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President Biden, it’s time to demand Qatar to choose: Be an ally of the US, or of Iran & Hamas – you can’t do both

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, Jan. 31, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis)

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Enough already.

The tiny – but massively rich – Sunni Gulf state is playing both sides.

And President Biden is letting them. 

As I have repeatedly explained on THE ROSENBERG REPORT on TBN, Qatar’s leaders on the one hand claim to be allies of the United States and friends of the American people. 

On the other hand, Qatar is in bed with both the wicked Iranian regime – the terror masters of Tehran – and with the wicked Hamas regime, Iran’s genocidal ground forces in Gaza. 

Qatar’s leaders simultaneously meet with top Iranian figures and allow top Hamas figures to live in luxury in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s leaders, over the years, have transferred hundreds of millions of dollars from Iran to Hamas jihadists in Gaza.

This was bad enough prior to October 7.

Now it is completely indefensible.

Only two countries in the world have actual leverage over the decisions made by Hamas – Iran is one, Qatar is the other.

The U.S. clearly has precious little leverage over the Iranian regime.

Washington has tremendous leverage over Qatar, though.

For months, President Biden could have put enormous pressure on Qatar to put tremendous pressure on Hamas to set free all the hostages in Gaza.

Qatar could also pressure Hamas leaders to surrender, end the war, leave the Gaza Strip, and go into exile (into Iran, for example).

Yet for the past seven months, Biden and his team have refused to apply such leverage. 

In January, for example, Biden agreed to extend a lease with the leaders of Qatar for ten years for the U.S. Central Command headquarters in the Middle East, to be located in Qatar, just outside of Doha. 

That was a huge mistake. 

By hosting Hamas leaders, Qatar is complicit in the horrors of October 7th. 

Biden could have given the leaders of Qatar an ultimatum: Pick a side – choose to be a true ally of the U.S., the West, and peace and security, or Washington will refuse to extend the lease and will move the CENTCOM base to another Sunni Arab Gulf country that really is a faithful ally and isn’t playing both sides.

But Biden didn’t do it.

It’s not clear he even seriously considered it. 

Now is the time for Biden to launch a “maximum pressure” campaign on the leaders of Qatar.

1. Tell Qatar to demand that Hamas immediately give up all of the hostages that they’ve taken and are still holding in the terror tunnels in Gaza – or face repercussions.

2. Tell Qatar to threaten to arrest senior Hamas leaders living in Doha if Hamas refuses to comply. 

3. Tell Qatar to demand that Hamas leaders and terror forces leave Gaza and go into exile immediately. 

4. Tell Qatar’s leaders that if they do not follow this route, Biden will hit them with economic sanctions, move to relocate the CENTCOM base to a more friendly and faithful ally in the Sunni Arab Gulf region, and consider other moves, as well. 

It's time for all Americans – and certainly every leader in Washington, especially the Biden White House and State Department – to say to the rulers of Qatar, “Enough is enough.”

No more playing both sides of the street.

Pick a side.

Be a true ally of the United States, or side completely with Iran and Hamas and face the consequences. 

Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.

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