One of the most concerning developments following the recent Hamas attacks on Israel has been the overwhelming support for Hamas on prestigious American college campuses. This support has led to a significant backlash from the donor class, with billionaires pulling their financial support away from these institutions.
Billionaire Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, who has previously donated $500 million to Harvard, including $300 million in the current academic year, called on Harvard administrators to condemn Hamas’ acts of terrorism. This came after the school’s Palestine Solidarity Committee published a letter solely blaming Israel for the attacks. Griffin’s plea for action highlights the growing concern among donors about the biased and one-sided narrative being perpetuated on these campuses.
Similarly, Apollo Global Management CEO Marc Rowan, along with a group of alumni and donors, demanded the resignation of UPenn President Liz Magill and the leader of the school’s board of trustees. This was in response to the university’s handling of the Hamas attack and its initial response to the situation. Rowan even encouraged donors to withhold any further contributions until the university changes its course. Prominent donors such as former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and Ronald Lauder, heir to the Estée Lauder empire, followed suit and suspended their donations.
Another notable donor, UPenn alum Clifford Asness, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, decided to halt his donations after recently completing a five-year giving campaign. Asness criticized President Magill’s initial statement for drawing vague equivalences between intentional acts of terrorism and unintended harm caused during military operations. This further underscores the dissatisfaction among donors who expect universities to take a strong stance against terrorism and antisemitism.
Alumni and donors’ withdrawal of financial support has the potential to significantly impact these prestigious institutions. It has also caught the attention of lawmakers, such as Senator Tom Cotton, who proposed a 6% tax on the endowments of the top 10 American universities that have failed to condemn antisemitism. This tax would generate an estimated $15.4 billion, more than enough to contribute to the aid provided to Israel.
The support for Hamas and the radical leftism that has been allowed to flourish in American universities for years is a cause for concern. It is crucial for these institutions to face the consequences of their biased indoctrination and take a more balanced approach towards critical issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As donors exercise their influence by withholding financial support, it sends a clear message that American universities must ensure fair and unbiased education for their students. The alarming support for terrorist organizations like Hamas cannot continue without repercussions, and it is essential for these institutions to address the growing concerns raised by both donors and lawmakers.