Qatar's Efforts to Influence American Jews Continue to Unravel

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On Wednesday, Nick Muzin, the political strategist and former senior staffer for Republican Senators Tim Scott and Ted Cruz whom Qatar hired to help improve the gulf kingdom’s reputation in the U.S. Jewish community, announced that his work on behalf of his most controversial client had come to an end. “Stonington Strategies is no longer representing the State of Qatar,” Muzin tweeted.  “I am proud of the work we did to foster peaceful dialogue in the Middle East, to increase Qatar’s defense and economic ties with the United States, and to expand humanitarian support of Gaza.” According to FARA disclosures, the Qatar contract was worth $300,000 a month for Muzin’s consulting firm.

Muzin’s tweet concluded a tumultuous nine months representing Doha. In September of last year, Muzin largely failed in attempts to facilitate public meetings between U.S. Jewish communal figures and high-ranking Qatari officials during the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. He was more successful in quietly mediating between the Qataris and American activists concerned over Al Jazeera’s potential release of video that a British national named Anthony Kleinfeld collected while infiltrating Jewish and pro-Israel groups in Washington over the summer of 2016 (the documentary still hasn’t been released yet, and the editor who oversaw the project has taken a sabbatical from the network). In November and December of 2017, Mort Klein, Alan Dershowitz, prominent Orthodox Rabbi Menachem Genack, and Religious Zionists of America President Martin Oliner, traveled to Doha on trips that Muzin helped organize. Although Klein and Dershowitz both told Tablet this past February that they went to Qatar partly confront the country’s leaders over their alleged support for Hamas and other terror groups, the trips were still proof that some of the most pro-Israel voices in America were willing to visit the country.

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