Lawsuit Brings Day of Reckoning to Leading BDS Professor
Rabab Abdulhadi, the director of San Francisco State University (SFSU)’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Initiative (AMED) — and a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel — is feeling the heat.
The Lawfare Project is filing a lawsuit — in which Abdulhadi is named — against SFSU, alleging “a long and extensive history of cultivating anti-Semitism and overt discrimination against Jewish students” at the school.
At the same time, the joint Middle East Forum/Campus Watch (MEF/CW) campaign to end SFSU’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a terror-promoting Palestinian university is also moving forward. That MOU was brokered by Abdulhadi.
Meanwhile, a Launch Good campaign is underway to raise money for Abdulhadi’s “legal defense fund.” Abdulhadi’s supporters claim that she has “filed several grievances” against SFSU due to a “hostile and unsafe work and study environment for Palestinians, Muslims, and Arabs on campus.” Donations will allegedly go towards fighting “Islamophobia, anti-Arab discrimination, and hostility to Palestinians at SFSU campus [sic] and to supporting the AMED Studies program against destruction.”
AMED, it should be noted, offers courses titled, “Islamophobia: Roots, Development, and Contestation of Hatred,” “Comparative Border Studies: Palestine and Mexico,” and “Colonialism, Imperialism, and Resistance,” among others. The initiative also offers a scholarship named after the late Columbia University (and anti-Israel) professor, Edward Said.
Predictably, the Abdulhadi fundraising campaign accuses CW and MEF, among other “right-wing pro-Israel groups,” of engaging in “relentless bullying” of the SFSU professor. Moreover, the accompanying video on the page makes the oft-repeated error of describing Freedom Center president David Horowitz as a co-founder of MEF. In fact, MEF president Daniel Pipes was the sole founder of the MEF, and neither MEF nor CW’s missions include being “right-wing” or “pro-Israel.” MEF promotes American interests in the Middle East and tries to safeguard Western values, while Campus Watch critiques shoddy, politicized scholarship in the field of Middle East studies. Campus Watch’s goal is not to be pro-Israel; it is to make sure that the truth is being told on college campuses.
This is not the first time that Abdulhadi’s cohorts have responded to the legitimate questions about her activities with hysteria and smears — and it’s unlikely to be the last. This time, however, Abdulhadi’s chief complaint appears to be with her one-time ally, SFSU President (and MOU-facilitator) Leslie Wong.
According to the pro-Abdulhadi fundraising drive, she filed a grievance with SFSU in March 2017 that “will soon move into the hearing phase.” Coming at the same time as the Lawfare Project’s lawsuit, Wong must be feeling the pressure from both sides. Given Wong’s dismissiveness towards the long-documented concerns about anti-Israel policies at SFSU, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving individual.
Abdulhadi, meanwhile, can’t escape the consequences of her role in SFSU’s decline. Her false claims of victimhood and persecution have come full circle.
This article was originally published on Campus Watch’s blog, here.