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Unlawful conduct of a SFSU professor

Dear Chancellor White,

We are 80 civil rights, religious and education organizations, deeply concerned about the unlawful use of the name of California State University or any of its campuses to promulgate anti-Zionist propaganda and promote a boycott of Israel.

Many of our organizations wrote to you last year about a hateful, discriminatory and threatening posting that appeared on the official Facebook page of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora’s Program (AMED) in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. That posting, written by AMED’s director Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, stated that she considered “welcoming Zionists to campus, equating Jewishness with Zionism, and giving Hillel ownership of campus Jewishness to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, [and] Palestinians.” Although you responded to our groups’ letter by affirming that the post was unacceptable and corrective action would be taken, disturbingly, the hateful posting remains on the official AMED Facebook page.

We are writing to you today regarding yet another egregious posting to the AMED Facebook page by its director. On July 3, Prof. Abdulhadi re-posted to the AMED page a message previously shared on her personal Facebook page containing a photograph of a large banner that included the words “Zionism = Racism” and “Boycott! Divest! Sanction!”, which was displayed at an anti-Israel rally that she had recently attended. Further postings on Abdulhadi’s personal Facebook page make crystal clear that the banner’s anti-Zionist, pro-BDS message is one which Abdulhadi whole-heartedly embraces and is eager to promote at SFSU. (See here, here, here and here).

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. Moreover, unless the CSU Trustees provided their permission to use the University’s name in this way, Abdulhadi’s posting appears to be a clear violation of California Education Code section 89005.5, which states:

"All of the following names are the property of the state: California State University...San Francisco State University...No person shall, without the permission of the Trustees of the California State University, use this name…in connection with...propaganda, advertising, or promotional activity of any kind which has for its purpose or any part of its purpose the support, endorsement, advancement...of any...boycott or of any political...movement, activity, or program...Every person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Prof. Abdulhadi’s flagrant and unlawful conduct requires your immediate attention, and we look forward to hearing how you will address this matter.


Academic Council for Israel

Academic Engagement Network

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)

Alums for Campus Fairness - National

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside

Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA

AMCHA Initiative

America Israel Cooperative Enterprise

American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Institute for Jewish Research

American Truth Project

Americans Fighting Antisemitism

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

B'nai B'rith International

Bobcats for Israel at Ohio University

Boston Israel Action Committee

Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law

Bulldogs for Israel (Brooklyn College)

California Association of Scholars

Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore

Center for Combating Antisemitism

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Club Z

Coalition for Jewish Values

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

CUFI on Campus

Davis Faculty for Israel

Eagles Wings

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)

Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)

Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors

Hasbara Fellowships

Herut North America, U.S. Division

Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel

Iranian American Jewish Federation

Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization

Israel in NYC

Israel Matters

Israel on Campus Coalition

Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)

Israeli-American Civic Action Network

Israeli-American Civic Education Institute


Jewish American Affairs Committee of Indiana

Jewish War Veterans of the USA

Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA)

Middle East Forum

Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)

National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel

National Conference on Jewish Affairs

National Council of Young Israel



North Carolina Coalition for Israel

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations

Rabbinical Alliance of America

Rhode Island Coalition for Israel

Russian Jewish Community Foundation

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Simon Wiesenthal Center

Slugs for Israel (University of California Santa Cruz)


StandWithUs Saidoff Legal Department

Stop Anti-Semitism Now

Stop BDS on Campus

Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism

Students Supporting Israel at Columbia

Students Supporting Israel at Drake University

Students Supporting Israel at San Jose State University

Students Supporting Israel at UCLA

Students Supporting Israel National

Swarthmore Alumni Against Antisemitism on Campus

The Israel Christian Nexus

Tufts Friends of Israel

WoMen Fight Antisemitism

Young Jewish Conservatives

Zionist Organization of America

ZOA’s Fuel for Truth

Cc: California State University Trustees

California State University General Counsel Andrew Jones

San Francisco State University Outgoing President Leslie Wong

San Francisco State University Incoming President Lynn Mahoney

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra

Senator Connie M. Leyva, Chair California Standing Committee on Education

Assembly Member Jose Medina, Chair California Assembly Higher Education Committee

Senator Ben Allen, Chair Jewish Legislative Caucus

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