San Francisco State University President Defends Professor Rabab Abdulhadi’s Travel and Research After Latest “McCarthyist Campaign”
The AMCHA Initiative’s latest round of accusations targeting scholarship on Palestine has once again proven to be based on false charges. AMCHA publicly accused Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi of misrepresenting the nature and purpose of her January 2014 trip to Palestine and Jordan. SFSU reviewed the facts and concluded that the allegations “have no merit.” The record (including documents cited by AMCHA) demonstrates that Abdulhadi’s application for travel authorization was transparent and accurate. In a response, Dr. Abdulhadi explains, "All over California, the AMCHA Initiative's accusations have repeatedly proven to be all smoke and no fire. SFSU President Wong's statement confirms there was no wrongdoing here. But we must do more to protect California scholars from AMCHA's McCarthyist campaigns, which aim to strait-jacket Ethnic Studies scholars, especially those studying Palestine."
As confirmed by SFSU, Abdulhadi correctly reported the purpose of her trip: to attend an international conference, to meet with diverse figures in Palestinian society, and collaborate with potential university partners towards a possible memorandum of understanding between SFSU and Palestinian universities. She carried out these activities as planned except she was not able to attend the conference because of university-imposed delays in approval of travel to “high risk” countries.
As SFSU President Leslie Wong stated in response to AMCHA’s continued attacks on Professor Abdulhadi, “Faculty can and do communicate with others relevant to their research, communicating by various methods that can involve travel. Professor Abdulhadi’s academic work in race and resistance studies requires examination of some of the world’s most challenging and controversial issues. San Francisco State University will continue to respect academic freedom, and we will not censor our scholars nor condone censorship by others.”
AMCHA’s attack was the latest in a series of incidents intended to stifle and criminalize any and all discussion of Palestine or Palestinians.