San Francisco State president Leslie Wong recently apologized for an interview in which she would not say Zionists were welcome on campus, reported The Jerusalem Post.
“My comments about Zionists and whether or not they are welcomed at San Francisco State University caused a lot of anguish and deeply hurt feelings,” Wong said. ”Let me be clear: Zionists are welcome on our campus.”
So people who believe in the self-determination of Jewish people in their homeland of Israel are welcome at a public university. Pretty reasonable, right? Well, not according to Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, an SFSU professor of Ethnic studies and race and resistance studies, who said she considers Wong’s statement “welcoming Zionists to campus, equating Jewishness with Zionism, and giving Hillel ownership of campus Jewishness, to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and all those who are committed to an indivisible sense of justice on and off campus.”
She says she wants the school’s social justice mission to be restored, but then says “Zionists are NOT welcomed on our campus.” Well, that doesn’t sound very inclusive, does it?
Last week, 60 Jewish, Christian, civil rights, and general education organizations teamed up to write a letter to the California State University system, calling Abdulhadi’s comments “appalling” and “deeply disturbing,” especially given the reposting of the statement on the page of the university’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, of which the professor is director.
The 60 groups said “when an academic unit at a state university uses its official online presence to attack students on its campus for their religious beliefs, ethnic identity or political opinions, it is clearly out of control and must be stopped. We urge you to thoroughly investigate AMED and its administration, and to inform California taxpayers exactly how you intend to address this shameful violation of student rights and university standards.”
But of course, discrimination is acceptable in academia so long as it’s against students with the wrong opinions, such as conservative or pro-Israel ones. And with a legislature as left-wing as California, good luck privatizing those colleges and stripping them of their funding.
Jewish Students Split Over Discrimination
Pro-Palestinian students shouted down Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat when he visited San Francisco State University a couple years ago. Since then, five Jewish students and two others have sued the school for viewpoint discrimination. U.S. District Judge William Orrick spiked their first lawsuit. The plaintiffs are back with a second one, but Orrick doesn’t think they’ve made it clear that SFSU has discriminated on the basis of religion, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The plaintiffs’ attorney says “we were arguing that the defendants should be held liable for viewpoint discrimination under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, for ratifying unconstitutional behavior and for supervising unconstitutional behavior, and that knowledge (not specific intent) is the only requirement [for viewpoint discrimination].”
Berman’s party says that Jewish students at SFSU are compared to Nazis and baby murderers and mention that the school’s pro-Israel Hillel group was banned from a social justice fair that centered on the oppression of minorities.
But some other Jewish students are defending the school. Attorney Dan Siegel is representing progressive group Open Hillel and he says the plaintiffs “are trying to hold SFSU responsible for actions by other students on the campus with whom they disagree.” “A lot of Jews in the US are critical of the state of Israel.”
If Jewish students feel discriminated against because of hostility towards Israel, there might not be much they can do. Title IX of the Civil Rights Act does not protect political discrimination. But if it’s due to the students’ religion, and if SFSU administrators are involved in that bias, then these students could definitely have a case.
Prof Says Pro-Israel Students ‘Not Welcomed’
When asked last year whether Zionists — people who support Israel — were welcome on campus, SFSU’s president, Leslie Wong, said “That’s one of those categorical statements I can’t get close to. I take each on their own merits. Am I comfortable opening up the gates to everyone? Gosh, of course not. I’m not the kind of guy who gets into absolutes like that.”
But a year later, he changed his tune and after meeting with Jewish Hillel students, said “I want to sincerely apologize for the hurt feelings and anguish my words have caused. Let me be clear: Zionists are welcome on our campus.”
You would think leftists would be happy with this statement of INCLUSION, but not Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, who took to Facebook saying “Jews Against Zionism reject President Wong’s statement. Zionists are NOT welcomed on our campus.” He said he considers Wong’s statement “to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and all those who are committed to an indivisible sense of justice on and off campus.”
Abdulhadi apparently teaches race and resistance studies — so, activism —- and also lists Islamophobia as one of her areas of expertise. It’s funny, but it’s also a little depressing going through these faculty bios. Classical education used to focus on teaching you HOW to think, not WHAT to think. Today’s universities seem to be churning out people who can pen a few platitudes like “protect kids, not guns” or “no fascist USA” to a sign. But ask them to elaborate on these little slogans and they often come up short.
Jewish Students Sue University
Students at San Francisco State University shouted down Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat. Rated the #10-worst school for Jewish students by The Algemeiner, San Francisco State also partnered with a Palestinian college that supports jihad and banned a Jewish Hillel group from taking part in a school fair.
Two of the students from that group are suing the university for what they call “a long and documented history of institutionalized anti-Semitism,” reported The Algemeiner. The lawsuit alleges SFSU Jewish students face “displays and events on campus that equate them with Nazis and baby murderers; deprivations of their rights to speak, listen, and assemble; threats, harassment, intimidation, and bullying.”
The two plaintiffs, Jewish students Charles Volk and Liam Kern, describe a February 2017 situation in which university administrators and student officials allegedly banned them and their group from a social justice fair that was ironically about the oppression of minorities.
SFSU president Les Wong issued a statement condemning both anti-Semitism AND Islamophobia — it’s not clear where that second one came from — and said the school would investigate Hillel’s exclusion from the event, an investigation which ultimately showed the Jewish students HAD been unfairly excluded from the event.
In case you couldn’t tell by its name, San Francisco State University isn’t exactly a stranger to left-wing lunacy. This is the same school at which students refused to eat until the university gave $8 million to its College of Ethnic Studies — oh no! Who will eat the soy shakes and vegan chocolate chip cookies — and the same place a black student accosted a white student who dared to wear dreadlocks.
After the Jewish student group got banned from the social justice event, San Francisco State University announced it’s creating a task force on campus climate and hiring an assistant vice president for equity and community inclusion. Because if there’s one thing the school definitely needs, it’s more social justice initiatives that need to find bigotry in anything and everything to justify the hundreds of thousands in student and taxpayer dollars they guzzle up.