What if I told you that a right wing professor at a state University received $7,000 from the University—taxpayer money—to travel on a political solidarity tour to a KKK rally, in order to further the agenda of this hateful organization? Do you think this would be allowed to happen? Would the President of the University approve this trip? Of course, this would never be a possibility. A University professor who went on such a trip would be blackballed, and the University President who approved it would be fired—and rightly so.
Now, what if I told you that a leftwing college professor at San Francisco State University received $7,000 from the University—taxpayer money—to travel on a political solidarity tour to the Middle East to meet with notorious terrorist and convicted hijacker Leila Khaled—member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a recognized terrorist organization—in order to further the agenda of this hateful organization? Rational people would assume this would not be allowed to occur. But it already has.
Once again, the double standard in regards to Israel at the University is on full display. Outspoken anti-Israel SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi actually used University and taxpayer money to travel to the Middle East to meet with the most famous member of the PFLP, a terrorist organization responsible for 159 terrorist attacks, including the murder of 20 U.S. citizens. In addition, Abdulhadi met with Sheikh Raed Salah, an Islamist leader who was jailed for incitement to violence and encouraging a third intifada in Israel. Abdulhadi admitted this trip was a "political solidarity tour," in order to advance the boycott campaign against Israel, which seeks the elimination of the Jewish State.
The Zionist Organization of America, along with AMCHA and several other pro-Israel groups, contacted SFSU President Leslie Wong, when these events came to light, to express our outrage and demand an investigation. Unbelievably, President Wong defended this use of taxpayer money, saying, "Faculty can and do communicate with others relevant to their research." I suppose, when you are a vehemently anti-Israel professor, meeting with terrorists who seek to murder Israelis is part of your research.
The Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at SFSU, Professor Kenneth Monteiro, also came to Abdulhadi's defense, writing "I recommit the College as a safe haven for free and respectful expression for all of our students, staff and faculty, including when such discourse is contested and possibly disquieting." Would Monteiro offer the same defense to a professor showing "political solidarity" to the KKK?
Next, we contacted State Controller John Chiang—who has investigative authority over the use of state funds. We are still awaiting his reply on this matter.
There are some in Academia with common sense that are speaking out against this despicable use of taxpayer money. Twelve professors from the University of California at San Diego also contacted State Controller Chiang, stating that "…SFSU President Wong's justification of this abuse of California taxpayers' money as legitimate 'research' is outrageous and so broadens the term 'research' as to make it meaningless."
These San Diego Professor are correct. An incident such as this cannot be allowed to stand. Hopefully, State Controller Chiang will make the right decision and find this use of taxpayer money to be unacceptable. But if he doesn't, then the citizens of California must make their voice heard. This is our money being used by a state employee to support a known terrorist.
Jewish families should think twice about sending their children to San Francisco State University.
Sam Levine is the Zionist Organization of America's Executive Director of the West Coast Office. He can be reached at SLevine@ZOA.org; http://zoa.org/