How Qatari Money Encourages Anti-Israel Sentiment on Campus

December 4, 2020 | Charles Small
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In October, the Department of Education publicized a report based on its investigation into undisclosed donations from Qatar to Cornell, Georgetown, Harvard, Yale, and several other universities. The federal government was in part motivated to pay attention to these irregularities by research conducted by the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy (ISGAP), which had set out to trace the sources of campus anti-Israel activism. ISGAP’s director, Charles Small, writes:

Between 1986 and 2018, Middle Eastern countries donated more than $6.6 billion to U.S. universities, but reported less than $3.6 billion to the federal government as required by law. Of the roughly $5 billion donated by Qatar to various institutions, less than $2 billion was reported properly. . . .

The bulk of Middle Eastern donations coming into the United States emanates from Qatari donors (75 percent), while the Qatar Foundation accounts for virtually all of the donations from Qatar. These funds have a significant impact on universities, especially with regard to attitudes toward Israel. ISGAP’s research identified a direct correlation between the funding of universities by Qatar and the Gulf states and the active presence at those universities of groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which foster an aggressive anti-Semitic atmosphere on campus.

In addition, the ISGAP project assessment found a correlation between funding and the ideological bent of scholarship, including anti-Israel and anti-Zionist sentiment, at departments and institutes at some of America’s leading universities, publishing houses, and academic professional associations. There is also a disturbing connection between this funding and the silencing of institutes and publications that are critical of the prevailing ideology.

Qatar has long been an important source of funds for the Palestinian terror organization Hamas and has forged relationships with Islamist groups ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Taliban.

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