An analyst and supposed expert in Arabic and Middle East affairs has called for the Israeli government to declare war on Qatar as an enemy of the state. Mordechai Kedar said that Israel must remove any Qatari presence from Israel, especially the Al-Jazeera News channel. “Just as Israel does not allow Hezbollah’s Al-Manar channel or Iran’s Al-‘Alam channel to operate from its territory,” he insisted, “Israel must also forbid al-Jazeera to operate from its territory.”
Kedar called on the government of Israel to tell the Emir of Qatar that he “does not need to have offices and studios in Israel” in order to conduct his “jihad” and he should move Al-Jazeera’s operations elsewhere.
In an article headed “Know thine enemy”, Kedar said that Al-Jazeera is the most effective means that the Emir uses to affect events in the Middle East. He claimed that it is the channel which led to the overthrow of Arab rulers one after another by inciting viewers against their governments. Accusing the Qataris of using Al-Jazeera to spread the philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood, Kedar expressed his belief that this is going to supersede secularist ideologies in the region.
At the heart of Kedar’s claims is his allegation that the main discourse of Al-Jazeera and Qatar is that Israeli is a Western colonial project planted in the Middle East and war must be waged against it by all means in the Islamic world. He accused Al-Jazeera of deceiving its audience by claiming to offer opinions “when it works according to the Emir’s agenda”.
The Director of the Centre for the Study of the Middle East and Islam also claimed that Qatar’s Emir has funded a number of anti-Israel projects. He cited the $500m contribution by Qatar to the Jerusalem Fund, which was founded by the Gulf state to maintain the Arabic and Islamic character of the city. He also pointed to the support given to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem by the Qatari Red Crescent Society.
“Israel must recognise the enemy,” said Kedar, “whose name is the Emir of Qatar, before it is too late. Identifying the enemy belatedly might make it possible for him to grow, develop, become more powerful and take on dimensions that it will be difficult to cope with.”
It is noteworthy that the State of Qatar established trade relations with Israel in 1996 and there have been reports of contacts at senior levels ever since.