@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.

Joseph Massad loves the word "colonialism"

May 6, 2011
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Joseph Massad, the anti-gay and virtually anti-semitic Columbia University professor whose hatred of Israel is legendary, has written another screed for Al Ahram that exposes his faulty methods of reasoning.

I wrote a critique of one of his previous articles in 2007 where he argued that Israel was inherently racist. Yet an analysis of that article showed that he never really defined what racism was – effectively, his argument was an argument by repetition. In that article, he used the word “racist” or “racism” over thirty times. It was nothing more than proof by assertion, with many straw-man arguments to buttress his nonexistent proof.

Now, he has a new article in Al Ahram, where he talks about Israel’s “colonialism.” In this case he must have shattered a record of overuse of a word, employing it over sixty times in the course of the article. Even more absurdly, he bases the article on this phrase: Colonialism is peace; anti-colonialism is war, as being Israel’s policy – using variants of that phrase some seven times.
Again, it is a gigantic straw-man argument, because he again assumes that Israel is by definition colonialist and he never bothers to define exactly how. Just as he did with the racism charge, he states it as a fact first and his “proof” is just by repeating it ad nauseum.
Israel is not a colonialist state using any reasonable definition of colonialism. As I have written previously, Israel is by definition anti-colonialist:
Arabs feel that Zionism has the same effect as colonialism, therefore they conclude that the two are functionally identical.
However, Zionism is more like anti-colonialism: it is a national liberation movement, with the nation being the Jewish nation. Zionism’s ‘s intent is not to rule over others nor to subjugate others. The vast majority of early Zionists wanted to re-build the Jewish national home in the same place that the original home was, the biblical Land of Israel. Judaism had maintained a strong emotional tie with ancient Israel; daily prayers long for a return to Zion;Jews annually mourn for the destruction of both Holy Temples in Jerusalem; and not only Jews had maintained a continuous presence in their original homeland, but Jews had returned there in much smaller numbers throughout the ages.
Definitionally, they two aren’t even close. The Zionists didn’t want to offer allegiance to the British Empire, they wanted to be independent of it. The colonialist requirement for a “metropole”, or mother country, doesn’t exist in Zionism.
The Arab motivation to apply the colonialist label to Zionism purposefully ignores the definitions or goals of the Jewish national liberation movement and instead tries to fuzz the definition so that the metropole is the entire Western world. Israel indeed has the hallmarks of a modern, Western nation and more closely identifies with the West and the ideals of democracy and liberalism than with the Arab world. And in more recent decades, when the word “colonialism” has turned into a dirty word, the Arabs have been keen on using it as a weapon against Israel among the nations that have the most colonial guilt.
Massad and those like him know all of this, of course – but they love misusing the words “colonialism” and “racism” to score points with the West. It is a libel that gains currency by dint of repetition, not by the merits of the argument.
And no one knows more about repetition than Joseph Massad.

Columbia University’s New Center For Palestine Studies

December 18, 2010

The October launch of Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies (CPS), the first institution at an American university specifically dedicated to the study of Palestinian Arabs, received surprisingly little notice.

here are signs that politics have already infiltrated the CPS. Take, for example, the fact that Joseph Massad (the professor accused of bullying students in 2004) is associated with the center. Massad’s body of work is a postmodern mash-up of high-minded critical theory and base innuendo. His book Desiring Arabs theorizes that homosexuality is a western construct that imperial powers imposed upon the Middle East and that a “gay international” cabal (consisting of groups like Amnesty International and the Human Rights Campaign) uses the rhetoric of minority rights to unfairly vilify Muslim regimes.

Columbia University seems to have become infested with parasites. It is almost every other post is about the place’s flaws. obviously the campus is very ill. I wouldn’t send my child there. I believe they even were getting donations from Iran through the Alawi Foundation recently.


Center for ‘Palestine’ Studies at Columbia University AKA Bir Zeit on the Hudson and taqiyyah

October 17, 2010

Martin Kramer notes that when he first coined the phrase Bir Zeit on the Hudson in 2003, Edward Said’s response was that there were only two ‘Palestinians’ among the 8,000 faculty members at Columbia and that Kramer was a McCarthyite. 

 And yet, as Carl reported earlier this week, there is now a Center for ‘Palestine’ Studies at my alma mater. What happened since? Kramer explains. via israelmatzav.blogspot.com

At least the center is in New York.  My college Carnegie Mellon University moved a campus to Qatar.

So how did Columbia go so rapidly from “two Palestinians teaching in a faculty of 8,000 people!” to “a unique concentration of distinguished scholars on Palestine and the Palestinians”? Don’t be shocked, but Edward Said was out to deceive in that 2003 interview. Obviously there were more than two Palestinians back then. But I didn’t invent the nickname Bir Zeit-on-Hudson because of their number. It was meant to evoke precisely the atmosphere of intimidation—anti-Israel intimidation—that would later come to light in the “Columbia Unbecoming” affair.

Now that Columbia boasts of being home to “a unique concentration of distinguished scholars on Palestine” (who “will have a national and global reach”), Bir Zeit-on-Hudson hardly sounds far-fetched. By that, I don’t mean a “terrorist hideout”—those were Said’s words, not mine—but a redoubt of militant Palestinian nationalism in the guise of scholarship. And I mean militant: the affiliates of the new center aren’t only engaged in the positive affirmation of Palestinian identity, but are activists in the campaign to negate Israel. This is obviously the case in regard to Joseph Massad and Nadia Abu al-Haj—their field isn’t Palestine studies, it’s anti-Israel studies—but it’s increasingly true of the new center’s co-director, Rashid Khalidi, Columbia’s Edward Said Professor, an enthusiastic spokesman for the PLO in its terrorist phase and a severe critic of the same leadership in its present phase.
For now, Khalidi is cleverly doing what Said did with his “two Palestinians” shtick. “We have absolutely no money,” Khalidi said at the launch (attended by an overflow crowd). “What our little modest center will be able to do may be some narrow, specific things,” he reassured a journalist from the Jewish Forward. I’m not buying it, and I think that the moniker Bir Zeit-on-Hudson is too modest to convey the scope of the ambition behind this project. So I’m working on an alternative. For a preview, click on the thumbnail or here.

Make sure to follow that last link – especially if you went to Columbia or Barnard. It will give you a new perspective on the campus. Heh. Khalidi has learned the practice of taqqiyah well.

obama_ayers_khalidi.jpg
image of Ayers, Obama and Rashid Ismail Khalidi (Arabic: رشيد خالدي‎) via patdollard.com

via israelmatzav.blogspot.com

Rashid Ismail Khalidi (Arabic: رشيد خالدي‎), born 1948, a Palestinian-American historian of the Middle East, is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University,[1] and director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.