The Corner

The Title Iv Front

Martin Kramer has an important post today that suggests both a new problem, and a new strategy, for the battle over Title VI. Remember Prince Alwaleed? He’s the wealthy Saudi (actually, the fifth wealthiest man in the world) who had ten million dollars thrown back in his face by Rudy Giuliani. Alwaleed visited ground zero and made out a relief fund check, but only after pinning the blame for 9/11 on American support of Israel. Now Alwaleed is at it again. Only this time, he’s starting to fund universities. And other wealthy Saudi’s have recently funded centers at both Harvard and Berkeley. This certainly helps explain why so many programs of Middle East Studies are reluctant to criticize the Saudis. To do so means throwing away the prospect of millions in aid. According to Kramer, the upcoming conference of the Middle East Studies Association has twenty-five papers scheduled to be delivered on the Palestinian situation, but not one single paper on anything to do with Saudi Arabia. If Saudi money keeps pouring into American universities, Title VI may be undermined, regardless of any reforms we may succeed in making. So Kramer proposes a new rule. Title VI centers should be obligated to forgo all foreign funding. That is clearly in the national security interests of the United States. Without such an amendment, our area studies centers risk being corrupted or silenced by foreign countries. Unfortunately, there is good evidence that it may already be happening.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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