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Gatestone Institute

Factsheet: Gatestone Institute

Published on 10 May 2018

IMPACT: Gatestone has published a steady stream of content aimed at stoking fears of a Muslim takeover of Europe and America. The articles warn that increasing Muslim migration to Europe will lead to the “Islamization” of the continent. Gatestone’s pieces have been cited by far-right politicians to justify their anti-Muslim policies.  

Gatestone Institute was founded in 2008 under the name “Hudson New York” by Nina Rosenwald. In 2012, the organization briefly changed its name to Stonegate Institute. Later that year, the organization adopted its current name. Gatestone describes itself as an “international policy council and think tank.” The former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and current national security adviser to President Donald Trump, John Bolton, served as the Institute’s chairman since 2013.

Rosenwald is the heiress to the Sears Roebuck fortune. A 2011 report by the Center for American Progress found that since 2001, Rosenwald, through her family foundation, the William Rosenwald Family Fund, donated more than $2.8 million to “organizations that fan the flames of Islamophobia.” The Center for American Progress identified the family fund as one of the the top seven funders of Islamophobia.

A September 2017 article in The Intercept by investigative journalist Lee Fang found that Gatestone published articles “focused on stoking fears about immigrants and Muslims.” In another article from 2018, Fang noted Gatestone was “infamous for its role in publishing ‘fake news’ and spreading hate about Muslims.” Fang also found that Gatestone’s anti-Muslim content had been regularly promoted by politicians, including members and affiliated online groups, of the far-right German party, Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Articles published by Gatestone claim that Muslim migrants and refugees are bringing “highly infectious diseases” to Germany, and Muslims are transforming entire German neighborhoods intono-go zones.” A 2018 NBC News article noted that “Gatestone has been a significant promoter” of the debunkedno-go zones” claim. In 2015, then Republican Governor, Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana, cited Gatestone’s articles making such claims.

Gatestone has published pieces warning of “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death.” The running theme for Gatestone’s anti-Muslim pieces has been toportray Western society as at risk of ‘Islamization.’” Writers for Gatestone include Shillman journalism fellows and writers for the David Horowitz Freedom Center, David Greenfield and Raymond Ibrahim. The Freedom Center also reprints articles from Gatestone to it’s online publication, Frontpage Magazine.

The online platform has been described by Webby-award winning AlterNet news service as “a hub for anti-Muslim ideologues,” including Dutch politician Geert Wilders, anti-Muslim writer Robert Spencer, former deputy assistant to Donald Trump, Sebastian Gorka, and Norwegian blogger Fjordman. The far-right Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik heavily cited Fjordman in his manifesto, along with many of Gatestone’s other writers, warning against the “Islamization” of Europe.

In a 2018 NBC News article, Alina Polyakova, a Brookings Institution fellow, described Gatestone as “‘putting out content that was clearly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and was echoing some of the Russian disinformation propaganda’ being spread by internet trolls and on social media.”

In 2016, Gatestone partnered with The Rebel, a Canadian media company “with a history of bigotry and anti-Semitism,” to produce a series of 12 “cross-branded videos.” The videos feature “misinformation expertDaniel Pipes and Geert Wilders, and promote “paranoid, apocalyptic far-right themes vilifying Muslims and refugees.” A 2017 article in The Independent, found that Gatestone was one of two “US right-wing foundations” that have sponsored Wilders’ trips to America.

In 2015, Gatestone took out a full page advert in the New York Times. The full page ad called on Muslims to condemn worldwide violence, implying that the explanation for global violence was Islam. Muslim groups and others criticize this claim that Muslims should do more to condemn terrorism, saying that this narrative overlooks both the fact that Muslims do condemn terrorism, and that they shouldn’t have to. Other groups signed on to the full page ad, including British “counter-extremism” think-tank, Quilliam.

Between 2014-2016, the Mercer family foundation, run by Rebekah Mercer, contributed $250,000 to Gatestone.  In April 2017, journalist Eli Clifton revealed that “Mercer had been listed as a member of the board of governors” of Institute. Following inquiries from news outlets, Gatestone deleted any mention of Mercer on its board.

Last updated May 7, 2018