US Secretary of State Kerry (L) with US Special Envoy Martin Indyk (R) and US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. US Secretary Kerry (L) with US Special Envoy Indyk (R) and US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. (Photo: Matty Stern//Flash90)
Martin Indyk and John Kerry

A report by the New York Times exposes Qatar’s influence on Martin Indyk, US representative to the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, who is highly critical of Israel.  

Martin Indyk speaking in Israel.

Martin Indyk speaking in Israel. (Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Martin Indyk, former US representative to the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, has been highly critical of Israel, blaming the Jewish state for the failure of the talks. A report published on Sunday by The New York Times sheds light on Indyk’s dubious impartiality as a broker.

Indyk, who has served in the past as Special US Envoy to the Middle East, has been accused on several occasions of being biased towards the Palestinians. The NY Times revealed that Qatar is a major contributor to the Brookings Institution, Indyk’s employer. This funding can heavily influence the institute’s research and stance on crucial diplomatic issues.

Qatar, one of the richest countries in the Middle East, is the largest foreign donor to Brookings, according to the report; in 2013, Qatar promised a $14.8-million donation over the course of four years.

Report Raises Questions in Jerusalem

Israeli officials questioned Indyk’s supposed impartiality due to the report.

“Qatar has been a major bankroller for Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” a government official told the Jerusalem Post. “The fact that the same Qatari government is also a major provider of funds for a respectable Washington think tank raises a whole series of questions about that think tank’s relationships and impartiality.”

Brookings is supposedly an objective research body. This report now casts doubt on its objectivity and accuracy.

Numerous US State Department dispatches emphasize that the US Administration clearly knows of Qatar’s involvement in funding terror. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said in August that Qatar is “a Club Med for terrorists,” adding that the hundreds of millions of dollars Qatar had given Hamas meant that “every one of Hamas’s tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that said, ‘Made possible through a kind donation of the emir of Qatar.'”

Funds to Prominent Research Institutes

According to the NYT report, “more than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities.” The report lists nine Middle Eastern countries that contribute funds to nine major think tanks, such as Brookings, the Atlantic Council, the Center for Global Development, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Middle East Institute and the German Marshall Fund of the US. Israel is not on the list of donors.

Indyk, a Jew, served as the US special Middle East envoy during the latest round of talks between Israel and the PA this year, during which he took leave of his position at Brookings. Indyk has been highly critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has placed the majority of the blame for the failure of the talks on him.

Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel