June 14, 2017
Dear Friend of Israel,
Considering that the Middle East is typically a hotbed of warring factions and arguing leaders, it’s worth paying attention when countries in the region are on the same page about something. So, when a growing coalition of countries from the Middle East and beyond started forming over the past two weeks, the world took note.
And what drew this auspicious group of countries – including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates – into agreement and action? Qatar, the tiny Gulf state that has emerged as a real threat to regional peace. Concern about Qatar’s support of regional terrorist groups as well as their close relations with Iran’s radical regime led this unlikely coalition to mount a campaign of political and economic pressure against the Qatari government.
But this confrontation isn’t just a Persian Gulf matter; it has serious implications for the U.S. and the State of Israel.
To America, Qatar has been both ally and adversary. For a quarter-century, Qatar has served as a military partner of the United States in the Middle East, allowing American troops to base on its soil and carry out operations in the region against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and the Islamic State.
At the same time, however, Qatar’s government has been a key financial backer to a variety of radical Islamist terror groups, including Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood movement, Afghanistan’s radical Taliban militia, and even elements of al-Qaeda.
For Israel, Qatar’s behavior has been even more damaging. In recent years, the Qatari government has distinguished itself as a significant backer of Hamas, the extremist terror group that rules the Gaza Strip. It has given Hamas vital political backing (including safe haven for its top leaders) and provided millions of dollars that have strengthened both Hamas’s military capabilities and its brutal dictatorship in Gaza.
For all these reasons, the current crisis with Qatar is of great importance to all those who support Israel and America. Qatar’s close ties to Tehran undermine any effort to contain and deter Iran’s radical regime. And its ongoing backing for Hamas has provided a lifeline for the terror group, also helping to radicalize Palestinian politics.
This is why I am urging all friends of Israel, America, and the free world to support the White House and Congress in their application of both political and economic pressure, including sanctions, to stop these dangerous practices that only further radical Islamist terror and pose a grave threat to the freedoms we all hold dear.
I strongly urge you to go to StopTerrorNow.org to send a letter to President Trump and to Congress encouraging them to pressure governments that sponsor terror.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President