The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) strongly condemns the ongoing attack by AMCHA against one of our founding members, Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, director of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora (AMED) program at San Francisco State University (SFSU), and faculty mentor for the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) at that institution. Dr. Abdulhadi has already been attacked for her innovative and social-justice centered work in 2014 and 2015, and has been vindicated both times, yet the Zionist, pro-Israel AMCHA initiative is once again seeking to smear her and hinder her activist scholarship.
USACBI also lends our continuing support for the academic partnership between SFSU and An-Najah University in Nablus, Palestine. An-Najah University is one of the leading universities in Palestine, and this academic partnership is a key factor in building collaborative research and pedagogy between US and Palestinian universities to educate on issues in Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian communities. Indeed, the connection between the universities works to counter the rising tide of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism in the United States.
The attack against Dr. Abdulhadi is part of a larger pattern of often vicious harassment, intimidation, and blacklisting of students and faculty for expressing support for Palestinian rights, carried out by organizations dedicated to furthering the racist agenda of Zionism. Smear campaigns at SFSU and many other academic institutions have been widely discredited. Similarly, with GUPS, as is the case for student groups on other campuses (for example, CUNY, and UC-Irvine), university-appointed independent investigators found no basis for allegations of anti-Semitism issued by the Zionist Organization of America, Hillel, AMCHA and StandWithUs. Rather, each report affirmed that in their Palestine rights advocacy, these student groups targeted no ethnic, racial, or religious group, but rather that they opposed Israeli colonialism, state-sanctioned racism, and violence.
Today”s attacks on Rabab Abdulhadi—which are part of the systemic harassment as well as blacklisting of other faculty and students who support Palestinian rights–revives 1950s McCarthyism and that era”s concerted effort to disrupt progressive movements and organizing. Zionists” reliance on McCarthy-like tactics emerge in response to rapidly increasing support for the Palestinian-led global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), and the emerging and renewed alliances between Palestinian rights advocates, Standing Rock and the movement for Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination, the BlackLivesMatter movement, and others organizing against law enforcement violence. As we celebrate this strength and solidarity, we also condemn the resulting backlash–the escalating attempts to silence opponents of Israeli and US colonialism, racism, and militarized racist state violence.