U.S. District Court rejects SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi’s frivolous sanctions motion targeting The Lawfare Project

Press Release – For Immediate Release
May 31, 2019

Media Contacts:
Nathan Miller or Liat Distler
(310) 571-8264
Nathan@miller-ink.com or Liat@miller-ink.com

SAN FRANCISCO—The Lawfare Project welcomed U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick’s order Tuesday denying Professor Rabab Abdulhadi’s frivolous motion for sanctions against The Lawfare Project and Winston & Strawn LLP in relation to legal actions concerning anti-Semitism at San Francisco State University (SFSU).

Judge Orrick's order marks a significant loss for Abdulhadi, who was one of several defendants named in the SFSU lawsuit. The suit alleged that she contributed to a pervasively hostile environment at the school that violated the civil rights of Jewish students.

On March 20, The Lawfare Project and Winston & Strawn achieved a landmark victory when they reached a settlement with California State University (CSU). The settlement mandated that the CSU system—and SFSU specifically—implement a number of policies to protect Jewish students, including those who hold Zionist beliefs, from discrimination.

Abdulhadi—who sought $428,890.76 for costs and attorneys' fees—attempted to malign the legal team by erroneously alleging that their claims against her were baseless and that they acted in bad faith. Ironically, it was Abdulhadi who abused the court system in order to penalize the attorneys for reaching a crucial settlement protecting the rights of Jewish students. This was a classic attempt at lawfare, and it failed.

Abdulhadi is the Ethnic Studies Professor and Director of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative at SFSU. She is known for her rabid anti-Semitic activity on and off campus. She and her ethnic studies department have glorified the murder of Jews. She infamously declared that welcoming Zionists to campus was a "declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, [and] Palestinians" and, just this month, equated Zionists with white supremacists. She is also a founding member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions-related U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, which advocates for the exclusion of Jewish students through "anti-normalization."

The Lawfare Project will continue to fight against the discriminatory behavior of Abdulhadi and other university faculty across the United States and abroad.