Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Joseph Massad

Joseph Massad is a Professor at Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures that blames antisemitism on the Jewish people, compares Jews and the State of Israel to the Nazis and Nazi Germany, and is an ardent supporter of the antisemitic and the terror affiliated Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

In 2018 Massad outlandishly agued in an Electronic Intifada article (an antisemitic blog run by a previously featured ‘Antisemite of the Week’ Ali Abunimah) that it’s antisemitic to refer to Israel as “the Jewish state.” Massad has written similar statements in the past; in 2003 he wrote Israel has turned “the Jew into the antisemite, and the Palestinian into the Jew.” Massad’s “blame the victim” tactics have been used by Jew haters for centuries.

In 2013 Massad stated “the Jewish state is a racist state that does not have the right to exist” and that Zionists were allied with the Nazis. According to the U.S. Department of State’s International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism it is in fact deemed antisemitic to refer to the world’s only Jewish country as a racist endeavor. In fact, Massad’s post originally published in Al Jazeera, received so much backlash that the Qatari state run media media site removed it after massive outrage from both Jews and non Jews.

In 2019 Massad published an editorial titled “Israel and the West”; in the article Massad promoted the BDS movement, stating Israeli values and Western commitments to settler-colonialism and racism were identical. In 2016 Massad signed a petition to rebrand BDS at Columbia to ‘Columbia University Apartheid Divest’.

Massad is also hostile to his Jewish students, asking one pupil in 2002 – “How many Palestinians have you killed?”. In another incident, a female student named Deena Shanker was forced to leave his class after she argued during a class discussion that Israel provides civilians with advanced warnings before attacks. Massad denied the facts of Shanker’s report despite many of her classmates corroborating the story.

Mossad’s atrocious behavior led to an investigation following years of complaints alleging antisemitism in 2005; unfortunately the committee responsible for the investigation stated that they did not find “evidence of any statements made by the faculty that could reasonably be construed as antisemitic” yet admitted to the lack of grievance procedures available for addressing student concerns. Many have questioned the makeup of the committee, pointing out that several members have expressed antisemitic views of their own including Farah Griffin, Jean Howard, and Lisa Anderson.

Today Joseph Massad still uses his teaching position to espouse the same antisemitism as he has done for the past 20 years. Recently one of his current students submitted to StopAntisemitism a sample lesson plan from Massad’s ‘Palestine and Israel’ class. In it Massad again compares Zionists (a.k.a Jews) to Nazis. Given that these analogies were part of the Soviet Union’s strategy to vilify its Jewish subjects, IHRA has rightly classified them—and other Massad-esque rhetoric—as nothing more than antisemitism.

As antisemitism continues to spread like wildfire in America, Professors like Joseph Massad do nothing but pour gasoline on the flames with their antisemitic rhetoric. 

We need YOUR help – email Columbia University’s Board of Directors and demand Joseph Massad’s classes are investigated for antisemitism as defined by the IHRA definition of antisemitism.