Eighty civil-rights, religious and education organizations on Thursday wrote to California State University (CSU) chancellor Timothy White to alert him about San Francisco State University professor Rabab Abdulhadi’s “hateful” posting and to demand that he take immediate action to address her “unlawful” conduct.
The concerns are also being raised to CSU general counsel Andrew Jones, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and key state legislators.
The letter mentioned that Abdulhadi re-posted last week to the Facebook page of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora’s Program—part of in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University—a message previously shared on her personal Facebook page containing a photograph of a large banner featured at a recent anti-Israel rally, which she attended, that included the words “Zionism=Racism” and “Boycott! Divest! Sanction!”
The letter stated that while Abdulhadi “has the right to express religious, ethnic or political hatred on her personal platform, it is a flagrant breach of academic conduct for her to use her administrative position and the Facebook page bearing her academic unit’s logo, which includes the name ‘San Francisco State University,’ to do so.”
“Moreover, unless the CSU Trustees provided their permission to use the University’s name in this way, Abdulhadi’s posting appears to be a clear violation of California Education Code section 89005.5,” which forbids individuals from using the school’s name in a boycott or political movement without permission.
Signees of the letter, organized by the AMCHA Initiative, included the Academic Engagement Network, Alumns for Campus Fairness, Iranian American Jewish Federation, Rabbinical Alliance of America, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Alpha Epsilon Pi, B’nai B’rith International, California Association of Scholars, Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors, and Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.
Abdulhadi has an extensive anti-Israel history that includes calling the presence of pro-Israel students on campus a “declaration of war” against Arabs and Muslims.
As a guest lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, she compared Zionists to white supremacists.
A Jewish student in the class, Shayna Lavi, told Abdulhadi that she was “personally offended” that the professor “categorized pro-Israel students, Zionists and Jewish students as white supremacists.”
“Thank you. That’s your opinion, but you’re wrong,” responded Abdulhadi. “I stand with Jews who do not support Israel, and I hope that Jews will disalign themselves with white supremacy.”