Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) recently claimed Republicans are "Team Hamas." One could arguably say the same about the California Democrat.
Swalwell has taken at least four all-expenses-paid junkets to Qatar, the oil-rich Gulf nation and Hamas’s largest financial backer. During a trip in 2021 with Rep. Ruben Gallego (D., Ariz.), Swalwell met with the head of the government ministry that claimed Israel was "solely responsible" for Hamas’s attack last month. Swalwell praised Qatar for "showcasing … the region’s religion & culture" during a trip to the World Cup last year, funded by the Qatari government.
Those connections could open Swalwell up to claims of hypocrisy. Swalwell asserted that Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R., Ga.) are "now on Team Hamas" because they opposed aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia, a Hamas ally. But the Qatari government provides safe-harbor in Doha for Hamas leaders, and funded the terrorist group to the tune of $360 million in 2021, according to the Times of Israel.
Qatar’s terror ties have come under new scrutiny after Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel last month. The Qatari ministry of foreign affairs, led by Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, claimed Israel was "solely responsible" for the Hamas attack because of "ongoing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people."
Swalwell has criticized Hamas in the wake of the attacks and expressed support for Israel. But his junkets to Qatar provide the Islamist regime cover for its human rights abuses and support for terrorist groups. Qatar spends millions of dollars a year peddling influence in Washington, D.C., through traditional lobbying, congressional junkets, and donations to foreign policy think tanks and American universities.
Swalwell and Gallego met with Al Thani during their April 2021 trip to discuss potential Qatari investment in the United States. The duo was photographed during that same trip riding camels shirtless in the Qatari desert. The U.S.-Qatar Business Council, a trade group that promotes business with Qatar, paid $84,000 for the five-day junket.
The delegation paid a visit to the Qatar Foundation, a government-backed think tank, for a briefing on Qatar’s educational initiatives. The Qatar Foundation has links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. In 2009, it opened a research center named after Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure who lives in exile in Doha. Al-Qaradawi said in a 2009 speech that Adolf Hitler "put [Jews] in their place."
Swalwell and Gallego also met with Hind Abdul Rahman al-Muftah, a Qatari diplomat with a lengthy history of anti-Semitic commentary. She has claimed "the Jews" have "dominated, tyrannized and ruled the world" through the media, and that "the American Zionist controls the U.S. media."
She has said she was raised to believe that "Palestine is our country, [and] the Jews are our enemies." In May 2021, she wrote, "Oh God … turn the Zionists away from them, blind their eyes and paralyze their hands," according to UN Watch.
The Qatari government funded Swalwell’s trips to Doha in October 2020 and January 2022, according to his financial disclosures. His office did not respond to a request for comment.