Your editorial raised legitimate questions about the influence of foreign governments that make significant donations to Washington think tanks (“The mighty dollar at Brookings,” Nov. 6), such as the $14.8-million grant by the government of Qatar to the Brookings Institution, of which Martin Indyk is director.
In the case of Indyk, however, there is ample evidence that his views regarding Israel and the Palestinians were set long before the check arrived from Qatar. In March 1997, he publicly compared Israeli construction in Jerusalem with a Palestinian suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that murdered three Israeli women.
In November 1999, Indyk equated Hezbollah terrorism and Israeli self-defense, telling an interviewer that “civilians in Southern Lebanon and northern Israel have both been victims of the escalating violence.” In February 2007, he testified before Congress that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas “has met all of the requirements, including… ending the incitement [against] Israel in the Palestinian media” – a claim that was as absurd then as it is now. In a New York Times op-ed in August 2010, Indyk proposed that Israel should “withdraw from at least 95 percent of the West Bank and accept a Palestinian capital in Arab East Jerusalem.”
There are just a few examples from two decades of statements and actions by Martin Indyk which demonstrate that his support for the Palestinian cause long predated his acceptance of nearly $15 million from Qatar.
AND BENYAMIN KORN
Members of the Board, Religious Zionists ofAmerica
New York, N.Y.