The American writer and social activist Upton Sinclair once noted that “it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” This perfectly encapsulates the results of Qatari foreign policy over the last 30 years.
Qatar, a tiny speck of a country overflowing with unlimited funds from its boundless natural gas supplies, has mastered the art of bribery to advance its nefarious goals around the world.
The ruling al-Thani family, led by Emir Tamim bin Hamad, has used cold hard cash to rally people behind the dystopian ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, or to conveniently overlook Qatar’s central role in funding Islamic extremists and terrorists.
Qatar’s investments in influence are breathtaking. Hundreds of millions in official lobbying contracts in Washington. Suitcases of cash to FIFA officials and members of the EU parliament. Honorariums for former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas and former U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien to appear in Doha. Massive advertising contracts and sponsorships for influential media and entertainment outlets from Foreign Policy to VOX to Sundance to Buzzfeed.
Then there’s the $5 million they gave for the L.A. Mayor’s Fund, $20 million for the Nixon Foundation, the Endowed Journalism Fellowship for the Carter Center, as well as the acquisition of prime assets and large equity holdings in leading Western brands including British Airways, Volkswagen, Brookfield Corporation, St. Regis Hotels, Heathrow Airport and many more.
It’s also the largest donor to U.S. institutions of higher education, deploying more than $500 billion in areas of strategic significance for the regime — from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism to Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service to Texas A&M’s School of Engineering (through which it accesses our country’s most sensitive nuclear technology).
The explosion of antisemitism on U.S. college campuses since the Oct. 7 massacre traces back to Doha. A Qatari influence ecosystem that brings together Al Jazeera and other media along with its contributions to think tanks, influencers, PR firms, lobbyists and universities has effectively advanced the virulently antisemitic and anti-Israel views of the Al Thanis.
Tragically, Qatar has expertly employed exactly the same tactics with business leaders whose allegiance should be to the Jewish community and Israel. Even some of the most full-throated supporters of Israel are strangely silent about the Al Thani’s insidious role in funding Hamas, when their financial interests are intimately bound to Qatar.
In August 2018, Jared Kushner’s financially troubled 666 Fifth Ave. skyscraper secured a 99-year lease agreement with Brookfield. This deal raised suspicions of backroom collusion to benefit Qatar politically, but both Kushner and Qatari officials vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
Later, Kushner helped secure the celebrated Abraham Accords to establish diplomatic and economic relations between Israel and UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. Qatar was not included, but Kushner maintained close ties to the Al Thani family — so close that, two weeks ago, he organized a “huddle” of prominent Jewish business leaders and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. The purpose of the meeting: to promote Qatar’s role as an “honest broker” in the war between Hamas and Israel.
Qatar is reportedly concerned that its ties to Hamas — which is primarily backed by Qatari money — might negatively affect Doha’s relationship with Washington after the war. The specter of economic sanctions and congressional hearings hovers in the air, and the Al Thanis are desperate to mitigate these possibilities.
Enter Kushner, the useful Jewish fig leaf, who might just get Qatar off the hook by rallying a coterie of Jewish business icons who are financially beholden to Qatar. Talk about calling in your chips!
Bill Ackman was at the Kushner meeting — the same Ackman who has rightfully called out antisemitism at Harvard. Yet, when it comes to Qatar, he was happy to have his name used in articles welcoming the Qatari narrative of neutrality, completely erasing their connection to Hamas’ atrocities. This is hardly surprising, as Qatar has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management.
Marc Rowan — another attendee and a prominent supporter of Jewish causes — has significant business with the Qatari Sovereign Wealth Fund through his company Apollo and has been similarly silent on Qatar. The same is true for most of the others at the Kushner-Al Thani meeting.
The good news is that for all the Qatari billions spent on influence, many in Congress are waking up to the dangers of this regime. Those people of influence who allow themselves to be used as pawns in Qatar’s evil game will inevitably be judged by history. That judgment will not be favorable.
(This article was published by the New York Daily News on Dec. 13, 2023: https://www.nydailynews.com/2023/12/13/jared-kushners-qatari-cleanup/)