As a reporter for the campus newspaper I attended debates between Palestinian/Arab and Israeli students at San Francisco State in the late sixties. The sessions were intense and volatile. The dynamic has remained the same in the intervening decades.
Excerpted from Golden Gate Xpress 1.29.2019
A tenured professor filed a lawsuit against SF State President Leslie Wong and other top-ranking administrators on Jan. 14, alleging discrimination based on her race, health and political activism.
Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas program director and professor Rabab Abdulhadi alleges in the suit that Wong, Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Summit and former Provost Sue Rosser acted on behalf of Zionist organizations who donate money to the SF State.
In the lawsuit, Dr. Abdulhadi claims these administrators helped foster a hostile work environment by launching repeated investigations into her research, excluding her from cohorts and canceling trips to Palestine to stall the AMED program at the behest of pro-Israel groups like AMCHA, the Jewish Community Relations Council and SF Hillel.
Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi (left) -11.1.2018
Dr. Abdulhadi said her work teaching students advocacy for anti-colonialism is misconstrued as anti-Semitism by these groups to frighten the Jewish community, villainize her nation of origin, Palestine, and obstruct her position at the helm of the AMED program.
Behnam Gharagozli, the plaintiff’s attorney, said because these Zionist organizations happen to be affiliated with wealthy SF State donors, they use the same tactics of intimidation that reflect the political landscape between Israel and Palestine.