The top representatives of Israel and Qatar engaged in a brief verbal sparring session during a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday.
Qatar's Foreign Minister Khalid Mohamed A. Al-Attiyah asserted that the “major issue” behind all the turbulence in the Middle East is “that we are lagging behind on the peace process. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process, or the conflict, is the main igniter to all the turbulence in the Middle East.”
Al-Attiyah, joined on a panel dealing with the Middle East by Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz and Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki, further said that one of the reasons for the “Arab Spring” revolutions was the masses pushing their leaders to find a solution to the conflict, and “one of the revolutions' elements” was the Arab leaders' failure to deliver.
The Qatari foreign minister also likened Israel's demand to be recognized as a Jewish state to the popularity of Islamic State. “The world is fighting a group calling itself Islamic State, and you want to come and say [you are] a Jewish state,” he said to Steinitz.