Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Zionists target Prof. Joseph Massad

Expand Messages
  • World View
    Columbia vows swift action on anti-Israel professors By Shlomo Shamir Haaretz / 26 November 2004 http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/506594.html NEW YORK
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2004
      Columbia vows swift action on anti-Israel professors

      By Shlomo Shamir

      Haaretz / 26 November 2004


      NEW YORK - Columbia University president Lee Bollinger plans
      "specific steps" soon in response to allegations that professors and
      lecturers at the Ivy League university made vitriolic and malicious
      comments against Israel in classes.

      Bollinger made the pledge in a Wednesday phone call to
      Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman. Bollinger
      didn't detail the character of the steps, but emphasized "the matter
      will be handled immediately."

      New York's Columbia University was recently embarrassed by reports
      that Middle Eastern professors are exploiting their academic
      standing to express extreme political views on Israel, using
      slanderous and defamatory statements.

      The allegations against the professors, including their names and
      photographs, were published at the beginning of the week in an
      investigative report by mass-circulation newspaper the New York
      Daily News.

      Jewish sources in New York reported Thursday that major Jewish
      donors to the university were considering severing ties with the
      prestigious institution in response to the "corrupt behavior" by
      academic staff. In particular, the sources mentioned Jewish
      graduates of the university active in alumni organizations.

      They said that Bollinger had recently received irate requests from
      alumni protesting the behavior and explaining they expected an
      appropriate response from the university to what they called
      "malicious comments" against Israel.

      The university president recently proposed the establishment of a
      special chair for Israeli Studies, with the view of separating it
      from Middle East Studies. The proposal was interpreted by the Jewish
      community as an appeasement gesture after the wave of protest
      against the professors' behavior.

      Foxman told Haaretz on Thursday that he his meeting with Bollinger
      had left him with the impression that "he is aware of the problem
      and understands its seriousness."

      Foxman called the Columbia events "particularly grave as the
      institution is located in New York, which has a large Jewish
      population, and Jewish students are exposed to insults from

      Foxman emphasized that "if Columbia handles the problem decisively,
      it will be a strong message to other U.S. campuses where similar
      phenomena occur."

      ADC Action Alert:
      Defend Academic Freedom at Columbia University

      11/24/04--ADC expresses its deep concern over increased attempts to
      silence free speech and academic freedom at Columbia University.

      Professor Joseph Massad, an untenured junior faculty member in the
      department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures
      (MEALAC) has been the target of a campaign designed to intimidate
      academics critical of Israel and U.S. foreign policy in the Arab
      world. Citing "the duress of coercion and intimidation,"
      Professor Massad has decided not to teach his course on Palestinian
      and Israeli Politics and Societies next semester.

      A "special report" in the New York Daily News on November 21 accused
      the MEALAC department of "promoting an I-hate-Israel agenda,
      embracing the ugliest of Arab propaganda, and teaching that Zionism
      is the root of all evil in the Mideast." Arguing that "Columbia has
      been infected with a contingent of faculty members whose hatred for
      Israel has eclipsed any academic mission that makes sense," a
      November 19 New York Sun editorial went so far as to demand that
      Columbia University President expand his investigation to
      include "the content of the scholars' research." At least one
      Congressman, Representative Anthony Weiner, has publicly called for
      Professor Massad to be fired.

      This flurry of attacks was triggered by private showings of "Columbia
      Unbecoming," a film produced by The David Project, a Boston-based
      anti-Palestinian initiative formed in 2002 "in response to the
      growing ideological assault on Israel." In the film, a small number
      of students affiliated with Lionpac, the University's pro-Israel
      student club, accused Professor Massad of intimidating students who
      expressed views sympathetic of Israel. Not one of the students
      interviewed in the film has ever filed any kind of complaint against
      Professor Massad or the MEALAC through any of the appropriate
      channels. Few had ever taken a class with him. Students supportive
      of Professor Massad and appreciative of his classroom instruction
      were not interviewed by the filmmakers.

      Citing concern over the "disturbing and offensive nature of
      incidents described in the film," Columbia University President Lee
      Bollinger has already announced plans to investigate accusations of
      anti-Semitism and intimidation at the University. In October, he
      appointed Provost Alan Brinkley to lead the investigation into
      allegations of intimidation and assess the adequacy of the grievance

      ADC has long expressed serious concerns about efforts to stifle free
      speech on US campuses by labeling any criticism of Israel as "anti-
      Semitism" and these latest efforts by The David Project must be seen
      within the context of the organized national campaign to intimidate
      and silence supporters of Palestinian human rights. For more
      information, see ADC's earlier press release:


      Leading the charge against any academic criticism of Israel is
      Daniel Pipes' "Campus Watch" project (see: www.campuswatch.org).
      Launched in September 2002, Pipes' website monitors the political
      views of US professors and graduate students, maintains "dossiers"
      on professors and academic institutions deemed insufficiently pro-
      Israel, and urges students to inform on their professors' views.
      Since its inception, a number of professors, students and other
      prominent persons have been targeted. The "survey institutions"
      section includes condemnations of Colorado College for inviting
      Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi to speak at a symposium. In
      addition to Professor Massad, Columbia Professors Rashid Khalidi and
      Hamid Dabashi, as well as others such as Tariq Ramadan, have also
      been targeted.


      ADC members are urged to contact the Columbia University
      administration to express support for academic freedom on campus and
      urge the University President not to bow to political pressure to
      silence professors critical of Israeli or American policy.


      University President Lee Bollinger
      Telephone: 212.854.9970
      Fax: 212.854.9973
      Email: Bollinger@...

      University Provost Alan Brinkley
      Telephone: (212) 854-2404
      Fax: (212) 932-0418
      Email: ab65@...

      For more information see:

      Joseph Massad's Statement in Response to the Intimidation of
      Columbia University

      "Columbia Unbecoming" in the clear light of day

      Columbia University President Lee Bollinger's statement on "Columbia

      Columbia University Provost Alan Brinkely's statement on "Columbia

      Online Petition in Support of Professor Massad

      ADC Denounces New Efforts to Chill Academic Freedom [2002]

      Campus Watch Survey: Columbia University

      Celebrate ADC's 25 Years of Dedicated Service to Civil and Human


      For more information, contact Laila Al-Qatami at:

      American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
      4201 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20008
      Tel: (202) 244-2990, Fax: (202) 244-3196, Email: adc@...



      To subscribe to this group, send an email to:

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.