Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Sheikh Hamad Once Again - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

I enjoyed listening to the responses of Qatar”s foreign minister, Sheikh Hamed Bin Jasim broadcasted on a TV program recently, however I was hoping to see some changes in him after his absence. Though it appeared that his health had improved, his political manner was more or less unchanged. He continued his verbal attacks upon neighboring countries on live television. The discussion focused on the degradation of Saudi Arabia simply because of its rejection of extending gas pumps to Kuwait.

Over the years, the foreign minister Bin Jasim had become accustomed to using television as a way to insult Qatar”s neighboring countries, as he believes that this is the best method to exert political pressure in order to impose a specific viewpoint on a matter. However, what more could Sheikh Hamed say that former Arab media representatives and foreign ministers have not said already?

Less restricted governments that have put their media and policies to the test from the days of Abdel Nasser until Saddam Hussein. This technique of condemnation has never succeeded in modifying any stance. So why does Sheikh Hamed believe he will be more convincing than Ahmed Said or Mohamed Al-Sahaf.

In his discussion, not only did Hamed admit that he requested Israeli support to attain a temporary seat on the Security Council, but he also attempted to sabotage the Arab peace project in Beirut which aims to retrieve all occupied territories before the establishment of an Israeli embassy or any relations with Israel. Hamed also paved the way for a journalist colleague of his to call into another program, stating that Saudi Arabia spends billions of dollars against the Palestinian cause.

In Berlin, Geoffrey Gedman, an Israeli extremist who is also the head of America”s Institute for Political Studies, considered the Arab peace initiative in Beirut as a potential danger to Israel. In a summit for the Democratic Youth Organization, he expressed these fears and was further supported by the media representative of the Israeli embassy in Germany. The representative claimed that Saudi Arabia is responsible for the crises that Israel is suffering from in the Palestinian occupied territories and further accused Saudi Arabia of funding the Hamas movement.

Some of Sheikh Hamed”s comments such as his statement claiming that the Qatari government advocates freedom of the press and does not interfere in the affairs of the media deserve to be laughed at. His statement contradicts the facts as the media was unable to tackle any of the government crises, and remained silent with regards to the Billion and a half dollar scandal in which the sum was to be spent on purchasing works of art. The media was also unusually silent with regards to the visit of a prominent Israeli official whilst insulting Mauritania for receiving an Israeli official on the same day as well as the confiscating Qatari nationality from 5000 citizens because 13 members of their tribes were accused of plotting to overthrow the monarchy. Hamed”s &#34free media&#34 does not discuss the crises until a whole month has passed and details have been disclosed within the international press.

All I can say is that Hamed”s rhetoric was pleasant…as pleasant as lies can be.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

More Posts