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STOP the Zionist Attacks On Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi & SFSU AMED Program Speak-out At The Quad
by Labor Video Project
Friday Nov 19th, 2021 10:03 AM
A solidarity rally and speak out for SFSU professor Rabab Abdulhadi and the AMED program at San Francisco State University on November 17, 2021
A speak-out and rally was held at San Francisco State University on November 17, 2021 to demand an end to censoring of Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi who is the director of the Arab & Muslim Ethnicities & Diasporas program. Speakers also demanded full funding for the AMED program at the college. The president of the SFSU chapter of the California Faculty Association James Martel spoke against the censoring of classes by Zoom, Facebook and Youtube and the refusal of the president of the University Lynn Mahoney to accept the recommendations of a faculty commission to fight against these attacks by the Zionists. Other speakers from the program, Palestinian community and other communities talked about the systemic attacks on Palestinians and the actions to destroy the program. Other speakers including SF State '68 strikers also spoke in solidarity and defense of the program.

Additional media:

11/15/21 The War on Academics and Critics of Israel By Pacifica’s Covid, Race & Democracy

President Mahoney upholds the University’s acceptance of Big Tech’s increasing control over academic discussion, and its complicity with Zionist organizations.

ZOOM CENSORSHIP OF PALESTINE SEMINARS SPARKS FIGHT OVER ACADEMIC FREEDOM Zoom cited anti-terrorism laws to shut down an event with Palestinian activist Leila Khaled — and other events criticizing its censorship.
Zionism & The Firing Of UK University of Bristol Sociologist David Miller

Zionist Attacks On SFSU AMED Arab & Muslim Ethnicities & Diasporas Program, The CFA & Labor

Rally Demands Justice For SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, Palestinian Students & Ed Program

SF Community Labor Rally Defends Palestinian Professor Rabab Abdulhadi Against Zionist Lawsuit

For more information:
Production of Labor Video Project

California Faculty Association - San Francisco State University CFA SFSU on President Mahoney’s Veto of the Faculty Hearing Panel on Academic Freedom

We, the executive board of the CFA-SFSU chapter, are dismayed that SFSU President Mahoney has rejected the findings of a faculty panel in the recent statutory hearing of Profs. Rabab Abdulhadi and Tomomi Kinukawa. The grievance that led to this Faculty Hearing Panel concerned a "virtual open classroom" event hosted by Professors Abdulhadi and Kinukawa in September 2020 and entitled “Whose Narratives: Gender, Justice and Resistance”. The event included a panel discussion with Palestinian feminist Leila Khaled, among other guests. The Lawfare Project, a right-wing Zionist organization, was alerted to the event and demanded that Zoom cancel the open classroom over Khaled’s previous affiliation with a Palestinian group labeled as terrorist by the State department.Zoom ultimately refused to host the webinar on its platform.

Subsequent to the hearing on October 7th, 2021, the Faculty Hearing Panel (FHP) ruled unanimously in favor of Profs. Abdulhadi and Kinukawa, asserting that the university had chilled their free speech by: erroneously suggesting that they might go to jail for hosting the open classroom (even though the CSU itself ruled that this open classroom did not in any way constitute material support for terrorism); and that, after Zoom’s decision to cancel the academic event, SFSU administration failed to expeditiously provide an alternative web conferencing platform. President Mahoney rejected the unanimous decision by the FHP arguing that the SFSU administration did not violate the professors’ academic freedom because it did not order them to cancel the open classroom. President Mahoney also maintained that - - despite evidence presented at the hearing and the verdict of the faculty panel - - that the university made a good faith effort to find another platform, although they ultimately failed to do so.

We reject both of President Mahoney’s arguments. First, raising the threat of jail time clearly chills academic freedom, particularly when hosting this academic event was not illegal. Second, by suggesting that Profs. Abdulhadi and Kinukawa might want to hire their own lawyer, by not advocating for the event to proceed on Zoom, and by generally failing to stand up to outside pressures to protect their right to host the virtual open classroom in the first place, the administration systematically failed to support the educational work of Profs Abdulhadi and Kinukawa. Academic freedom means nothing if the university fails to protect it when under duress.

In addition to rejecting President Mahoney’s veto, we highlight two very distressing issues that concern all SFSU faculty. First, the university’s relationship with Zoom, a for-profit, private corporation, raises myriad academic freedom issues. By allowing Zoom to refuse to host the virtual open classroom, the SFSU administration ceded control of academic affairs to a corporation. Second, by rejecting the decision of the Faculty Hearing Panel, President Mahoney has chosen to override a truly democratic model of governance exemplified by the statutory hearing process. The panelists are chosen by random lots and are truly a jury of one's peers. That this faculty voice has been dismissed and, indeed, overridden indicates to us that the administration’s commitment to academic freedom hardly extends beyond empty platitudes. The case will now be appealed and go to arbitration. It is our earnest wish that the decision be reversed and the university administration unequivocally embrace academic freedom as a core value to be cherished and protected by all.


By Alexei Folger and Harry Soloway

Students, faculty, alumni, labor leaders, clergy, members of the historic 1968 student strike, and community members gathered at the Malcolm X Plaza at San Francisco State University this week to protest President Mahoney’s undermining of SFSU faculty integrity, the spirit of '68 historic commitment to social justice, and the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas studies program (AMED) and its founding director Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi.

SFSU Alumni and AMED community supporters were outraged by President Mahoney’’s decision to veto the unanimous ruling by a Faculty Hearing Panel, which conducted a six-hour hearing on the arbitrary cancellation by Zoom and other private tech companies of Drs. Abdulhadi and Kinukawa’s online open classroom, “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice and Resistance: A Conversation with Leila Khaled.” The rally emphasized that the university is bound by contract, law, labor rights, and the AAUP (Association of American University Professors) policy to protect academic freedom rather than subcontracting the responsibility to private companies. Further, universities must maintain structural independence from the whims and demands of partisan lobbying organizations, including Zionist groups like the Academic Engagement Network (AEN), Hillel International, and the Lawfare Project.

In its ruling, now vetoed by President Mahoney, the Faculty Panel affirmed that: “San Francisco State University has inflicted harm upon Dr. Abdulhadi (and co-instructor, Dr. Kinukawa) and that her academic freedom was, in fact, violated. ...[T]he university did not provide adequate support to Dr. Abdulhadi against the actions of the corporate entity, Zoom, and, more importantly against the outside organization, Lawfare Project.” Furthermore, the Panel ordered the university to provide remedies in the form of a public apology to Dr. Abdulhadi and to provide “a site for rescheduling the event with Leila Khaled on an alternate platform, without interference”.

Distinguished speakers were united in their condemnation of President Mahoney’s dismissive decision of the Faculty Panel’s decision. The panel recommended redress to Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi for the University’s failure to protect Professor Abdulhadi’s and her colleague Dr. Tomomi Kinukawa’s academic freedom from corporate and Zionist interference. Dr. James Martel, chapter President of CFA at SFSU expressed solidarity with the two professors. He stated that it is “troubling to have a private corporation be in charge of academic freedom.” Mahoney’s claim to be a proponent of academic freedom, Martel insisted, is contradicted by her actions, adding that “saying that you’re for free speech is meaningless if, when things get tough, you don’t do anything”.

Dr. Hatem Bazian, SFSU alumna and Professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, accused the University of long-standing Islamophobia: SFSU “should have welcomed, embraced, and funded” Dr. Abdulhadi and AMED” but instead subjected her the program, and its students to “structural torture on a daily basis”. Of the University’s targeting of Dr. Abdulhadi, he said that the University has only “one Palestinian professor - I guess that is one too many!”

President Mahoney's veto is the latest manifestation of SFSU's policy of harassment of Dr. Abdulhadi, intensifying its efforts to dismantle AMED, while confirming its complicity with national Zionist organizations that seek to silence and bully Palestinian voices on campuses. Rev. Michael Yoshii of the United Methodist clergy and Co-Chair of Friends of Wadi Foquin found President Mahoney’s decision to be “profoundly immoral and spiritually bankrupt”.

“It’s been very disturbing to witness the University attempt to disrupt and shut down AMED,” declared Noura Khouri, an SFSU alumna and a co-organizer of the rally with ‘68 veteran striker, Steve Zeltzer. Khouri stressed that the University’s actions present “a grave danger to all of us . As a community, we are prepared and committed to fight until our demands are met”. Leith Ghuloum, current graduate student in the Ethnic Studies MA program expressed their disappointment over the refusal of the College to offer a graduate AMED Studies seminar. Ghuloum spoke about the collective demand by the first and second year Ethnic Studies graduate cohorts who were joined by seven other cohorts from 2008 to the present. As a result, “my cohorts will graduate without the support of our University” adding that students are “trying to study [AMED] something that the University is against”.

Leading the rally with chants of “Stand Up, Fight Back,” national organizer Nadya Tannous introduced a statement of support by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), calling on President Mahoney “to offer unwavering support for AMED and Dr. Abduhadi.” “While the University “advertises its diversity, it is willing to shut [AMED] down for the interests of corporate donors,” PYM declared.

Grace Shimizu of the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project, discussed the long history of AMED's commitment to the indivisibility of justice, by bringing together campus and communities, as shown in its leadership in commemorating the Day of Remembrance for the WWII mass incarceration of Japanese Americans and the opposition to "enemy aliens." Shimizu remarked that SFSU's discrimination against Dr. Abdulhadi reflects a “stench that is deep rooted.” She called on the University to “honor its commitment to our communities” and stop its campaign to dismantle AMED.

Dr. Tomomi Kinukawa, faculty lecturer in Women and Gender Studies, emphasized how the AMED program “reflects the spirit of the ‘68 strikers," a long and proud history of SFSU activism and commitment to academic integrity that includes and reflects the diverse and historically marginalized voices of BIPOC communities. Led by the Black Student Union and the Third World Liberation Front, the 1968 Student Strike, which commenced this month 53 years ago, is hailed as the Student Strike that Changed Higher Ed Forever, and was successful in establishing the first Ethnic Studies College in the country.

Steve Zeltzer, an SFSU alum and a veteran of the ‘68 strike, expressed his outrage that “we would be back here at SFSU to defend the principles we were fighting for in ‘68”. He defended the “right of people around the world to speak out about their history and their struggles.”

The rally demanded a reversal of President Mahoney’s decision, calling on SFSU to honor its legacy of a free and inclusive academic culture, rather than practicing Islamophobia and anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian bias, while dismantling AMED and its commitment to critical ethnic studies in favor of the corporate bottom line. In particular, SFSU alumni and their faculty and community supporters demanded full funding of AMED, including the hiring of two tenure track professors, an end to the harassment of Dr. Abdulhadi, and the termination of the corporate and Zionist lobbying that precludes academic freedom.

Statements From SF State Strikers In Solidarity With Professor Rabab Abdulhadi & SFSU AMED Program

Letter By SF State Striker Peter Shapiro To President Mahoney


Peter Shapiro

Dear President Mahoney,

I am a veteran of the 1968-9 strike that established the College of Ethnic Studies, and co-author of An End to Silence, published in 1971 and still the most detailed and comprehensive published account of the strike. I firmly believe that the incorporation of a Mideast diaspora program into the College's offerings is not only necessary but fully consistent with what we fought for over a half-century ago.

I am deeply disturbed by the reports of continuing attacks on the program and urge you to do all you can to stop them.

The censoring of Prof. Abdulhami's classes online classes by Zoom is an outrageous assault on academic freedom that no self-respecting academic community should tolerate. However, more is at stake here than the right of professors to do their job without becoming the target of politically-motivated attacks. The acclaimed novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen said recently that the most egregious example of "cancel culture" at work today is the suppression of any serious discussion of Palestinian rights. There are politically influential forces who see the mere raising of the subject as a threat to the state of Israel, and any questioning of Israel's policies toward Palestinians as yet another case of anti-Semitism rearing its ugly head.

These forces claim to speak for all Jews. I can assure you that they do not. They certainly do not speak for me. If you read Marc Tracy's article in the November 7 New York Timesmagazine, you know that there are plenty of others who share my revulsion at the policies of the Israeli government and its continuing disregard for the human rights of Palestinians.

In the name of human rights as well as academic freedom, and in same spirit that moved me and thousands of other SF State students to go on strike for five months in 1968-9, I must respectfully protest your veto of the faculty panel's resolution on this topic..Please give the AMED program the resources and the institutional protection it needs to fulfill its mission, and the proper mission of every institution of higher education.

Best wishes,

Peter Shapiro (Class of 1971)

Dear All,

Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the rally on Wednesday since I will be watching my grandchildren that day. But, I just want to say that as an alumnus of SFSU and in turn, as an active participant in the strike’s actions against the racism at the institution back in 1968-1969, I am truly appalled that discrimination and racism is still rearing up its ugly head at State, my alma mater.

I left State in 1974 with a B.A. and later became an elementary school bilingual and Two-Way (Spanish/English) immersion teacher of mostly low-income, ESL students. I retired from the classroom several years ago satisfied that I did my best to meet the educational needs of my students.

It is in that regard that I support Professor Rabab Abduhali and the AMED program. I am positive that her work and that of the AMED program is exactly the struggle against injustice and inequities that I was involved in as a first semester Freshman back in 1968, and continued to be involved in throughout my 26 years in education as a teacher and the numerous years helping my own children through the K-12 schools. And, yes, all three of them got their degrees at SFSU and are doing very well in their chosen careers.

I first heard about what is happening to Professor Abdulhadi at a Higher Education Action Team meeting at City College. I am involved in that group there trying to fight against the cutbacks, layoffs, etc. at City. (I am taking CCSF enrichment classes.) At our last meeting the HEAT group endorsed the rally in support of Professor Abdulhadi and AMED. HEAT and I, as an alumnus of the State strike, see that our struggles back then and now are the same. Please let the professor and the AMED program alone so that they can continue the excellent education our students deserve.

Thank you,
Lisa Gutierrez (Guzman)
Class of 1974

Solidarity Statement for Rally, November 17, 2021

The attack on AMED, and the ongoing attacks on Palestine, and Arab Americans at SFSU must be rejected by all those committed to social justice:

o The targeting of AMED, the criminalization of GUPS' Palestine solidarity organizing, and the administration's partnerships with Islamophobic, anti-Arab organizations contradict the decades-long fights for racial and economic justice that is SFSU's legacy;

o President Mahoney’s actions should be condemned. It is her responsibility to ensure the campus is a safe environment for all its students and faculty, including Arabs, and Muslims;

o Silencing discussions on Palestine, as Mahoney did when she supported the cancellation of the AMED event, is a form of censorship.

The AMED program, built by the community, is an extension of the BSU/TWLF fight for Ethnic Studies, and should be resourced, and supported now more than ever.

Defend AMED and Professor Rabab Abdulhadi
§SF State '68 Striker Margaret Leahy
by Labor Video Project
Friday Nov 19th, 2021 10:03 AM
SF 68' striker Margaret Leahy spoke in solidarity with Professor Rabab Abdulhadi and also for the AMED program. She talked also about the attacks public education at State.
§SF City College HEAT Supporter At Rally
by Labor Video Project
Friday Nov 19th, 2021 10:03 AM
San Francisco City College Higher Education Action Team joined the rally in support of Rabab Abdulhadi
§SFSU AMED Graduate Student Leith Ghuloum Spoke
by Labor Video Project
Friday Nov 19th, 2021 10:03 AM
SFSU AMED graduate student spoke to the rally and reported on the systemic attack on the program by the SFSU administration.
§The International Struggle For Truth About History
by Labor Video Project
Friday Nov 19th, 2021 10:03 AM
Grace Shimizu of the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project talked about the denialism of history of the kidnapping of Japanese Peruvians by the FBI during the 2nd World War and the denialism of the history of the Palestinian people.
§Palestinian Youth Joined the Rally For Professor Abdulhadi & AMED
by Labor Video Project
Friday Nov 19th, 2021 10:03 AM
National organizer Nadya Tannous introduced a statement of support by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), calling on President Mahoney “to offer unwavering support for AMED and Dr. Abduhadi.” “While the University “advertises its diversity, it is willing to shut [AMED] down for the interests of corporate donors,” PYM declared.
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