Billions of dollars in concealed and undocumented donations from foreign governments — many of which are authoritarian — to US institutions of higher education are strongly correlated with an erosion of liberal democratic norms and increased antisemitism on college campuses, according to a new report.
“Over the last decade, institutions of higher education across the United States of America received billions of dollars from foreign donors that were not reported to the US Department of Education, as required,” said the report, titled “The Corruption of the American Mind.” “In its totality, these findings described how a lack of transparency in funding reporting occurred in tandem with antidemocratic norms and antisemitism across American institutions of higher education.”
The report — produced by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) — presented several key findings, going through concealed and undocumented funds to universities uncovered by the US Department of Education.
The ISGAP’s findings included that at an estimated 100 US colleges received $13 billion in “undocumented” contributions from foreign governments, many of which were Middle Eastern and authoritarian. Schools that received this money were found to be home to prevalent campaigns to silence professors and experienced higher levels of antisemitic and anti-Zionist incidents on campus.
From 2015-2020, the report noted, schools that accepted money from Middle Eastern donors had, on average, 300 percent more antisemitic incidents than schools that did not accept such donations.
The largest donor named in the report was Qatar, which US President Joe Biden designated last year as a “major non-NATO ally.” Qatar has continued to host senior leaders of Hamas, which last month invaded Israel from Gaza and perpetrated the deadliest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Along with Turkey and Iran, Qatar has provided an enormous portion of the Palestinian terrorist group’s budget.
From 2014-2019, Qatar gave American universities a striking $2.7 billion in undocumented funds.
The five largest recipients of concealed foreign donations were Carnegie Mellon University ($1.5 billion), Cornell University ($1.3 billion), Harvard University ($895 million), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($859 million), and Texas A&M University ($521 million), according to the report.
Additionally, students at universities receiving this foreign funding witnessed antisemitism “significantly more often” than those attending schools that did not receive such funding. The report examined five forms of antisemitism, ranging from boycotting Jewish organizations to saying Israel has no right to exist. It noted as well a correlation between high levels of antisemitic incidents on campus and increased antisemitism in the surrounding community.
“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,” the report said. “This relationship of undocumented money to campus antisemitism was stronger when the undocumented donors were Middle Eastern regimes rather than other regimes.”
The report also noted that “speech intolerance — manifesting as campaigns to investigate, censor, demote, suspend, or terminate speakers and scholars” — was higher at schools that received undocumented money from foreign regimes.
NOvember 15, 2023 Published by The Algemeiner News.