Hamas, Qatar and the "Left"
Anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools
Once upon a time, children, the "Left" prided itself on defending the workers, the honest workingman, the toilers in the factories, mills and mines of capitalism, etc etc. Those days are long gone. Stalinist and Trotskyist Communists claimed to always be guided by the class interest. that is, the interest of the working class. Nowadays, most of the "Left" gets most passionate when hating Israel. Various Communist factions [such as the New Anti-Capitalist Party] and the Communist trade union, the CGT, were sponsors and organizers of the pro-Hamas demonstrations in Paris. "Death to Jews" [not Zionists but Jews --mort aux Juifs!] was chanted at some or all of these demonstrations, among other hateful slogans. Some of these demonstrations split up into the non-combatants who went home and the more "militant" element who rushed to make pogroms against Jews in Paris.
The French government led by Francois Hollande and Manuel Valls realized the danger of letting these marches and demonstrations take place near Jewish neighborhoods, and forbid them to take place or come near to synagogues and areas with many Jewish residents, often Jews who had fled Arab lands like Algeria, Morocco and Egypt. In other words, the organizers, both Islamist militants and Communists, wanted to march from Republic Square to Bastille Square, near many Jewish residents. One of the first pro-Hamas marches did go that route and gangs of thugs broke off to raid synagogues near the Bastille on the Rue des Tournelles and on the Rue de la Roquette, where a street brawl took place between Jewish defenders and Muslim thugs, until police reinforcements arrived. Another would-be pogrom took place in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles where many North African Jews live, close to many North Africa Arabs, as well as Assyrian Christians from Iraq, now the target of Islamist fanaticism in their homeland. There is a lot more to say about these demonstrations/riots/pogroms but our object is to point out the "leftists" fighting for Hamas. The Hamas charter of course calls for genocide against Jews [especially Article 7].
In Oakland, California, certain "leftist" led workers groups organized to stop unloading of Israeli ships. We can go on with examples of "leftists" and even workers unions joining in the lynch mob trying to hang Israel for defending itself.
Now we won't go into how Hamas sacrifices its own civilian population in Gaza in order to charge Israel with war crimes. We have done several previous posts on the subject of Hamas' strategy and the riots in Paris. We have not yet mentioned how some Hamas leaders have become billionaires as have some Fatah leaders. Interesting that so much of the "left" believes or may believe that it is in the interest of the working class to support a mass murder movement led by very rich people.
Let us now ask where Hamas gets its money. Is Hamas funded by the pennies of the poor?
. . . . the money came from two directions: "Legacies from the deceased; money from charity funds; a donation called zaka, one of the six pillars of Islam; and donations from various countries. It started with Syria and Saudi Arabia, with Iran added later and becoming one of Hamas's biggest supporters, and ended with Qatar, which has now taken Iran's place." [Globes English, 24 July 2014]
So now Qatar is Hamas' major benefactor. And Qatar also has one of highest per capita incomes in the world. So the major part of the global "Left" supports a mass murder movement funded by a very rich country. Indeed, one of the leading muddled brains of today's academic world, one Judith Butler, openly declared that Hamas and Hizbullah were parts of "the global left."
Well, if Qatar is rich, then maybe it is still somehow anti-imperialist, which might still be enough to justify "leftist" support for its projects, since anti-imperialism was always supposed to be in the working class interest and in favor of revolution, objectively at least, for the true blue reds. Now, for a very long time, anti-imperialist has been interpreted to mean anti-American, anti-Western, by the true blue Communists. Yet if Qatar is anti-American, it surely has a strange way of expressing that stance. Qatar hosts the Middle Eastern headquarters of CENTCOM, the United States armed forces Central Command. Qatar also owns the Al-Jazeera TV network which agitates anti-Jewish propaganda throughout the Arab world by means of Shaykh Qaradawi. The latter was a leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who took refuge in Qatar from the Egyptian government that he and the Brotherhood were long trying to undermine. Now he is a regular on Al-Jazeera. The network also stirs up hatred of Israel and tries to undermine several Arab governments through broadcasting agitprop hate propaganda. Its "reporting" is highly tendentious and partisan. And that includes its "reporting" on the Gaza war.
Well, what is the connection between Al-Jazeera and CENTCOM? I honestly don't know. But at least a visual connection exists. Journalists have reported that the CENTCOM HQ is within eyesight of the al-Jazeera offices. Now, if the "Left" wants to associate --indirectly at least-- with CENTCOM while declaring opposition to US foreign policy, and with Al-Jazeera while claiming to oppose racism and religious bigotry, they certainly can do what they like. And they may not be capable of understanding what they are doing anyway.
Now, let's take up how workers are treated in Qatar, yes, there are workers there. However, most of the workers there are foreigners who do not share the privileges of native subjects of the al-Thani family, the princely family that runs Qatar. Indeed, the many many foreign workers in Qatar are treated horribly. They are not merely subject to exploitation but they work under very harsh and dangerous conditions and they are forced to do jobs that they may want to refuse but their passports are typically confiscated by employers and labor recruiters. And their pay is often withheld. Without their passports they cannot leave the country and if they have not been paid they are working for nothing, that is, they are slaves.
Is that all that we can point to about Qatar that is negative from what used to be considered a leftist, class-conscious viewpoint?
The biggest project in Qatar now is building facilities for the 2022 Mondiale world soccer championships. Of course, thousands of foreign workers have been brought in to do the actual building work, which is made all the more difficult by the summer heat. Indeed Qatar is warm most of the year. In the summer the temperature may go over 50 degrees centigrade/Celsius. The harsh working conditions plus the extreme heat in summer make it a danger to life to work on constructing the soccer stadiums for the Mondiale. Just in the past couple of years hundreds, literally hundreds, of foreign building workers have died building for the 2022 Mondiale. Have we heard of any "leftist" or workers union protests in the West against the horrid working conditions in Qatar, whether the unsafe physical conditions or the conditions of exploitation and oppression of the foreign workers, many of them from Nepal and India, by the way? Has the "Left" protested the near slavery conditions? Any street demonstrations in Paris or New York or Oakland or London or Brussels? Yet, demonstrations and marches, often turning into anti-Jewish pogroms and riots have taken place in those cities against Israel's war of self-defense against a mass murderous jihad movement funded by Qatar, a clear enemy of the working class one would think.
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postscript: before we forget, Qatar won the right from the world soccer federation, FIFA, to host the Mondiale in 2022, because it bribed many of the representatives on the FIFA board.
Qatar also is a big advertiser on CNN, hosting its program on the Middle East. Maybe that helps ensure that news coverage of Qatar will be favorable. The coverage is directly paid for by the Qatar Foundation that claims to do all sorts of good works. Judge for yourself:
Inside the Middle East is a 30 minute monthly feature program on CNN that seeks to capture the dynamism and broad range of cultural diversity in countries across the Middle East. Together with exclusive online articles and galleries it gives a fresh perspective on life in the region that goes beyond the news headlines. It is broadcast in association with Qatar Foundation.Robert Fulford on slavery in the Persian Gulf and Arabia [here]
8-25-2014 Salem ben Ammar writes on the Eurabia blog that the Emir of Qatar funds Tariq Ramadan and bought him his university chair at Oxford (Oriental Institute, St Antony's College) [ici]. "Adoubé et sponsorisé par l’Emir du Qatar qui lui a acheté sa chaire d’islamologie . . . . Tarak Ramadan est le premier agent de propagande de l’islam ou islamisme modéré."
9-2-2014 Fergus Downie on Tariq Ramadan and the "Left" -- Ramadan is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is now popular among progressive circles in France and elsewhere as the authentic voice of Moderate Islam. The only problem is that he is not really moderate, more like the subtlest slithery snake north of the Mediterranean. [here]
9-13-2014 Gil Mihaely of Causeur.fr gives some background and analysis of Qatar's success and policy -- À quoi joue le Qatar? [ici] -- " un pays . . . . peuplé de deux millions d’habitants dont moins de 300 000 nationaux (les statuts subalternes du reste de la population s’apparentent parfois à une forme d’esclavage)" [emphasis added].
9-22-2014 UN "human rights council" praises Qatar's human rights record -- you have to see it to believe it!!! [here] -- UN Watch says foreign workers in Qatar die at the rate of one per day [same as previous link].