8 GROUPS TO CA CONTROLLER: AUDIT SFSU-FUNDED TERRORIST MEETINGS
Accounts of SFSU Prez Defending Professor’s Use of Taxpayer $$$ To Meet Terrorists
Groups Alert Controller About Possible New Violation
Contact: Nicole Rosen
Santa Cruz, CA, June 24, 2014 – Outraged at online reports that San Francisco State University (SFSU) President Wong is defending a professor’s use of thousands in taxpayer dollars to meet with terrorists and promote political advocacy, eight groups, today, demanded that California State Controller John Chiang conduct a state audit of SFSU.
“Professors should not be meeting with terrorists and propagating hate on the taxpayer dime,” wrote the groups in a letter to Chiang. “And now it appears the University is defending the professor’s personal advocacy mission as ‘research’. We are therefore turning to you and requesting that you investigate this potentially fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars. Please help put a stop to this outrageous abuse of power and resources.””
SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi’s recent trip to the Middle East came under scrutiny when a California Public Records Act (PRA) Inquiry, requested by AMCHA Initiative, revealed Abdulhadi received more than $7,000 from SFSU to fly to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel to meet with the following members of known terrorist organizations:
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Leila Khaled: Khaled is a convicted hijacker and the most famous member of the PFLP, a terrorist organization responsible for 159 terrorist acts such as bombings, armed assault and assassinations, resulting in numerous injuries and deaths including those of more than 20 U.S. citizens.
- Islamist leader Sheik Raed Salah: Salah was recently incarcerated for aiding and abetting Hamas, an organization responsible for the murder and maiming of hundreds of Jews and suspected in last week’s abduction of three teenagers in Israel.
Abdulhadi, in her own words, acknowledged her trip as purely political. At a SFSU public event, she called her trip a “political solidarity tour” whose primary purpose was to promote “resolute actions in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.” Abdulhadi was the faculty advisor to the SFSU knife-wielding student investigated by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force and was caught on tape glorifying terrorism to SFSU students.
“This isn’t research, this is advocacy,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA Initiative co-founder and a professor. “Is Abdulhadi an academic or a Palestinian resistance activist? If the University is unwilling, the State must put a stop to this outrageous abuse once and for all.”
The letter was sent from AMCHA Initiative, Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs and Zionist Organization of America.
One month ago, the same eight organizations sent a letter to California State University (CSU) Chancellor White, SFSU President Wong, CSU Chief Audit Officer Mandel and CSU Attorney for Conflict of Interest and Governance Reith calling for an investigation into the PRA evidence. While there has been no acknowledgement of the letter or response from CSU or SFSU administrators, according to the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support website, Wong released a statement defending the use of public funds to meet with terrorists as “research” and cleared Abdulhadi of wrong doing.
The groups also asked the Controller to look into a June 2011 trip Abdulhadi organized and led. According to a statement from participants, the purpose of the 2011 trip was political — “to affirm [their] association with the growing international movement for a free Palestine” — and the statement itself was a call to “academic and activist colleagues in the U.S. and elsewhere to join [the delegation’s participants] by endorsing the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] campaign.” The statement also indicates the group met with the “Boycott National Committee,” whose first and most important member organization is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which includes among its constituent organizations Hamas, the PFLP and PFLP-General Command. All three groups are on the U.S. State Department’s list of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
“Why are California taxpayer dollars funding a ‘free Palestine’ campaign?” questioned Leila Beckwith, AMCHA Initiative co-founder and a professor. “As a UC professor, I would never take taxpayer money to carry out my own political agenda.”
A copy of the full letter can be seen HERE.
AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America. AMCHA Initiative’s efforts are bolstered by a network of more than 5,000 members and supporters of the Jewish community — including university alumni, parents and grandparents, rabbis, religious school principals and synagogue members — who have joined together to speak in one voice to ensure the safety and well-being of Jewish students on college and university campuses across the country.