On a campus already known for extremists and anti-Semites, Professor Rabab Abdulhadi serves as the public face of SFSU’s Jew hatred. To say that Abdulhadi is notorious is an understatement. She is a rabidly anti-Semitic professor of Ethnic Studies who also heads SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED), an academic program which flouts its anti-Semitism by openly declaring Zionism to be racism and Israel to be the occupier of Palestine. AMED is known for sponsoring events which feature posters reading, “My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers,” referring to Israel’s Jews.
Abdulhadi has glorified anti-Israel terrorism in public talks. A letter sent by a coalition of concerned Jewish groups to SFSU President Leslie Wong in 2014 describes in chilling detail how an Ethnic Studies Department event organized by Abdulhadi featured “wild inaccuracies, monstrous distortions, and blatant lies — all intended to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state and promote a boycott that would hasten its demise.”
Professor Abdulhadi’s husband, Jaime Veve, a union activist, also spoke at the event to exalt anti-Semitic terrorists and murderers. The letter to President Wong describes how Veve “insisted that Palestinians who had injured or murdered Jews were not terrorists but rather ‘heroes or heroines’ who had ‘committed political acts of defiance and resistance,’ and he justified Palestinian terrorism by calling it ‘the cry of a baby calling for the attention of the world.’”
During her tenure at SFSU, Abdulhadi has sought to build relationships with anti-Israel terrorists. While attending a university-sponsored trip to Israel in 2014, she met with anti-Israel terrorists Leila Khaled and Sheikh Raed Salah. Abdulhadi has praised Khaled, a notorious airplane hijacker, as “an icon in liberation movements and…an icon for women’s liberation.” Salah served a prison sentence in Israel for aiding the terrorist group Hamas. He has also been charged for incitement to violence for giving a public speech in which he accused Jews of using the blood of Palestinian children to bake their bread. Despite this, Abdulhadi has insisted that he does not have terrorist ties.
In September 2020, Abdulhadi and AMED held an event featuring Khaled. Abdulhadi planned to stream the event on Zoom, but the platform canceled its coverage citing Khaled’s terrorist record.
Abdulhadi also attempted to open a formal collaboration between SFSU and An-Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine. An-Najah University has been described by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as “known for its advocacy of anti-Israel violence and its recruitment of Palestinian college students into terrorist groups.”
The notorious professor has not hesitated to use her privileged position as a professor at SFSU to promote her anti-Israel agenda. Abdulhadi is a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), and also supports the wider Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel, an anti-Semitic, Hamas-funded campaign to isolate and weaken the Jewish state. She frequently promotes BDS at university-sponsored events and forums.
In March 2019, she shared a live video and statement on the official Facebook page for the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED). The statement demonized Israel and invoked anti-Semitic conspiracy tropes by accusing the SFSU administration of “collaborat[ing] with the Zionist designs to silence us… staff, faculty and community who view Israel (as I do) as a colonial, racist and occupying power…” and labeled the administration’s conduct as “the weaponizing of free speech in the service of Nazis, Zionists and other white supremacists…” In July 2019, she shared an image of a large banner exhorting “Zionism = Racism, Silence = Death, Palestine is a Queer Issue – Boycott! Divest! Sanction!”
Abdulhadi has repeatedly propagated anti-Semitic tropes accusing Jews of conspiring to orchestrate world affairs and of possessing dual loyalties—a slur implying that Jews have more loyalty to Israel than to America or other nations. In September 2020, the professor said on Facebook: “I think we need to go to [then U.S. vice presidential candidate] Kamala Harris and say to her: ‘…It’s not okay that some of our representatives actually have dual Israeli-U.S. passport. That’s not okay! That’s not okay!…”
In a February, 2019 interview with Arab Talk, Abdulhadi denigrated pro-Israel groups in America, saying [00:07:09]: “These groups are bullies…they push around in Congress and they bribe them, and they give them money, they twist their arms and so on, there are used to basically silencing everybody and crushing everybody.”
While Abdulhadi uses the public resources of San Francisco State to promote her Jew hatred, she is notably less tolerant toward pro-Israel views. When SFSU President Leslie Wong was forced to clarify that he welcomes Zionists at the University, Abdulhadi responded by equating Zionists with the KKK: “I’m waiting for him to say, white supremacists is welcome, KKK is welcome, David Horowitz is welcome, Richard Spenser is welcome, Neo-Nazis are welcome, homophobes are welcome, misogynists are welcome, why stop only at Zionists? Welcome them all. I mean bring the…whole club. Bring everybody who is right wing and racist, bring them to campus, why only stop at Zionists.”
Nor is her promotion of Jew hatred limited in scope to SFSU’s campus. In a guest lecture in a UCLA anthropology class in the Spring of 2019, Abdulhadi equated Zionism with “white supremacy,” refusing to back down even when a Jewish student tearfully attempted to counter her vitriol.
Abdulhadi has also dedicated herself to encouraging the next generation of Jew haters. For several years she served as faculty advisor to SFSU’s chapter of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), an SJP surrogate group. During her tenure as faculty advisor, organization president Mohammad G. Hammad was exposed as having written a number of threatening social media posts describing his wish to attack students, teachers and Israeli soldiers and to ally himself with anti-Israel terrorists including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Hammad’s posts included a photo of himself holding a large knife with the caption, “I seriously cannot get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier…” Hammad was investigated for terrorism by the FBI.
Despite her atrocious record, Abdulhadi is still being lauded as a leader in her field. In January 2023, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) awarded its 2022 Jere L. Bacharach Service Award to Abdulhadi—a dubious honor given MESA’s own record of anti-Semitism and extreme hostility toward Israel. Professor Abdulhadi exemplifies the worst of Jew hatred in academia and deserves her place atop the list of Jew-hating professors.