Eight pro-Israel groups, headed by the AMCHA Initiative, sent a letter Tuesday demanding an investigation by the California state controller after San Francisco State University (SFSU) President Leslie E. Wong defended granting university funding to an SFSU professor’s trip to the Middle East in which the educator met with members of terrorist organizations.
Professor Rabab Abdulhadi received more than $7,000 from SFSU to fly to meet with Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Leila Khaled. PFLP is responsible for more than 150 terrorist acts and the deaths of 20 U.S. citizens. Abdulhadi also met with Islamist Sheikh Raed Salah, who was recently incarcerated for incitement over his call to start another violent intifada against Israel.
Abdulhadi’s trip was revealed through a California Public Records Act (PRA) inquiry by the AMCHA Initiative. The professor had called the trip a “political solidarity tour” meant to promote “resolute actions in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.”
In addition to AMCHA, the groups signing the letter include the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs, and the Zionist Organization of America.
The groups had previously sent a different letter calling for an investigation into the trip. SFSU’s Wong later released a statement in which he called the trip “research.”
“This isn’t research, this is advocacy,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, the AMCHA Initiative’s co-founder and a lecturer at University of California, Santa Cruz.