President Obama, in his customary childish way, reacted with anger to the knowledge that Netanyahu will speak before Congress and has not only decided he, Vice President Biden, and Secretary of State John Kerry will have something else to do that day and will have nothing to do with the Israeli Prime Minister while he's here. The Obama administration has also funded a political action group who traveled to Israel two weeks ago to assist in ensuring Netanyahu loses his upcoming election.
Many Democrat Representatives, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, have said they will not attend Netanyahu's briefing.
Obama won't meet with Netanyahu but he will be meeting Tuesday with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The purpose of the meeting is said by the White House to be to 'work to further the “longstanding partnership” between the two countries and “our shared interest in supporting stability and prosperity in the Middle East.”'
So what's wrong with that, you ask? Well, many things, it seems.
According to The Times of Israel, the tiny Persian Gulf country has sent hundreds of millions of dollars to Hamas in the Gaza strip since Hamas took control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority. Qatar also supports Hamas diplomatically and Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was the first head of state to visit Gaza after it fell under Hamas control.
As late as December 2014, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) wrote a request to the U.S. Treasury Department to do more to inhibit support for terrorism by Qatar and Turkey.
“It’s no secret that Turkey and Qatar provide refuge to many Hamas operatives, and that both of these supposed American allies have become major terror financial hubs,” the representatives wrote. “Both Turkey and Qatar have thus far been extremely lax in enforcing their terror financing laws and taking action against U.S. designated individuals or entities. By going after those individuals and entities tied to support for Hamas, Treasury can send a strong message to both governments that they need to get on board and sanction entities that are supporting terrorism or risk further isolation from America and our financial sector.”
The Daily Beast recently published an article that says “U.S. officials say Qatar has now replaced its neighbor Saudi Arabia as the source of the largest private donations to the Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliates."
Just a few days before ISIS burned alive a captured Jordanian pilot, an imam preaching from the Qatari Grand Mosque called for the destruction of all non-Muslims, particularly Jews and Christians. He also called for the destruction of other Muslims, the Alawites and the Shiites.
Of course, the Qatari government isn't responsible for what an imam says but the Qatari put the remarks on Twitter and they broadcast it on Qatari TV. So it certainly wasn't denounced.
So President Obama won't meet with the man who has been our strongest ally in the Middle East but will be meeting with one of the biggest supporters of Islamic terrorism in the world to work on “our shared interest in supporting stability and prosperity in the Middle East.”
Which shared interest would that be, Mr. President? Are you going to support those who fight terrorism or those who fund it?
The answer seems obvious to me.