Professor Rabab Abdul Hadi and the Arab Muslim and Ethnicities Diasporas (AMED) Studies program at San Francisco State University (SFSU) have been the target of a number of attacks by right-wing Zionist organizations over the last year. In June of this year, one such group, the Lawfare Project filed a suit against SFSU in an attempt to intimidate Professor Abdulhadi and other faculty and students who teach, conduct research on, or speak in favor of Palestinian rights. The goal of the lawsuit is to both silence them and extract a punishment in order to further intimidate others as well.
The H-PAD steering committee has discussed how best to respond to this clear violation of academic freedom. First, we urge you to sign the petition in the following link in defense of Profesor Rabab Abdul Hadi and the Arab Muslim and Ethnicities Diasporas (AMED) Studies program at SF State. :https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeeArXzfd9MNbGqCIqNGnz3y_yFwYo34Gj1AZEdBiJsW_hizw/viewform
Second, we have sent a letter to SFSU President Wong and the Board of Trustees stating our support for Professor Rabab Abdul Hadi and the Arab Muslim and Ethnicities Diasporas (AMED) Studies program at SFSU and urging him to take a firm position in favor of academic freedom and in opposition to the attempts of the Lawfare Project’s to prevent it. (See below.)
Van Goss, Margaret Power, Andor Skotnes
Below is the letter H-PAD sent in support of Professor Rabab Abdul Hadi.
Dear Dr. Wong,
We are an organization of historically minded activists, scholars, students, and teachers founded in 2003 at the American Historical Association meeting (www.historiansforpeace.org). Since then, we have defended the rights of both faculty and students to speak out on issues that are not particularly popular.
We feel compelled to express our concern over the treatment of Professor Rabab Abdul Hadi, an internationally recognized scholar, who has been attacked yet again by the right-wing Zionist organization, The Lawfare Project, and other similar organizations. Like Professor Abdul Hadi, serious scholars around the country have been outspoken in their criticism of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. In fact, in 2015 and 2016, our organization introduced resolutions at American Historical Association condemning Israel’s attack on the right to education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
We view open criticism of Israeli policy to be critical to the educational process and deplore all attempts to close it down. Such efforts are an infringement on free speech and academic freedom and are an affront to our roles as scholars and teachers.
It is incumbent on you to protect your faculty and students from attempts to intimidate them and hope that you will take a strong public stand against the false accusations and harassment of Dr. Abdul Hadi and the efforts to quash student activism.
Van Gosse, Co-Chair, Franklin and Marshall College
Margaret Power, Co-Chair, Illinois Institute of Technology
Andor Skotnes, Co-Chair, The Sage Colleges