top of page
  • irvsafdieh

Qatar Crisis, School of Terror, Wonder Woman

Arab States Cut Ties to Qatar for Backing Terror

Times of Israel, June 5th 2017


Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Libya, and Yemen severed their relations with Qatar over its alleged support of ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood [1].

The Context:

  • The dispute began when Qatar’s state-run news agency featured a fake story quoting top Qatari officials touting “good” relations between Israel and Iran.

  • Bahrain blamed Qatar for covertly encouraging “media incitement” and “spread[ing] chaos” while Saudi Arabia closed borders with Qatar to “protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” Both the UAE and Egypt made announcements accusing Qatar of “destabilizing security of the region” and supporting “terrorism.” The three Gulf States gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to return home and a Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen announced that Qatar was no longer welcome in the alliance [2].

  • Qatar said there was “no legitimate justification” for the move, accusing the Arab states of violating its sovereignty. Though energy-rich, Qatar is heavily reliant on food and other essential supplies that are brought in via Saudi Arabia [3]. Qatar Airways was banned from flying in and out of other Gulf States while Doha-based news network Al-Jazeera remains blocked in several countries [4]. Qatar’s stock market fell 7.2% [5].

  • Qatar is home to the Al Udeid Air Base, the largest US military base in the region where 11,000 U.S. personnel are stationed [6]. Qatar is also infamous for hosting Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Doha for five years and donating hundreds of millions of dollars to the terrorist organization [7].

Conversation Points:

  • Was the news hack just a convenient cover for Qatar’s enemies to air their grievances?

  • Might Hamas become a liability to Qatar while it seeks to shore up its economy as a result of the spat? Will material support for Hamas continue covertly or not at all?

  • If Hamas loses Qatar’s financial backing, might Israel gain leverage over the terrorist group?

  • Does America compromise its values by pursuing military cooperation with a state that aids and abets terrorism?

Cultural Center Named for Terrorist Murderer

Hillel Fendel, Israel National News, May 26th 2017


An educational institution funded by the Palestinian Authority (PA) was named in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian radical who murdered 37 people in 1978.

The Context:

  • The Coastal Highway massacre was the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history. Mughrabi and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus and conducted random shootings at cars on the highway killing 37, including 12 children.

  • According to Palestinian officials, the Dalal Mughrabi center is intended to serve and empower young women to become active members in society. The center does not intend to change its name [8] and sits alongside other institutions and organizations bearing Mughrabi’s name including a youth camp and sports tournament [9].

  • At the time of inauguration, the edifice boasted PA, United Nations (UN) and Norwegian logos however, both Norway and the UN quickly demanded their logos be removed and their money returned. “The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable,” said Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende [10] and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decried the “glorification of terrorism, or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts [11].” Israel urged the international community to take “thorough steps to check where the money it invests in the PA is going [12].”

  • Norway is among several European governments providing millions of dollars each year to the PA whose development programs are catalysts for BDS and the glorification of terrorism [13].

Conversation Points:

  • Can the PA be considered a partner in peace if they continually honor terrorists like Dalal Mughrabi?

  • Should international countries financially prop up the PA without full transparency of how the funds are spent?

BDS vs. Wonder Woman

Zahava Raymond, Honest Reporting, June 1st 2017


Wonder Woman, featuring Israeli actress Gal Gadot, is the first superhero movie in over a decade with a woman in its leading role. The movie currently has an 94% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

The Context:

  • Gal Gadot was born in the small city of Rosh HaAyin, became Miss Israel at age 18 and served two years in the Israeli Defense Force as a combat trainer [14].

  • This week, Lebanese authorities banned Wonder Woman in accordance with a decades old law that boycotts Israeli products [15]. The film was scheduled to screen in 15 Lebanese theaters [16].

  • Wonder Woman is still being screened in various Arab countries, including the UAE, Kuwait, and Oman.

Conversation Points:

  • Do even “moderate” Arab states in the Middle East lag behind world standards of freedom of expression?

  • By supporting a ban against all things Israeli, is BDS also suppressing women’s advancement in the media?

  • Who is affected most by the Lebanese ban on Wonder Woman? Hollywood, Israel or the Lebanese economy?


  1. What Just Happened With Qatar?, Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic, June 5th 2017

  2. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain cut ties to Qatar, Al Jazeera, June 5th 2017

  3. What Just Happened With Qatar?, Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic, June 5th 2017

  4. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain cut ties to Qatar, Al Jazeera, June 5th 2017

  5. What Just Happened With Qatar?, Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic, June 5th 2017

  6. Ibid.

  7. FIVE REASONS WHY ISRAEL SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE QATAR CRISIS, Seth Fantzman, Jerusalem Post, June 5th 2017

  8. Dalal Mughrabi women center in Burqa will keep its name, says council head, Wafa, May 30th 2017

  9. Norway demands PA return funds for women’s center named after terrorist, Times of Israel, May 27th 2017

  10. Ibid.

  11. United Nations pulls support for Palestinian women's centre named after terrorist, The Associated Press, May 29th 2017

  12. Norway demands PA return funds for women’s center named after terrorist, Times of Israel, May 27th 2017

  13. UN, Norwegian Government, Distance Themselves From Palestinian Youth Center Named for Terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May 26th 2017

  14. Why So Many People Care That Wonder Woman Is Israeli, Ruth Graham, Slate, June 1st 2017

  15. ‘Resisting’ Israeli star, Lebanon bans Wonder Woman All screenings of Gal Gadot film canceled nationwide, Sarah El Deeb, Times of Israel, June 1st 2017

  16. Lebanon Officially Bans Wonder Woman Screenings Because of Israeli Star Gal Gadot, Kathy Enrich Dowd, People, May 31st 2017

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page