San Francisco State University once against embraces terrorism

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San Francisco State University (“SFSU”) has a history of overt leftism and anti-Semitism going back at least to the 1970s, so perhaps it’s merely business as usual that the campus is hosting an online event featuring Leila Khaled. Still, even for S.F. State, Khaled is extreme. She is a violently anti-Semitic, anti-Israel member of the hard left Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group more radical than the PLO. In 1969, she was part of a team that hijacked a TWA flight with 80 people on board and, in 1970, she attempted to hijack another flight while armed with two hand grenades.

Naturally, Khaled is feted on the left. Although she is still affiliated with the PFLP, which the U.S. and the European Union classify as a terrorist organization, in 2017 she spoke to the European Parliament. While there, she said that the Israelis are worse than the Nazis because they haven’t been punished:

“You can’t compare the actions of the Nazis to the actions of the Zionists in Gaza,” she claimed, later adding, “The Nazis were judged in Nuremberg but not a single one of the Zionists has yet been brought to justice.”

SFSU, although a taxpayer-funded institution, is entirely on board with inviting a member of an anti-Semitic terrorist organization to give a speech:

San Francisco State University’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) is scheduled to host later this month a virtual conversation with a known Palestinian terrorist.

[snip]

The Sept. 23 event, “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance: A conversation with Leila Khaled,” will take place via Zoom. It will be hosted by SFSU professors Rabab Abdulhadi and Tomomi Kinukawa, the former of whom has a history of anti-Israel activism.

[snip]

“It’s incredibly disturbing that two SFSU professors see fit to host a member of a U.S.-designated terror organization in a class devoted to ‘teaching Palestine’ and studying ‘justice,’ ” Academic Engagement Network executive director Miriam Elman told JNS. “By planning to feature PFLP member Leila Khaled in their ‘open classrooms,’ Professors Abdulhadi and Kinukawa are showing incredibly poor judgment and fostering a toxic climate for their Jewish and Zionist students.”

This isn’t SFSU’s first anti-Semitic rodeo. It boasts some famous and some infamous graduates, including Willie Brown, Kamala Harris’s mentor, and Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Zarif’s attendance explains a lot about SFSU’s mindset. During the Obama administration, Palestinian groups almost succeeded in having expelled Tatiana Menaker, a Russian immigrant who verbally challenged their violent anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Eventually, even the University administration, which supported the Palestinian efforts against her, was forced to concede that Menaker had done nothing wrong — she was just being persecuted for exposing the dominant anti-Jewish politics at SFSU. Still, by 2015, SFSU was ranked as one of the most anti-Semitic colleges in America.

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In 2017, the campus anti-Semitism on the campus was so extreme that it condoned barring Hillel, a nationwide Jewish campus organization, from on-campus events. Eventually, seven people sued the California State University (CSU) system over this blatant anti-Semitism and, in 2019, CSU and SFSU settled, with both explicitly promising to safeguard Jewish students and to allow them to voice pro-Israel sentiments.

Despite this, Lynn Mahoney, SFSU’s president, wrote an opinion piece in The Jewish News of Northern California, claiming that academic freedom justified giving a platform to an outsider (that is, not even a professor) who is an unrepentant member of a terrorist organization. It would, of course, be interesting to see whether Mahoney advances those same principles should Ann Coulter or Ben Shapiro want to speak at SFSU. As best as I can tell, no prominent conservative speakers have ever even tried to appear at SFSU, at least in the last two to three decades.

Why is this story newsworthy? Because it tells you why Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission matters. San Francisco State University, which invites a genocidal, anti-Semitic terrorist to be a speaker, and thinks that doing so is okay, is what you get when you passively allow leftists to control American education. They make a mockery of every American value while using those same values to defend their conduct – all at the taxpayers’ expense.

Image: In 2016, SFSU students protest to defend the Ethnic Studies Program that has now invited Leila Khaled to speak. Photo by M. Minton. CC BY 2.0.

San Francisco State University (“SFSU”) has a history of overt leftism and anti-Semitism going back at least to the 1970s, so perhaps it’s merely business as usual that the campus is hosting an online event featuring Leila Khaled. Still, even for S.F. State, Khaled is extreme. She is a violently anti-Semitic, anti-Israel member of the hard left Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group more radical than the PLO. In 1969, she was part of a team that hijacked a TWA flight with 80 people on board and, in 1970, she attempted to hijack another flight while armed with two hand grenades.

Naturally, Khaled is feted on the left. Although she is still affiliated with the PFLP, which the U.S. and the European Union classify as a terrorist organization, in 2017 she spoke to the European Parliament. While there, she said that the Israelis are worse than the Nazis because they haven’t been punished:

“You can’t compare the actions of the Nazis to the actions of the Zionists in Gaza,” she claimed, later adding, “The Nazis were judged in Nuremberg but not a single one of the Zionists has yet been brought to justice.”

SFSU, although a taxpayer-funded institution, is entirely on board with inviting a member of an anti-Semitic terrorist organization to give a speech:

San Francisco State University’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) is scheduled to host later this month a virtual conversation with a known Palestinian terrorist.

[snip]

The Sept. 23 event, “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance: A conversation with Leila Khaled,” will take place via Zoom. It will be hosted by SFSU professors Rabab Abdulhadi and Tomomi Kinukawa, the former of whom has a history of anti-Israel activism.

[snip]

“It’s incredibly disturbing that two SFSU professors see fit to host a member of a U.S.-designated terror organization in a class devoted to ‘teaching Palestine’ and studying ‘justice,’ ” Academic Engagement Network executive director Miriam Elman told JNS. “By planning to feature PFLP member Leila Khaled in their ‘open classrooms,’ Professors Abdulhadi and Kinukawa are showing incredibly poor judgment and fostering a toxic climate for their Jewish and Zionist students.”

This isn’t SFSU’s first anti-Semitic rodeo. It boasts some famous and some infamous graduates, including Willie Brown, Kamala Harris’s mentor, and Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Zarif’s attendance explains a lot about SFSU’s mindset. During the Obama administration, Palestinian groups almost succeeded in having expelled Tatiana Menaker, a Russian immigrant who verbally challenged their violent anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Eventually, even the University administration, which supported the Palestinian efforts against her, was forced to concede that Menaker had done nothing wrong — she was just being persecuted for exposing the dominant anti-Jewish politics at SFSU. Still, by 2015, SFSU was ranked as one of the most anti-Semitic colleges in America.

[embedded content]

In 2017, the campus anti-Semitism on the campus was so extreme that it condoned barring Hillel, a nationwide Jewish campus organization, from on-campus events. Eventually, seven people sued the California State University (CSU) system over this blatant anti-Semitism and, in 2019, CSU and SFSU settled, with both explicitly promising to safeguard Jewish students and to allow them to voice pro-Israel sentiments.

Despite this, Lynn Mahoney, SFSU’s president, wrote an opinion piece in The Jewish News of Northern California, claiming that academic freedom justified giving a platform to an outsider (that is, not even a professor) who is an unrepentant member of a terrorist organization. It would, of course, be interesting to see whether Mahoney advances those same principles should Ann Coulter or Ben Shapiro want to speak at SFSU. As best as I can tell, no prominent conservative speakers have ever even tried to appear at SFSU, at least in the last two to three decades.

Why is this story newsworthy? Because it tells you why Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission matters. San Francisco State University, which invites a genocidal, anti-Semitic terrorist to be a speaker, and thinks that doing so is okay, is what you get when you passively allow leftists to control American education. They make a mockery of every American value while using those same values to defend their conduct – all at the taxpayers’ expense.

Image: In 2016, SFSU students protest to defend the Ethnic Studies Program that has now invited Leila Khaled to speak. Photo by M. Minton. CC BY 2.0.

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