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Qatar’s Suspicious Role with Hezbollah

Qatar’s Suspicious Role with Hezbollah

Friday, 7 August, 2020 - 07:30
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

On the same day the Qatari leadership sought to show its humanitarian side by sending medical aid to Lebanon in wake of the Beirut blast, Fox News reported on the Gulf state’s involvement in financing Hezbollah. The party, in turn, appears responsible for the blast, in what Fox News described as a “sprawling terror finance scheme.”

Doha has not only provided Hezbollah with funds to buy weapons, but its ambassador to the European Union sought to bribe a private security contractor to “hush up the role of Qatar’s regime in supplying money and weapons” to the party. Fox News revealed that two Qatari charities furnished cash to Hezbollah in Beirut “under the guise of food and medicine.”

Qatar’s role in providing funds to a party - that is designated as terrorist in many countries across the globe – and then feigning political interest by providing medical aid after a national catastrophe - which was caused by the practices of the very party itself - demonstrates the ideology adopted by Qatari authorities in approaching foreign political issues and meddling in the internal affairs of countries. This policy is much more dangerous than the direct funding of allies or exaggeratedly claiming adversity to rivals. Deceit is, after all, the political trademark of Qatari foreign policy.

Qatar’s policy is based on balancing contradictions. It is host to the largest American military base and openly flatters its president, while covertly inciting against the American administration through its media and diplomats. It financially and militarily supports the Houthis, while also taking part in the Arab coalition, before it was kicked out of it in June 2017. It signs a United Nations agreement that bars countries from supporting or financing terrorism, but is involved in backing terrorist groups after agreeing to pay a 1-billion-dollar ransom to an Iraqi terror organization. Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani claims to be leading a Qatari mediation in Bahrain after the 2011 developments, while he secretly orders the Wefaq organization to fuel protests on the streets.

These are just a few examples of Qatar’s contradictory moves that have become an integral part of its political ideology.

Qatar’s involvement in financing Hezbollah is nothing new. Germany’s Die Zeit had previously reported on Doha’s support to the party. Qatari policy is not limited to supporting Hezbollah alone, but also includes several groups and parties that may not be in power, in an attempt to implement the Qatari agenda through official and non-official means.

In the Lebanese case, the Lebanese people could do without further meddling in their affairs and further support to a party that is actually occupying the state and ruling it through its weapons, which are at the heart of its problems. Then a country comes along - and what a country – to bolster the party and support it financially and militarily.

At this, everyone has the right to wonder: What is the difference between Iran and Qatar’s support to the party? There is no difference really, except that Iran does it over the corpses of martyrs, while Qatar does it in the shadows and through extreme double standards and odd bravado.

Meanwhile, the last thing Lebanon and the Lebanese need is for someone to further deepen the internal divide, support one side against the other and back the party that is already the target of so much anger. Doha, without any shame, is continuing its suspicious role in deepening divisions within countries, in total disregard of the consequences of its actions. If Hezbollah were directly responsible for the deaths and injury of thousands of people and displacement of 300,000 after the Beirut blast, then Qatar and Iran are both responsible as well because they both back and finance the party that has a hand in this disaster that has befallen all Lebanese.

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