Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Baroness Warsi, Qatar and Why Her Resignation Over Gaza is Not Entirely a Matter of Principle.

In Britain, politicians in the Conservative-Liberal government started off repeating the stock phrases about Israel's 'right to defend itself' and the need for an unconditional ceasefire on both sides. Clearly, of course, it was Israel that rejected diplomacy with Hamas backed by Qatar and Turkey.

The resignation of Baroness Warsi, the Muslim Tory peer and Senior Foreign Office minister, Mark Wallace in the Guardian opines
'Lady Warsi’s resignation over Gaza is undoubtedly one of principle. Like many of her principles, it is different from the prime minister’s – eventually that divide evidently became too much'.
One reason why statesmen and diplomats are starting to issue denuciations of Israel is,in part, due to the fact Israel's foreign policy is opposed to that of another key regional ally and business partner in the form of Qatar. Qatar backs Hamas in a struggle for regional power dominance in the Middle East.

Israel clearly rejected all possible diplomacy involving Hamas and two of its regional backers are also Western allies ( Turkey as well as Qatar ). Israel remains a large trading partner and and a potential supplier of liquefied natural gas in the course of this decade to EU energy markets.

Warsi, however, was a close defender of Qatar and aligned with certain policies and outlooks put forth by the gas rich state and appears at conferences in Doha alongside Al Jazeera journalists. When tensions between her and Prime Minister Cameronflared up over the use of the face veil in 2012 it was reported
'Organisers say that Lady Warsi, who posed in traditional Islamic dress on the steps of 10 Downing Street after the general election in May, had been booked three months ago to speak at the Qatar Foundation Doha Debate on Oct 11.
She was given free Qatar Airways business class tickets and had a complimentary room booked for two nights at the five-star Four Seasons beach hotel in Doha, the capital of the Gulf emirate of Qatar'.
Even so, self interest has started to dovetail with a genuine sense Israel is acting too unilaterally and ruthlessly in its determination to use military force to impose its own solution on Gaza. Politicians are divided on what position to take but it should not be thought voices criticising Israel are wholly about principle. 

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