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‘Likudism’ invades the academy: continued Zionist attacks on activism and scholarship at SFSU

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San Francisco State University Professor Rabab Abdulhadi and Palestinian scholarship, pedagogy and research are fighting off yet another attack by the Lawfare Project, the Zionist group that maliciously sued her last year. When Judge William Orrick -Northern District of California, threw out the suit against Dr. Abdulhadi, the university, and a group of campus administrators and staff, the judge allowed Lawfare to refile only because court rules require that plaintiffs be given liberal chances to amend their suits. Judge Orrick’s order made clear that granting the plaintiffs another chance was “[o]ut of an abundance of caution.” This is Lawfare’s third effort at suing Dr. Abdulhadi and the other defendants.

In its earlier failed attempts Lawfare tried to blame Dr. Abdulhadi for a boisterous student protest when Jerusalem’s racist mayor, Nir Barkat spoke on campus at a Hillel-sponsored event. Hillel brought bogus complaints of anti-Semitic bias against the students and demanded that the university punish them. When Hillel was denied a table at a campus Know Your Rights fair nearly a year later, Hillel again claimed this was anti-Semitic, even though Jewish Voice for Peace had a prominent table at the event. As one student organizer observed “Providing a table to Hillel, whose conduct has threatened the safety of campus Palestinians and other advocates for justice in Palestine, is akin to giving a table to ICE at a gathering of undocumented communities, or having the Ferguson Police Chief table at an event discussing police brutality against black teenagers.”

Rabab Abdulhadi arguing for BDS at the annual meeting of the National Women’s Studies Association in San Juan, Puerto Rico, following the Israeli massacre in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

In throwing out this malicious lawsuit Judge Orrick cautioned Lawfare that before it made its third attempt to sue Dr. Abdulhadi, it had to state actual facts rather than simply accusing her of anti-Semitism without any evidence. The federal court indicated that Lawfare’s McCarthyite guilt-by-association tactics would not work, and also cautioned them that if, as Dr. Abdulhadi pointed out, there were non-Zionist Jewish groups which had participated in the Know Your Rights Fair, Lawfare “would face a potentially insurmountable burden” in blaming this exclusion on antisemitism.

Dr. Abdulhadi explained, “This is a desperate attempt by Israel’s apologists to pressure SFSU into shutting down or muzzling the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies program, which I founded and direct.   I will not be intimidated and I will not be silenced. Professors are role models for their students, and I have a responsibility to demonstrate that fearless pursuit of critical scholarship, pedagogy and advocacy for justice in/for Palestine will not be punished.”

Lawfare didn’t follow this advice. – In a move reflective of Lawfare’s pattern of making generally sweeping, racist, and false factual allegations, it came up with an even more outrageous claim that “Hillel is the only Jewish organization that represents all Jews on campus.” [document 125] This sets up their nonsensical argument that doing something that Hillel does not like is an insult to all Jews on SFSU’s campus and beyond. This deliberately collapses the enormous diversity of political thought among Jewish students on campus (and worldwide) and seeks to inappropriately manipulate any criticism against Hillel into anti-Semitism and as Dr. Abdulhadi frequently points out by raising the question of who owns Jewishness. This logic makes as little sense as ISIS condemning all criticism of its rule as constituting hatred of all Muslims.

Hillel’s self-contrived victimization aesthetic is even more incredible in light of Hillel and other Zionist groups’ ongoing persecution of Israel’s campus critics. In addition to Lawfare’s lawsuit against Dr. Abdulhadi, such Zionist organizations have repeatedly sought criminal and punitive charges against organizations that disagree with them. Indeed, such actions have included Palestinian students being singled out for multiple university-led investigations, three redundant audits of Dr. Abdulhadi’s scholarly work and activities in Palestine, maliciously baseless accusations of terrorism and anti-Semitism, a 2013 investigation of the GUPS president at the time by multiple law enforcement agencies, and a 2002 investigation of two Palestinian students for alleged anti-Semitism at a pro-Israel rally on campus. Not surprisingly, every single one of these investigations found no merit to the allegations of terrorism or anti-Semitism that SFSU Hillel and its allies had maliciously brought in a systematic campaign to smear the character of students and faculty advocating for justice in/for Palestine. Even more disturbingly, SFSU Hillel’s inflammatory allegations have resulted in threats to kill and rape students and faculty –  all without any university investigation of Hillel’s dangerous incitement.

However, Lawfare’s attack is backfiring. Their meritless campaign has only highlighted the fact that Dr. Abdulhadi, far from discriminating against Jewish students, often expresses solidarity with and support of Jewish groups who have been subjected to anti-Semitic attacks. Lawfare’s stunt has exposed the fundamental weakness in Zionist arguments that advocacy for Palestinian freedom is equal to discrimination against Jewish students. The lawsuit lays bare that Israel advocates prefer to silence and bully campus critics of Israel rather than confront the policy issues raised by Israel’s denial of freedom and equality to Palestinians. Dr. Abdulhadi has filed two motions pinpointing the legal flaws of Lawfare’s third lawsuit against her. She has shown the court that most of Lawfare’s allegations are based on faulty logic. Since this is the Plaintiffs’ third failed attempt to sue her, she has asked the judge to throw the case out permanently.

Dr. Abdulhadi’s second motion attacks the common hasbara trope that the U.S. State Department has defined criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. The so-called State Department definition is a widely discredited and over broad description of anti-Semitism on the State Department website, which conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

Lawfare is not content with the “gifts” given to them by the State Department and instead insists on distorting even this over broad and discredited definition of anti-Semitism. Although the State Department definition criticizes blaming Jews as a people for harm suffered by others, Lawfare falsely insists that this definition includes blaming the Israeli state for this harm – which is nowhere in the example they cite. Dr. Abdulhadi’s second motion asks the judge to strike this bogus “definition” from the complaint. Indeed, Lawfare’s distortions are, unsurprisingly self-serving, and are a key part of Plaintiffs’ ongoing efforts to equate anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

Meanwhile, the SFSU campus administration has given in to pressure from Hillel, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and other pro-Israel groups which seek to muzzle advocates for justice in/for Palestine. In late February, the SFSU President, Leslie Wong issued a statement effectively reproducing the Lawfare’s conflation of Zionism and Jewishness. Dr. Abdulhadi, wrote a “Dear Colleague” email which she then posted on her Facebook page criticizing Wong for “welcoming Zionists to campus, equating Jewishness with Zionism, and giving Hillel ownership of campus Jewishness” and criticizing Zionism as an inherently colonial and racist project. Although Dr. Abdulhadi’s criticism was posted immediately underneath a large graphic proclaiming “I am anti-Zionist. I’m not anti-Jew. So don’t call me anti-Semitic”, it drew an immediate and frenzied backlash from the SFSU Israel lobby. When another Facebook page set up by friends and alumni of AMED Studies at SFSU shared her remarks, demands for censorship intensified. Soon thereafter the Provost for Academic Affairs demanded that Dr. Abdulhadi remove the post from the AMED Facebook page and threatened unnamed “discipline” even as SFSU’s own lawyers were admitting in federal court that SFSU had no control over private Facebook pages. [document 131]. (SFSU has always insisted that pages like this use the “at” designation to make it clear that the page is separate from the University.) “The double-standard is stunning”, said Dr. Abdulhadi. “The Facebook page for “The Department of Jewish Studies at SF State” compared BDS to a “cancer of online hate” and the administration did not even criticize it. Yet they try to bully me for political posts.” She added, “This is really inexcusable. I am grateful that the Department of Women and Gender Studies and several student groups, including the recently formed Jews Against Zionism, refused to be silenced and criticized President Wong.”

This fight has spilled over into Lawfare’s suit, with SFSU’s lawyers giving credence to the Zionist agenda to portray Dr. Abdulhadi’s views and BDS as “extreme and offensive” while begrudgingly acknowledging First Amendment rights.

We expect that the case will be thrown out for good. If not, however, a legal investigation into the campus administration’s inappropriate collusion with the Israel lobby will be high on Dr. Abdulhadi’s “to do” list.

Mark Kleiman and Behnam Gharagozli are the legal representatives for Dr. Abdulhadi, pro bono. 

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a former leader of Students for a Democratic Society, labor and community organizer, and member of JVP who moved his fight to the courtrooms. He specializes in representing whistleblowers, in addition to his pro bono political work. Mark has won multi-million dollar verdicts in cases he took to trial and has authored friend-of-the-court briefs to the Supreme Court for civil rights and public interest groups.

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26 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan on May 21, 2018, 11:01 am

    Lawfare losers.

    • Misterioso on May 22, 2018, 9:22 am

      Brief summation of the Likud Party’s Platform:
      a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”
      b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
      c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
      d. “…. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

    • Misterioso on May 22, 2018, 10:29 am

      @Maghlawatan, et al

      The latest missive from Professor Lawrence Davidson:

      “In Our Age of State Crimes – An Analysis” (21 May 2018) by Professor Lawrence Davidson

      “There is a legal construct known as ‘state crime. As the title implies, these are crimes that are committed in the name of, and/or by the forces of, the national state. Given that such crimes can have behind them the force of national bureaucracies, they are, historically, the worst sort of crimes on record: genocide, organized campaigns of torture, war crimes and the like. Also, as the International State Crime Initiative notes, while there is little doubt that such behavior violates both international law and the national criminal law of most states, ‘state crime is under-acknowledged by popular and academic authors.'”

      “Let’s take a look at a couple of recent examples of state crimes. There is no lack of perpetrators:
      — Myanmar (Burma): According to Amnesty International the government of Myanmar has brutally driven over half a million men, women and children of the Rohingya (Muslim) minority out of the country – an effort that was accompanied by ‘widespread and systematic murder, rape and burning.’

      — Egypt: According to reports produced by Human Rights Watch, the regime of ‘President’ Abdel Fattah al-Sisi maintains power through a campaign of mass torture. ‘Political detainees are routinely tortured and sometimes raped.’ By the way, al-Sisi is a military officer who pulled off a 2013 coup against Egypt’s first and only fairly elected government, and then, in 2014, had himself elected ‘president’ in a rigged election.

      “One can go on like this for quite a while: there is Zimbabwe (which has only recently rid itself of its long standing dictator Robert Mugabe), Uzbekistan, North Korea, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, China (where the Party leader has just been given power for life), Syria, Laos, and on it goes. This is by no means an exhaustive list

      “And then there is Israel: Please note that I have listed a slew of criminal states before mentioning the Zionist state. This is because supporters of Israel are always lamenting that their state is being picked on by people who ignore the crimes of others – creating a case of double standards. Oddly, their complaint implicitly accepts that Israel is also guilty of criminal behavior, but otherwise should not be singled out. Not wanting to have to bother with this diversionary Zionist tactic, I introduce the criminal state of Israel, at this point.

      “According to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’tselem (Israel’s own human rights organization), and literally dozens of United Nations resolutions, Israel consistently acts as a criminal state. It has an ongoing policy of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians, which also involves the establishment of illegal colonies on militarily occupied land. It uses lethal violence against unarmed protesters, as the recent massacres along the Gaza border have prominently demonstrated. It imprisons large numbers of Palestinians including children for acts as simple as protesting Israeli violence. It goes after civilian targets in its wars against Gaza and Lebanon. It purposely destroys civilian infrastructure on the West Bank and Gaza. It runs a regime that segregates out non-Jews from Jews in terms of housing, job preferences, and benefits and tries to cover up the resulting apartheid reality with a thin veil of tokenism. And it does all this while claiming to be the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ – which is false but persistent propaganda. Is Israel really a criminal state? Well, you know the old saying, ‘if it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.’”

      • mkleiman on May 23, 2018, 8:50 am

        Thanks for introducing me to Prof. Davidson’s work. I hadn’t seen it before and based on this essay have hunted down a slew of his books.

  2. Maghlawatan on May 21, 2018, 1:48 pm

    The bots have to control the narrative. Theirs is mythical rather than real so no competition is tolerated. The problem is that hasbara now is very weak and that the Palestinians are more eloquent. The bots can lawfare all they want but the truth will out.

    • Mooser on May 21, 2018, 3:35 pm

      “Hillel’s self-contrived victimization aesthetic”

      Gonna be fun when those students, who will graduate looking for professional positions find out how hard it is to erase your social media history.

      • Maghlawatan on May 21, 2018, 11:41 pm

        A lot of Israelis by the same token are probably unemployable.

        David Shulman
        “One has to bear in mind that Israelis live in a largely mythic world, a somewhat modified and vastly simplified version of the Iliad. In this starkly polarized vision of reality, in which Israelis are by definition innocent victims of dark, irrational forces operating against them, heroic death in war always makes sense, and violent coercion is the option both of necessity and of choice. ”

        • An Israeli who posted a testimony on Facebook about the “medieval-style” torture of Palestinians he assisted in during his army service in the occupied territories has faced a virulent backlash from fellow Israelis, including threats of violence.
        • Yuval Lev published the testimony in Hebrew on his Facebook page on 8 November.
        • “Today I think that the real punishment for a sore conscience is that you simply cannot delete what happened from your brain, and you are sentenced to remembering it forever, with no ability to forget,” Lev wrote.
        • Lev recounted that “one day two fellows came to the [military] camp looking like Shabak men, and after a short chat with our commanders, took four of us (myself included) to a mission lasting a few days – to secure a secret Shabak interrogation facility, in the heart of one of the violent, rough neighborhoods around.”
        • Shabak is the Israeli acronym for the General Security Service or GSS, a secret police force notorious for its involvement in extrajudicial execution and torture of Palestinians over many decades.
        • “Medieval-style torture facility”
        • “We went gladly, of course, full of pride for having been selected for the important, patriotic mission which would save lives and prevent attacks,” Lev wrote, adding:
        • Without exaggeration and without even a drop of melodrama for enhancing the effect: we arrived at a medieval-style torture facility.
        • A long, narrow hallway, white fluorescent bulbs and the stench of bunker air, on the left a row of interrogation rooms, with the shouts of the interrogators and the screams of the interrogatees always coming out of them, and on the right, along a gray concrete wall, stood a line of “detainees.” stood and waited for their turn to be interrogated. Legs shackled, hands behind their backs, a jute sack over their head, standing in absolute silence. As surrealistic as a movie about the Inquisition. At the end of the hall, on a sort of giant metal mesh, another detainee was hung by his handcuffs like Jesus on the cross, with his hands up and to the sides and his sack on his head, groaning with pain, and a soldier screaming at him and beating him with the butt of his rifle.
        • Lev, who works as a marketing consultant in Tel Aviv, described witnessing other torture practices, some that are well-documented for their use by Israel, including denying victims food, water and sleep, and beating them savagely when they urinated on themselves.
        • Torture during the first intifada
        • In Lev’s written account on Facebook, he stated that the events occurred during the second intifada which began in 2000, but in a telephone conversation he told The Electronic Intifada that that had been a typo and the events he described occurred during the unarmed first intifada, around 1989, when he was in the army. Lev said he is now 44 years old, which would have made him about 21 in 1989.
        • Lev concluded his account by saying that this was the first time he had spoken out:
        • What I do know is that many people like me saw and took part in terrible deeds, like these and other kinds, by act or by omitting to act. There is no way to justify such conduct toward human beings, whoever they are, for any reason. Even if under the circumstances at the time our conduct was not deemed to be a crime, in the legal definition of crimes, I have no doubt that we committed crimes and sins, towards them and towards ourselves, as human beings and as a society.
        • Reactions: “Hate and anger”
        • Lev’s post was followed by hundreds of Hebrew-language comments expressing violent sentiments and condemning him for speaking out. In a comment that garnered 71 “likes,” Mor Isachar quipped, “What do you expect? For them to be given a 5 star hotel?”
        • “That’s exactly what’s supposed to happen there,” wrote Boaz Lalush, “you weren’t supposed to be there, you should have served [your military duty] in the Qiryah [base in downtown Tel Aviv] you cross-dressing leftist, you.”
        • Several comments used “cross-dresser” as a homophobic epithet.
        • Yosef Edri explicitly justified the torture: “First of all, you don’t know who those people who stood before you with sacks on their head, or how much blood they had on their hands, and maybe the information that we maybe extracted from him in a way that was maybe not nice… saved the lives [souls] of some dozens if not hundreds of people.”
        • For Amir Ben-Haim, torture is the very reason Israel exists: “Dude… such facilities are the reason we have a state… stop being [horrified], there is one path they understand, and that is force!”
        • This is only a sampling of the comments on Lev’s post, but it is also consistent with the widespread racist and violent anti-Arab sentiments of Israelis on Facebook documented in other instances previously.
        • Lev told The Electronic Intifada that in addition to the publicly visible comments on Facebook, he had received abusive private messages, some of which were threatening.
        • “I’m not a political person,” Lev said when asked why he published the testimony, “I wrote it as a personal experience.”
        • While he hasn’t been totally surprised by the negative reactions, “I didn’t expect this much hate and anger,” hold told The Electronic Intifada.

      • Keith on May 22, 2018, 12:38 am

        MOOSER- “Gonna be fun when those students, who will graduate looking for professional positions find out how hard it is to erase your social media history.”

        Surely you jest. The tribe takes care of its own. This will be the crowning achievement on their resumes. They will get preferential treatment.

      • JWalters on May 22, 2018, 5:34 am

        Maghlawatan, stunning eyewitness testimonies!

      • Mooser on May 22, 2018, 11:49 am

        ” This will be the crowning achievement on their resumes. They will get preferential treatment.”

        I sorta doubt it. All it says is “Here comes trouble and backstabbing”.

        “The tribe takes care of its own”

        Yeah, it’ll all be settled at the next pow-wow.

  3. inbound39 on May 21, 2018, 4:21 pm

    Lawfares frivolous lawsuits must be costing the American Justice System a pretty penny by wasting a lot of its time that could be spent hearing more productive cases

  4. on May 21, 2018, 4:43 pm

    Hats off to the lawyers – great work – noble work.

    What a complete misuse or abuse of the courts. Frivolous claims with politics not justice at their core. Hope the lawyers figure out a way to attack in their next round with Lawfare.

    Stay strong Dr. Abdulhadi – your efforts and courage is inspiring and will never be forgotten.

    • JWalters on May 22, 2018, 5:31 am

      Second that. I’d like to see a garbage accusation of anti-Semitism blow up in somebody’s face big-time. Who’s funding this trash? It looks strategic.

    • on May 22, 2018, 2:11 pm

      Dr. Abdulhadi may have a civil rights case against this organization for harassment; something that may make such organizations think twice about attacking people…

  5. CigarGod on May 22, 2018, 9:52 am

    The way Trumps justice department is filling judgeships…the Morlocks may get a warmer reception…the farther they push.

  6. Dan From Away on May 22, 2018, 1:06 pm

    Dr. Abdulhadi…take heart! The law, the Constitution, precedent and reason are on your side!

    With yet another crushing legal defeat (No. 7) Zionism heads into the Spring SCOTUS docket season in a state of high anxiety.

    They have not won a single judicial victory of any size since 2011 (when this list begins)…and Koontz could spell political disaster for not only the Israeli government but also be exceedingly embarrassing for the 27 states that have passed anti-BDS laws. I still do not see how SCOTUS can uphold but of course time will tell.

    1) Brandeis Center lawyers filed a complaint with the Department of Education on behalf of UC Berkeley alumna Jessica Felber. The complaint alleged that the constructing a mock Israeli checkpoint created an unsafe environment for Jewish students. The suit was dismissed, with the court stating that the actions of the pro-Palestine activists were “pure political speech and expressive conduct, in a public setting, regarding matters of public concern, which is entitled to special protection under the First Amendment.” – 2011

    (Settled – Zionism lost)

    2) US – Jerusalem Passport Case – 2012

    (Settled – Zionism lost)

    3) UK – UCU/Ronnie Fraser – 2015

    (Settled – Zionism lost)

    4) CICAD v. Switzerland – 2016

    (Settled – Zionism lost)

    5) UK – Tomlinson QC Opinion – 2017

    (Settled – Zionism lost)

    6) Local Government Pension Scheme (LPGS)/BDS (UK) 2017

    (Settled – Zionism lost)

    7) Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization – 2018

    (Settled – Zionism lost)

    8) US – Israel Anti-Boycott Act – Law – Koontz vs. Watson – 2017

    Preliminary Injunction granted by United States District Court

    (Verdict Pending)


    My point: Zionism can score regular wins in the media/political spheres. There it can mobilize/smear/ intimidate/intice/blackmail/whatever to get a win. The examples of this capacity are too numerous to list…just visit Mondoweiss any time any day.

    But…but…when Zionism enters a USA or UK courtroom something happens: it has to check all of its privileges. Its arguments must be made on grounds that do not grant advantages to Zionism and which do not take into considerations its subjective or political preferences. Objectivity prevails. And what happens? Zionism loses.

    The range of settled cases above demonstrate this. One is a legal case that made it to the SCOTUS, one was a local municipal board review, one was a UK national teacher’s union tribunal and one is the public legal opinion of a UK Queens Counsel. The last one, Koontz, appears to be headed for the Supreme Court.

    I am suggesting that if/when Koontz vs. Watson makes the SCOTUS docket it will be a nail-biter for Organized Zionism. Why? Because it if loses this case it may very well begin hemorraging poitical capital in Congress, the media and among Americans who support Israel. As of today 27 states have anti-BDS laws…all were passed knowing that the right to boycott is sacrosanct and deeply cherished by Americans. Indeed, the country’s founding revolutionary act was a boycott – The Intolerable Acts, remember them?

    If the case is accepted and SCOTUS decides against the Anti-BDS law, which is at least a likelihood (the District Court’s granting of a preliminary injunction is a powerful signal) all 27 states will have embarrassed themselves mightily and they will have to annul the laws, maybe pay damages and have nothing to show for the effort except that they were/are obsequious to Zionism’s legislative demands.

    Moreover, BDS will realize an enormous boost in legitimacy, press, funding and other forms of support.

    An American historian, Shelby Foote, once said: The Confederacy tried to use war, the most revolutionary and destabilizing act imaginable, to maintain stability.

    His point was that the Confederacy failed to understand the forces it was engaging.

    Same-Same for Zionists who are attempting to use a political tool, legislation, to abolish a Constitutionally ensconced freedom long settled by a unanimous Supreme Court decision (8 – 0 Marshall recused himself)

    I am not saying that the Supremes cannot/will not devise some devilishly clever exception for Zionism…who knows? But absent that I cannot see a clear path to victory for Organized Zionism’s efforts to legislatively delegitimize BDS and I am a-tingle over the prospects.

    My guess is that soon Lawfare’s reprehensible attack on Dr. Abdulhadi will be added to the above list of Zionism’s judicial rebukes and defeats.



    • MHughes976 on May 22, 2018, 3:48 pm

      There is some very interesting stuff there, Dan, thank you. However, we have to recognise that the purpose of litigation is not always to win, but sometimes on,y to harass, moreover that the Fraser case, which concerned the union to which I still belong in retirement, the Universities and Colleges Union, won the ‘Fraser Case’ in part because it has always acted on legal advice that regards BDS as illegal, so the case against it, for allegedly taking an anti-Semitic stance, was very weak. But the legal advice in question has been and remains a major inhibition on all UK BDS activities for more than a decade.
      Ken Livingstone, recently so full of defiance against accusations of anti-S, has decided to resign from the Labour Party which was about to expel him. He had been threatening legal action but fell back. The purportedly anti-anti-Semitism political campaign has drawn more blood and there was no legal redress.

      • Dan From Away on May 23, 2018, 1:02 pm


        The suit would much better serve Zionism if Lawfare won. Victories are better than defeats.

        “1. It successfully pressures on San Francisco State University as an entity to crack down on Dr. Abdulhadi, the AMED program, and radical students.”

        Agreed. However, the Palestine solidarity community, via this case, will be much more vigilant, savvy and woke as a result. Palestine solidarity now knows SFSU’s policies and practices and can more effectively counter them. It also wakes up SFSU staff and reminds them that actions and policies have consequences.

        “2. It consumes an immense amount of time and energy that could be devoted to more proactive efforts at achieving justice in and for Palestine.”

        Agreed. However this lawsuit is bringing significant national and international media attention to SFSU which I am sure the Board and staff would prefer not happen. In a real sense fighting this case openly and persistently IS a proactive effort to achieve justice in Palestine…and at SFSU. Think of it all as training for future leadership.

        “3. The suit itself has a chilling effect on younger academics, especially untenured ones, grad students, at the like.”

        I disagree. It could only have a chilling effect if it were carried out opaquely and that is clearly not happening. SFSU’s Palestine solidarity community does not appear to be intimidated and one could imagine the case actually energizing and motivating support for Palestine.

        That the “use the fact of the suit” is being used “to educate newcomers” is a very positive spin on what you reasonably define as a time sink but it is effort well worth if. If Zionism had any idea of the depth, breath, scope and “sumud” of the Palestine soldarity community (which they do not) they would eschew creating all these opportunities for BDS/SJP/IAW to seize them and turn them into counter-offenses.

        Some years ago an AIPAC employee was quoted as saying: “Zionism is like a mushroom: it grows best in the dark.”

        I agree and these SLAPP lawsuits always shine bright lights on Zionism’s myths, biases and (im)moralities. Were Zionism wiser it would see both the tactical and strategic loses all these lawsuits generate for Zionism especially in terms of revealing Zionism’s perverse sense of privilege to a wider public. These are self-inflicted wounds that can only be explained IMO by Zionism’s committment to eternal/universal conflict.


    • mkleiman on May 23, 2018, 9:09 am

      This is a great compilation, Dan. The suit serves Lawfare’s purposes even when they lose:

      1. It successfully pressures on San Francisco State University as an entity to crack down on Dr. Abdulhadi, the AMED program, and radical students.

      2. It consumes an immense amount of time and energy that could be devoted to more proactive efforts at achieving justice in and for Palestine.

      3. The suit itself has a chilling effect on younger academics, especially untenured ones, grad students, at the like.

      We are doing everything we can to use the fact of the suit to educate newcomers to what Hillel and its friends are really up to, and spotlight university complicity, but there are other things we would much rather be organizing around.

    • on May 23, 2018, 5:13 pm

      Thanks Dan for that wonderful summary!!!!

      To vile, racist and violent add daft stubbornness to the list describing Zionists stooges.

  7. annie on May 22, 2018, 1:33 pm

    great article! the lawfare project should be sued for these frivolous lawsuits wasting the court’s time intended to break the bank on palestine activism. it won’t work. just because they have endless funds from billionaire patrons and the israeli government doesn’t mean they should be allowed to carry on like this. disgusting! huge shout out to Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi, all the awesome student activists at SFSU, and finally Mark Kleiman and Behnam Gharagozli for keeping us up to date on this ongoing saga of the lawfare project vs free speech on campus.

    • MHughes976 on May 22, 2018, 3:51 pm

      If there was some way of turning the tables against these frivolous litigants that would make a great difference!

  8. Edward Q on May 22, 2018, 2:49 pm

    These larfare attacks risk antagonizing the U.S. public. Americans may or may not care about the Palestinians but if they think a foreign country is placing tyrannical restrictions on them they may react.

  9. hophmi on May 26, 2018, 8:16 am

    So, it wouldn’t be Islamophobic to ban MSU from Know Your Rights as long as students from a tiny chapter of Muslims For Zionism were admitted. That’s good to know.

  10. Qualtrough on May 28, 2018, 8:50 am

    @ Mooser – Mental gymnastics can be just as exhausting as the physical kind. I am sure that hopfmi deserved his hiatus.

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