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San Francisco State University Update:

SFSU Faculty Holding Event Exclusively to Promote Antisemitic Boycott of Israel

AMCHA, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, StandWithUs, and ZOA Respond 

ACTION ALERT: Contact President Wong at (415) 338-1381 / president@sfsu.edu, and the CSU Trustees, lhernandez@calstate.edu

Dear Friends and Supporters:

We just learned that SFSU professors, including Professor Rahab Abdulhadi, the faculty advisor to the former knife-wielding student and the General Union of Palestinian Students (organizers of “My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers” event), are hosting an event tomorrow about their recent trip to the “West Bank” and “the 1948 areas of Palestine” (i.e. Israel). The professors state publicly that the purpose of the event is to inform students about the trip and to promote the anti-Israel boycott movement.  However, according to a blog discovered by AMCHA, the group met with Palestinians who argue for the use of armed violence against the Jewish state, and at least two of the meetings were with individuals affiliated with US State Department-designated terrorist organizations responsible for the murder of numerous Jews worldwide. For example:

  • The group’s first meeting was in Jordan 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.  As a result of her terrorist activities, Khaled has been refused entry to Israel, Britain, and Canada. Khaled still advocates armed struggle as “the shortest way towards the liberation of Palestine.”
  • The group also met with 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 by an Israeli court with incitement to violence and racism, over a speech he gave in which he accused Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread.  In 2010, Salah was also arrested for his participation on the Mavi Marmara, a boat that was part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla funded by the Turkish terrorist organization International Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).

AMCHA Initiative has coordinated a letter from leading CA and national Jewish groups — including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, StandWithUs, and the Zionist Organization of America — demanding that SFSU President Wong and CSU Trustees speak out forcefully against this event and provide counter-programming to educate students about the antisemitic nature of anti-Israel boycotts.  You may see the letter below.

TAKE ACTION: Please contact President Wong at (415) 338-1381 / president@sfsu.edu, and the CSU Trustees, lhernandez@calstate.edu, to state your opposition to events whose sole purpose is to spew anti-Israel and antisemitic hatred to impressionable students, and encourage them to boycott the Jewish state.

Thank you for your help with this important issue,

AMCHA Initiative Cofounders

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

Leila Beckwith

—- see letter below —

Dear President Wong and CSU Board of Trustees,

We write to you as representatives of organizations concerned about the safety and well-being of Jewish students on California State University campuses.

This Thursday (3/6), the SFSU College of Ethnic Studies is hosting a deeply troubling event.  Advertised as a “Report and Discussion From Members of the North American Based Academic and Labor Delegation to Palestine 2014,”  the event is slated to feature presentations from four members of a 7-person delegation to “the West Bank” and “the 1948 areas of Palestine” (i.e. Israel), a trip which was organized by Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, director of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED) and faculty advisor to the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS).

The event announcement posted on the website of the College of Ethnic Studies indicates that the delegation’s participants, consisting of Professor Abdulhadi, SFSU American Indian Studies Professor Joanne Barker and 5 other academics and activists who are leading advocates for the academic boycott of Israel, went to the region in order to “build working relationships and solidarities with Palestinian scholars, artists, and activists consistent with their 2005 call for “a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.”  The purpose of Thursday’s event is also clearly stated in the  announcement: to promote “resolute actions in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.”

What is not mentioned in the announcement, but is clear from Professor Barker’s detailed description of the delegation’s trip on her blog, is that both the North American delegates and the Palestinians with whom they met view the boycott of Israel as a means for weakening and dismantling the “racist,” “apartheid,” “colonial” Jewish state.  In addition, some of the Palestinians with whom the group met argued for the use of armed violence against the Jewish state, and at least two of the meetings were with individuals affiliated with US State Department-designated terrorist organizations responsible for the murder of numerous Jews worldwide. For example:

•The group’s first meeting was in Jordan 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.  As a result of her terrorist activities, Khaled has been refused entry to Israel, Britain, and Canada. Khaled still advocates armed struggle as “the shortest way towards the liberation of Palestine.”

•The group also met with Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who was convicted of funding Hamas, a terrorist organization whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews, and he served a two-year prison sentence 2003 – 2005.  In 2008, Salah was charged by an Israeli court with incitement to violence and racism, over a speech he gave in which he accused Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread.  In 2010, Salah was also arrested for his participation on the Mavi Marmara, a boat that was part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla funded by the International Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a known radical Islamic and anti-Western Turkish organization which, in addition to humanitarian efforts, provides support and funding to global jihad networks.

In light of the recent controversy regarding a GUPS event which featured an image of Leila Khaled holding a rifle and another with the words “My Heros Have Always Killed Colonizers,” as well as the revelation of dozens of social media postings of former GUPS president Mohammad G. Hammad  in which he expressed violence towards Jews and glorified the PFLP, we firmly believe that a university-sponsored event which explicitly promotes the boycott and dismantling of the Jewish state and condones terrorism cannot help but contribute to a hostile environment for Jewish students at SFSU.

President Wong, we urge you to speak out forcefully against this event, to monitor it carefully for antisemitic and anti-Israel animus and possible violation of university policy and the law (if it is permitted to go forward), and to provide counter-programming on the antisemitic nature of such BDS activities.

Sincerely,

AMCHA Initiatiative

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Simon Wiesenthal Center, Campus Outreach

Stand With Us

Zionist Organization of America West

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