Baseless Accusations Against CA Professor

PSLS, other groups, warn California State Controller of baseless accusations against SFSU Professor Abdulhadi 

Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, a faculty member in the race and ethnic studies department at San Francisco State University (SFSU), has been repeatedly targeted by the AMCHA Initiative, a pro-Israel group devoted to silencing and punishing students and professors who advocate for the rights of Palestinians.  AMCHA publicly accused Professor Abdulhadi of misusing state funds on her January 2014 trip to Palestine and Jordan, a claim that SFSU President Leslie Wong concluded had “no merit.” Despite this categorical dismissal of AMCHA’s inflammatory claims, AMCHA has continued its campaign against Professor Abdulhadi, submitting its accusations for investigation by California State Controller John Chiang.  PSLS and other rights organizations submitted a letter to Controller Chiang on August 4, 2014 raising concerns about AMCHA’s attempt to pressure his office to investigate Professor Abdulhadi on the basis of her research and political viewpoints.  The letter emphasizes that AMCHA’s allegations are baseless, and provides context into the AMCHA Initiative’s ongoing campaign to suppress academic activity in support of Palestinians and critical of Israeli government policy.  The letter states:

“We ask your office to remain skeptical of pretextual complaints related to “misuse of state funding” for activity critical of Israel or supportive of Palestinian rights, particularly where the sole basis for the allegation is disagreement with an individual’s political expression or academic research. The use of state university resources to contribute to academic research and scholarly debate about Israel and Palestine is not only lawful and legitimate, but a scholarly duty.  We hope you will recognize that regardless of one’s views on Israel and Palestine, state officials must foster an environment where speech on this controversial issue is unfettered.”

Read full letter here.