Debate Magazine

San Francisco State University Betrays Its Community

Posted on the 25 June 2014 by Mikelumish @IsraelThrives
From: Tammi Benjamin <[email protected]>Date: June 24, 2014 7:05:11 AM PDTTo: [email protected]Subject: SFSU Professor's misuse of taxpayer funds
To: California State Controller John Chiang
Dear Controller Chiang,
One month ago, our organizations sent the letter below to CSU Chancellor White, SFSU President Wong, CSU Chief Audit Officer Mandel and CSU Attorney for Conflict of Interest and Governance Reith, regarding what we believe to be a serious and blatant misuse of University and state funds.  
According to documents obtained through a California Public Records Act (PRA) request, it appears that SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi received more than $7,000 in state dollars to meet with members of known terrorist organizations and promote the boycott of Israel.  On all of the PRA documents regarding the funding, insurance, and administrative approval of her travels, Abdulhadi indicated that the primary purpose of her trip was academic: to deliver a paper at a scholarly conference in Beirut.  However, Abdulhadi never attended the Beirut conference.  Instead, as she herself acknowledged at a public event she had organized on the SFSU campus to report on the delegation's experiences, the trip was a "political solidarity tour" to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel, whose primary purpose was to promote "resolute actions in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel." 
As part of her "political solidarity tour," Abdulhadi met with individuals affiliated with the US State Department-designated terrorist organizations Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas, including convicted terrorist Leila Khaled and Islamist leader Sheik Raed Salah.  Khaled is a convicted hijacker and the most famous member of the PFLP, a terrorist organization responsible for 159 terrorist acts such as bombings, armed assault and assassinations, resulting in numerous injuries and deaths including those of more than 20 US citizens. Salah was recently incarcerated for incitement to violence and aiding and abetting Hamas, an organization responsible for the murder and maiming of hundreds of Jews that is suspected in last week's abduction of three teenagers in Israel. 
Although evidence demonstrates that Abdulhadi had planned the "political solidarity tour" and meetings with PFLP and Hamas members almost a year in advance, nowhere in the documents she filled out in order to receive funding and insurance from the University did she mention that the primary purpose of her trip was political advocacy -- to promote the academic boycott of Israel -- nor did she mention the intended meetings with individuals affiliated with US State Department-designated terrorist organizations. 
We have asked the University to investigate this matter, but have received no response. However, according to the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support website, it appears that the university is defending the professor's personal advocacy mission as "research" and clearing her of all wrong-doing.  We are therefore turning to you and requesting that you investigate this potentially fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars.
We also urge you to investigate a June 2011 trip that Prof. Abdulhadi organized and led, the "Indigenous & Women of Color Feminist Delegation to Israel and the West Bank."  According to a statement issued by the delegation's participants, the purpose of the 2011 trip was political -- "to affirm [their] association with the growing international movement for a free Palestine" -- and the statement itself was a call to "academic and activist colleagues in the U.S. and elsewhere to join [the delegation's participants] by endorsing the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] campaign."  The statement also indicates that the group met with the "Boycott National Committee," whose first and most important member organization is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which, according to the Anti-Defamation League, was founded by Yasser Arafat at the start of the Second Intifada in 2000 for the purpose of “organizing a unified effort among major Palestinian factions to coordinate terror attacks.” The Council includes among its constituent organizations Hamas, the PFLP, and PFLP – General Command, all three of which are on the U.S. Department of State’s list of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
Thank you for looking into this matter.  Professors should not be meeting with terrorists and propagating hate on the taxpayer dime.  Please help put a stop to this outrageous abuse of power and resources.
Sincerely,
AMCHA InitiativeBrandeis Center for Human Rights Under LawInstitute for Black Solidarity with Israel  Proclaiming Justice to the Nations Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Simon Wiesenthal Center Campus Outreach StandWithUs Zionist Organization of America 
Cc:Attorney General Kamala Harris Deputy Attorney General Stepan HaytayunCalifornia Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson  California State Senator Mark Leno  (San Francisco)California Assembly Member Philip Y. Ting (San Francisco)California Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on EducationCalifornia Assembly Member Das Williams, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher EducationCalifornia Assembly Member Shirley Weber, Chair of the Select Committee on Campus ClimateCalifornia State Senator Marty Block, Chair of Legislative Jewish CaucusCSU TrusteesCSU Chancellor Timothy WhiteCSU Vice Chancellor and Chief Audit Officer Larry MandelCSU Resource Attorney for Conflict of Interest & Governance Carrie Hemphill ReithCSU General Counsel Framroze VirgeeCSU Deputy General Counsel G. Andrew JonesSFSU President Leslie WongSFSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue RosserSFSU Associate Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management Michael MartinSFSU Associate Risk Management Dao VanQuateSFSU Counsel Patricia BartscherCalifornia Jewish Community Leaders

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