Palestinian supporters gather for a protest at Columbia University, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, in New York. As the Israel-Hamas war rages in Gaza, there’s a bitter battle for public opinion flaring in the U.S., with angry rallies and disruptive protests at prominent venues in several major cities. Among the catalysts are Palestinian and Jewish-led…

Pro-Terrorist Cash Is Funding US Higher Ed, and Taxpayers Should Be Upset About It

Over the last seven weeks, anti-Americananti-Israel and antisemitic activity has consumed higher education. College administrations, flush with foreign cash and taxpayer dollars, continue to give Hamas sympathizers free rein.

In response, many families have begun to reconsider where they should send their donations or even whether they should send their children to such schools.

Universities must stop hiding behind the cash flowing in from anti-American autocrats. Taxpaying Americans must start asking for a refund.

During the early 20th century, Jewish immigration to the U.S., and subsequent admission of Jews into higher education, skyrocketed. Afraid that wealthy Protestant families would pull their donations, universities established quotas to limit Jewish and Catholic admissions. The Jewish student population plummeted. At the height of these quotas, the percentage of Jewish students was capped at 10 percent or 15 percent of the student body.

The doors began to reopen after World War II, and by 1967, Ivy League universities were admitting Jews at the highest rates in their history. From the 1990s onward, however, there has been a steady decline in Jewish student populations. The coming years will mark another departure — but this time, university inaction may accelerate the decline.

Professors celebrate the massacre of Jewish civilians and justify terrorism. Universities such as Yale defend such behavior by faculty in the name of free speech, and some even reward it with paid leave, as Cornell has done.

Student groups, particularly Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (don’t let the name fool you), threaten Jews and sow hatred. Columbia stands as one of the few outliers in suspending these two organizations, albeit for just six weeks. Other universities that seek to regain the respect they lost by remaining silent in the face of pro-terrorist campus demonstrations would be wise to follow suit.

But why does higher education protect those who actively threaten both Jews and the U.S.? Everyone knows universities are beholden to their massive endowments. So, follow the money.

Immediately following the September 11 terror attacks, Qatar began pumping money into American universities, delivering $4.7 billion over two decades (over $200 million on average each year). At the same time, six major American universities established “foreign campuses” within Qatar. Qatar has made headlines for facilitating the recent hostage release from Gaza, but it has acted for years as a safe haven for Hamas political leadership and is one of Hamas’ most prominent financial backers.

According to the Department of Education, universities also accept massive funding from China, the nation that threatens our economic and security interests, exploits Tibetans for forced labor and abuses Muslim minorities in “reeducation” camps.

Why do today’s funders of American higher education include countries whose values and interests are antithetical to our own?

2020 study by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism & Policy reveals a direct correlation between donations to universities by Qatar and other Gulf States and the presence of SJP groups on campus. In the wake of Oct. 7, SJP chapters have organized rallies across college campuses, many of which have glorified Hamas terrorists as “martyrs,” called for a “globalization” of terrorist violence, and demanded the elimination of the Jewish state.

Read the rest at The Hill.

Gabriel Diamond is a research assistant at Yorktown Institute.

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