Public Records Inquiry Indicates Professor Lied to University About Middle East Trip
8 Groups Demand Investigation
Professor Rabab Abdulhadi
Santa Cruz, CA, May 27, 2014 – A California Public Records Act inquiry, requested by AMCHA Initiative, revealed that San Francisco State University (SFSU) Professor Rabab Abdulhadi received more than $7,000 from SFSU to fly to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel to meet with members of known terrorist organizations. Abdulhadi was the faculty advisor to the SFSU knife-wielding student investigated by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force. She was also caught on tape glorifying terrorism to SFSU students.
“On at least four official University documents signed by several SFSU and CSU administrators, including SFSU President Wong and CSU Chancellor White, Abdulhadi concealed the fact that the true purpose of her trip was political activism, as well as the fact that she had planned to meet with individuals affiliated with organizations on the U.S. State Department’s list of Designated Terrorist Organizations,” wrote eight organizations in a letter to CSU Chancellor Timothy White, SFSU President Leslie Wong, CSU Vice Chancellor and Chief Audit Officer Larry Mendel and CSU Attorney Carrie Hemphill Reith.
The letter was sent from AMCHA Initiative, Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center Campus Outreach, StandWithUs, and Zionist Organization of America.
On the University-funded trip, Abdulhadi, SFSU Ethnic Studies Professor Joanne Barker and Abdulhadi’s husband, Jaime Veve, met with:
Leila Khaled, a convicted hijacker and the most famous member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization responsible for 159 terrorist acts such as bombings, armed assault and assassinations, resulting in numerous injuries and deaths including those of more than 20 US citizens. Khaled has been refused entry to Israel, Britain, and Canada.
Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who was convicted of funding the terrorist organization Hamas and served a two-year prison sentence 2003 – 2005. In 2008, Salah was charged with incitement to violence and racism. In 2010, Salah was also arrested for his participation on the Mavi Marmara, part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Salah was recently incarcerated again on charges of incitement to violence.
Abdulhadi stated the purpose of her trip was academic: to present a paper at the 4th conference of the Center for American Studies and Research to be held at the American University in Lebanon, and to conduct “research” and meet with “potential collaborators toward memorandum of understanding with SFSU” in Jordan and “Palestine.” However, only weeks before her trip, after receiving approval, Abdulhadi sent a short email to the SFSU Risk Management Office that her “name was dropped from the Beirut conference.”
Evidence demonstrates that Abdulhadi always intended to use the University-funded trip to build relationships with anti-Israel political activists to promote anti-Semitic academic, cultural and economic boycotts of Israel and the meetings were set before Abdulhadi requested University approval.
- In an event on March 6, 2014, Abdulhadi called the trip a “political solidarity tour” and went on to say: “This was not solidarity light, this was not pre-solidarity 101.”
- Professor Barker, in her blog, wrote that the delegation “established working relationships and furthered their solidarities with Palestinian scholars, artists and activists engaged in BDS and other efforts against occupation.”
- In a March 2013 entry on his Tumblr account, Mohammad Hammad then a SFSU student, described that Abdulhadi had invited him to “join her and a delegation that she is taking to Palestine on a 10-Day trip…during which we will be visiting with prominent figures associated with the Palestinian Resistance Movement.” He writes, “I WILL GET TO MEET LEILA KHALED.”
“Not only does Hammad’s posting demonstrate that meetings with Khaled and other known terrorists were planned months before Abdulhadi submitted official documents to the University omitting all mention of these meetings, it also highlights the deeply troubling behavior of Abdulhadi, who involved a vulnerable student in her plans to meet with members of known terrorist organizations,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA co-founder and a UC professor.
“We believe there has been an egregious abuse of university and taxpayer funds as well as potential violations of California law,” said Leila Beckwith, AMCHA co-founder and a UC professor. “We urge you to investigate this matter immediately.”
A copy of the letter can be seen here.
AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America. AMCHA Initiative’s efforts are bolstered by a network of more than 5,000 members and supporters of the Jewish community — including university alumni, parents and grandparents, rabbis, religious school principals and synagogue members — who have joined together to speak in one voice to ensure the safety and well-being of Jewish students on college and university campuses across the country.