If you asked me for a book explaining the nature of Qatari politics over the last two decades, I would refer you immediately to the novel "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," about a case of schizophrenia suffered by a man until he became very dangerous for his surroundings. Although this novel was written a hundred years ago, Qatar is a current embodiment of all its pages, and what a coincidence it is that the author of that novel is the same novelist who wrote the novel "Treasure Island"!
Why did I remember this novel now? ... The reason is that I have read a Qatari statement calling, from the United Nations rostrum, the Arab boycott countries to stop their actions against Doha because they harm the Qatari economy, while the defense minister said, days ago, that his country rejects any reconciliation without accepting its conditions. The time lag between the two talks, the talk of lamenting before international organizations and the talk of steadfastness and response, is just a few days.
Those who follow Qatari politics since Sheikh Hamad's coup are not surprised by this paradoxical situation, which is about to be a dominant feature of Qatar's way of dealing with many political files in the region. Doha opened its channel, Al Jazeera, to all Arab nationalists, while it is the country itself that blatantly and publicly hosted the former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. It is the country that embraces the largest American base in the region, and It is the same state that promotes Osama bin Laden's speeches calling for the removal of Americans from the Arabian Peninsula. And so, there are lots and lots of strange contradictions.
The Arab boycott of Qatar may be lengthened and goes on for years to come. There is no need for neighboring countries with it or it doesn’t harm them. Perhaps I am not exaggerating if I say that the boycott decision, which was strongly led by Saudi Arabia, is considered one of the most important strategic decisions taken by the Kingdom to preserve its national security since Doha was the state that works according to a systematic plan to overthrow the kingdom and divide it.
When the recordings showing the Qatari conspiracy plan against the kingdom have leaked, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal wondered, in an interview with the Emirati Minister Anwar Gargash, "Do they live in a shell on their own?". The expert minister mocked that politicians in Qatar do not know that any shake in the security of any country neighboring Qatar can absolutely make it shaking too.
Some may ask, is Qatar more dangerous to Saudi Arabia than Iran? The answer is certainly yes. At a time when Iran openly declared its hostility to the kingdom, Qatar tried working quietly to penetrate a number of social systems in the kingdom. It has exploited ties of kinship, language, neighborhood, and ease of movement, to form a huge lobby for it. It has spent tens of millions of dollars to promote a culture of frustration in the kingdom, trying to exploit all the tactics it adopted in the Arab spring revolutions.
However, the Saudi decision to boycott Qatar has returned the latter to its normal size, perhaps even smaller, and destroyed the project of change in the Arab world, which cost Qatar billions of dollars, and the Arab citizen is now sure that it is really a small issue ... very small.