Qatar Emir Cedes Power to Son
Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (61) ceded power Tuesday to his 33-year-old son, Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani. This is not a ground-breaking move, even if it is unprecedented. This should be considered a ruling “family”, so passing the torch to the Emir’s son is strictly symbolic. What is important here is that policy will continue as it has—as a “moderate” (ostensibly) Wahhabi petro-monarchy overseeing a population of 1.9 million people, only about 200,000 of which are actually Qataris. The West loves Tamin: he’s polished and Western educated. But he is also the one who has been behind the Qatari strategy to bolster the Muslim Brotherhood at all costs across the region (most stridently, of course in Syria at the moment, where it is also arming and funding radical Sunni forces). Nothing will change here. Tamin will continue guiding this dangerous foreign policy strategy and the old Emir will continue to run the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)--a multi-billion sovereign wealth fund—presumably from London.
Jordan Considers Israeli Gas
Suffering from a severe energy crisis that is fueling popular unrest in the Kingdom, Jordan is in talks with Israeli to potentially buy Israeli gas, which would prompt an interesting response from Jordan’s Arab friends. Earlier this month, Israel decided on a 40% export cap on natural gas produced from its Leviathan field in…