San Francisco State University prides itself as a university “known for its commitment to excellent teaching.” As part of its commitment to “excellent teaching,” SFSU offers a minor in “Race and Resistance Studies.” The program features courses like “Palestine: Ethnic Studies Perspective” and “Islamophobia: Roots, Development, and Contestation of Hatred.” These courses, which masquerade as legitimate academic studies but in reality amount to nothing more than base propaganda and Israel-hate fests, are taught by a pernicious character named Rabab Abdulhadi.
Abdulhadi, a terrorist supporter as well as a supporter of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, embodies all that is wrong with radical elements of academia who have all but hijacked the social science and humanities fields. Her obsessive focus on Israel and monomaniacal demonization of the Mideast’s only democracy betray a troubling pattern of Judeophobia and overt anti-Semitism.
But adopting Nazi-like boycott tactics is insufficient for professor Abdulhadi. She advocates other forms of resistance, aka terrorism, against the so-called “colonizers.” Consider her screed on an online forum where she discusses “resistance” and “liberation” and notes that the adoption of the BDS tactic “is often misunderstood as a condemnation of Palestinian armed resistance or a disowning of those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle.” Abdulhadi’s implication is clear; boycotts must be employed side-by-side with violence and “armed struggle.”
But Abdulhadi’s malevolence does not end there. In classic anti-Semitic fashion, she attempts to eviscerate any Jewish nexus to historic Israel by absurdly referring to Jews who were born in pre-state Israel as “Arab Palestinian Jews,” erasing any form of independent Jewish identity.
Abdulhadi refers to the Palestinian charter which she claims calls for a “secular democratic state in Palestine.” Here she demonstrates her true ignorance, repeating the lie propagated by Rashid Khalidi and other charlatans of similar background. The Palestinian charter never has and does not call for a “secular democratic state.” Historian Benny Morris notes that the Palestinian charter was amended in 1968 but the amendment was limited to extending “non-Arab citizenship in a future Arab-liberated Palestine to ‘Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion.’” Those who arrived after 1917 would be ethnically cleansed, leaving the “privilege” of citizenship to a trickle of fortunate centenarians.
There is no level that Professor Abdulhadi will not stoop to defame and disparage the Jewish State, including engaging in outright mendacity. In 2014 Abdulhadi gave a speech to a pliant audience where she claimed that Israel turned Arab mosques into bars, looted churches and desecrated Muslim cemeteries. Of course this is hogwash and Abdulhadi offers not a scintilla of credible evidence to back up her outrageous claims.
What Abdulhadi conveniently forgets to note is that when East Jerusalem was under Arab occupation, dozens of Jewish synagogues and learning institutions were razed or turned into garbage dumps. Indeed, the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites was turned into a refuse site. Moreover, following the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, Arabs desecrated the oldest, continuously used Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives by using its burial headstones to build latrines and other structures for the Jordanian army. Desecration of cemeteries by Muslims is neither phenomenal nor limited to Jewish sites as evidenced by the horrific desecration of a cemetery for Commonwealth soldiers killed while liberating Libya from the Nazis; so much for gratitude. Abulhadi’s feigned concern for Christian sites is almost comical considering the level of persecution Christians are forced to endure under Palestinian Muslim rule in Gaza, Bethlehem and elsewhere.
Abdulhadi’s xenophobic and fascist views, coupled with her penchant for engaging mendacity should by itself, be sufficient cause for SFSU to disassociate itself from her and terminate her employment. But Abdulhadi has also created a campus environment conducive to fear and hatred directed toward the pro-Israel community.
On March 26, 2014 several Jewish organizations wrote to SFSU president, Leslie Wong urging him to investigate a number of disturbing incidents, directly and indirectly involving Abdulhadi and implicating her in supporting terrorism and incitement to violence. Some of the more egregious incidents include the following.
On March 6, 2014 Abdulhadi convened an event where she and others condoned or glorified terrorism against Israelis to SFSU students. Those with dissenting opinions were marginalized and harassed.
Abdulhadi was faculty advisor to Mohammad Hammad, an SFSU student who posted a picture of himself on a social media site holding a knife along with a caption expressing the urge to kill or stab Israelis. Hammad also threatened to behead a female Israel Defense Forces soldier, “as well as the heads…of all others who support the IDF.”
Abdulhadi, as Director of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED), sponsored an event where SFSU students posted placards which stated, “My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers,” a euphemism for Jews. Moreover, the event glorified convicted hijacker Leila Khaled and images of her were displayed holding a gun.
To his credit, President Wong forcefully condemned the event and its “glorification of violence,” further noting that, “there is no place at SF State for celebrating violence or promoting intolerance, bigotry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering.” But condemnation of the hate and incitement without taking action against the source of that incitement is insufficient. It is clear that Abulhadi’s agenda is not to teach but to indoctrinate, not to impart knowledge but to propagate hate. Abdulhadi’s presence at SFSU represents a stain on an otherwise fine institution of learning. It is time to give her walking papers.
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