Is Qatari funding influencing BDS on U.S. college campuses?

The Zachor Institute filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Texas A&M to disclose its funding sources, specifically Qatar, but the oil-rich Arab nation has been less than forthcoming.

April 17, 2019 11:51
Is Qatari funding influencing BDS on U.S. college campuses?

Texas A&M University campus in Qatar. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Zachor Legal Institute, an Israeli advocacy and legal group, has filed a lawsuit to compel Texas A&M University to share information regarding its funding. 

In May 2018, the think tank filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, or an appeal for Texas A&M to disclose its funding sources, specifically Qatar or its proxies. Instead of complying with the request, Qatari lawyers from the Qatar Foundation, a state-supported NGO, intervened. 
Qatar has given US $1 billion to American universities since 2011, and Zachor hopes to make a connection between Qatari funds and the “fondness for the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions.” on college campuses. The legal institute is focused on waging “a legal battle against anti-Israel movements in America,” specifically, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). 

Since 2011, Qatar has awarded USD $225 million to Texas A&M University, according to Zachor. In addition, the Qatar Foundation has given money to Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Georgetown, Northwestern, and Virginia Commonwealth University, the group said. 

A branch of Texas A&M was established in 2003 in Al Rayyan, Qatar.

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