London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper published Daphne Barak’s interview with Steve Bannon, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, on Oct. 28 under the title “Steve Bannon: Turkey is more Dangerous than Iran.”
Bannon is the top figure in Breitbart News. It is odd that Breitbart did not publish a piece about the interview by Barak, an Israeli-American freelance journalist. Bannon praised the blockade of Qatar by the Trump- encouraged Riyadh and the UAE, saying, “Qatar is as dangerous as North Korea!”
Bannon is regarded as a part of the UAE’s lobbying activities against Qatar in the U.S. It is said that a company affiliated with Robert Mercer, a billionaire fund investor, a financier of Breitbart news, and a major donor of Trump, is also involved in these lobbying activities. According to media reports, Bannon met with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in September. On the other hand, Erik Prince, an ally of Bannon and the former boss of private security company Blackwater, which had a rather bad track record in Iraq, is hand in glove with al-Nahyan. Prince often stays in Dubai and has business deals with the UAE.
Bannon spoke against Qatar at a conference held by the Hudson Institute, a neocon think-tank, in Washington on Oct. 23. Participants included Leon Panetta and David Petraeus, former CIA directors, as well as several retired generals. Bannon accused Qatar of supporting Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, saying, “I think the single most important thing that's happening in the world is the situation in Qatar. What's happening in Qatar is every bit as important as what's happening in North Korea.” Bannon worked hard so for the Trump administration declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, but he failed.
Bannon, who is seen as the ideologist of the "alternative right" movement in the U.S., was appointed by Trump as White House chief strategist. However, Bannon was expelled by the group he accused of being "globalists," particularly Trump's National Security Advisor General H. R. McMaster. Many pro-Israel figures, who are also known as Bannon's companions, were dismissed from the White House. Among them was Trump's Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) reacted to the dismissal the most. ZOA campaigned for the dismissal of McMaster.
After leaving the White House, Bannon took the helm of Breitbart again and challenged Trump’s opponents in the Republican Party. Senate-majority leader Mitch McConnell takes the lead among those whom Bannon waged a war against. Bannon is bringing the figures who he said were loyal to Trump's real agenda against the candidates supported by McConnel in the partial senate elections in 2018. Bannon also seems to have convinced Erik Prince to compete against the candidate backed by McConnel in Wyoming. Robert Mercer, to a large extent, is financing Bannon's war. Meanwhile, let it be reminded that Prince called on the Trump administration to intervene in the Iraqi forces entering Kirkuk.
ZOA President Morton Klein also urges Republican Jewish donors to support Bannon. Trump’s major donor Bernie Marcus and passionate Zionists like Sheldon Adelson, known as the “King of Casinos,” support Bannon. All three figures present Bannon and Gorka, who are accused of anti-Semitism by liberal Jews, among the strongest supporters of Israel in the U.S. Klein even announced that the ZOA would be proud to welcome Bannon as the guest of honor at the annual dinner on Nov. 12.
Bannon's remarks against Turkey and Qatar need to be considered in the context of these connections. It seems that the lobby in Washington will continue its destructive activities.