CJUI is proud to stand with the AMCHA Initiative (amchainitiative.org) in its important work in combating BDS and the dangerous harassment of Jewish students on college campuses.
In response to a letter from AMCHA on 7/11/19 to multiple officials in CA (please see the previous post on our website), Lynn Mahoney, the president of San Francisco State University, wrote a letter, dated 7/20/19, (please see below) that demonstrates a complete avoidance of the issues addressed in AMCHA's letter of concern. AMCHA's initial letter, which CJUI signed, addressed the illegality of any person using the names of California State University or San Francisco State University to promote or endorse any boycott of any political movement, activity, or program, and highlighted the fact that a representative of SFSU was indeed guilty of this misdemeanor. In her response, rather than addressing the reality of the situation, President Mahoney tried to deny that an official academic unit of the University and the administrator of that unit represent the university. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin of AMCHA answered President Mahoney's letter on 7/25/10 (please see below) and emphasized the fact that "an official academic unit of SFSU, and Prof. Abdulhadi, in her capacity as the administrator of that academic unit, certainly do represent the university" and therefore, these actions "must be considered official university positions and sentiments." As such, "these official departmental postings are undoubtedly in violation of the law found in section 89005.5 of the California Education Code: "All of the following names are the property of the state: California State University...San Francisco State University...No person shall, without the permission of the Trustees of the California State University, use this name...in connection with...propaganda, advertising, or promotional activity of any kind which has for its purpose or any part of its purpose the support, endorsement, advancement...of any...boycott or of any political ...movement, activity, or program...Every person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor." CJUI is a signer of the initial and follow-up letters from AMCHA, both of which were necessary because of the rampant anti-Zionist harassment of Jewish students on the campus of SFSU in general, and the specific involvement of SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi in the public promotion of statements such as: "Zionism = Racism" and "Boycott! Divest! Sanction!" CJUI is honored to stand with AMCHA in its vital efforts to combat BDS and the dangerous harassment of Jewish students on college campuses, and hopes that President Mahoney of SFSU will take appropriate action to correct the situation on her campus. 📷📷On July 20, 2019, at 7:09 AM, President Lynn Mahoney <email@example.com> wrote:Dear Ms. Rossman-Benjamin,Thank you for reaching out to me with your concerns. I just concluded my first week on campus and am excited by all the opportunities at San Francisco State and in the region. Creating a welcoming and inclusive campus for our students is a top priority for all of us. I want to assure you that we have implemented a variety of initiatives to ensure a welcoming climate for our Jewish students. These include anti-Semitism awareness trainings; a revision of our policies to ensure that all can exercise their free speech and participate in University activities; the creation of the Division of Equity & Community Inclusion; and ongoing collaboration with SF Hillel and JCRC. I am particularly pleased to announce that we just hired a Jewish Student Life Coordinator to ensure our ongoing commitment to these initiatives and to our Jewish students.I understand your concerns about the Facebook posts, but please know that sentiments expressed on Facebook pages reflect the opinions of the professor or others who post them. Facebook pages are not officially sanctioned university web pages and do not represent the university's positions or sentiments.Again, thank you for reaching out to me.
I look forward to working with our Jewish students and leaders in the Jewish community to ensure that our students succeed and that San Francisco State be a model of inclusivity.Best,Lynn📷📷On July 25, 2019, at 8:32:47 AM PDT, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: Dear President Mahoney, Thank you for your email. Our 80 civil rights, human rights, religious and educational organizations appreciate that in fulfillment of a legal settlement last spring, your university has committed itself to taking forthright steps to address the rampant anti-Zionist harassment of Jewish students on your campus, including by issuing a public statement affirming that "for many Jews, Zionism is an important part of their Jewish identity," as well as by agreeing to independent, outside investigation of all complaints of religious discrimination. We hope that these measures will help to create a healthier campus climate. However, the recent re-posting by "AMED Studies at SFSU" to its AMED Facebook page of a message from AMED's Director Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi stating "Zionism = Racism" and "Boycott! Divest! Sanction!", along with the continued presence on the AMED Facebook page of a several-months-old posting by "AMED Studies at SFSU," stating that the program's Director considers "welcoming Zionists to campus, equating Jewishness with Zionism, and giving Hillel ownership of campus Jewishness to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, [and] Palestinians," are cause for grave concern. As justification for doing nothing about these departmental postings, you have stated that Facebook pages are not officially sanctioned university web pages and do not represent the university's positions or sentiments. But AMED, as an official academic unit of SFSU, and Prof. Abdulhadi, in her capacity as the administrator of that academic unit, certainly do represent the university. The positions and sentiments disseminated by "AMED Studies at SFSU" under the AMED logo, which includes the words "San Francisco State University," must be considered official university positions and sentiments, not unlike those disseminated on the official SFSU Facebook page, which bears the university's official logo with the words "San Francisco State University." Moreover, as we have written to Chancellor White and copied to CSU General Counsel Jones and California Attorney General Becerra, these official departmental postings are undoubtedly in violation of the law. Unless the CSU Trustees have given Abdulhadi permission to use the name of SFSU to promote a boycott of Israel and disseminate anti-Zionist rhetoric, the postings directly violate section 89005.5 of the California Education Code: "All of the following names are the property of the state: California State University...San Francisco State University...No person shall, without the permission of the Trustees of the California State University, use this name...in connection with...propaganda, advertising, or promotional activity of any kind which has for its purpose or any part of its purpose the support, endorsement, advancement...of any...boycott or of any political...movement, activity, or program...Every person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor." This matter cannot be ignored. The on-going refusal to address these hateful, discriminatory and illegal postings promulgated by an official SFSU academic unit belies your statement that "creating a welcoming and inclusive campus for our students is a top priority for all of us," calls into question SFSU's commitment to honoring its obligations under the recent legal settlement, and leaves us deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of Jewish and pro-Israel students, and all students, on your campus. We look forward to hearing how you will address this issue. Sincerely, Academic Council for Israel Academic Engagement Network Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi) Alums for Campus Fairness - National Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA AMCHA Initiative America Israel Cooperative Enterprise American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists American Council of Trustees and Alumni American Institute for Jewish Research American Truth Project Americans Fighting Antisemitism Americans for Peace and Tolerance B'nai B'rith International Bobcats for Israel at Ohio University Boston Israel Action Committee Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law Bulldogs for Israel (Brooklyn College) California Association of Scholars Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore Center for Combating Antisemitism Christians and Jews United for Israel Club Z Coalition for Jewish Values Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) CUFI on Campus Davis Faculty for Israel Eagles Wings Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME) Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors Hasbara Fellowships Herut North America, U.S. Division Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel Iranian American Jewish Federation Iranian Jewish Women's Organization Israel in NYC Israel Matters Israel on Campus Coalition Israel Peace Initiative (IPI) Israeli-American Civic Action Network Israeli-American Civic Education Institute JAM Jewish American Affairs Committee of Indiana Jewish War Veterans of the USA Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) Middle East Forum Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN) National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel National Conference on Jewish Affairs National Council of Young Israel NCSY NH4Israel North Carolina Coalition for Israel Proclaiming Justice to the Nations Rabbinical Alliance of America Rhode Island Coalition for Israel Russian Jewish Community Foundation Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Simon Wiesenthal Center Slugs for Israel (University of California Santa Cruz) StandWithUs StandWithUs Saidoff Legal Department Stop Anti-Semitism Now Stop BDS on Campus Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism Students Supporting Israel at Columbia Students Supporting Israel at Drake University Students Supporting Israel at San Jose State University Students Supporting Israel at UCLA Students Supporting Israel National Swarthmore Alumni Against Antisemitism on Campus The Israel Christian Nexus Tufts Friends of Israel WoMen Fight Antisemitism Young Jewish Conservatives Zionist Organization of America ZOA's Fuel for Truth Cc: Winston & Strawn, LLP The Lawfare Project, Brooke Goldstein Executive Director California State University Chancellor Timothy White California State University Trustees California State University General Counsel Andrew Jones California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Senator Connie M. Leyva, Chair California Standing Committee on Education Assembly Member Jose Medina, Chair California Assembly Higher Education Committee Senator Ben Allen, Chair Jewish Legislative Caucus