PHILADELPHIA – Sep. 15, 2016 – The Middle East Forum has sent a letter to the leadership of several committees in the Senate and House requesting that Congress investigate and conduct oversight concerning San Francisco State University's (SFSU) "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) with An-Najah University in the West Bank.
Described by Hamas as a "greenhouse for martyrs," An-Najah is a Palestinian university that routinely features incitement to and glorification of violence. Recently, two events on campus honored "martyred" terrorists. In 2015, an An-Najah student was killed attempting her second knife attack on Israeli soldiers. Many other troubling incidents stretch back to at least 2001. An-Najah has been described as a hotbed of "terrorist recruitment, indoctrination, and [the] radicalization of students" by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Numerous attempts by MEF to contact SFSU President Leslie Wong about the MOU have been met with silence. "I was very disappointed to discover that my alma mater was engaged in such a close relationship with one of the most radical, terrorist-sympathizing universities in the world," said Cinnamon Stillwell, an SFSU alumna and West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
"Congress should investigate this issue with all due haste," said Gregg Roman, director of the Middle East Forum. "While generally such agreements are laudable, they must never involve organizations that encourage students to anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and violence."
The Forum has launched a petition, which already has over 1,500 signatures, demanding that President Wong end SFSU's relationship with An-Najah.
The Forum calls on the chancellor of the California State University, Timothy P. White, and the California state legislature to investigate this matter.
The Middle East Forum's letter was addressed to:
House Foreign Affairs Committee - Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY)
House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa - Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Member Ted Deutch (D-FL)
House Education and Workforce Committee - Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA)
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee - Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security - Chairman Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Ranking Member Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
Senate Foreign Relations Committee - Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN), Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism - Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID), Ranking Member Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions - Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA)
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations - Chairman Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
A copy of the letter follows.
For immediate release
Contact: Gregg Roman, Director
Middle East Forum
215-546-5406, ext. 104