@WarpedMirrorPMB: From Al Jazeera to ColumbiaUniversity: Joseph Massad’s obsession with Israel

May 17, 2013

(by Petra Marquardt-​Bigman) Columbia University professor Joseph Massad has been at it for years, but for some reason, his latest op-ed for Al Jazeera finally made many people sit up and pay attention to Massad’s relentless efforts to taint Israel and Zionism with preposterous Nazi-comparisons and claims of Nazi-collaboration.

Popular columnist Jeffrey Goldberg tweeted sarcastically: “Congratulations, al Jazeera: You’ve just posted one of the most anti-Jewish screeds in recent memory.”
While a lot of people agreed with Goldberg and either retweeted him or posted similar tweets, it is debatable if Massad’s latest Al Jazeera column was really so much worse than the many others that reflect his obsession with Israel. As I have documented only recently, Massad’s writings on Israel can easily be confused with material from the neo-Nazi “White Pride World Wide” hate site Stormfront – and at least in one case, he actually did write a passage that closely resembles a Stormfront post that is taken from David Duke’s notorious “minor league Mein Kampf.”
It was therefore arguably long overdue that people finally noticed that Massad was using his Al Jazeera columns to spread his vicious views on Israel and Zionism. In his latest lengthy and rather incoherent screed, Massad tries once again to resurrect the “Zionism is racism”-equation with the added twist of insisting that Zionism is really Nazi-like racism. This brings Massad to the utterly ridiculous conclusion that
“Israel and the Western powers want to elevate anti-Semitism to an international principle around which they seek to establish full consensus. They insist that for there to be peace in the Middle East, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims must become, like the West, anti-Semites by espousing Zionism and recognising Israel’s anti-Semitic claims [i.e. Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state].”
Furthermore, according to Massad,
“the Palestinian people and the few surviving anti-Zionist Jews […] are […] the heirs of the pre-WWII Jewish and Palestinian struggles against anti-Semitism and its Zionist colonial manifestation. It is their resistance that stands in the way of a complete victory for European anti-Semitism in the Middle East and the world at large.”
It is almost amusing that Massad insists that “the Palestinian Authority and its cronies” are not part of this oh-so-noble tradition of opposing the kind of antisemitic Zionism that is the product of his fevered imagination. But of course, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Columbia University professor Joseph Massad clearly share a fondness for the “historical narishkayt” that there was some sort of cozy “relationship between Zionism and Nazism before World War II.”
Indeed, Massad – who works at Columbia University as an expert on “modern Arab politics and intellectual history” – faithfully reflects the antisemitic demonization of Israel that is so commonplace in the Arab media and that keeps poisoning Arab politics.
In reaction to Massad’s latest screed, many on Twitter dismissed his vicious views as proof of his ignorance, and a widely recommended post by Liam Hoare opened with the verdict that “Joseph Massad’s op-ed, ‘The Last of the Semites’, demonstrates above all that the Columbia professor knows very little about not a lot.”
But while Hoare does a good job demonstrating that Massad’s views amount to “a total perversion of Jewish history and what Herzl actually thought and wrote,” it’s safe to assume that Professor Massad thinks of himself as a foremost expert on Zionism and Israel. Indeed, his Al Jazeera columns on these subjects usually include a reference to his book on “The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians,” and it turns out that this spring semester, Massad is also teaching a course that covers some of the very subjects he knows so “very little about.”
Unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Massad’s students are likely to learn how to present Zionism as “a total perversion of Jewish history and what Herzl actually thought and wrote.”
Whether the resulting ideas are articulated in a Columbia University classroom or on Al Jazeera or Stormfront makes little difference as far as their substance is concerned. I tried to illustrate this point in my recent post on Massad with some quotes (I have added here two more) that are either from Massad or from Stormfront – see if you can tell them apart:
1) “Nazism was a boon to Zionism throughout the 1930s.”
2) “For all intents and purposes, the National Socialist government was the best thing to happen to Zionism in its history.”
3) “In Germany, the average Jews were victims of the Zionist elite who worked hand in hand with the Nazis.”
4) “Hitler could have just confiscated all the Jewish wealth. Instead he used the ‘Haavara Program’ to help establish the State of Israel.”
5) “Between 1933 and 1939, 60 percent of all capital invested in Jewish Palestine came from German Jewish money through the Transfer Agreement.”
6) “In fact, contra all other German Jews (and everyone else inside and outside Germany) who recognised Nazism as the Jews’ bitterest enemy, Zionism saw an opportunity to strengthen its colonisation of Palestine.”
7) “Zionists welcomed the Nazis’ anti-Semitic policies. Like the Nazis, they believed in race-based national character and destiny. Like the Nazis, they believed Jews had no future in Germany.”
8) “the Zionist Federation of Germany […] supported the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, as they agreed with the Nazis that Jews and Aryans were separate and separable races. This was not a tactical support but one based on ideological similitude.”
9) “Zionism […] developed the idea of the first racially separatist planned community for the exclusive use of Ashkenazi Jews, namely the Kibbutz.”
10) “The Zionists were afraid that the ‘Jewish race’ was disappearing through assimilation.”
Needless to say, Massad and his admirers who enthusiastically endorsed his recent column – among them Max Blumenthal of Mondoweiss, Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada, and the “Angry Arab” Professor As’ad AbuKhalil  – would all insist, just as Massad claims in his Al Jazeera piece, that their staunch anti-Zionism means quasi by definition that they can’t be antisemitic, even if they propagate the same perverted tropes that are popular on Stormfront.

The Netanyahu – Abdullah lovefest

March 19, 2013

…for a second there I thought Abdullah II was finished. Good thing he started the bullshit in the last few paragraphs. Being an agent of Israel does not go well on his resume. Time will tell, but if the Hashemites are as close to Israel as Goldberg is claiming then we can expect the King to see his end like Mubarak.

(Carl) So much for all those Leftists who believe that King Abdullah hates Binyamin Netanyahu and would gladly see Israel replaced by a ‘Palestinian state.’ The King is much smarter than all that, reports Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

Israel, in some ways, is Jordan’s most important ally. As the guarantor of quiet on Israel’s eastern front, and as the defender of the peace treaty that King Hussein forged with Yitzhak Rabin in 1994, Abdullah’s Jordan is essential to the Israelis. Jordan and Israel are also working together to prevent the chaos of Syria from spilling into their countries. The king would not talk about joint Jordanian-Israeli operations, but several sources in Amman and Tel Aviv told me that Israeli drones are monitoring the Jordan-Syria border on Jordan’s behalf, and that military and intelligence officials from the two countries are in constant contact, planning for post–Bashar al‑Assad chaos.

Even as Abdullah envisions ceding more of his power, he draws one red line: “I don’t want a government to come in and say, ‘We repudiate the peace treaty with Israel.’ ” He is cautious when speaking about the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he is reportedly in regular communication. He would say only that his relationship with Netanyahu is “very strong. Our discussions have really improved.”

Abdullah says he is pessimistic about Israel’s future.

Though he acknowledges the role Netanyahu plays in maintaining Jordanian stability, he is not optimistic about Israel’s future. King Abdullah is known as an advocate of two states for two peoples—Israel secure in its pre-1967 borders, Palestine to be established in Gaza and the West Bank—but when I asked him in January how much time he thought was left to implement this idea, his answer surprised me. “It could be too late already for the two-state solution,” he said. “I don’t know. Part of me is worried that is already past us.”

If it were too late, what would that mean?

He responded with a single word: “Isratine.” That’s a neologism popularized by the late Muammar Qaddafi to describe his vision of a joint Arab-Jewish state. If Israel doesn’t agree to a Palestinian state quickly, Abdullah said, “apartheid or democracy” will be its choice. “The practical question is, can Israel exert permanent control over Palestinians who are disenfranchised ad infinitum, or does it eventually become a South Africa, which couldn’t survive as a pariah state?”

There are some Israelis, I said, who value Israel more as a Jewish state than as a democratic state. “The only way you’re going to have a Jewish part is if you have a two-state solution. That’s the Jewish part,” he said.

Abdullah is smart enough to understand that Israel’s continued existence is the only thing that ensures that his country will not be overrun by its ‘Palestinians.’ Given that is the case, one has to wonder why Abdullah does not do more to bring about the conditions for a ‘settlement.’ For example, he could make the ‘Palestinian refugees’ in Jordan citizens of his country rather than holding them for a ‘right of return’ that he knows will never happen.
I have the impression from reading Goldberg’s piece that perhaps Abdullah would like to do just that but is prevented from doing so by the Bedouin tribes on whom he is dependent to maintain his power. In any event, a ‘two-state solution’ and the ‘right of return’ which would demographically extinguish Israel don’t go together. Abdullah is smart enough to understand that. 
I wonder whether he’s discussed this with Netanyahu, or perhaps their discussions have been limited to other areas of mutual interest like Syria and Iran.


So called Israel Firster: Anatomy of an Antisemitic Smear

February 7, 2012

(cifwatch.com) Beginning in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, approximately 2800 Americans fought in Spain on behalf of the Republican cause, in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and elsewhere. Most were members of the Communist Party or other leftist organizations. They served without the support of the U.S. government, were treated with suspicion after the war, and in some cases were even prosecuted by the Roosevelt Administration for recruiting volunteers into the Brigade. These volunteers into a foreign army are universally regarded with respect and even reverence by American liberals and the broader left. (image via alba-valb.org)(MORE)


Don’t donate money to fight Israel’s forest fires?

December 5, 2010

Jeffrey Goldberg has been spending too much time listening to the lunatic ravings of his co-blogger Andrew Sullivan. He’s urging you not to donate money to help rebuild from the ravages of the forest fire in Israel (Hat Tip: Shy Guy via Hot Air).

Inevitably, the Jewish National Fund, which, among other things, plants forests in Israel, is asking for donations from Americans for its “Forest Fire Emergency Campaign,” in response to the massive fire spreading across the Carmel mountains. But I’m not giving.
Israel’s per capita GDP is nearly $30,000. Israel is a rich country. The fact that it doesn’t possess adequate firefighting equipment is its own fault. The fact that the leadership of its fire service is incompetent is its own fault (you can read more about that here). At some point, the good-hearted Diaspora Jews who still think of Israel as a charity case are going to have to tell their cousins to learn to fully-fund basic services like firefighting if they want to be thought of as citizens of an advanced country.
There are a great many good causes in Israel that deserve help, and a great many causes here in America that deserve our help. It seems to me, however, that Israel’s national fire service should be funded by Israel’s government, not by the people of Boca Raton, Potomac and the Upper West Side.

By Goldberg’s logic, I suppose Israel should not have sent any equipment to help out with Hurricane Katrina. For that matter, neither should anyone else outside New Orleans have helped. After all, it was well-known that the levees around New Orleans were at a risk of flooding. New Orleans is a rich city, and America is a rich country. The City of New Orleans should have dealt with the problem, and if it didn’t, its residents should have paid the ultimate price.
The same goes for the specialized equipment Israel sent to help after the earthquake in Turkey. They should be prepared for earthquakes – they’re relatively frequent occurrences there. The same for tsunamis in Indonesia and Thailand earthquakes in Haiti (okay, they really are poor) and embassy bombings around the world.
In fact, why don’t we just become isolationists altogether? You know – ignore everyone outside our own neighborhood/city/country. Ridiculous….
If this had been any country other than Israel, would Goldberg (or anyone else) even have suggested it?

the entire Atlantic publication is full of vile hate. Goldberg is just another strawman