effort, America must do everything possible including giving Israel the weapons it needs, and the political cover required to allow Israel to eviscerate the Nazis once and for all.

However, America has another mission. At least 14 U.S. citizens have been murdered in the Iran-supported terrorist attack by Hamas Israel. They weren’t just murdered; many were mutilated almost beyond recognition. We also know that Americans were kidnapped and are being held hostage and used as human shields by Hamas inside Gaza. This cannot stand. America has the right and moral obligation to bring justice to those who committed these atrocities against our fellow citizens.

While Hamas holds all of Gaza hostage, its leaders, like Ismail Haniyeh, live in the comfort of five-star hotels in Qatar. We know where they are, and who is providing aid and comfort to them.

The murder and kidnapping of Americans is an act of terror against the United States. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Justice must immediately indict every leader of Hamas, including those sitting in their Jacuzzis in Qatar. The United States must then demand that Qatar extradite all the terrorists named in the indictments.

Qatar has been playing a double game for years. It has a close relationship with Tehran. Indeed, it is the country Iran trusted to hold the recent $6 billion ransom payment the Biden administration made to Iran to win the freedom of American hostages. It is also one of Hamas’s primary sources of funding. Its support for the terror organization that rules the Gaza Strip does not end with financing. Qatar and Turkey have traditionally negotiated cease-fires on behalf of Hamas at the end of conflicts between Hamas and Israel. However, since Hamas will be utterly destroyed at the end of this war, their services in this regard are no longer required.

At the same time that Qatar cozies up with Iran and Hamas, it makes available the Al Udeid Air Base in Doha for the U.S. Air Force base.

Qatar must be told that if they fail to extradite these terrorists, that the United States will “reassess” its relationship with the Gulf kingdom. That reassessment may include moving the U.S. Air Force from Doha to Bahrain where the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is currently hosted. Bahrain is a solid US ally and a member of the Abraham Accords peace agreement with Israel. It may also require the freezing of assets of Hamas’s enablers much like we have frozen the assets of Russian oligarchs supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Qatar must also be told that if they do not give them to us, we will come get them. It should be remembered that Pakistan was once perceived as a critical ally in the war on terror. To the extent anyone failed to understand the double game that Pakistan played, all doubt was gone when we learned that the country was hosting Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks. Just like we delivered justice to bin Laden in Abbottabad, America must be prepared to deliver justice to Haniyeh and his fellow terrorists in Doha.

The global business community has an important role to play here as well. It’s not a good look to hold events in the same country that hosts and funds Nazi-like terrorists responsible for the murder, mutilation and kidnapping of Americans. Serious thought should be given to moving these functions to Dubai and Tel Aviv. 

It is time for Qatar to choose. Are you with us or the Nazi terrorists? If they will not choose, we must choose for them.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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