Press Release – For Immediate Release
May 10, 2019
Judicial Watch Assists Zachor Legal Institute in Texas Court to Obtain Information on Qatari Government’s Funding of Texas A&M, a Public University
MAY 10, 2019
(Washington, DC) – Zachor Legal Institute announced today that Judicial Watch filed a petition to intervene on our behalf under the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA), seeking information about potential influence by the Qatar government’s funding of certain Texas A&M University programs and a Texas A&M campus in Education City, Al Rayyan, Qatar (Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development v. Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General (No. D-1-GN-18-006240)). Further information about this case can be found at the Judicial Watch website, www.Judicialwatch.org.
Zachor Legal Institute is a U.S.-based advocacy group dedicated to combating the spread of anti-Semitism. Zachor made requests under the TPIA for information about the funding or donations made to Texas A&M by the government of Qatar and agencies and subdivisions of the government of Qatar. Qatar controversially has aligned itself with Islamic terrorists and extremists which has placed it at odds with the United States, Israel and other U.S. allies in the Middle East.
Zachor initially filed a public information request with Texas A&M in 2018 to determine, among other things, whether Qatar and its affiliates provide funding for anti-Semitic programs and activities at public universities. Rather than provide this information, which public universities are obligated to report under federal law, Texas A&M alerted the Qatar Foundation of our request and refused to provide the information we requested.
Zachor believes that foreign entities are actively recruiting American students to provide support to anti-Semitic campaigns, including the terror-backed “BDS” movement, and further believes that these hate groups are financially supported by Qatar. Zachor has submitted a request, complete with evidence and a detailed legal analysis, to the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the ties between foreign terror organizations and BDS activists, details of which are available on Zachor’s website: www.ZachorLegal.org. In October 2018, Qatar filed suit to prevent disclosure of its funding information. Judicial Watch contends that neither the Qatari government nor any of its agencies are protected by Texas Public Information Act exceptions and that federal law “expressly makes the requested information public.”
The university claims the records can be kept from the public because disclosure would reveal confidential donor information. Judicial Watch points out the law only protects private donors, not donations from a foreign government body, specifically the Qatar Foundation. The Qatar Foundation “was created by the Emir of Qatar, is Chaired by his consort, and is sponsored and supported by the government of Qatar, a monarchy. At no point did the Qatar Foundation demonstrate that it is not an agency or subdivision of the government of Qatar.”
“Judicial Watch and the Zachor Legal Institute are battling in court for the truth about how the foreign government of Qatar lassoed Texas A&M into setting up a campus in a country run by a government known for its promotion of terrorism and extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic policies,” said Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch.
Marc Greendorfer, President of Zachor Legal Institute said, “We are grateful for the assistance of Judicial Watch in intervening on our behalf. We were surprised that the Qatar Foundation sought to suppress the production of information that is required to be reported under federal law and look forward to finally receiving the documents from Texas A&M so we can continue our work researching the influence of malign foreign actors on American campuses.”
About Zachor Legal Institute: Zachor Legal Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, uses the law to defend against anti-Semitism, with a focus on opposing BDS. To learn more, please visit www.zachorlegal.org.
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