The student protests in the US against Israel have morphed into a sort of “youth rebellion.” A significant portion of the participants are unclear about the exact reasons they are demonstrating. However, they are driven by a highly organized group with clearly defined and sharp goals.

The disgraceful success of the despicable protests against Israel and in support of Hamas on US campuses stems from the fact that they are anything but spontaneous. They are meticulously organized and generously funded. To uncover the entities behind this organization, one should revisit the Middle East of 2019, when a coalition of Arab states – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt – levied a boycott against Qatar for its support of terrorism.

In contrast to the present, during the boycott period, Arab commentators and journalists published articles that exposed Qatar’s propaganda efforts in the US and the substantial funds it poured into “educating” America. Before the Saudi-Qatari reconciliation five years ago, the Arab press in the coalition countries disclosed how the “Muslim Brotherhood” movement had begun to dominate segments of the American educational system.

Once more, Qatar

In July 2020, Najat Al-Saeed, a researcher from the UAE, penned an article in “Al-Hurra” newspaper titled “Qatar and the Funding of American Universities”. She described the odd alliance formed between the radical American left and Muslim Brotherhood activists, funded by Qatar. According to her, an increasing number of professors and students affiliated with the left-Brotherhood alliance, who align with its principles, are usurping the freedom of thought at US universities.

Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani makes statements to the media with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Doha, Qatar, October 13, 2023. (credit: Jacquelyn Martin/Reuters)

Academics attempting to express dissenting views are suppressed under the guise of “political correctness” and ostensibly “racist thought.” As Al-Saeed noted, the financial sources for the left-Brotherhood alliance prominently include the Qatari principality. She cited alarming figures from the US Department of Education, indicating that in 2019, American educational institutions received funding exceeding a billion and 30 million dollars from external sources, predominantly Qatar.

In 2012, it was reported that the Qatari International Education Institution “Mu’assasat Qatar” had spent at least one and a half billion dollars on funding educational initiatives at 28 universities across America, becoming the leading external financier of education in the US.

Al-Saeed further exposed that Qatar routinely spends 405 million dollars annually to support activities at six American universities that maintain branches in Doha, Qatar’s capital. Qatar uses the initiatives it sponsors and the research it finances to disseminate Islamist ideology reflective of Qatari views.

It is essential to remember that Qatar is a country with an extremist Wahhabi religious school and that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was profoundly influenced by the ideology of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood who operated in Qatar until he died in 2022.

The right aligns with Saudi Arabia


Al-Saeed argued in her article that the Qatari propaganda seeping into American academic institutions is designed to glorify the principality and vilify its adversaries, led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain. The Qatari funds are intended to support the Muslim Brotherhood in the US alongside the so-called “progressive” radical left. Al-Saeed highlights a critical aspect of the politics behind the propaganda, suggesting that Qatar aims to bolster the left in the US because the conservative right opposes Qatar and supports its rivals, notably Saudi Arabia.

The situation has significantly deteriorated in the four years since the article was written.

Raymond Ibrahim, an American Christian academic of Egyptian origin, revealed two months ago that Qatar has invested $5.6 billion in 81 American universities since 2007, including the most prestigious ones: Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and Stanford. His reports also mention the funding of academic activities in the US by other countries, albeit in much smaller amounts, led by Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Turkey.

According to Ibrahim, the activities funded by Qatar and these other Middle Eastern countries are steeped in hatred for Western cultural values, such as freedom of expression and women’s rights. A 2020 official report by the US Department of Education warned that many contributions to American academic institutions come from sources overtly hostile to the US.

Ibrahim also revealed that propaganda against Israel and many anti-Israel activities on campuses, even before the Gaza war, were funded by “generous donors” from the Middle East. An intriguing section of Ibrahim’s article reveals that the funding entities from the Middle East, led by Qatar, invest heavily in Islamic studies but do not encourage academic research of non-Muslim minorities in the Middle East, such as Christians, Jews, Baha’is, Yazidis, Kurds, and Druze.

Ultimately, Ibrahim explains, these contributions are intended solely to promote radical and intolerant versions of Islam studies. He concludes that the failure of US policy in the Middle East stems from the fact that many of the advisers to the US government are graduates of this corrupted academic system.

Who is behind the campus protests in the US?Who funds Hamas?Who disseminates propaganda supporting Gazan terror globally through Al Jazeera?Who financed the jihadist movements that devastated Syria in the civil war?Who conducted the deceptive negotiations between the US and the Taliban about Afghanistan’s future?Who continues to fund the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide?Who stole the World Cup and corrupted FIFA?

The answer to all these questions and more disturbing inquiries is singular.

Dr. Yaron Friedman is a researcher, lecturer, and teacher of Arabic at the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Haifa. Yaron directs the newsletter “This Week in the Middle East,” which you can subscribe to here:

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