(For the SoundCloud audio, scroll down)
In the midst of navigating an overwhelming sea of information, as I attempt to comprehend the world in a state of total upheaval, this week I stumbled upon a tweet so deeply unsettling that it defied all explanation.
At first, I questioned its authenticity, convinced that the tweeter must have fallen victim to a hack. I returned to it repeatedly, hoping it would vanish, but it was still there every time. As I write these words, the tweet is still visible on X, formerly Twitter, with well over a million views.
Referring to the current hostage crisis in Gaza, the tweeter began with this stunning statement: “I’m pleased to say that Qatar is becoming an essential party and stakeholder in the facilitation of humanitarian solutions.” This jaw-dropper was followed immediately by the claim that “Qatar’s diplomatic efforts are crucial at this time.”
My eyes widened in disbelief. Was he kidding? Was this some kind of sick satire? Qatar is the world’s most prominent patron of terror. How could anyone offer praise for Qatar’s evil regime? The irony was staggering.
But what left me truly astounded was that the author of this tweet was none other than Tzachi Hanegbi, National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu and a seasoned Knesset member with over three decades of service, including 13 years as a minister in Israel’s government.
Hanegbi’s mother was Geula Cohen, the Lehi legend and firebrand opponent of the 1978 Camp David Accords with Egypt, who famously told the Washington Post how she felt about the Land of Israel: “It’s not geographical, it’s biographical.” Her son’s praise for Qatar was in such stark contrast to his mother’s passionate views and his own political history, that I could not and cannot reconcile myself to what he tweeted.
In fact, as the implications of Hanegbi’s tweet crystallized in my head, I found myself grappling with a cascade of questions. How could a seasoned politician, one so deeply rooted in the Israeli political landscape, endorse a nation with such a tarnished reputation?
Qatar’s involvement in funding and supporting terror groups has been a matter of international concern for years. The nation’s actions have sown chaos in the Middle East and beyond, directly contradicting the core principles one would expect Hanegbi to champion. In particular, vis-à-vis Israel, Qatar’s role has been to prop up Hamas, and Qatari money has enabled Hamas to remain in power. And yes, Qatari money led directly to the heinous outrage that was the October 7th massacre.
Let me put it more bluntly: the 1,400 innocent lives lost in Southern Israel and the heart-wrenching abduction of 220 hostages into Gaza by brutal Hamas monsters, and indeed the suffering endured by ordinary Palestinians in Gaza as a result of Israel’s inevitable response to the October 7th massacre — all of these tragedies can be traced back to the opulent, marble-paved palaces in Doha. There, shadowy Qatari billionaires, largely unknown to the world, manipulate an array of Western allies and acolytes through their vast wealth, all the while funneling hard cash to terrorists in Gaza and elsewhere.
This cash is the oxygen that enables the murder and mayhem perpetrated by these agents of evil, whose Qatari puppet masters are now being praised by a leading Israeli politician as an “essential party and stakeholder[s] in the facilitation of humanitarian solutions.” The Orwellian irony here is so extreme that it borders on the absurd.”
A couple of weeks ago, I made a startling discovery: one of Beverly Hills’ fanciest hotels, The Maybourne, just over a mile from where we live, is co-owned by two individuals—Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (HBK), the former Emir of Qatar and father of the current Emir, and his cousin, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani (HBJ), the former prime minister of Qatar. In addition to The Maybourne, they also own four luxury hotels in London, UK: Claridges, The Connaught, The Berkeley, and The Emory, set to open this winter. There is also a Maybourne Hotel in the South of France.
Perhaps even more shockingly, it was under the leadership of these two men that Hamas was invited to establish their headquarters in Doha. Notably, HBJ is on record for making not just anti-Israel but vile antisemitic remarks—a distinction without a difference in my view.
The evidence is unequivocal: both HBK and HBJ have ties to Hamas. And while there may have been a degree of tolerance for such associations before October 7th, with even Israel seemingly accepting the arrangement, the events of that fateful day have surely changed everything. Any affiliation with or support for Hamas must now be met with consequences.
To illustrate this shift in perspective, consider the case of Russian oligarchs associated with Vladimir Putin. Until Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last year, these oligarchs were tolerated in Western business circles and, in some cases, embraced.
However, once Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine, committing acts of murder and torture against Ukrainian citizens, his oligarch allies faced penalties. Their assets were frozen and confiscated, and they were treated as accomplices in Putin’s war crimes.
In light of these actions, why should Qataris receive different treatment? HBK, HBJ, and other members of the Qatari ruling elite who own significant assets in the West are undeniably linked to the heinous acts of Hamas, including the atrocities of October 7th. Their financial support has enabled and continues to fuel Hamas’ barbarity. Consequently, they bear guilt by association, if not a more direct culpability. Indeed, the ongoing conflict with Hamas persists largely due to the Qatari funds that have supported and continue to sustain this terrorist organization. I, for one, certainly don’t want a Qatari, Hamas-sympathizer-owned hotel in my neighborhood.
As for Tzachi Hanegbi’s startling tweet, it brings to mind a troubling historical analogy: Kastner and Eichmann. Rudolf Kastner, a Jewish activist in Budapest, negotiated the rescue of 1,600 Hungarian Jews in 1944 with Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Holocaust. This negotiation occurred even as Eichmann oversaw the deportation of 500,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz for extermination.
Qatar’s leaders, just like Eichmann and his Nazi associates, have their hands elbow-deep in the wanton slaughter of Jews, and, ironically, in the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. No one should be praising them for helping to secure the release of hostages whose cruel kidnapping was facilitated by them in the first place. It really is as simple as that.