In the wake of the Islamic extremist terrorist attacks on Israel, there’s been a rise in anti-Jewish hate here in the U.S., particularly on some college campuses. A new report finds antisemitism in higher education is being stoked by a foreign government that’s quietly become a major funder of our universities.
Federal investigations have been opened into Harvard University, the New York City Department of Education, and seven other entities amid complaints of antisemitism and Islamophobia.
University leaders were called to testify at a hearing this past week. Harvard President Claudine Gay.
Claudine Gay: We have seen a dramatic and deeply concerning rise in antisemitism. Around the world, in the United States, and on our campuses, including my own.
Charles Small heads up the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, a group following the money when it comes to antisemitism in higher education.
Charles Small: We’ve learned that funding by Qatar, in particular, has influenced American academia when it comes to issues of democracy, the West, the notion of America, American society, the United States in the world, and when it comes to the Jewish people in Israel. And basically, Qatar, its spiritual leaders of the Qatari royal family is the Muslim Brotherhood.
A series of investigative reports by Small’s group points to the Muslim nation of Qatar, a key supporter of the terrorist group Hamas and the biggest foreign funder of American universities.
Sharyl: Can you explain what Qatar’s special interest might be in undermining the West and promoting this idea of antisemitism?
Small: So basically, the Muslim Brotherhood wants to destroy Israel, and they’re Islamists, and they believe all of the Islamic world has to be under the control of Islamist ideology. They want to create a caliphate; they want to get rid of Western interests, Christians, Jews, moderate Muslims who don’t believe in their ideology, and replace it with an extremist caliphate, and in doing so, weaken the West.
A crucial facet of Qatar’s funding of American universities is a massive facility near Qatar’s capital, dubbed “Education City.”
Education City hosts on-site campuses in Qatar for Texas A&M, Georgetown, Cornell, Northwestern, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Carnegie Mellon.
Small says Qatar’s contract with Texas A&M is especially concerning.
Texas A&M has access to two nuclear reactors for teaching and research. The school has accepted more than $1 billion from Qatar for more than 500 research projects, including sensitive nuclear research.
Small: We know that Hamas, their leadership lives in Qatar and is supported by the Qatari regime. Are they sharing some of these military secrets or research with them?
In 2019, Small’s group unearthed $3 billion in foreign money that American universities failed to report. That’s against the law. A federal investigation that followed identified at least $6.5 billion in undocumented money to U.S. colleges from Qatar, Islamist organizations, Russia, and China.
Sharyl: Was there any punishment when the universities were found to have taken the money without proper reporting?
Small: Unfortunately, not yet. As soon as this current administration was elected, they called off the federal investigation.
The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy now recommends banning direct Qatari government funding to U.S. universities, closing American campuses in Education City and any programs funded through illicit means, and criminal action against those who broke the law by failing to report foreign donations.
Harvard’s president was asked about $19 million from Qatar.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.): Do you think Harvard should be accepting money from countries that support terrorists?
Gay: Again, we have strict policies that govern the gifts and contracts that we accept, and we comply fully with federal law, and we will not accept gifts that do not align with our mission.
Cornell, Yale, and Texas A&M declined to answer our questions about Qatar money and hate against Jews. Yale told us the antisemitism report contains errors, is misleading, and that its Qatar funding has been properly reported. Cornell says it’s proud of its collaboration, over $1.3 billion from Qatar to operate a medical school there, and for medical and scientific research.
Sharyl: What do you think should happen next?
Small: There needs to be a federal investigation into the funding of our universities and the hijacking of our education by anti-democratic, anti-American, hateful organizations.
The Biden administration says it’s developing cooperative agreements with campus police to identify and punish antisemitic crime.