Middle East studies in the News
Al-Jazeera Runs Then Deletes Anti-Semitic Screed by Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad
Joseph Massad is an anti-Israeli Columbia University Professor.
Massad recently wrote a post at Al-Jazeera, which we wrote about at College Insurrection, Columbia Professor's 'Anti-Jewish Screed' Draws Fire.
The post was The Last of the Semites:
The core allegations are that Zionists cooperated with the Nazis, that the result of the Holocaust was that only Zionist Jews survived while non-Zionist Jews were exterminated, and that the West seeking to compel the Arabs to accept Israel is the fulfillment of this Nazis-Zionist collusion:
… It is this shared goal of expelling Jews from Europe as a separate unassimilable race that created the affinity between Nazis and Zionists all along.
While the majority of Jews continued to resist the anti-Semitic basis of Zionism and its alliances with anti-Semites, the Nazi genocide not only killed 90 percent of European Jews, but in the process also killed the majority of Jewish enemies of Zionism who died precisely because they refused to heed the Zionist call of abandoning their countries and homes.
After the War, the horror at the Jewish holocaust did not stop European countries from supporting the anti-Semitic programme of Zionism. On the contrary, these countries shared with the Nazis a predilection for Zionism. They only opposed Nazism's genocidal programme. European countries, along with the United States, refused to take in hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors of the holocaust. In fact, these countries voted against a UN resolution introduced by the Arab states in 1947 calling on them to take in the Jewish survivors, yet these same countries would be the ones who would support the United Nations Partition Plan of November 1947 to create a Jewish State in Palestine to which these unwanted Jewish refugees could be expelled.
The creation of Israel, Massad continued, not only was a fulfillment of the Nazi-Zionist common goals, but also required the elevation of Jews to "white" in order to promote an inherently racist agenda:
After World War II, a new consensus emerged in the United States and Europe that Jews had to be integrated posthumously into white Europeanness, and that the horror of the Jewish holocaust was essentially a horror at the murder of white Europeans. Since the 1960s, Hollywood films about the holocaust began to depict Jewish victims of Nazism as white Christian-looking, middle class, educated and talented people not unlike contemporary European and American Christians who should and would identify with them. Presumably if the films were to depict the poor religious Jews of Eastern Europe (and most East European Jews who were killed by the Nazis were poor and many were religious), contemporary white Christians would not find commonality with them. Hence, the post-holocaust European Christian horror at the genocide of European Jews was not based on the horror of slaughtering people in the millions who were different from European Christians, but rather a horror at the murder of millions of people who were the same as European Christians. This explains why in a country like the United States, which had nothing to do with the slaughter of European Jews, there exists upwards of 40 holocaust memorials and a major museum for the murdered Jews of Europe, but not one for the holocaust of Native Americans or African Americans for which the US is responsible….
It was thus that the European and US commitment to white supremacy was preserved, except that it now included Jews as part of "white" people, and what came to be called "Judeo-Christian" civilisation [sic].
Massad also sees West Germany's assistance to Israel not as some sort of amends, but as a continuation of the Nazi-Zionist collusion:
West Germany's alliance with Zionism and Israel after WWII, of supplying Israel with huge economic aid in the 1950s and of economic and military aid since the early 1960s, including tanks, which it used to kill Palestinians and other Arabs, is a continuation of the alliance that the Nazi government concluded with the Zionists in the 1930s.
Since Massad portrays Israel as inherently anti-Semitic, Massad casts Palestinians who want to destroy Israel as fighting anti-Semitism:
The Jewish holocaust 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.
Massad's view of Israel is hardly alone. It is a view which infests much of the Arab media and Islamist groups. The concept of Zionism as racist by design gave rise to the now-defunct "Zionism is Racism" U.N. resolution.
The article came under intense criticism, for obvious reasons.
Jeffrey Goldberg sent out a tweet which pretty accurately summarized the import of Massad's argument:
Even Mondoweiss, yes Mondoweiss, the harshest of websites when it comes to Israel, had trouble stomaching Massad's arguments:
Well, with Massad we've come a long inverted way. He sees the Jewishness that most Jews celebrate as colonial and – criminal.
Massad stops short – I think – of a Euro-American Jewish Zionist conspiracy to dominate the world.
Understanding Jewishness at war with the world and with Jewishness itself. It's a tough sell.
Now the Massad article is gone from Al-Jazeera (h/t @GlennGreenwald). Spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories was not too much for Al-Jazeera initially, but perhaps the attention called to the screed was too much. I'd be curious if the article ran in non-English versions of Al-Jazeera and if it has been removed there.
Needless to say, the "Zionists" are blamed by anti-Israeli websites like Electronic Intifada, which adheres to Massad's theories:
In an unprecedented act of political censorship Al Jazeera English has deleted an article by noted Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad after coming under intense criticism from Zionists in recent days.
Massad told The Electronic Intifada that he had "received confirmation" from his editor at Al Jazeera English that "management pulled the article." The Electronic Intifada was able to independently confirm that the article was pulled….
The backlash has been so intense precisely because Massad goes to the core of Israel's claim to represent Jews and to cast its critics as anti-Semites by showing that indeed it is Israel and Zionism that partake of the same anti-Semitism that targeted European Jews.
In doing so, Massad pulls the rug from under Zionists and Israel lobbyists by demonstrating that they are the anti-Semites and taking away the most formidable weapon they wield against critics of Israel: the accusation that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
By neutralizing this ideological weapon that Israel has used so effectively in the Western media to cover up its colonization of Palestine, Massad's pro-Jewish position and strenuous attack on Zionist anti-Semitism is clearly understood by Israel lobby figures such as Goldberg as a complete obliteration of their ideological arsenal.
But it's still available at Yahoo. I also uploaded it to DocStoc, but that upload was removed (trying to find out why):
I don't think Al-Jazeera should have removed the article, because it serves as a classic example of the widespread pathology behind the anti-Israel movement. We just rarely get to see that pathology in English.
There are several lessons here. One of which is that anti-Semitism infests much of the intellectual foundation of the arguments against Israel, and there is a direct line between anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and the justification behind the call to destroy Israel. You cannot separate the two, whether it's Islamists referring to Jews as the descendants of monkeys and pigs, or Columbia University professors calling Israel the fulfillment of the Nazi dream.
Another lesson is how infested academia is with anti-Israel agitators, even if they do not espouse blatantly anti-Semitic screeds like Massad. We previously have pointed out the "anti-PinkWashing" conferences and George Bisharat.
While not going as far as Massad, the concept of Israel as uniquely imperialist and colonial in nature also was fundamental to the vote by the Association of Asian American Studies to boycott Israeli academic institutions, a boycott which was rejected by the American Association of University Professors (h/t Jonathan Marks).
Massad is just the tip of the anti-Israeli academic iceberg. The deletion of Massad's column by Al-Jazeera changes nothing, the iceberg still is there.
Update: A good post from Elder of Ziyon, Joseph Massad tries to equate anti-semitism with Zionism:
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….
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?
It is somewhat besides the point, because people like Massad have a bigger agenda, the complete delegitimization of Israel. The "facts" are found selectively and usually out of context to support the preexisting agenda; the agenda is not the result of research into the facts.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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