Jewish Group Calls on Brookings Institute to Return $14M to Hamas-Funding Qatar
In a developing conflict-of-interest scandal over backing for the Brookings Institute, employer of former United States middle east envoy Martin Indyk, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) on Tuesday called on the veteran think tank to return millions in funding it is scheduled to receive from Qatar, “and other radical Islamic sources.”
Contending that the more than $14 million pledged over the next four years doesn’t come without strings attached, ZOA National President Morton Klein said in a statement that Doha, “…doesn’t do so out of a laudable dedication to advance scholarly research and inform the American public about the dangers of radical Islam, it does so to help influence U.S. foreign policy in a direction favorable to the radical Islamic orientation of Qatar. This is surely obvious.”
Qatar, according to a New York Times expose, “…agreed last year to make a $14.8 million, four-year donation to Brookings, which has helped fund a Brookings affiliate in Qatar and a project on United States relations with the Islamic world.”
The report came just weeks after Israel vociferously voiced objection to Qatar’s funding of its major adversary, the terror group Hamas.
“Brookings, of course, is denying that the work of their scholars is affected by Qatari funding, but who would believe that?” Klein questioned. “As the saying goes, he who pays the piper calls the tune, and it is likely that the selection and retention of scholars is based on what is sought by, and acceptable to, munificent funders like Qatar. The fact that not all Brookings scholars hew to precisely similar views on all subjects does not negate this point.”
In July, then Israeli President Shimon Peres told United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was visiting the region, that Israel would not stand by while Qatar continued to finance Hamas militants.
In his last full day in office, Peres, a historically dovish leader, struck a defiant tone in a statement delivered to the media after meeting Ban at the President’s Residence, in Jerusalem.
“Qatar does not have the right to send money for rockets and tunnels which are fired at innocent civilians,” Peres said. “Their funding of terror must stop.”
Klein alleged that, “In the recent Gaza war, Qatar was working hand-in-glove with Hamas to obtain a ceasefire whose terms would have amounted to a major political victory for Hamas through achieving a relaxation of Israeli blockade and security measures. Qatar worked hard to obtain a far more favorable ceasefire for Hamas than was being offered by Egypt.”