The Lawsuit

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi is Director and Senior Scholar in the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) and Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University. A prolific, widely-published scholar, she has also cultivated a relationship of support for student activism on campus, serving as the faculty advisor to the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), Muslim Student Association (MSA) and Muslim Women Student Association (MWSA) at SFSU and a mentor to many activist students in Ethnic Studies, Palestine Studies and beyond.

Due to her advocacy for justice and commitment to the development of Palestinian scholarship, Prof. Abdulhadi and her work have repeatedly come under attack by right-wing, racist and Islamophobic groups seeking to shut down Palestinian scholarship and advocacy as well as critical project of Ethnic Studies altogether. Prof. Abdulhadi’s research and teaching have been subject to ongoing false complaints, online attacks, petitions and a racist poster campaign targeting faculty and students at SFSU and other universities who defend Palestinian self-determination.

In June 2017, a far-right organization called the Lawfare Project, dedicated to inflicting “massive punishments” on faculty and students who criticize Israel on U.S. campuses, filed a lawsuit against Prof. Abdulhadi, SFSU, the California State University Board of Trustees and multiple university administrators and staff. The lawsuit claims that SFSU tolerated a hostile climate of antisemitism in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. However, the incidents catalogued in the complaint are, by and large, simply examples of student advocacy of Palestinian rights that have nothing to do with anti-Jewish hatred or bigotry. This frivolous lawsuit is a clear attempt to misuse the courts in order to intimidate, silence and repress Palestinian research, scholarship and advocacy at SFSU by propagating false claims.

Download documents related to the lawsuit:

The original and amended complaint are below: