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Burgess Owens challenges university president about donations from Qatar, known for harboring Hamas

Burgess Owens challenges university president about donations from Qatar, known for harboring Hamas

Burgess Owens challenges university president about donations from Qatar, known for harboring Hamas. Utah Republican Rep. Burgess Owens cornered Northwestern University President Michael Schill on the eye-popping sum in donations the elite school has reportedly received from Qatar amid a fiery exchange during a House hearing.

“Do you think it’d be a good idea for the University of Northwestern to partner with a government that harbors terrorist Hamas, and Iranian operatives who fund terrorism? Yes or no?” Owens asked Schill, while sitting in front of a large billboard check prop depicting a $600 million donation from Qatar to Northwestern. “I’m not going to engage in yes or no answers,” Schill responded. “Obviously, you don’t have a problem with that,” Owens said.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce is holding a hearing Thursday titled, “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos,” where lawmakers questioned Schill, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway regarding their handling of campus antisemitism after widespread protests, tent encampments and demands that schools divest from Israel.

The school has come under increased scrutiny this year following a report showing Qatar, a nation that has sheltered Hamas terrorist leaders, donated roughly $690 million to the university since 2007. ”

Now, Mr. Schill, how much money has Northwestern University received from Qatar sources, including Qatar-connected entities at the Qatar Foundation?” Owens asked. Schill said he didn’t have the exact figure, while pointing to the billboard check sitting behind Owens in the meeting: “You have a check saying that amount.” Schill said the funds are used to maintain Northwestern’s satellite campus in Qatar.

The House Education and Workforce Committee previously requested information from the school related to its ties with Al Jazeera, which is funded by the Qatari government, after students and alumni penned a letter arguing the partnership may have violated the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952, the Washington Free Beacon previously reported. The act outlines that Americans cannot provide “training, expert advice, or assistance” to terrorist organizations.

Northwestern became the first school in the nation earlier this month to publicly announce that university leaders struck a deal with campus agitators, allowing students to review school investments connected to Israel and to fund Palestinian-related scholarships and faculty salaries in exchange for protesters largely dismantling their encampment.

“I’m trying to understand how you have negotiations… and by the way President Schill, would you have the same patience, the same strategy, if these were KKK White supremacists that were trying to negotiate that was actually attacking and intimidating Black people? Will just have the same patience for that.” Schill said he would not answer a hypothetical question.

Owens added in comment to News Thursday that there has been a “clear moral failure” on college campuses following Hamas’ attack on Israel in October. “Here’s the reality.


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