The Zionists are Coming! Panic at San Francisco State U. |

TBC Staff

In the fevered imagination of the academic left, these are dark days at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Speakers at a two-day conference, "Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference at San Francisco State University," described a campus where a "corporatist" administration is at war with its faculty; Arab-American professors are afraid to walk alone on campus; ethnic student organizations are consigned to the dank student center basement; "Zionists" lie in wait to pounce on innocent, beleaguered proponents of "Palestine"; and "white supremacy" rules. All at one of the most radical universities in the nation.

Leading these lamentations was the director of SFSU's Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED), Rabab Abdulhadi, whose anti-Israel activism is coming back to haunt her. In addition to being named in a Lawfare Project (LP) lawsuit against SFSU alleging "anti-Semitism and overt discrimination against Jewish students," she is at the heart of a Middle East Forum/Campus Watch campaign to end the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) she brokered between SFSU and An-Najah University, a hotbed of anti-Semitism and radicalism in the West Bank.

The audience of mostly students and small clusters of faculty ranged from a sparse fifty to sixty for the panel "Academic Freedom for Whom? Islamophobia, Palestine, and Campus Politics," to around 250—many sitting on the floor after the seats quickly filled up—for "Muslims, Mexicans, and the Politics of Exclusion."

Abdulhadi—who assured the audience she is a woman, lest anyone fear a man heads AMED—was persistently on the defensive. Harried and angry, her rapid-fire speech rendered many words unintelligible. She complained about Campus Watch tweets" attacking her" and marveled at the "four articles" (two pieces, in fact) about the MOU-facilitated "Prisoner, Labor, and Academic Delegation," which sent Americans who served prison time for Weather Underground-affiliated domestic terrorism to meet fellow self-described "political prisoners" at Najah.

She blamed these concerns—and the well-documented history of terrorism and anti-Semitism at Najah—on her opponents' "muddying the waters" with spurious claims of anti-Semitism and falsely conflating Arabs and Muslims with terrorism. In Abdulhadi's world, evidently, Palestinian terrorism and the cultural indoctrination underpinning it simply do not exist.

The bulk of her ire, however, was directed at SFSU's administration and her one-time ally, President Leslie Wong, with whom she had collaborated to create the MOU. She noted repeatedly that she had left a superior position as director of the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan, Dearborn at SFSU's invitation, only to find herself relegated to a "token," subjected to "New McCarthyism," and AMED starved of funds and slated for termination.

Paranoia may better explain her worries, for she then declared, "I do not walk by myself on campus anymore. I am actually very afraid for my life." Because, you see, "the very people who are intimidating and harassing us, including people who have served in the Israeli military—and I grew up under Israeli occupation—are walking around on campus." Who knew that IDF soldiers are menacing SFSU's faculty?!

Yet Abdulhadi is her own worst enemy. After spewing anti-Semitism in a rant written in response to the suit, she again exhibited the very bigotry she denies exists: she railed against the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) for condemning the General Union of Palestinian Students' (for which she serves as faculty advisor) disruption of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat's 2016 SFSU talk. Then, despite the University's conclusion that Jewish student group Hillel was "improperly excluded" from a February campus civil rights information fair, she thundered "People who are . . . oppressors have no place in spaces where people need to be protected. So, the Know Your Rights Fair was right to not have a table for Hillel!"

Co-panelist Sara Kershnar of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) claimed an IJAN report to which Abdulhadi and AMED contributed exposed several "Zionist backlash" organizations, including the Middle East Forum, whose president, Daniel Pipes, she dubbed "one of the fathers of the Islamophobia industry" and an "intermediary" for "millions and millions of dollars" that he doles out to his minions. Pipes, Horowitz, LP, the AMCHA Initiative, the Zionist Organization of America, and JCRC are, she warned, "at the center of the attack on SFSU."

Abdulhadi and her anti-Israel cohorts may feel besieged, but they're hardly victims. What they label a nefarious plot is simply a justified, lawful reaction to their dominance at SFSU and universities across the nation. The MOU with terror-promoting An-Najah is among the most blatant examples of this overreach and the Middle East Forum remains committed to its demise. No longer will activists posing as academics in order to push an illiberal agenda go unopposed.

(Stillwell, “The Zionists are Coming! Panic at San Francisco State U.,” FrontPageMag Online, 10/9/17).