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AMCHA Co-founders Send Letter to SFSU Dean of College of Ethnic Studies Regarding Professor Who Incites Students to Violence

AMCHA Co-founders Send Letter to SFSU Dean of College of Ethnic Studies Regarding Professor Who Incites Students to Violence

From: Tammi Benjamin <>
Date: December 10, 2013 10:18:17 AM PST
To: Kenneth P Monteiro <>
Cc:, Timothy White <>, Leticia Hernandez <>, Andrew Jones <>,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Jennifer Gorovitz <>, Doug Kahn <>,,,,,, Melissa Chapman <>, Jessica Braverman Birch <>,,,,,,,,, Mervyn Danker <>,, Ari Hier <>, Rabbi Abraham Cooper <>, Rabbi Meyer May <>, “ROZ@STANDWITHUS.COM SWU” <>, Orit Arfa <>, Jesse Rosenblum <>,, Sam Levine <>,,,,,,,, MCARR@ADL.ORG,,,,,,,, Ryan Pessah <>,, Leila Beckwith <>
Subject: AMED faculty incites students to violence
Dear Dean Monteiro,

More than two weeks ago, we wrote to you about a statement posted on Facebook, which defended GUPS’ use of inflammatory stencils justifying and glorifying murder and those who commit it. The bottom of this statement referred contact inquiries to the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED) in the College of Ethnic Studies.

It has recently come to our attention that this statement was written and circulated to CSU faculty in an email by Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, acting in her capacity as Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race Resistance Studies and Senior Scholar of AMED. In her email, Professor Abdulhadi, a faculty member and an advisor to GUPS members, encourages students to glorify murder. In doing so, Professor Abdulhadi defiantly ignores President Wong’s condemnations of such actions.
We firmly believe it is not acceptable for faculty to legitimize violence against any group. Professor Abdulhadi makes the argument that it is not only acceptable, but encouraged, to essentially take up arms against a collective people perceived to be the “oppressors” – Jewish Israelis in the context of the November 7th incident.

Professor Abdulhadi has made no secret of her animus towards the Jewish state and those who support it. She publicly promotes the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state. For example, she signed a petition calling for the elimination of the concept of a Jewish state (not peace with the Jewish state, the outright elimination of it). She also was an organizer and signatory of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and has endorsed several other academic boycotts of Israel.

Since 2007, when Abdulhadi began directing the AMED program, she has misused her university position and university resources to mount and co-sponsor events that promote her anti-Israel political agenda aimed at eliminating the Jewish state, including by co-sponsoring a GUPS program advocating for the academic boycott of Israel.

In her recent statement, Abdulhadi clearly misuses her university position and resources to encourage students to glorify the murder of their political enemies.

Indeed, we believe that GUPS president Mohammad G. Hammad, who posted on Tumblr a picture of himself holding a large knife and expressing a desire to stab Israeli soldiers, may have felt encouraged by Prof. Abdulhadi.

Therefore, we reiterate our request that you, as Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, issue a public condemnation of students and faculty affiliated with the College, who misuse the name and resources of the University to defend, justify, and glorify murder and those who commit it.

We also call on you to investigate Prof. Abdulhadi’s misuse of the name and resources of SFSU to incite students to violence in the promotion of her personal political agenda, in violation of California Education Code 89005.5(a)(2)(c).

We look forward to hearing from you soon, and thank you for your thoughtful consideration regarding this matter.


Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Co-founder, AMCHA Initiative

Leila Beckwith
Co-founder, AMCHA Initiative

Cc:   SFSU President Leslie Wong
         CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White
         CSU Board of Trustees
         CSU Interim General Counsel Andrew Jones
         SFSU Counsel Patricia Bartscher
         California State Senator Leland Y. Yee (San Francisco)
         California State Senator Mark Leno  (San Francisco)
         California Assembly Member Philip Y. Ting (San Francisco)
         California Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education
         California Assembly Member Joan Buchanan, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee
         California Assembly Member Marc Levine
         California State Senator Marty Block
         California Assembly Member Das Williams
         California Assembly Member Jose Medina
         California Senator Lois Wolk
         California Assembly Member Richard Bloom
         California Assembly Member Steve Fox
         California Jewish community leaders

BCC: Wide circulation in the Jewish community
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