USACBI stands with Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi and Leila Khaled

The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) declares its unflinching support for San Francisco State University Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, who has come under recent attack for hosting an upcoming webinar discussion with celebrated Palestinian freedom fighter Leila Khaled.

The right-wing, Zionist attacks on Prof. Abdulhadi, her advocacy for Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas studies, and Palestinian liberation are both longstanding and well-known.  

The Zionist, imperialist, and colonial smearing of Palestinian resistance–and even simply Palestinian existence–as “terrorism” is, unfortunately, even more well-established.

The parallels between these two smear campaigns are neither accidental nor mysterious.

The longstanding American and Israeli traditions of slandering people and movements advocating justice and liberation for Palestinian people as anti-Semitic, inhuman, and even “terrorist” are not simply libelous; they are poisonous and destructive.  They ignore the actual, material power disparities that exist on the ground for Palestinians living under Israeli siege and occupation.  Instead, these attacks mobilize an ideological politics of false victimhood and moral righteousness to condemn “terrorism” even as Israel tightens its strangleholds of racism, imprisonment, torture, segregation, dispossession, disappearance, and slow genocide on those who refuse, as Edward Said once put it, to simply “go away.”  Palestinians have refused to disappear; consequently, they are punished in a thousand ways. “Terrorism” is one name for that punishment, a term used by western colonizers and Zionists to name Palestinians’ refusal to disappear and to disable, disarm, and discredit all efforts at Palestinian self-determination. “Terrorism” is the means by which Palestinian determination not to disappear has been rendered criminal, inhumane, “savage,” and evil.  

USACBI stands with Prof. Abdulhadi, Leila Khaled, and Palestinians everywhere in their sumud (steadfastness) and determination not simply to remain, but also to resist their own erasure and annihilation.  We disavow the discourse of “terrorism” and the reactionary, imperialist, and colonial worldview underpinning it.  Free Palestine!

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