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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Education & Student Activism
Zionists Terrorize Faculty and Students At SF State With The Collusion Of University Bosse
Zionists are terrorizing faculty and students at SF State. The University President Lee Wong has colluded with the Zionists who he agrees with but in continuing to attack the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) with budget cuts that prevent it from carrying out it's mission with only one faculty member.
Zionists Terrorize Faculty and Students At SF State With The Collusion Of University Bosses
Islamophobia at Home at San Francisco State University
09/24/2017 07:48 pm ET Updated 3 days ago
The bigots are at it again. New posters have been popping up on college campuses in a smear campaign aimed at vilifying academics and students who are vocal on the Israeli Colonialism Project in Palestine. The most recent wave of defamatory posters appeared at San Francisco State University, U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Irvine; they are the product of David Horowitz’s “Freedom Center,” a far-right organization focused on anti-Muslim activism. Horowitz, as described in a report by the Center for American Progress is a prominent figure instrumental in demonizing Islam and spreading fear about an Islamic takeover of Western society.
Since the election of President Trump and the rise of white supremacist groups, Antisemitism and Islamophobia have dramatically increased across the United States. Exploiting this atmosphere of hate and xenophobia, pro-Israel groups have intensified their attacks on advocates for Palestinian rights, as well as supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement, Mexicans, immigrants and Muslims.
These latest attacks on academics, activists and students, are not isolated incidents; they are part and parcel of an overarching strategy to demonize Israel critics and vilify Muslims. Similar defamatory ads have targeted Israeli critics on several other US college campuses in the past, and Muslims across the country have been subject to both physical and psychological harassment provoked by ads on public transit systems purchased by the pro-Israel, Houston-based American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) with a declared agenda of whipping up anti-Muslim sentiment across the US.
The San Francisco Bay Area, recognized as one of the most liberal regions in the nation, has recently been witnessing a plethora of activities by hatemongers and right-wing extremists, who under the guise of free speech, have descended on college campuses to incite, spew hate and plant the seed of division between communities. A series of talks organized by right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to kick off on September 24, 2017 at U.C. Berkeley. Milo who promised to attract a bevy of high-profile speakers, such as Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon was greeted by dozens of counter-protesters on Sunday and spoke for only 15 minutes.
Such appearances, mostly brief, since February, by Milo and similar-minded speakers have cost UCB in the neighborhood of $1.4 million to provide security for these events. The university estimates the expenses incurred to be $200,000 for Milo’s appearance; $600,00 to host Ann Coulter (whose event ultimately was canceled by the sponsoring campus groups); and $600,000 for a recent talk by conservative writer Ben Shapiro.
By no coincidence, just a few days before Milo’s most recent highly publicized event, defamatory posters appeared on the grounds of San Francisco State University, U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Irvine. The posters, printed in the style of Wild West Wanted posters, target professors, students and activists from different ethnicities, including Muslims and Jews, whose common thread is that they advocate for social justice and Palestinian rights.
At San Francisco State University, the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) is a case in point. Not only has Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, Director & Senior Scholar at AMED, been pictured on virulent hate posters plastered campus-wide, she has also been named in a lawsuit filed in June 2017 by the Lawfare Project, a shadowy organization that advocates the “use of the law as a weapon of war against critics of Israel”. The lawsuit, filed against SFSU and several university administrators in addition to Dr. Abdulhadi alleges that SFSU willfully engaged in Antisemitism by fostering a campus climate that is hostile to Jewish students. The lawsuit cites an incident in the Spring of 2016, when a coalition of students representing a multiplicity of communities, ethnicities, and backgrounds who stand in solidarity for the freedom of Palestine, protested a speech by the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat for his role in enforcing Israel’s occupation over a divided city and for his incitement against Palestinian communities. Most of the allegations are based on a false conflation of the criticism of Israel’s actions with Antisemitism: parallels that have been soundly rejected and refuted by many Jews, including members of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).
Professor Abdulhadi is no stranger to smear campaigns by pro-Israel groups whose attacks against her have continued to amplify since AMED was founded. Some examples are: 1) having her name and personal information circulated on Canary Mission, a website created to slander student, faculty, and community activists for Palestinian rights as extremist, anti-Semitic, and sympathetic to terrorism 2) being accused of misusing university funds by another pro-Israel group called the AMCHA initiative, which employs tactics to stifle debate on Israel on college campuses. These accusations triggered numerous audits and investigations conducted by SFSU and California State University; Dr. Abdulhadi was exonerated by all of them.
While in most cases, false allegations are quickly refuted by the students and academics, they do exert a financial and emotional toll on those subjected to these smear campaigns, subverting the learning process and threatening academic freedom. Only when academic institutions succumb to the bullying tactics do the fear-mongers win. Shortly after the defamatory posters appeared on its campus, U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ sent out an email to students, faculty and staff condemning these “cowardly acts in the strongest possible terms”. She promised an investigation by the U.C. police department.
Meanwhile, the President of San Francisco State University Les Wong remains AWOL. In one instance, SFSU refused to have any of the posters removed, claiming them to be legitimate free speech instruments. President Wong has made no mention of hate speech and threats directed at the Muslim and other minority communities involved in the incident at issue. Instead, he has chosen to convene a task force on September 26 to address “Campus Climate;” however, the focus in the academic year of 2017 - 2018 has been defined solely to address “the safety of Jewish students on campus, the eradication of Antisemitism, and the improvement of Jewish community relations with the campus.” Following this initial focus, according to a letter sent by Wong on September 1, 2017, “the Task Force will expand to consider Islamophobia”.
Consider, President Wong? No need to consider, Islamophobia is alive and well on SFSU campus, and refusing to acknowledge it is tantamount to promoting it
Tweets by @JamalDajani
Jamal Dajani جمال Retweeted
Israel is arming war criminals | Haaretz Editorial https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.814469 …
Israel is arming criminals
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US police learn violent techniques designed to maintain military occupation of a civilian population
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<1qvIlQ1r_bigger.jpg>Jamal Dajani جمال ✔@JamalDajani
Woobeedoo! The Medieval Kingdom edging into the 20th century.
Sep 26, 2017
<1qvIlQ1r_bigger.jpg>Jamal Dajani جمال ✔@JamalDajani
This is US territory, these are US citizens
Sep 25, 2017
Some Palestinian students and faculty do not feel safe at SF State.
A two-day informational panel lead by Dr. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, SF State Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora studies, for SF State’s Constitution Day, featured a discussion on academic freedom for professors who stand up for marginalized students and the College of Ethnic Studies.
“We should not be afraid of walking on our own campus,” Abdulhadi said. “People who know me know that I do not walk alone in campus anymore. I am very afraid.”
Last fall, posters were put up on campus that depicted an illustration of Dr. Abdulhadi with this statement next to it: “a leader of the Hamas BDS campaign; collaborator with terrorists; San Francisco State professor.”
Just last week, on Thursday, Sept. 21, posters were plastered across campus from the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an extreme Zionist group unaffiliated with SF State, including an illustration of Abdulhadi labeling her a terrorist.
Alongside tangible posters on campus, a website called Canary Mission poses Palestinian professors and students at SF State as a threat to America. The site is run by “students and concerned citizens” who, according to Canary Mission, publish “freely available material gathered from publicly available sources.” The information and claims made on this site are not proven.
The site also attacks students involved in the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) from SF State and puts personal information behind photos of students.
“They do this because they want to silence us on campus,” Abdulhadi said. “The reason ‘terrorist’ is used all the time and the reason that I’m labeled a terrorist is because when Americans think of terrorists they think of a bomb exploding. They use this to create fear and divide us on campus.”
The panel on Monday, Sept. 18 also brought forward the universal theory of free speech and the reality of who has the right to exercise it, which included a comment on GUPS’s and other students’ intent for protesting Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s visit last year – an event which later resulted in a lawsuit against the campus.
The lawsuit, spearheaded by the pro-Israel organization The Lawfare Project, accused GUPS of trying to silence the Jewish community and the right to their First Amendment and, furthermore, accused the University of anti-Semitic behavior of not punishing GUPS activists more severely.
Saleem Shehadeh, a graduate from UC Davis (BA) and SF State (MA) in Anthropology and AMED Studies as well as a member of GUPS, said that Barkat did speak and finished his speech. GUPS voiced their opinion and protested due to what they believe Barkat represents.
“We have to analyze who he [Barkat] is, and the power in dynamics he holds,” Shehadeh said. “His speech is not neutral, his speech represents murder and violence.”
Blanca Misse, a panelist speaker and SF State faculty member from the French department, also added to the conversation, comparing Barkat to Milo Yiannopoulos, a British right-wing spokesman.
“These are not just speakers, they are political representatives,” Misse said. “If you’re inviting a representative of the colonial murder to your campus, you are reporting this violence to your campus. We need to separate freedom of speech that is interested in intellectual debate and other speech that reinforces biases in society and are there to cover bullying and violence.”
Abdulhadi explained in the panel that the accusation of GUPS being a threatening organization is false.
Oscar Rendon/Golden Gate Xpress
DR. RABAB ABDULHADI SPEAKS AT THE EVENT “FREEDOM FOR WHOM?” AT JACK ADAMS HALL IN THE CESAR CHAVEZ BUILDING AT SF STATE IN SAN FRANCISCO ON MONDAY, SEPT. 18, 2017. (OSCAR RENDON/GOLDEN GATE XPRESS)
“Barkat was able to finish his speech, shook hands with university officials and exited from the main door,” Abdulhadi said. “The report by the independent investigator the university hired confirmed that the Barkat protest was neither anti-Semitic nor violent toward Jewish or non-Jewish members of the audience.”
The conflict between Palestine and Israel has affected students on college campuses across the nation and it continues to run deep at SF State.
“There’s 70 years of pain that is behind all of this and they’re [Palestinian students and staff] very justified in the way they feel,” Lex De La Herran, a member of SF Hillel speaking as a Jewish individual on campus, said.
The panel called out far-right groups like the David Project and David Horowitz Freedom Center, which are not clubs at SF State. It is also important to note that although SF Hillel is an organization for many Jewish students at SF State, it does not encompass the Jewish community as a whole on campus.
“I thought that a lot of the points that they [the panelists] brought up were pretty valid,” De La Herran said. “However, I felt that it was unfair to group SF Hillel alongside some of the right-wing groups that have done those attacks … that’s not what the Jewish community here at SF State is about. None of us had a hand in doing any of these activities.”
The struggle for free speech that Palestinians in Palestine and Israel face mirror the hurdles that students in America, California and San Francisco face day by day. According to Liz Jackson, a panelist at the event from Palestine Legal, “advocates for freedom on campus face massive assault on their First Amendment rights.”
“Last year there was 258 reports of suppression to Palestinian rights,” she said. “The scope is large– it’s happening coast to coast and though San Francisco State is one major goal for organizations to suppress Palestinian rights, it’s not the only target, this is happening in many campuses, over 75.”
This international issue has put up literal walls between Palestine and Israel and metaphorical walls between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel students on campus, resulting in a climate of fear and lack of right to exercise their free speech as Palestinians at SF State.
“The GUPS, they’re barely able to go to class,” Jackson said. “They’re afraid of the media, it’s a really stressful event for them. You can’t have a dialogue with people when you’re constantly accusing them of being anti-Semitic.”
SAN FRANCISCO LABOR COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON HATE FLIERS AT SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY
Resolution in Defense of Prof. Abdulhadi and Students
December 13, 2016
Whereas a number of fliers were posted on the San Francisco State University campus on or around October 15, 2016; and
Whereas these posters targeted a faculty member of Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, of Arab and Muslim descent, smearing her by stating that she is a “collaborator with terrorists” and anti-Semitic (“#jewhatred”); and
Whereas other posters targeted students who were organizing a forum on Palestine and by implication suggested they were collaborating with terrorists and anti-Semitic; and
Whereas the posters are claimed by both the Canary Mission and the Horowitz Freedom Center; and
Whereas the Department of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State has released a statement in which it “condemns frontpagemag.com’s threats against one of our professorial colleagues, its reliance on an anonymous website that has targeted several of our undergraduate students, and its vandalism of our campus;” and
Whereas the targets of these posters have expressed fears for their physical safety;
Whereas leading members of the California Faculty Assoc. at SFSU have strongly condemned the posters and have called on “the university to take definitive legal action to stop these slanderous, libelous attacks and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all who live, work, and learn at SFSU;”
Therefore Be It Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council call on San Francisco State President Wong to unambiguously defend the academic freedom and the intellectual reputation of Prof. Abdulhadi; and
Be It Further Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council call on President Wong to publicly and unambiguously defend the academic freedom and the right of free speech of Palestinian students, faculty and staff; and
Be It Further Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council call on President Wong to publicly and unambiguously condemn all forms of hate speech, including anti-Arab racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and to take all the necessary actions to stop hate speech on campus; and
Be it Further Resolved that we call on Chancellor White to take full action against the authors of the fliers; and
Be It Finally Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council send this resolution to President Wong at San Francisco State University and Chancellor White of the CSU.
Adopted by the California Faculty Association-SFSU Executive Board on December 13, 2016