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US Universities Silent On Continued Partnership With Country That Funds Hamas

  • Six American universities are silent on their partnership with the state-funded Qatar Foundation, an educational nonprofit, despite the country’s funding and support of the terrorist organization Hamas.
  • All of the universities issued statements regarding the war in Israel but several schools did not immediately condemn Hamas for the massacre of over 1,300 Israelis. 
  • “I offer my heartfelt apologies for the omission from my previous message,” Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack wrote. 

Six American universities with campuses in Qatar, a Middle Eastern nation that has provided millions in funding for the terror group Hamas, did not respond to Daily Caller News Foundation questions Tuesday about whether they would continue their partnership with the country in light of Hamas’ terror attacks on Israel.

Qatar has been advocating for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and is reportedly working with the Biden administration to secure the release of Israeli hostages, according to Reuters. Despite this, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Georgetown University (GU), Texas A&M, Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) and Northwestern University have not commented on their collaboration with the Qatar Foundation, a state-led nonprofit focusing on education and research and founded by members of the country’s royal family, according to the foundation’s website.

Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel starting on Oct. 7 and carried out a series of attacks, killing over 1,300 Israelis and injuring over 3,000 others, with nearly 200 taken hostage in the Gaza Strip. In response, Qatar Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani declined to criticize Hamas specifically but instead argued that condemnation of the conflict “should be directed at all parties concerned on an equal basis” during a Friday joint meetingwith U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The Qatar Foundation was created in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the former emir of Qatar, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who currently serves as the chairperson for the nonprofit, according to its website. Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, another Qatari royal, holds the title of CEO for the foundation.

The foundation boasts what it calls “Education City,” where students can attend any one of the six universities, according to the website. Students can “cross-register” with multiple campuses to “pursue joint minors and certificates, which consist of taking classes with professors from different universities.”

Qatar has provided annual aid to Hamas for years and in 2021 increased the funding from a reported $240 million to $360 million, according to The Times of Israel. Israel has begrudgingly allowed the funding in hopes that it would be used to improve living conditions for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Current and former members of Hamas are given residence in the country, including former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, who called for a global Jihad against Jews and runs Hamas’ diaspora office from Qatar.

All of the universities issued statements regarding the violence in the Middle East, but only four made direct comments regarding Hamas’ terrorist attacks. CMU and VCU firmly condemned the terrorist group, as did Northwestern, which only did so after mounting criticism of university President Michael Schill’s first comments on Oct. 12, where he stated that the university would “not issue statements on political or social issues that do not directly impact NU’s core mission.”

Cornell University, WCMC’s parent university, similarly did not call out Hamas for its massacre of Israeli civilians in its initial comments on Oct. 10 but later condemned the organization after people “expressed dismay” that the school “failed to say that the atrocities committed by Hamas this past weekend were acts of terrorism,” according to a message from the university President Martha E. Pollack.

“I offer my heartfelt apologies for the omission from my previous message,” Pollack wrote.

A spokesperson for Cornell did not disclose whether the university would continue its work with the Qatar Foundation but instead referred the DCNF to Pollack’s statement.

Texas A&M called it an “inexcusable terrorist attack” and lamented the many lives lost to “escalated violence in the region” but made no mention of Hamas in a message from retired General Mark A. Welsh III, the interim university president. GU also mourned the loss of life following the “unprecedented terrorist act, on the Jewish Sabbath” but did not condemn Hamas.

Over 100 bipartisan lawmakers called on the Biden administration Monday to “put significant pressure on Qatar and Türkiye to cease their support for Hamas and expel Hamas leadership that they host.” Republican Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan demanded that the Pentagon explain its vetting of Yousra Fazili, chief of staff to Pentagon comptroller Mike McCord, who previously worked for a Qatari ambassador to the U.S., according to an Oct. 12 letter.

“This matter is even more urgent now in light of the unprecedented terrorist attacks launched on October 7 targeting Israel—with over 1,200 murdered as of this writing, including at least 22 American citizens—by Hamas’ leadership who are currently overseeing the slaughter of men, women and children from inside luxury residences provided by Ms. Fazili’s former client, the State of Qatar,” Bergman wrote.

The country spent over $20 million since 2017 to lobby against U.S. legislation that would have targeted Qatar’s relationship with terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, according to the Middle Eastern Eye.

CMU, VCU, GU, Texas A&M and Northwestern did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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