The Edge of Terrorism
|Cinnamon Stillwell||April 7th 2017|
In 2016, the Middle East Forum (MEF) launched a campaign calling on San Francisco State University (SFSU) President Leslie Wong to end the schools's 2014 memorandum of understanding (MOU) with An-Najah University — a college in the West Bank that promotes radicalism and Palestinian violence. Since that time, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has documented two cases of a Najah student group promoting terrorism.
Last month, PMW reported that Shabiba — the Palestinian Authority (PA) student movement at Najah — displayed a logo on Fatah's official Facebook page featuring a coat of arms on a "resistance" fist. The coat of arms was in the shape of the PA map, claiming all of Israel as "Palestine." It was accompanied by the violent slogan, "From the sea of blood of the martyrs, we will create a state."
Then, on March 29, Fatah's Facebook page featured Shabiba's call for a day of terror against Israel on April 17. Shabiba promised to "to burn the land under the feet of the tyrants," and threatened to replicate a previous terror attack in which 16 people were murdered. In addition, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) noted that the Shabiba group at Bir Zeit University in Ramallah marked Fatah's anniversary in December 2016 with a military parade of armed, masked men in fatigues shouting, "This is a call to arms," and, "Blow up the head of the settler!"
When asked by the Algemeiner to comment on Najah's extremism, an SFSU spokesperson said that the University had no intention of breaking off its relationship with the Palestinian school, labeling the MOU merely a "goodwill document that demonstrates an intention to collaborate," though a "specific project [to do so] has not yet been identified."
This claim is disingenuous, in light of Abdulhadi's 2016 "Freedom Behind Bars Workshop," the first known event facilitated by the MOU. The workshop involved sending Americans who served time in prison for crimes — ranging from bombing the United States Senate, to conspiracy to commit murder — to meet with fellow former "political prisoners" at Najah.
As a public university that receives both state and Federal funds, SFSU used taxpayer dollars to connect violent American radicals to their counterparts in the Middle East. This leaves no doubt about the kind of "projects" the MOU will enable: pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-Israel.
Nor does President Wong's refusal to acknowledge MEF's repeated requests for comment on the MOU and the obvious security concerns posed by any student or faculty exchange program. Because radicalization has led to numerous terrorist attacks in the U.S., such collaboration poses a clear risk.
Therefore, the SFSU's spokesperson's pledge to take student and faculty safety into consideration when implementing the MOU rings hollow.
The Algemeiner placed SFSU tenth on its 2016 list of "The 40 Worst Colleges for Jewish Students" largely because of the MOU with Najah. As Algemeiner editor Dovid Efune put it: "If you can imagine for second what it's like to be a Jewish student on this campus and know that there is a formal agreement with an institution that has hosted terrorism ... it's going to leave you feeling uncomfortable."
Nir Barkat Disruption
Wong should apply that same honesty to the indefensible decision to partner with Najah, but instead, he has doubled down, describing the MOU as "one of my goals and dreams."
Meanwhile, Abdulhadi has falsely accused MEF of engaging in a "McCarthyist attack" and "a witch hunt campaign," and seeking "to whip up hysteria, Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia to divert attention from Israeli criminality." Her academic and activist cohorts have predictably mimicked her rhetoric.
It is time for California State University System Chancellor Timothy P. White to terminate the MOU, and for the California State Assembly and the US Congress to hold hearings into the matter.
This disgraceful agreement must be rescinded.