February 22, 2020

80 Pro-Israel Groups Call on CSU Chancellor to Investigate Anti-Zionist Posts on SFSU-Affiliated Facebook Page

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Eighty pro-Israel groups signed onto a July 11 letter from the AMCHA Initiative calling on California State University Chancellor Timothy White to investigate anti-Zionist posts on a San Franciso State University (SFSU)-affiliated page.

The letter, which includes the Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs and Students Supporting Israel National as signatories, notes that SFSU College of Ethnic Studies’ Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora’s Program’s (AMED) Facebook page shared a pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) photo on July 3 from NYC [New York City] Queers Against Israeli Apartheid saying, “Zionism = Racism!”

Screenshot from Facebook.

SFSU Ethnic Studies Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, who drew an equivalency between white supremacy and Zionism in a May guest lecture at UCLA, shared the same photo on June 29, which according to the letter is “an anti-Israel rally that she had recently attended.” Abdulhadi is also the director of the AMED Facebook page, per the letter.

Screenshot from Facebook.

The letter also noted that AMED’s Facebook page shared a February 2018 post from Abdulhadi where she criticized SFSU President Leslie Wong for saying that Zionists are welcome on campus. The post still remains on the Facebook page despite White saying it would be removed, according to the letter.

“While Prof. Abdulhadi has the right to express religious, ethnic or political hatred on her personal platform, it is a flagrant breach of academic conduct for her to use her administrative position and the Facebook page bearing her academic unit’s logo — which includes the name ‘San Francisco State University’ — to do so,” the letter states.

A spokesperson from the chancellor’s office told the Journal in an email that they received the letter and they “are looking into the matter.”

SFSU Interim Vice President for Strategic and Marketing Communications Mary Kenny said in a statement to the Journal, “The post on the AMED Facebook page does not reflect the opinions, values, or policies of San Francisco State University. The University’s ability to remove the post is limited since it was generated by an individual on a platform that the campus does not have access to or control over. SF State promotes the principles of inclusion, thoughtful intellectual discourse and sharing of ideas that are central to our academic environment. All are welcome at SF State and a diversity of perspectives helps us grow as an institution.”

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

The CSU system agreed to a settlement in March acknowledging that Zionism is an essential part of Jewish identity.