WASHINGTON D.C.-Georgetown University received $1 million this month from Kuwait for an endowed chair in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, spurring charges that the university was compromising its independence.
Since it was created in 1975, the center has received nearly $2.4 million in gifts from seven other Arab nations. Most controversial was a $750,000 gift from Libya in 1977.
University officials accepted the gift from Kuwait in a public ceremony and said the endowment would improve Arab studies and the university's School of Foreign Service.
After the ceremony, Jewish leaders strongly criticized Georgetown for accepting the gift. Ira Silverstein, director of special programs for the American Jewish Committee, said the Arab Studies Center has a "clearly-marked pro-Arab, anti-Israel bias in its selection of curriculum material, its faculty appointments and speakers."
It Worked Before So...
Silverstein added that in accepting the endowment, "Georgetown may be selling something precious to Americans-the integrity of its universities."
University spokesmen responded that besides the pro-Arab scholars in the Arab Studies Center, the university has a number of pro-Israeli scholars elsewhere in the faculty, especially in the Center for Strategic and International Studies.