Palestinians mad at Qatar for spending US$240 billion in FIFA World Cup


Palestinians are expressing anger at Qatar, a country that has always been funding mega-terrorist group Hamas and other jihadist entities for spending between US$220-240 billion on hosting the FIFA World Cup, instead of transferring this amount in Gaza. The tiny Arab nation spent such huge amount of cash hoping it will boost its image in the world, win friends and influence people. According to experts, despite the fact of Qatar’s massive spending in World Cup, its expectations of boosting image may not happen. Instead, the world media have been full of criticism for Qatar’s bribery of FIFA officials in order to be awarded the 2020 venue to host the games and full, too, of harrowing stories describing, and deploring, Qatar’s savage mistreatment of the tens of thousands of migrant workers from South Asia who were imported to build seven new stadiums, as well as roads, hotels, and a new airport.

It may be mentioned here that, around 6,500 workers died while working in Qatar, from overwork that ranged between 80-90 hours a week and intolerable extreme heat.

Qatar’s bribery of FIFA officials, and its mistreatment of the 30,000 migrant workers who built the infrastructure, turn out to be the two main stories — other than the soccer matches themselves — that the world media has focused on, much to Qatar’s chagrin.

The Palestinians are mad at Qatar for such huge spending on hosting FIFA World Cup, while Doha’s financial support to Palestinians is “comparatively little”.

While Palestinians are extremely happy at videos of football fans in Qatar who insulted Israeli reporters, Palestinian journalists and writers see that Qatar and the rest of the Gulf nations “only pretend to support Palestinians”.

They say, while Qatar spends US$220-2240 billion in the FIFA World Cup, it is not paying “just” US$10 billion for housing projects for two million Palestinians in the Palestinian territories and two additional power plants. They argued, “what’s ten billion dollars to a country like Qatar, that has just spent US$220-US$240 billion on World Cup infrastructure, to spiff up its international image?”

“The splendor of the World Cup marks the demise of what little concern other Arab and Muslim countries had for the fate of the Palestinians over the past two decades. This attention will go down in the history of the Middle East as a clear sign of the oil-rich Arab states turning their backs on their Palestinian brethren”, they added.

Palestinian writers said, here is Qatar, spending nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on the World Cup, and all it can manage to give the Palestinians this year is a few hundred million dollars. And that is the most that any Arab state gave to the Palestinians this year. Saudi Arabia, which receives one billion dollars a day in oil revenues, gave the PA in 2022 only US$27 million. Before that, the last Saudi donation to the Palestinians had been in 2019 – when Riyadh gave a paltry US$50 million. Almost all of the oil-rich Arab states have cut their contributions to the Palestinians way down or have eliminated them altogether.

But neutral analysts said, some of the Arab countries are tired of the constant Palestinian demands for more aid. There is donor fatigue. There is the knowledge of just how corrupt the PA and Hamas leaders have been and continue to be, in stealing so much of the aid money that is meant for the people they claim to care for. The scope of that corruption is scarcely believable: Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal and Mousa bin Marzouk have each socked away fortune of US$2.5 billion, while the business empire owned by Mahmoud Abbas and his two sons Yasser and Tarek is worth US$400 million. There is the increased distrust of the Palestinians for their ties to Iran, the mortal enemy of the oil-rich Arab states of the Gulf.

It may be mentioned here that in 2020, Qatar gave Gaza US$240 million, and has since raised that amount by 50 percent to US$360 million for 2021 and 2022. But the Palestinians, far from being grateful, compare what they are getting from Qatar to what Qatar could be giving them, considering how many hundreds of billions of dollars – between US$220 and US$240 billion — it has spent on preparing infrastructure for the World Cup.


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