The Qatar point of view
In many ways, Qatar is completely misunderstood. No wonder – Qatar plays in the playgrounds of the empires, while in itself it is hardly more than a gas-providing emirate. Qatar hosts world sports events like F1, football world cup and intends to hosts the Olympic games, yet has less sports pedigree than any other host ever before. Qatar has more foreign relations in the West than in Arab countries, invests more money in “the free world” than in regional endeavors. Qatar invests heavily in Salafist terror organizations, yet is the main “negotiator” to “solve problems” arising from the activities of these very organizations. Naturally, Western countries like to believe that Qatari willingness to help shows promise. Neighboring Arab countries, on the other hand, have long exposed the deeper needs of Qatar and even banned them for years because of their involvement in terror activities.
Actually, Qatar is quite easy to understand. In their world only the strong survives. They have nothing but fossil energy resources, not even close to Saudi-Arabia, Iran or the UAE. They had to produce a problem to which only they had the solution. Not an easy task in the modern world. As their Arab neighbors didn’t want to play along, looking forward to a transformation into a new era of advanced Middle-East, Qatar chose to turn to Iran, which eventually evolved into a steady relationship with Russia and China, based on mutual interest: a weaker Western world that had to be more dependent on Qatar investments.
In the current war in Gaza, yet another clash between Palestinian and Israeli interests, suddenly Qatar takes a leading role as mediator: open to the West with tens of billions invested in Western economies, who would you trust more? Strangely, nobody mentions that this specific problem is the fruit of the Qatari scheme.
Nobody mentions, that the leaders of Hamas take refuge in Doha, living in extreme elegance. Nobody mentions, that Qatar is the godfather of Hamas, that everything the Emir does is to allow Hamas not only to survive this war, but to prevail and come out as the winner. They only have to calm Sinwar somewhat down, so he won’t miss the chance to be triumphant, and thus turning Qatar into the only savor of Palestine and Palestinians.
With that in mind, Al-Thani wants to prolong the procedure of returning the hostages, again and again “coming to help” while delaying their return. These days of ceasefire should turn into weeks, until the world will be convinced that there is no more reason to fight, that anything and everything is negotiable, especially through Qatar. By that time the narrative will have changed, the suffering on both sides will be at least equal, if not in favor for the original aggressors.
The Emir Al-Thani doesn’t forget who gave him the chance, and the needed information. True, if he thanks his benefactors now, he might lose the momentum vis-à-vis the US, so he sends Haniyeh and Mashaal to thank Russia and China, and again, no-one asks why. Why?
The Qatar point of view is that of a regional social outcast. No friends around, no honor, no future – just money. What happened with Qatar is what usually happens with outcasts: they either adapt or die. They adapted, they have come far, paying heavily for international status and they won’t give it away just yet, if at all.
They won’t let Egypt get in the way, they give Israel the warmest hugs and they complement the Europeans for their efforts. This is going to be Qatar’s admission into the big league – if you let them.