Peace with Realism

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Professor Joseph Massad

The Jews are not a nation....
The Jewish state is a racist state that does not have a right to exist

These are the words of Joseph A. Massad, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. They come from a talk he gave at Oxford University in March 2002. In this talk, perhaps appropriate to his position at an institution as prestigious as Columbia, Massad performed an impressive intellectual feat: while making a charge of racism, he expressed racism himself.

In addition, Massad has trivialized if not actually denied the Holocaust, compared Israel to Nazi Germany and called for Israel's destruction, and in classical anti-Semitic tradition has accused the Jewish people of conspiring to dominate everyone else: "Today's Israeli Jewish supremacists seem to agree with the anti-Semites asserting that if Jews do not control the entire world, at least they control America."

Who are these "Jewish supremacists"? They are "not confined to Mr. Sharon and the Israeli Jewish rightwing which is anyway a majority in Jewish Israel, but also to liberal and leftist Jews."

In other words, all Jews, no matter what their political views, are trying to take over the world.

In his numerous writings, including the article in Al-Ahram cited below, Massad has attacked Israel's right to exist because it is a "racist Jewish state." He criticizes leading European intellectuals, already critical of Israel, for not condemning Israel's very existence: "Unless their stance is one that opposes the racist basis of the Jewish State, their support for Palestinian resistance will always ring hollow."

Indeed, Massad has explicitly called for Israel's destruction. At a public lecture he gave in April 2002, Massad called Israel "a Jewish supremacist and racist state" and said that "Every racist state should be destroyed."

Palestinian "resistance" - in other words terrorism, since that is the form Palestinian violence normally takes - is justified against Israel because Israel is a "racist Jewish state." Never mind that Israel has many Arab citizens who vote and who are represented in the government, while the very few Jews who remain in Arab lands (most were driven out) are denied the rights of citizens, cannot freely practice their religion, are often subject to persecution, and in most cases are not allowed to emigrate. Also never mind the full-scale indoctrination in Jew hatred to which Arab children are subject, learning that Jews are subhuman, "monkeys and pigs."

But this is what now passes for scholarship in some of our foremost universities, at least in Middle Eastern Studies.


Harris, Jonathan Calt. "Tenured Extremism." New York Sun, May 4, 2004.

Massad, Joseph. "The Legacy of Jean-Paul Sartre." Al-Ahram Weekly, January 30-February 5, 2003.

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