Anti-Israel protesters at McGill University
Anti-Israel protesters at McGill UniversityREUTERS/Peter McCabe

The Qatari embassy in the US denied that Qatari money has influenced the spread of antisemitism on American college campuses in a statement on a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee on 'The Crisis on Campus: Antisemitism, Radical Faculty, and the Failure of University Leadership.'

"The State of Qatar condemns antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of bigotry," the embassy stated. "Unfortunately, during a House Ways and Means Committee today, the serious issue and the important work of Congress were obstructed by a few individuals with an unrelated agenda. They repeated a false narrative that Qatar is funding American universities for malign purposes, including influencing recent incidents of campus unrest."

The statement continued, "When this same unfounded assertion was put to Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on May 2, 2024, she said plainly there was no evidence Qatar played any role."

According to the embassy, "Qatar has no desire or ability to influence anything that happens on U.S. university campuses. It is flatly untrue, for example, that Qatar is the "largest foreign donor to U.S. universities" - a claim made to imply dark motives, and to undermine the strong U.S.-Qatar security and trade partnership."

"It is true that, for more than twenty years, six American universities have operated campuses in Qatar, educating and awarding degrees to Qatari women and men, and to students from around the world who wish to study there. These universities operate with complete independence. The contract payments to these universities fund the operating costs of the campuses in Qatar, including construction, maintenance, and faculty salaries. They are not donations, and this distinction is clearly reflected in the Department of Education data.

"The Ways and Means Committee is a body with important responsibilities, and we are confident that it will not be diverted from its purpose. This is despite interference from interest groups who seek to exploit current events to advance their own unrelated objectives," the embassy's statement concluded.