Quarterly Updates for (16 Nov 2017 — 15 Feb 2018)

Qatar, still subject to a Saudi-United Arab Emirates boycott (see JPS 47 [1] and [2]), made inroads with the U.S. pro-Israel community this quarter. Following visits from prominent U.S. commentators Alan Dershowitz and Mike Huckabee, Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein visited Doha in 1/2018. “At first I refused, because of their support for Hamas and the anti-Semitism being broadcast on Al Jazeera,” Klein said. “But over time, I saw that more and more Jewish leaders were going there, and I realized that at this point, they won’t be able to use me for propaganda, because everyone is already going, but I might use the visit to push them on these issues” (Haaretz, 1/30).

On 2/7, Haaretz reported the leaders of several prominent U.S. Zionist organizations as saying that Qatari officials had promised them to block an Al Jazeera documentary titled The Israel Lobby. A day later, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry denied the report, with a spokesman calling it “false news.” Nonetheless, a number of pro-Israel groups in Washington received letters from Al Jazeera in early 2/2018 informing them that their employees would appear in an upcoming documentary and requesting comment. It was unclear at the end of the quarter whether or not the documentary would be broadcast.