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Secret donors of anti-Semitism in US universities

Approximately $13 billion in undisclosed foreign funds, a substantial portion from authoritarian regimes, has been linked to a staggering 300% rise in antisemitism at US universities, according to a new study, “The Corruption of the American Mind,” which has brought to light this deeply troubling trend.

The meticulous research, spearheaded by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) and conducted by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has found that over 100 American colleges and universities failed to report these significant contributions, in direct violation of legal requirements.

“Institutions of higher education...received billions of dollars from foreign donors that were not reported to the US Department of Education as required,” the study highlights, shedding light on a severe lack of transparency.

The implications of these undisclosed funds are profound and far-reaching, the study reports. “Institutions receiving such undocumented money, campuses receiving undocumented funds, exhibited approximately twice as many campaigns to silence academics as those that did not...From 2015-2020 institutions that accepted money from Middle Eastern donors had on average 300% more antisemitic incidents than those institutions that did not”.

This alarming statistic underlines the corrosive influence of such funding on the academic freedom and social environment of universities.

Free speech 'under siege'

Delving deeper, the study utilized a wide array of data sources, including the FBI’s crime database and the Anti-Defamation League, to conduct a multifaceted analysis of the situation. The findings paint a picture of an academic landscape where free speech and democratic norms are “under siege,” and antisemitic sentiments are alarmingly on the rise.

The influx of undisclosed funds has not only led to a doubling of campaigns against free speech, but also significantly heightened the exposure of students to antisemitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric. The study notes, “Increased campaigns to punish scholars for their speech were associated with increased levels of such campaigns from both the Left and the Right.”

Furthermore, a national survey of college students as part of the study revealed that those attending universities with undocumented funding reported experiencing more antisemitism, adding a personal dimension to the statistical findings. This direct impact on the educational environment raises serious concerns about the influence of foreign funds on the values and experiences at the heart of American higher education.

Leading the list of countries providing the highest levels of undocumented funding is Qatar, contributing an astonishing $2.7 billion. This is followed by England, China, Saudi Arabia, Bermuda, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, India, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates. These contributions, particularly from countries with differing values and political agendas, have raised significant concerns about the influence of foreign funds on academic freedom and democratic values.

Zvika Klein