Middle East studies in the News
Joseph Massad Tries to Equate Anti-Semitism with Zionism
Elder of Ziyon Blog
Joseph Massad, the Columbia professor whose anti-Zionist arguments are often little more than proof by assertion, has a new piece in Al Jazeera that includes his usual pseudo-scholarship, and ends up being almost unbelievably offensive.
Here is the key section:
Scientific anti-Semitism insisted that the Jews were different from Christian Europeans. Indeed that the Jews were not European at all and that their very presence in Europe is what causes anti-Semitism. The reason why Jews caused so many problems for European Christians had to do with their alleged rootlessness, that they lacked a country, and hence country-based loyalty. In the Romantic age of European nationalisms, anti-Semites argued that Jews did not fit in the new national configurations, and disrupted national and racial purity essential to most European nationalisms. This is why if the Jews remained in Europe, the anti-Semites argued, they could only cause hostility among Christian Europeans. The only solution was for the Jews to exit from Europe and have their own country. Needless to say, religious and secular Jews opposed this horrific anti-Semitic line of thinking. Orthodox and Reform Jews, Socialist and Communist Jews, cosmopolitan and Yiddishkeit cultural Jews, all agreed that this was a dangerous ideology of hostility that sought the expulsion of Jews from their European homelands.
Is there anything wrong in this paragraph?
Massad is not your typical neanderthal Israel-hater. He is smart enough to hide his agenda and sprinkle his lies so subtly that it requires a word-by-word analysis to see where they are.
In this case, nearly all of this paragraph is slanted but accurate - except for five words.
"The only solution was for the Jews to exit from Europe and have their own country."
Nineteenth century anti-semites did not espouse Jews having their own country. They simply wanted to persecute and marginalize the Jews in their countries!
Modern Zionism did not work in concert with 19th century "scientific" anti-semitism, it was a response to it.
Here is the description of Jews in the 1898 International Yearbook describing the situation after two decades of "scientific" anti-semitism taking root in Europe:
During the year 1898, the persecution of the Jews continued in many parts of the world, taking the form of violent anti-Semitic outbreaks, especially in Austria-Hungary and France. In France the hatred of the Jews is especially marked among the lower classes of society, including the laboring classes, and it has been employed by socialistic and radical leaders for party ends. The political importance of French anti-Semitism can be seen in connection with the Dreyfus case. (See FRANCE.) In Austria-Hungary, on the other hand, it is not only the lower classes who are opposed to Jews, nor is the anti-Jewish fanaticism found exclusively in districts where the educational standard is low. Vienna is a great centre of anti-Semitism, the mayor of the city being himself an anti-Semitic agitator. A numerous element of the population in Germany and Italy are also hostile to the Jews. In Germany, the anti-Semites include some of the large landed proprietors, and old nobility. In Russia where the persecution of the Jews has led in recent years to an extensive migration of that despised sect, the persecution seems to come mainly from the official class. The Russian laws discriminate against Jews, forbidding them to live outside of certain specified districts, and to follow certain pursuits. It is this revival of the old-time spirit of persecution in Europe that has led to the so-called Zionist movement for the repeopling of Palestine by the Jews. ...
Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia of the same year makes this more explicit:
The growth of anti-Semitism within the past few decades has had much to do with the Zionistic movement, for it is only in countries where civil and religious liberty is denied to the Jew that there is a desire to colonize in Palestine under any form.
If the anti-semites wanted a state in Palestine for the Jews, where is the literature demanding this? Why were they restricting Jews to live in certain districts instead of encouraging their emigration?
Massad helpfully links to the hard-to-find pamphlet written by the apparent coiner of the word "anti-semite," Wilhelm Marr, where he explains "scientifically" why he has a problem with Jews in Europe. Not once does he say that the Jews must have their own state to solve this problem. That idea is wholly made up by Massad in order to pretend that Zionism is the same as anti-semitism.
This lying academic goes on to describe how Zionists, from Herzl onwards, allegedly collaborated with anti-semites - including, of course, Hitler - to help create Israel.
Massad is purposefully fudging cause and effect, because only with that lie can he continue to build his wholly fictional thesis and try to separate historic anti-semitism with anti-Zionism. Massad believes that anti-Arabism is the only real anti-semitism, and he goes on to ludicrously claim that German reparations to Jews after the Holocaust is only because Germans belatedly came to realize that Jews were really "white."
The article is a ludicrous and offensive twisting of history in order to demonize today's Jews. The good Jews in Massad's estimation were anti-Zionists who were wiped out in the Holocaust. He actually tries to imply that Hitler didn't target Zionist Jews:
The Jewish holocaust [note the lower case - EoZ] killed off the majority of Jews who fought and struggled against European anti-Semitism, including Zionism. With their death, the only remaining "Semites" who are fighting against Zionism and its anti-Semitism today are the Palestinian people.
This absurd piece reveals much - not about history or truth, but about Massad's seething hate and willingness to twist facts to fit his own agenda.
It is a stain on Columbia University that they keep this fraud employed.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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