Ivy League’s silence on antisemitism: A tangled web of money and politics

February 5, 2024

By Tim Worstall

One of the big puzzles is why the Ivy League colleges won’t crack down on the antisemites among their student bodies. The answer could be that old one – money.

As we at Accuracy in Media have been showing there is indeed vile antisemitism at Harvard, at Columbia and so on. It’s all been brought to the attention of those who run those colleges, obviously. So, why hasn’t there been more action in curtailing this? Punishing it? Or even, just stating that this sort of vile racism isn’t to be allowed on out campus so you, the student with these beliefs, must leave?

The Tablet says it’s all about money. The argument makes sense too.

About the only people who pay full fees at Ivy League colleges are the children of the very rich, or foreigners. Foreigners make up at least 10% and usually closer to 15% of the student body. For nearly everyone else – not the children of hedge fund managers, not the foreigners – the college itself pays out of the endowment funds to subsidize the student.

There’s also another level here. Colleges are insistent that they must have a diverse student body – that DEI stuff. Which means people of different and diverse racial backgrounds, as we know. But foreigners – who don’t get subsidised – count toward those goals and countings but don’t also require the subsidies that the traditionally under-represented but domestic students do. So the impulse, the incentive, is to gain that diversity of color and race by taking in foreign students, not domestic.

We can check this against the British system – for some years now, people have been warning that without foreign students, the entire system will go bankrupt.

At this point, it’s possible to see why real action isn’t being taken against some of these students. For if a student is suspended from college – no, not just suspended from some activities, but from college – then they lose their visa altogether and so does the college lose full fees.

And it gets worse, as The Tablet says:

“And it’s not just tuition money that schools are milking. Foreign governments also write big checks to ensure that their students—and their politics—are given red-carpet treatment at big-name universities. According to the National Association of Scholars, since 2001 Qatar has given around $5 billion to American universities, more than any other foreign government. Between 2014 and 2019, American colleges and universities received $2.7 billion in Qatari funding without any public acknowledgment of the source of those funds. Given that Qatar hosts the leadership of Hamas, one can see how cracking down on Hamas-sympathizing students might seem like a bad idea for university presidents who cash Qatari checks.”

My own college in Britain once sold a Ph.D. to the son of the Libyan dictator, Gaddafi. The idea that this sort of money doesn’t change minds is absurd, of course it does. That’s why it’s paid.

Now, how much this drives collegiate behavior is something else. But the idea that it has no influence at all is really not believable. Just about the only full-fee-paying students in the Ivy League other than the few rich kids there are the foreign students. Plus, their governments are donating. This is why, perhaps, foreign attitudes toward race and religion are allowed at such colleges. It’s about money – as antisemitism so often is.


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