Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This is an edited version of a list someone just emailed me concerning some of the more "remarkable" statements made by Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad. I think you'll find it entertaining...and a bit disturbing. None of this prevents you from being on the tenure track at Columbia University. Enjoy.

My emailer writes:

Joseph Massad is Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University. His course load includes CLME W3042 Palestinian and Israeli Politics and Societies, a difficult task for a man who does not know any Hebrew. He is currently under consideration for tenure...

10) “The Jews are not a nation.” [Source]

9) "thousands of women have miscarried as result of [the Israeli Defense Force's use of] poison gas.” [Source]

8) It was Israelis - not Palestinians - who shot to death the Israeli Olympic athletes in the 1972 Munich Massacre. [Source]

7) Muslim poverty results from "the racist and barbaric policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank." [Source]

6) “The Palestinians of today are the descendants of the ancient Hebrews.” The idea that the ancient Hebrews are among the ancestors the Jews is “preposterous” and “absurd.” [Source]

5) “Christian fundamentalist(s)… are the most powerful anti-Semitic group worldwide.” [Source]

4) Jews in Nazi Germany were not physically abused or harassed until Kristallnacht in November 1938. [Source]

3) The ancient Hebrews did not speak Hebrew, actually “the ancient Hebrews spoke Aramaic.” [Source, Source]

2) "Exodus tells the story of the Zionist hijacking of a ship from Cyprus to Palestine by a Zionist Haganah commander." (Massad’s plot synopsis of Exodus, a movie about about the shipload of Holocaust refugees desperately trying to reach Israel.) [Source]

1) “Zion” is the Hebrew for “penis.” [Source]

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: The Crackpot Scholarship of Joseph Massad.

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I attended this conference featuring lectures by Joseph Massad, Gil Anidjar, Noha Radwan and Lila Abu-Lughod on a dark and stormy evening last week. Columbia's non-tenured Joseph Massad, whose manner and delivery reminded me of Vincent Price in his... Read More

I attended this conference featuring lectures by

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Bir Zeit-on-Hudson is continuing to earn its name if this report by the Angry Arab is to be believed: Joseph Massad has tenure I have a message to all the Zionist hoodlums out there: for all of you who campaigned... Read More


You can let Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia know what you think of giving tenure to Massad

another gem from Massad:

"Such practices [as the torture of Abner Louima by NYC police] clearly demonstrate that white American male sexuality exhibits certain sadistic attributes in the presence of non-white men and women over whom white Americans (and Brits) have government-sanctioned racialised power."

"Zionism's anti-Semitic project of destroying Jewish cultures and languages in the diaspora in the interest of an invented Hebrew that none of them spoke, and in the interest of evicting them from Europe and transporting them to an Asian land to which they had never been, is never examined by these intellectuals. Nor do they ever examine the ideological and practical collusion between Zionism and anti- Semitism since the inception of the movement."

this guy is loony

i got the same email. I'm glad she's publicizing his statements. Nothing I didn't know, but always worth repeating.

Apparently Yale is considering bringing in Khalidi, who's almost as bad. (I forgot where I saw that, but it was today.)

Hail Columbia, the gem of the dhimmi school of journalism. Any wonder why the main stream media is the new source of mis-information?

Tom, you have your own blog now (or maybe you did before but I didn't notice)! Congrats.

You quote student comments that are critical of Massad, but on your link to, there are 20 student reviews of Massad, and many of them are favorable. That's what's depressing. There are reviews that present his one-sidedness as refreshing and a sign of integrity. Such students appear to accept much of what he teaches at face value, thinking that since they'd never been exposed to this information before, it must be a valuable discovery. Some of the students who reviewed Massad said that what they'd learned in his class will influence their thinking from here on. I forgot how naive students can be at that age.

It's the "Chomsky phenomenon" -- 'it's different, it must be good, and when I have this information, I'm one of the special people, too.' Manipulation 101.


Naivity has no age limits. Otherwise the likes of J. Massad, whose doctorate notwithstanding, shouldn't be paid to count paperclips let alone teaching anything, anywhere.

Massad is an example of a high functioning paranoid schizophrenic. The day we develop a safe, effective treatment for paranoid schizophrenia is the day public discourse in this country goes through a remarkable change.

Point #3 is actually correct, if Massad was referring to the late 2d temple period and the time of Jesus; by that time Aramaic was the vernacular, and translations of the scriptures into Aramaic already existed.

as far as point #1, perhaps he confused the Hebrew word "Tziyyon" with the word "Zayin", the 7th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is, in fact, a rarely used term for the male sexual organ.

Massad actually denied that the ancient Hebrews ever spoke Hebres. Stupid as it sounds.

"In the 19th century and with the rise of European biological racism, those who hated Jews could no longer rely on religious difference to mark out post- Enlightenment Jews as objects of their hatred. As religion was no longer part of the argumentation that could be used in a "rational and scientific" Europe, a new basis for the hatred of Jews had to be found. This did not mean however that certain religious ideas could not be rationalised. They often were. In keeping with the Protestant Reformation's abduction of the Hebrew bible into its new religion and its positing of modern European Jews as direct descendants of the ancient Hebrews, post- Enlightenment haters of Jews began to identify Jews as "Semites" on account of their alleged ancestors having spoken Hebrew. In fact the ancient Hebrews spoke Aramaic, the language in which the Talmud was written, as well as parts of the bible. Based on this new philological taxonomy and its correlate racial classifications in the biological sciences, Jews were endowed with this linguistic category that was soon transformed into a racial category."

Semites and anti-Semites, That is the Question
by Joseph Massad
December 9-15, 2004

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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