January 17, 2020

SF State Prof Loses Sanctions Motion Against Lawfare

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

San Francisco State University (SFSU) Professor Rabab Abdulhadi’s motion sanctioning the Lawfare Project and Winston & Strawn LLP was thrown out on May 28.

According to a press release from the Lawfare Project, Abdulhadi sought $428,890.76 from Lawfare and Winston & Strawn, arguing “that their claims against her were baseless and that they acted in bad faith.” Abdulhadi was a defendant in a June 2017 lawsuit alleging that SFSU wasn’t doing enough to protect Jewish students on campus. United States District Court Judge William Orrick denied Abdulhadi’s motion.

“Ironically, it was Abdulhadi who abused the court system in order to penalize the attorneys for reaching a crucial settlement protecting the rights of Jewish students,” the Lawfare Project’s press release states. “This was a classic attempt at lawfare, and it failed.” The press release then notes that Abdulhadi “infamously declared that welcoming Zionists to campus was a ‘declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, [and] Palestinians’ and, just this month, equated Zionists with white supremacists.”

Lawfare Project Executive Director Brooke Goldstein said in a statement to the Journal, “Abdulhadi’s continuous attempts to demonize the Jewish community endangers students. The historic settlement with CSU exists to safeguard Jewish and Zionist students, following decades of well-documented anti-Semitic activity on campus. This employee is attempting to undermine the efforts of the university to stop this bigotry. We will continue holding professors like Abdulhadi accountable for propagating discrimination and hate on campus.”

On March 20, the California State University system agreed to a settlement with the Lawfare Project that they would issue a statement acknowledging that “for many Jews, Zionism is an important part of their identity.”

Abdulhadi did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.