San Francisco State Univ. funds professors’ Middle East meeting with terrorists

Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Former Reporter

Total Shares
This is the CRO SBAR

  • Professor Rabab Abdulhadi led a delegation of six academics and a labor activist to Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank.
  • The delegation met with Leila Khaled, a convicted hijacker, and Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
  • San Francisco State University (SFSU) used taxpayer dollars to send a group of professors to the Middle East to meet with convicted terrorists.

    SFSU professor Rabab Abdulhadi led a delegation of six academics and one labor activist on a trip to Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank where they met with at least two members of known terrorist organizations. Originally, she planned to present a paper at the American University in Lebanon’s Center for American Studies and Research conference, but her name was dropped from the conference. However, the trip continued, costing the university more than $7,000 alone for Abdulhadi to travel.

    "Professor Abdulhadi called the trip a ‘political solidarity tour’ and not a research with colleagues tour."   

    The delegation met with Leila Khaled, convicted hijacker and member of the terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel who has funded the terrorist organization Hamas.

    Salah has been consistently vocal about his anti-Semitic views and has been charged with inciting violence and racism on multiple occasions.

    “We have never allowed ourselves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children's blood,” Salah was quoted as saying prior to one of his arrests in Jerusalem. “Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy bread.”

    Joanne Barker, professor of American Indian studies at SFSU and an attendee on the trip, wrote on her blog that the delegation was able to establish “working relationships and furthered their solidarities with Palestinian scholars, artists, and activists engaged in BDS and other efforts against the occupation.”

    Members from eight pro-Israel advocacy groups decried the Academic and Labor Delegation to Palestine after a California public records inquiry divulged the political nature of the trip.

    “We’re very concerned as we believe [Abdulhadi] lied to the university and misrepresented the nature of her trip in order to get funding and insurance for her trip to meet with terrorists,” Tammi Benjamin from AMCHA told Campus Reform in an interview.

    “To suggest that the mere fact of meeting with someone to interview them as a part of your research necessarily means you are endorsing their politics is ridiculous, whether those politics are right, left, or other,” Barker told Campus Reform in a brief email.

    But Benjamin disagrees.

    “It’s important to note that Professor Abdulhadi called the trip a ‘political solidarity tour’ and not a research with colleagues tour,” she said. “I find it really hard to believe that’s research and had any fundamental academic value. It was purely political.”

    Benjamin says AMCHA is mostly upset that the school used taxpayer money to fund such a polarized trip and is unhappy that Abdulhadi omitted key details of the trip—which could have been important for insurance purposes—from the preliminary itinerary she gave to university.

    “She’s welcome to her own political activism. She’s welcome to protest Israel. She’s welcome to her own opinion. And she’s welcome to trips like this,” Benjamin said. “Our only issue is that she’s doing it on the taxpayer’s dime.”

    AMCHA has since sent two different letters to SFSU’s President Leslie Wong and the California State University board of trustees asking for the school to conduct an investigation into how the tax money was exactly spent, but have yet to receive a response.

    SFSU and Abdulhadi both did not respond to Campus Reform’s multiple requests for comment.

    Baker told Campus Reform that while she cannot speak for the other delegates on the trip, she did not receive any travel funds from SFSU. She said her expenses were all out-of-pocket.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn



    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn

    Former Reporter

    Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, Kaitlyn was a reporter at Red Alert Politics and covered business and restaurants for the Alexandria Times.  

    More By Kaitlyn Schallhorn


    LATEST TWEETS

    George Richardson
    @tabloid123 - 1 hour ago

    @campusreform TABLOID NEWS EXTRA See our FREE online newspaper: http://t.co/HeA5FsIhej http://t.co/drHZ9iBlOB

    Aquaponics&Insects
    @DDVasseur - 4 hours ago

    Univ. of New Mexico to host 'threesome' sex event for students http://t.co/r3sPMi5JDI via @campusreform

    Irene Starkehaus
    @starkehaus - 4 hours ago

    SCOTUS to again hear case against University of Texas's affirmative action http://t.co/fpcGg2phDm via @campusreform

    Aquaponics&Insects
    @DDVasseur - 4 hours ago

    @campusreform Hunter Riley of the Self-Serve Sexuality Resource Center—a feminist sex shop and co-sponsor of sex week—told Campus Reform

    Aquaponics&Insects
    @DDVasseur - 4 hours ago

    Safe Sex - Instead of teaching students how not to get hurt, they're teaching them how to have safer & better sex.” @campusreform

    1389
    @1389 - 5 hours ago

    Grad student threatens abortion unless she raises $1M http://t.co/80GR12JhEM via @campusreform

    David Bryner
    @dangerdbryner - 6 hours ago

    @campusreform @ChelseaClinton with all her money one would think she could get her teeth whitened.

    David Bryner
    @dangerdbryner - 6 hours ago

    @campusreform i knew che was a tshirt tycoon but now berets?

    Latest 30 Articles