Organized by Saliem Shehadeh

Stand with Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi and AMED. Expose the Israel lobby and SFSU’s Bullying


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208 supporters, Project Closed

Impact: San Francisco, CA

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This campaign will collect all funds raised by January 6, 2021 at 7:45 AM EDT

Your donation will enable us to right the wrongs against Palestinian Professor Rabab Abdulhadi and the AMED program she directs at SF State University.

     After years of undermining the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) studies program at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and its director Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi because of her research and advocacy for justice for and in Palestine, she has filed workplace grievances, discrimination charges and lawsuits in federal and state courts against the SFSU administration. The lawsuits aim to right the wrongs against Dr. Abdulhadi and the AMED program, and to hold accountable the university administration that has continued to carry out the agenda of the Israel Lobby.

     Dr. Abdulhadi joined SFSU in 2007, when she was recruited to establish the AMED studies program, the first of its kind in the world. At the time, she was an associate professor of sociology and the first director of the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, a fairly senior appointment for a recent PhD graduate who completed her studies only four years earlier (Yale University, 2000). She accepted the invitation to join SFSU, and specifically its College of Ethnic Studies, because of the campus's historical legacy of social justice. She was promised a program with two additional department-specific professorial hires as a start and talks were had to incorporate 12 more faculty members from other campus departments under the aegis of the new program.  The university did not keep any of these promises.

     After joining SFSU, Dr. Abdulhadi supported the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) project to inaugurate a Palestinian cultural mural honoring the late Professor Edward Said. This became the first Palestinian mural on a publicly owned campus building. In less than a year supporters of the Israel lobby began to set up endowed academic chairs in Israel studies at SFSU.

     Retaliation against AMED and Dr. Abdulhadi escalated after she and GUPS co-hosted Omar Barghouti of Ramallah, occupied Palestine, a co-founder of the call to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) Israel. Then-university President Robert Corrigan halted the search process for the promised two hires and cut the allocated funds from the university's budget upon his retirement. Israel Lobby groups such as Campus Watch, AMCHA Initiative, Canary Mission and the David Horowitz Freedom Center have since undertaken sustained smear campaigns against Dr. Abdulhadi, falsely alleging that she is antisemitic, a sponsor of terrorism and that she misused public funds in pursuit of these causes. Rather than defend her, the university has resorted to severely cutting support for Dr. Abdulhadi and AMED, including continued denial of the promised faculty hires, research support and workplace accommodations. What the Israel lobby has not been able to get through the front door, it is attempting to push through the back door. Despite these attacks, Dr. Abdulhadi has been able to build the AMED program with 22 courses, including civil liberties after 9/11/2001, Palestine, Islamophobia, Arab and Arab American Feminisms, Edward Said, and comparative border studies: Palestine and Mexico. She also established an academic partnership with An-Najah National University in Palestine, the first and only collaborative agreement SFSU has with any Arab or Muslim site. Dr. Abdulhadi has also helped start and directs the Edward Said Scholarship at SFSU that supports students in the AMED program. 

     Last year we achieved a major victory against the Israel lobby. With the help of supportive community members like you, we defeated the Lawfare Project, an Israel lobby legal group that filed a lawsuit against SFSU and Dr. Abdulhadi in 2017, making baseless accusations of system wide antisemitism on campus. The lawsuit revolved around the false premise that criticism of Israel is antisemitic and laid blame on Dr. Abdulhadi for her research and advocacy for Palestine. The lawsuit falsely alleged that a student protest against Nir Barkat, then mayor of Jerusalem, and denial of an application by Hillel to have a marketing table at a Know Your Rights Fair were not only motivated by antisemitic sentiments but also orchestrated by Dr. Abdulhadi. In his detailed opinion dismissing the lawsuit in federal court with prejudice, thus preventing it from being refiled in that court, Judge William Orrick III affirmed that being anti-Zionist or supporting Palestinian resistance does not make one antisemitic, and that there was absolutely no evidence of these charges against Dr. Abdulhadi. Despite this tremendous victory, the university refused to accept being vindicated from accusations of antisemitism and instead decided to settle out of court a second lawsuit filed by Lawfare in Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco. SFSU also publicly declared its support for Zionism by sending out a campus-wide email noting, "Let me be clear, Zionists are welcome on our campus". During this period the bureaucratic harassment against Dr. Abdulhadi and AMED intensified.

     Despite the setbacks at the university, Dr. Abdulhadi continues working as a one-person academic program. Since 2017 she has initiated and co-leads an academic research project, Teaching Palestine: Pedagogical Praxis and the Indivisibility of Justice. The program has held conferences and panels in Palestine, the United States, Cuba, Spain, Quebec, and South Africa. It builds off her work in organizing and leading delegations to Palestine, including the Indigenous and Women of Color Feminists Delegation, through which Angela Davis made her first and only trip to Palestine. Dr. Abdulhadi's work as a public intellectual on Palestine is evidenced by being invited to speak before the French National Assembly and to meet with the South African Presidential candidates a few months before the elections. Her research and advocacy during this period earned her courage awards from American Muslims for Palestine and Al-Awda: The Palestinian Right of Return Coalition. She was invited to participate on a presidential panel of the National Women's Studies Association and won a Service to the Campus award at SFSU after being nominated by her students and faculty peers. The faculty union has been quite supportive of her case, as have many faculty and student organizations on campus. From her position on the Executive Committee of California Scholars for Academic Freedom, her advocacy work extends to other professors who have been attacked and smeared by the same forces.

Dr. Abdulhadi's lawsuits against SFSU need our support to ensure the success of their three goals:

  • Stop the harassment of Dr. Abdulhadi

  • Ensure that AMED is supported as promised

  • Send a strong message that officials must not bow down to the bullying tactics of the Israel lobby that seeks to silence Palestinian voices.

Donate, speak up. Don't let this injustice continue.

For more information about the case please check out the following links:

  1. The International Campaign to Defend Professor Rabab Abdulhadi (Facebook page):

  2. Support Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi website: 

  3. Palestinian professor sues SF State for breach of contract, discrimination: Article in Mondoweiss,

  4. Professor files discrimination lawsuit against top-ranking administrators: Article in the Golden Gate Xpress

If you prefer to write a check please make the check out to "Al-Awda" and write "for Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi" in the memo line. Checks that do not put Dr. Abdulhadi's name in the memo line will not be processed correctly.
Please mail the check to:
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
P.O. Box 8812
Coral Springs, FL 33075, USA


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Updates 2

Saliem Shehadeh5 years ago

Thank you for your support for the International Campaign to Defend Professor Rabab Abdulhadi

Thank you for your donation! It will go a long way in the fight to defend Dr. Abdulhadi and expose the Israel lobby at SF State. From the onset, Dr. Abdulhadi said this campaign would only be possible through collective action. Now that you have donated please consider sharing the donation link with your friends and family on facebook or in personal emails. Have their voices heard too- Every bit helps! 


International Campaign to Defend Professor Rabab Abdulhadi (

Behnam (Ben) Gharagozli, Esq.

Mark Kleiman, Esq.

Saliem Shehadeh5 years ago

Thank you for donating!

Thank you for your donation! It will go a long way in the fight to defend Dr. Abdulhadi and expose the Israel lobby at SF State. From the onset, Dr. Abdulhadi said this campaign would only be possible through collective action. Now that you have donated please consider sharing the donation link with your friends and family on facebook or in personal emails. Have their voices heard too- Every bit helps!


International Campaign to Defend Professor Rabab Abdulhadi (

Behnam (Ben) Gharagozli, Esq.

Mark Kleiman, Esq.

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