Report: U.S. Colleges Received $13 Billion from Mostly Authoritarian Regimes
On Monday, the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) released a report revealing that American colleges and universities have received approximately $13 billion in undisclosed funds from foreign governments, many of which are authoritarian regimes such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. As the report and experts are noting, there appears to be a correlation between colleges that received money from Middle Eastern regimes and increased levels of anti-Semitic campus violence.
The report found that from “2015-2020, Institutions that accepted money from Middle Eastern donors, had, on average, 300% more antisemitic incidents than those institutions that did not.” Two of the top four countries who gave the most money to U.S. colleges were Qatar (number one on the list with over $2.7 billion) and Saudi Arabia (number four with other $1 billion), both of which are ruled by authoritarian regimes that use Islamic Sharia law as the basis for governance.
Notably, two of the top three universities that received the most undisclosed funds from foreign governments were Cornell University (number two on the list with over $1.2 billion) and Harvard University (number three with almost $900,000,000). At Cornell, the campus has been shaken by a series of anti-Semitic incidents, including the arrest of a student who threatened to “shoot up a dining hall that caters to Jewish students and execute other Jews with an ‘assault rifle.’” This followed the discovery of anti-Semitic graffiti on campus and a professor who stated that Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel that killed 1,400 mostly civilians was “exhilarating.”
Meanwhile, Harvard has seen numerous anti-Semitic incidents proliferate on its campus. Immediately following the October 7 attack, 34 student organizations signed a statement blaming the “Israeli regime” for “all unfolding violence.” In an open letter to Harvard’s president on November 4, alumnus Bill Ackman described what he discovered during a townhall he held with Jewish students on campus:
“Jewish students are being bullied, physically intimidated, spat on, and in several widely-disseminated videos of one such incident, physically assaulted. Student Slack message boards are replete with antisemitic statements, memes, and images. On-campus protesters on the Widener Library steps and elsewhere shout ‘Intifada! Intifada! Intifada! From the River to the Sea, Palestine Shall Be Free!’”
On Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” FRC’s Senior Fellow for Education Meg Kilgannon expressed alarm at the number of universities that are illegally hiding the acquisition of funds from foreign governments.
“You’re dealing with a university system in the United States that has completely been absorbed by moral relativism,” she contended. “They’re certainly mostly anti-Israel, and definitely a lot of them are anti-American. So the fact that they’re taking this money and they’re not disclosing it, it’s evidence that they consider themselves above the law or they just don’t care to be held accountable for what they’re doing.”
Kilgannon further observed that the influence of Islamist regimes on college campuses has a long history. “[A]fter 9/11 … you had universities and colleges looking for Islamophobia everywhere they could find it. … And so a lot of this funding was happening through programs where they were trying to educate Americans about how Islam is a religion of peace, and we should all just get along … [T]hat was 20 years ago. Here we are now. And they’ve got a lot of money streaming through those channels and organizations that they set up on campus.”
The overall conclusion of the NCRI report stated that “A massive influx of foreign, concealed donations to American institutions of higher learning, much of it from authoritarian regimes with notable support from Middle Eastern sources, reflects or supports heightened levels of intolerance towards Jews, open inquiry, and free expression.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.