Monday, April 29, 2024






        The current spate of campus takeovers by pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli and often anti-Semitic protesters turns out to be neither an accident nor, for the most part, spontaneous .


This first became clear when demonstrators yelling “We Are Hamas” and “Gas the Jews” appeared on university campuses early on Oct. 8, the morning after the terrorist group’s surprise attack killed at least 1,200 Israeli Jews and kidnapped another 240, while also raping and mutilating an unknown number of others and burning hundreds of homes. Those demonstrations were clearly pre-planned, coming a full week before Israel began its war on Gaza, from which the Hamas forces had come.


        A stunned Israel had not yet taken revenge, but protesters behaved as if the Jewish nation had already bombed Gaza to smithereens.


        The pre-planning goes back to widespread campus “clubs” called Students for Justice in Palestine, long financed in part by the oil-rich Arab emirate Qatar and in part by private donors. Qatar’s access to major college campuses was helped by more than $11 billion in contributions to American universities since 1988.


        As of 2017, California campuses including Stanford University, UCLA, UC Berkeley and USC were among the top 10 recipients of Qatari money, according to one federal report. Some universities, including New York state’s Cornell University and Northwestern University outside Chicago, eventually established branch campuses in the desert Qatari city of Doha. One big irony was Northwestern setting up a $600 million branch of its noted journalism school in Qatar, where there is no press freedom.


        Another irony saw Qatar, which has reportedly contributed at least $3 billion to Hamas, set itself up as the main “neutral” arbitrator seeking a cease fire after Israel eventually did launch its response to Oct. 7.


        Meanwhile, federal reports between 2015 and 2020 concluded that universities with major funding from Arab countries including Qatar and Saudi Arabia experienced 300 percent more anti-Semitic incidents than those that did not get such funding. Institutions receiving Qatari cash during the same period had 250 percent more anti-Semitic episodes than those which got none.



        And the New York based Lawfare Project, which examined Qatar’s involvement in American higher education through the Qatar Foundation International, expressed concerns over biased presentation of content in classes related to the Middle East. The group reported that Qatari money spurred positively skewed teaching about Islam while sidelining balanced discussions of other religions like Judaism and Christianity.


        Meanwhile, federal reports indicated that virtually all universities on the take from Qatar violated laws requiring them to disclose foreign donations, concealing unknown amounts of funding from oil rich countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia.


        For those who have wondered why many faculty members at California campuses like UC Berkeley, Stanford, USC, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara participate enthusiastically in the ongoing protests, where an unknown but significant percentage of participants are not actual students, the Qatari and other Arab contributions might provide a clue, as they help fund hundreds of teaching positions.


        Other reports confirm that between the 2001Twin Towers attack and 2021, Qatar contributed $4.7 billion to American universities, with California campuses getting their proportionate share. The National Association of Scholars concluded most of the recipients did not report all they received, including $100 million taken by Texas A&M University.


        Could all this offer some explanation for why university presidents did little about the hate spewed at the SJP-organized protests until those demonstrations morphed into tent cities taking over central areas on the campuses of Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC, to name only four of the California universities now involved? All are among major recipients of Qatari money. The funding also helped create one of the many recent scandals at USC, when a prince from that country landed on its academic dean’s list several years ago despite almost never attending classes. The prince’s spokespeople labeled much of the local reportage on this as “outright bigoted.”


        But many other reports indicate it was Qatari money and not local newspapers that have apparently led to the bigotry and anti-Semitism now plaguing many universities.




    Email Thomas Elias at His book, "The Burzynski Breakthrough, The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It," is now available in a soft cover fourth edition. For more Elias columns, visit

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