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Related Categories: Palestine | San Francisco
Resolution In Defense of Palestinian Academic and in Support of Academic Freedom
by Fulano de Tal
Thursday May 17th, 2018 10:01 PM
The Lawfare Project, self-described as “the legal arm of the pro-Israel community”, filed a frivolous lawsuit against SFSU, the College of Ethnic Studies, and Dr. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi.

The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) joined a broad base of groups who have issued multiple public statements, open letters, and resolutions in support of Prof. Abdulhadi and academic freedom by passing this resolution.

The resolution is below, and available as a PDF, for study.

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Resolution in defense of academic freedom and freedom of speech for Professor Abdulhadi, Palestinian scholar-activists, student-activists, and their allies.
Originating from the Indigenous Caucus
NACCS Conference 2018
Approved by the Indigenous Caucus on March 21, 2018

Whereas NACCS is an association of community members, activist, and scholars for Chicanx struggle and scholarship in contestation of heteropatriarchal racial capitalism, settler-colonialism, chattel slavery, and imperialism;

Whereas NACCS stands in solidarity with communities in struggle that contest and go beyond various projects of heteropatriarchal racial capitalism, as well as racist, capitalist, and/or heteropatriarchal oppression;

Whereas NACCS manifests solidarity by responding to the Palestinian call to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions as manifest through a resolution in 2015;

Whereas Palestinian faculty, student-activists, and alumni have been consistently defamed and antagonized at San Francisco State University, most recently by a frivolous lawsuit filed by the Lawfare Project, disparaging fliers posted around the SFSU campus by the Horowitz Freedom Center, and by an email from President Wong declaring Zionists are welcome at SFSU;

Whereas the persistent defamation and antagonism of Dr. Abdulhadi, Palestinian student-activists, alumni and their allies is part of a broader pattern whereby right-wing Zionist organizations target scholars and students at university campuses in order to silence criticism of the state of Israel;

Whereas NACCS upholds a commitment to academic freedom, which is particularly important for the critical questions, methodologies, and knowledge produced by scholar-activists within Chicanx Studies;

Whereas the same lawsuit that smeared Dr. Abdulhadi’s reputation also made an unsubstantiated claim that the creation of the College of Ethnic Studies at SFSU was seminal in creating an alleged anti-Semitic environment at SFSU;

Whereas at stake are the gains made within the university by social movements - the College of Ethnic Studies won by the Third World Liberation Front, and various branches of Ethnic Studies, such as the political and intellectual traditions represented within Chicanx Studies;

Whereas a capitulation to this lawsuit would set a dangerous precedent, whereby outside groups pressure universities into undermining our profession and critical traditions of thought, such as Chicanx Studies;

Whereas Zionist organizations and right-wing groups that have targeted Palestinian scholar-activists and student-activists have also targeted Chicanx professors and student-activists;

Whereas a broad base of groups in civil society, ranging from groups inside and outside of the academy, and across racial and ethnic lines, have publicly supported Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, her academic freedom, her reputation, Palestinian student-activists, their allies, and their freedom of speech;

Whereas this same broad base of groups has also publicly condemned the lawsuit, posters, and other forms of antagonism that aim to repress criticism of the state of Israel and Palestinian liberation struggles;

Whereas all expressions of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, anti-Queer discrimination must be absolutely condemned, and all charges of such must be evidenced-based;



Therefore be it resolved that the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies calls on San Francisco State University President Leslie Wong and California State University Chancellor Timothy White to remain prepared to conduct a vigorous and principled legal defense against this lawsuit, at no cost to Dr. Abdulhadi and others listed, as well as refuse to settle this lawsuit in anyway that concedes to any of the disparaging charges listed;

Be it further resolved that we call on SFSU President Wong and CSU Chancellor White to make a public statement that defends the academic freedom and intellectual reputation of Prof. Abdulhadi, by clearing her name of the baseless attacks against her, as well as the academic freedom, freedom of speech, and reputations of faculty, staff, and students that have similarly disparaged;

Be it further resolved that we call on SFSU President Wong and CSU Chancellor White to publicly admonish 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 your campus;

Be it further resolved that we call on SFSU President Wong and CSU Chancellor White to pursue efforts to prosecute as a hate crime the individuals responsible for repeatedly posting the fliers on campus that defame Prof. Abdulhadi, GUPS (General Union of Palestine Students) and SFSU advocates for justice in Palestine;

Be it further resolved that we call on SFSU President Wong and CSU Chancellor White to end the hostile and unsafe work and study environment against Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, at SFSU campus that intimidate, bully, silence and police scholarship, teaching and campus protest activists by faculty, staff and students;

Be it further resolved that we call on SFSU President Wong and CSU Chancellor White to publicly explain the circumstances that led to President Wong’s statement welcoming Zionists to SFSU, taking into serious consideration the concern it caused faculty and students targeted by Zionists;

Be it further resolved that we call on SFSU President Wong and CSU Chancellor White to publicly clarify that President Wong’s statement welcoming Zionists in SFSU does not absolve Zionism as philosophy or state practice from critique, nor does it exempt it’s proponents from peaceful protest;

Be it further resolved that we call on SFSU President Wong and CSU Chancellor White to build AMED studies as a viable and stable program with tenure track faculty, operating budget and full time staff;

Be it further resolved that we call on SFSU President Wong and CSU Chancellor White to publicly demonstrate moral and financial support for the AMED Studies program and the College of Ethnic Studies at SFSU, and defend their fundamental role in the SFSU educational mission; and

Be it finally resolved that this resolution shall be publicly communicated to CSU Chancellor White, SFSU President Wong, and to NACCS membership by the NACCS Board via an open letter - effectively immediately.