Middle East studies in the News
Joseph Massad Loves the Word "Colonialism"
Elder of Ziyon Blog
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.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.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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