This is crazy. A front-page piece in the New York Times titled “Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks” highlights the influence of Arab governments on programming at Brookings and a dozen other D.C. thinktanks and has not a word to say about Israel.
An accompanying graphic lists 50-some countries that seek to manipulate US policymaking and public opinion through thinktanks, but Israel is off that list too!
Haim Saban started a center at Brookings that’s all about Israel; he moved to the U.S. from Israel and is an ardent Zionist. This doesn’t count as foreign influence. From the Times:
“It is the self-censorship that really affects us over time,” the scholar said. “But the fund-raising environment is very difficult at the moment, and Brookings keeps growing and it has to support itself.”
The sensitivities are especially important when it comes to the Qatari government — the single biggest foreign donor to Brookings.
The piece notes that Michele Dunn quit at the Atlantic Council after criticizing aid for Egypt.
After she signed a petition and testified before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee urging the United States to suspend military aid to Egypt, calling Mr. Morsi’s ouster a “military coup,” Bahaa Hariri [son of the late Rafik Hariri and generous donor] called the Atlantic Council to complain, executives with direct knowledge of the events said.
Ms. Dunne declined to comment on the matter. But four months after the call, Ms. Dunne left the Atlantic Council.
Great story. Can you think what would happen to a think tank intellectual who called for cutting aid to Israel?