Erasing Israel and Other Qatari Tales

 

A story came to light recently about a teacher in a New York City Public elementary school who displayed a map in her classroom of the Middle East. In place of showing Israel, it labeled the area as Palestine. Rita Lahoud teaches an Arab Culture Arts program, which is sponsored by Qatar Foundation International. QFI provides the curriculum, including the map, as part of their explanation of the Arab world.

I suspected that there was more to this story than ran in the news—and I was correct.

QFI has donated over $1million to the Department of Education between 2019 and 2022. They provide comprehensive curricula on the Arab language and culture. In case you think their motives are altruistic, here’s a portion of the contractual language to which schools must agree:

U.S. public schools that accept QFI’s grant money are contractually required to give over a degree of access to the foreign-funded organization, according to a 2013 agreement between QFI and the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona.

The contract stipulated that Tucson teachers participating in the QFI-funded Arabic program would allow QFI staff to:

  • observe classroom activities and speak with students;

  • have access to a program to monitor student progress;

  • request that teachers administer an Arabic language proficiency test to students and share their results with QFI; and

  • receive enrollment information for the Arabic classes, ‘including the number of students in each class and grade.’

In 2019, $30 million were given to U.S. public schools by QFI.

QFI makes no secret of its goals to influence U.S. public and political perceptions, rather than limiting its efforts to education:

QFI memos state that it exists to further the Middle Eastern nation’s goals, and its executive director has stated publicly that her bosses include a member of the Qatari royal family and the CEO of the foreign Qatar Foundation. Despite this, QFI is not required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, because it says it’s strictly an educational organization.

As of 2019, 22 K-12 public schools and eight academic programs currently receive grants from QFI.

Fortunately, there is one organization that has persisted in investigating QFI in America: the Lawfare Project. Although colleges are reluctant to share information on the extent of QFI’s role in schools, the Lawfare Project is making headway:

‘This infiltration, funded and organized through QF and [Qatar Foundation International], has turned American universities and primary and secondary school teachers into de facto agents of the Qatari government, conveying its political (and anti-Semitic) views to students and the general population without any acknowledgment of the origins of these views.’

What is The Lawfare Project:

We are a global network of legal professionals that contribute our skills, time and expertise to defending the civil and human rights of the Jewish people, and fighting discrimination wherever we see it.

An example of the kind of case they work on is this one, where they represented a Jewish student at Carnegie Mellon:

Carnegie Mellon is a known recipient of foreign funding. As of 2021, it had received over half a billion dollars from Qatar. Through anti-discrimination lawsuits like this one, The Lawfare Project aims to shed light on the lack of transparency that exists at universities that receive foreign funding, in order to advocate for legal reforms that require greater accountability.

The CMU student’s exposure to the university’s antisemitic environment began in her freshman year when she was denied an excused absence to attend a memorial service following the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre. Her experience culminated during her last year, when she was told by her instructor, after creating a model to depict how an Orthodox Jewish community turned a public space into a private one for religious purposes, that it would have been better had she done her project on ‘what Jewish people do to make themselves so hated.’ The student’s complaints to the DEI and Title IX offices yielded nothing and her appeal to professors for help brought retaliation in the form of exclusion and an undeserved near-failing grade.

Keep in mind that QFI has donated to at least ten public colleges.

*     *     *     *

It’s difficult to prioritize the dangers that Qatar poses at an international level. It is still active in the negotiations for a cease fire between Israel and Hamas. It has re-established relations with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE. It still funds terrorism in the Middle East. And now it has infiltrated U.S.schools, providing the propaganda about its culture and language, as well as meeting its anti-Semitic agenda.

At least the Jews are beginning to fight back.

 

Published in Education
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There are 11 comments.

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  1. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Just another area where our country has become more third world and less super power. We used to be the influencer, now we are the influenced. Does that school district not have any Jewish students?

    • #1
  2. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    What’s the difference between AIPAC and QFI?

    • #2
  3. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Zafar (View Comment):

    What’s the difference between AIPAC and QFI?

    That’s a good question, maybe you have an answer. I may say that Israel is an ally, and Qatar is decidedly not. That may not mean anything to you, since you are not a citizen of the United States.

    • #3
  4. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    cdor (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    What’s the difference between AIPAC and QFI?

    That’s a good question, maybe you have an answer. I may say that Israel is an ally, and Qatar is decidedly not.

    According to the US Embassy in Doha:

    Our security partnership has been essential over the past decade. Qatar is home to the largest U.S. military presence in the Middle East, which serves as a strategic hub for U.S. operations in the region and a major source of U.S. investment. Qatar’s security is our security. This base is critical to global efforts to counter terrorism, maintain stability, and promote regional security. Our security collaboration enhances regional safety, and American companies are playing a leading role in fortifying this security relationship.

    Could be talking about this?

    • #4
  5. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Hard to believe that a few years back, QFI would have been laughed out of the country.

    However, after Randy Weingarten and her ilk took over, the public schools will fall for any stupid idea.

    Private schools anyone?

    • #5
  6. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Zafar (View Comment):

    What’s the difference between AIPAC and QFI?

    Love to hear your answer, since you bring it up. 

    • #6
  7. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    AIPAC seems more overtly political.

    • #7
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Thanks for the information about QFI. I hadn’t known. 

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Zafar (View Comment):

    AIPAC seems more overtly political.

    Okay.

    • #9
  10. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Zafar (View Comment):

    What’s the difference between AIPAC and QFI?

    AIPAC does not indoctrinate children to believe that Qatar doesn’t exist.

    • #10
  11. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Zafar (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    What’s the difference between AIPAC and QFI?

    That’s a good question, maybe you have an answer. I may say that Israel is an ally, and Qatar is decidedly not.

    According to the US Embassy in Doha:

    Our security partnership has been essential over the past decade. Qatar is home to the largest U.S. military presence in the Middle East, which serves as a strategic hub for U.S. operations in the region and a major source of U.S. investment. Qatar’s security is our security. This base is critical to global efforts to counter terrorism, maintain stability, and promote regional security. Our security collaboration enhances regional safety, and American companies are playing a leading role in fortifying this security relationship.

    Could be talking about this?

    Our Middle East ops started in Saudi as Elf 1. We based there for Desert Storm. They moved to Qatar because of several political and military reasons. It is currently our best situation in that area. 

    • #11
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