History of the Jews in Qatar

The history of the Jews in Qatar is very limited.

There are few Jews in Qatar.

As an indication of the opening up of Qatari society to Western influence, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that:

A forum on U.S.-Islamic relations in Qatar will feature Israeli and U.S. Jewish participants. Former President Clinton and Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, are the scheduled keynote speakers at the Jan.10-12 U.S.-Islamic Forum in Doha. The forum is sponsored by the Project on U.S. Policy Towards the Islamic World, funded by the Saban center, which was founded by American-Israeli entertainment mogul Haim Saban. Participants will come from around the Islamic world, including Syria, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Martin Kramer, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, is the sole Israeli participant, since Saban will attend as an American.[1]

US Jewish soldiers in Qatar

A news report describes the preparations for US troops stationed in Qatar:

NEW YORK - The Jewish members of America's armed forces will again receive kosher K-rations this Pesach throughout the holiday, provided by the U.S. Defense Department.

Thousands of packages containing kosher for Pesach MREs (meals ready to eat) have already reached U.S. army and navy supply bases, with special shipments aimed at Jewish troops in Iraq and Afghanistan...

The Jewish Chaplains Council estimates that the number of Jews stationed in Iraq is between 500 and 600. Of the 30 Jewish chaplains on active duty around the world, eight chaplains are stationed in Iraq, including two female rabbis.

Each chaplain stationed in Iraq will hold two seders at base camps, with central seders taking place in Baghdad, Falluja and Tikrit. There will also be two seders at the army headquarters in Bahrain, and air force headquarters in Qatar. Jewish soldiers stationed in remote locations will be able to attend seders led by soldiers who received special training for that purpose.[2]

New diplomatic openings to the US, Israel and Jews

There have been some new openings by the United Arab Emirates as reported in the media. In a 2007 article in USA Today, "Arabs try outreach to Israel, U.S. Jews", it is reported that: " Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, are making some of their most public overtures ever to Israel and American Jews in an effort to undercut Iran's growing influence, contain violence in Iraq and Lebanon and push for a Palestinian solution...Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have stepped up contacts with Israel and pro-Israel Jewish groups in the USA. The outreach has the Bush administration's blessing: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said six Persian Gulf states and Egypt, Jordan and Israel are a new alignment of moderates to oppose extremists backed by Iran and Syria. She has said an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would weaken militants such as Hamas and Hezbollah...Saudi and Gulf Arab contacts with Israelis and American Jews go back more than a decade but have never been so public. Arab countries have treated Israel as a pariah since it gained independence in 1948. Most Arab countries ban travel to Israel, investment there and other commercial ties with the Jewish state and routinely refer to it as the "Zionist entity." ...Among the other recent Arab-Jewish contacts: Saudi national security adviser Bandar bin Sultan met privately with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jordan in September, said Daniel Ayalon, Israel's former ambassador to Washington. He said it was the highest-level Saudi-Israeli meeting he'd ever heard of. The United Arab Emirates has invited a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The conference, a 51-member umbrella group, is a strong supporter of Israel. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres met the emir of Qatar in late January after taking part in a debate with Arab students there. It was the highest-level Israeli meeting with the Persian Gulf nation since 1996, when Peres visited as prime minister."[3]

Jews in the Arabian Peninsula

See also


  1. "Israelis, U.S. Jews in Qatar". Cleveland Jewish News.com.
  2. "Jewish soldiers in Iraq get kosher Pesach rations". jewishtoronto.net.
  3. Slavin, Barbara (2007-02-12). "Arabs try outreach to Israel, U.S. Jews". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
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