How University Presidents are able to say legally that they are not getting funding from the “State of Qatar.”


As part of the Follow the Money Project, the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) released a report: NETWORKS OF HATE: QATARI PAYMASTERS, SOFT POWER AND THE MANIPULATION OF DEMOCRACY.

Yesterday, on December the 5th, 2023 – U.S. House of Representatives committee members asked the Presidents of four prestigious universities in the United States about the foreign funds that they received from Qatar. The impression given by most of them was that the Qatari funding is not coming from the state. This answer is a partial truth as billions of American dollars are going to their institutions via Qatari State-owned NGOs and commercial entities.
The ISGAP Follow the Money project’s previous reports have laid out the following:

  • Qatar is the largest foreign donor to U.S. universities.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist ideology is intertwined with the State and links Qatar with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian Chapter: Hamas.
  • The fact that money sent by foreign states such as Qatar has a direct effect on increasing antisemitism and anti-democratic views/activity.

The latest report, Networks of Hate, lays out the way that Qatar is operating a war chest valued between $500 billion USD — and $1 trillion USD of assets and growing, using soft power as an influence in the West, including prestigious American universities.  
The report also examines the main Qatari institutions, their investments, and amounts of money being funnelled directly into U.S. campuses by using Qatari state-owned NGOs such as The Qatar Foundation, as well as other methods of transferring funds unreported to the Department of Education or the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
ISGAP inspects the following sectors:

  • Hospitality.
  • Real Estate.
  • Energy.
  • Food and Beverage.
  • Media.
  • Education.

For the first time, the mechanisms and figures are laid out in one comprehensive report. ISGAP recommends the following actions be undertaken immediately:  

  1. All institutions where the ruling family of Qatar have a controlling interest, for instance, Al Jazeera Media Network and Al Jazeera International, and all subsidiaries, should be registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) 1938. 
  2. FARA must require agents of foreign principals who are engaged in political or other activities, specified under the statute, to make periodical public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities.  
  3. Congressional Hearings should be convened to fully understand the impact of Qatar’s aggressive investment strategies to assess their influence on Western democratic values and potential security implications.
  4. Investigate universities that take funds from Qatar, and assess the impact on education and curriculum, scholarship, and discourse. Is this a cause of the explosion of antisemitism in higher education that has placed Jewish students and faculty in disproportionate targeting? 
  5. Financial records must be disclosed regarding all WISH and WISE expenditures related to U.S. academia, including grantees and conference attendees. This should reveal the extent of Qatar’s shadow influence over U.S. campuses, facilitated through these entities. 
  6. Full transparency regarding contract terms between Qatari entities and universities is needed to ascertain the full extent of Qatar’s influence. 
  7. Close U.S. university campuses in Education City, Qatar. This includes Texas A&M University, Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Cornell University and Georgetown University campuses. Their operations enable Qatari soft power infiltration into U.S. academia, both ideologically and scientifically.
  8. Prohibit any further direct Qatari government funding to U.S. universities operating in Qatar or the United States. Require full disclosure under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of any Qatar-linked funds already received by U.S. universities. 
  9. Open a Federal Government investigation into the non-reporting of foreign donations to U.S. universities and take criminal action against systematic underreporting by U.S. universities and individuals of financial donations received directly or indirectly from Qatar. The investigation should explore the impact of Qatari funding on the increase of antisemitism in higher education.
  10. Quash indirect funds that circumvent reporting requirements.
  11. Add a provision to Section 117 of the Higher Education Act 1965 which mandates the disclosure of grantees who have any connection to Qatar directly or indirectly. 
  12. Establish ethics review boards at American universities to monitor foreign funding sources and block unacceptable donations or partnerships compromising academic integrity and national security.
  13. Enact further transparency laws requiring full public disclosure of any foreign contracts, grants or donations received by U.S. universities, including itemized reporting on collaborative projects, travel sponsorship, endowed faculty chairs and other benefits.

ISGAP Executive Director, Dr. Charles Asher Small shared, “Nazism was a combination of unbridled corporate control of the economy mixed with genocidal antisemitism. This resulted in the devastation of Europe. German intellectuals and scholarship were at the forefront of supporting the Nazis and normalizing antisemitism. What we witnessed yesterday in Congress in the United States of America were the corporate figureheads of major Ivy League universities with billions of dollars in endowments, normalizing antisemitism here in our nation. This while they want unregulated access to blood money, from state-owned entities whose ideology wants to destroy the Jewish people and our democracy. This must end now.”