Breaking: Massad Denied Tenure?

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According to The Spine, a blog written by New Republic editor Marty Perez, Joseph Massad has been denied tenure. There’s no other source on the story so far and no official word on the reasons behind the decision, but Gil Ronen of Israel National news claimed yesterday that the decision to make Nadia El-Haj a tenured professor was part of an internal deal in which Massad’s tenure would be turned down.

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  1. i've  

    seen a few of these stories. Until Columbia says something or Massad himself begins to complain, I'm holding my breath.

  2. lol  

    "Barnard Gives Tenure to Denier of Jewish History"

    Something about that headline makes me want to high-five Barnard.

  3. real news  

    what happened to the dems coverage? I was just starting to get excited

  4. hmmm  

    "Save Rove. Sacrifice Scooter?"

  5. Alum

    Even if Massad was denied tenure (which seems unlikely) and if it happened at the same time that El-Haj received it (even more unlikely), the idea that it was part of a secret deal is absurd. Why on earth would Columbia make such a deal? For that matter, who would it have been made with?

  6. a tortured professor  

    this story is far better if you consistently misread 'tenure' as 'torture'

  7. ARR  

    Thank God is all I can say. Some other school can pay Massad for his bigoted psuedo-scholarship.

    • ARR hater

      Thank God that this school doesn't pay you for your bigoted psuedo-reporting.

    • Jesus  

      Ah, and I suppose that you are qualified to assess Massad's work, as a freshman who has repeatedly demonstrated the inability to write anything other than turgid, arrogant, and abortive verbal diarrhea? Forgive me, Mr. Rosen, but you lack credibility.

      • ARR  

        I'm sorry you don't like my writing, but I hardly see how your dissaproval of my "turgit, arrogant, abortive verbadl diarrhea" makes Massad anything other than a bigoted psuedo-scholar. Maybe you should read some of his stuff before accusing people of lacking credibility.

        I'm a sophomore, by the way.

        • Aww  

          Little Armin Rosen is growing up! He's a sophomore now! But still writes like a douche.

          Why don't Zionist/pro-Occupation scholars fall under your bigoted pseudo-scholar blanket? Oh right because Judaism is the chosen religion and the Jews are God's chosen people. My bad.

          • why rip

            on this armin fellow and just parrot your anti semite leader. This is the same guy who's said the following.

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

            and Jews=Nazi's and Sharon= Goebbels

            and go ahead throw the 'omg zionists' as a reply. all you're proving is that you're ok with a bigot as long as he's your bigot

          • Out of context  

            He was referring to the fact that the idea of a "Jewish" state, a religion-state rather than a nation state, where non-Jews are lesser beings and second-class citizens, is kinda fucked up, and no better than an Islamic Theocracy. I'm not okay with Massad at all & he is pretty distasteful, but I think it's pretty rich that some Jews hound him and manipulate his lectures to make him seem like this racist pig, all the while turning a blind eye to overtly imperialistic Zionist tripe that often comes out of pro-Israel academics.

          • 120923  

            Yep, that quote was completely taken out of context. Every word is loaded. Reading it literally cheapens all the words in that sentence and the value of Massad's writings.

            Alumni donation should not be a matter of politics. Those alum JAPs at Barnard are choking academics Jewish mother-style.

            By the way, do kids sign up for El-Haj's classes?

          • lovely

            It's lovely to see how you discredit yourself with clear demonstrations of anti-Semitism.

          • ARR  

            All scholars fall under that blanket, whether they happen to believe that Israel has a right to exist, or whether they happen to spout the kind of ludicrous, anti-Semitic canards that have been the foundation of Massad's scholarship. Again, I'm sorry that you read a double standard into my consistent (and I think informed) criticism of Massad's scholarship. But I've said before (and have said in print) that it's crucial for supporters of Israel to honestly engage even the most radical of anti-Zionist discourses--but academia should draw a line at scholarship based around the kind of prejudice and innuendo that's formed the bulk of Massad's work.

  8. 2340928  

    You people are seriously blind. You know nothing about Massad.

  9. standards

    At least Columbia proper has higher standards than Barnard.

  10. Anonymous  

    MEALAC has known about the tenure since last week. and has been moving heaven and earth in an attempt to reverse the decision. While they try to get a reversal , they are trying very hard not to let this leak, and the administration is cooperating with them as far as not making a public announcement. I very much doubt that Bollinger and Brinkeley will cave and reverse the decision.

    It is probably the case that when Abu El Haj became controversial, Bollinger and Brinkley seized the opportunity to announce the decisions simultaneously, as a way of diffusing the outrage that the two decisions generated.

    Barnard lost several tens of thousands of dollars in annual donations last week on the day the El Haj decision was announced. Angry alumnae who have made regular, annual donations in the $10,000 and up category for many years, and who had been holding their 2007 donations until the El Haj tenure was finalized, emailed Shapiro and the Development office to say that they would not make donations this year or ever again.


    • Alum

      That seems very unlikely. If MEALAC "has been moving heaven and earth in an attempt to reverse the decision", then the department must have recommended Massad for tenure and been overruled by Low Library. That sort of thing rarely happens.

      • umm  

        this is exactly the kind of case where such an overruling would happen - massive disparity between the academic qualifications (quite good) and the political situation (hated).

        and a secret deal between Bollinger, a few of the million-dollar level of donors, and liberals in the CU administration is absolutely a possibility, in fact a likelihood regardless of whether or not this particular rumor bears out.

  11. Anonymous  

    Zionism is a red herring. Oil and communism are only the surface. The truth involves the number 42.

    Follow me down the rabbit hole.

  12. anonymouse  

    OF course the department recomended tenure and was overruled, either by the ad hoc or by Low Library.

  13. that  

    would be some serious bullshit if a deal was made for one to get tenure and the other not to get tenure.

  14. also  

    peretz is a quasi-senile loon who only writes for TNR because he owned it for a couple of decades. he's an entirely non-credible source.

  15. alum 07

    Massad's senior comp lit seminar was by far one of the better classes I took at columbia and I daresay a lot of my classmates would agree with that; he was a helluva lot more reasonable and down to earth than rumor held. He said a lot in our seminar, but he never struck me as racist. It was admirable how he pushed every limit. Bwog, please get to the bottom of this, I am anxious to find out what the story is!

  16. lovely

    Loveliness pervades this forum through and through.

  17. Flapjack Slim  

    Jesus, Mohammad and Moses, y'all are ignorant of Massad's views and work... The man rails against nationalism like the disease it is, abhors bigots of every stripe, and consistently engages thoughtfully and respectfully with students of every background, provided they return the favor. for the last damn time: Massad is opposed to ZIONISM, not Judaism. It is not one and the same thing. Zionism is a political philosophy rooted in archaic modes of theocracy that "justifies" the oppression of an underclass in the name of the State. To equate all the Jews of the world with the perpetrators of this injustice is a gross misapprehension, one which Massad is committed to correcting. The critical issue here is the rejection of simplistic, essentialist finger-pointing. Massad constantly strives to reveal the heterogeneity of every community; as a conscientious academic, it is his conviction that most people cannot be defined by statements beginning "most [Arabs/Muslims/Jews/etc.]..." The world is a diverse and complex place, and it is better understood thanks to professors like Joseph Massad. Believe me, were the situation in Palestine reversed, Massad would be an outspoken critic of the Palestinian occupation of Jewish ghettos. The issue is injustice.

    • Wow

      Wow. You're a real misinformed idiot. I would debate you if I had time, but alas, I have work to do. Good night, and good luck with your limited brainpower.

      • Flapjack Slim  

        well, that was easy for you, wasn't it? glad I was able to express myself fully with my "limited brainpower," while you bugger off to bask in your pathetic complacency.

    • ARR  

      He does single out Jews, and I described how in a Spec article a few weeks ago:

      Also, anybody who thinks that Zionism is "rooted in archaic modes of theocracy" should really pick up Arthur Hertzburg's The Zionist Idea. Such a projection of generic, academic-sounding jargon onto an idea with a long and complicated history is part and parcel of the retreat from critical analysis that so much of Massad's work represents, probably because such blanket misunderstandings of Zionist history work to his advantage.

      • Flapjack Slim  

        the latter is a fair point, ARR. Zionism is the product of a complicated legacy of colonialism, not merely the result of theocratic thinking on the part of its Jewish proponents. I certainly do not wish to offer the impression that the complicity of the British colonial project with what has become the contemporary Israeli state is rooted in Balfour's historical embrace of Judaism... on the contrary, the State of Israel is a colonial entity established predominantly by secularists--as I said before, it is not the Jewish people nor Judaism itself that is to blame for Israel's misdeeds. However, far more archaic than even the propagation of a religious nationalism, is the systematic APPROPRIATION of the REAL, INCONTROVERTIBLE SUFFERING of the Jewish people. Yes, anti-semitism continues to plague the world. Yes, six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. Neither of these disgusting realities should justify further injustices, even though said injustices may indeed pale in comparison to the Holocaust. To hijack the suffering of the Jewish people in order to strengthen the socio-economic exploitation of the Palestinian Territories is a vile debasement of Jewish history.

        • ARR  

          One of the "complexities" I was referring to is the oftentimes oppositinal relationship between Zionism and British Colonialism. I'm sure the tens of thousands of Jews who had to sneak into Israel during the era of Churchill's "white paper" would be shocked to know of any "complicity" between the two of them; Walter Lacquer's book on the history of Zionism even provides a detailed account of how the British turned on the Zionists in the decades following the Balfour declaration.

          Indeed, Zionism was often a struggle against British imperialism (if you don't believe me, read Eli Weisel's Dawn, a brilliant albiet fictional exposition of the moral issues at the heart of the Irgun's resistance to British political tampering in Palestine). Indeed, the Balfour Declaration was so vague in its intentions that the British were enabled to play the Jews and Arabs off against eachother in an attempt to disengage from Mandatory Palestine in as non-messy a fashion as possible.

          Zionism really only took on a "colonial" and expansionist character with the rise of Jabotinsky and other hard-liners who believed that Zionism couldn't succeed unless Jews controlled the entirety of Mandatory Palestine. He was overruled with the acceptance of Partition in 1948--but of course you couldn't work through these kinds of details if you stuck to the simplistic historical narrative conducive to Massad's purposes, which is also the narrative that you seem to accept.

  18. prediction

    I bet the hunger strikers will shortly append this event to their list of grievances.

  19. can we  

    please take the jew bashing out of this discussion? it doesn't do much for the integrity of your argument

  20. hello  

    If you're going to complain about the mistreatment of Palestinians, why do I never hear anyone bitch about Lebanon and the way they treat Palestinians?

    Oh, wait, because it's not about Palestinians--it's about hating Jews. Period.

    • Jesus  


      How foolish of me. Now I understand that all of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, is really about hating Jews.

      All complaints about mistreatment of Palestinians are by anti-Semites and Nazi sympathizers.

      (Complaints about mistreatment that come from Jews are really from self-hating Jews, or people pretending to be Jews who are actually Nazis.)

      How silly of me to think that this was a complex topic. Now I see the wickedness of my ways, and I will abandon my previous position on this issue because I don't want to be an anti-Semite anymore.

      Fucking idiot.

      • dear dumbass  

        why don't you take a look through this? You lefties really are complete fucking morons--you think that Israel has a monopoly on mistreating Palestinians (checkpoints! omg! how inhumane!) and yet you turn a blind eye to what the rest of the countries in that area do to Palestinians. THE REASON IS SIMPLE! None of you really care about Palestinians. They are merely a scapegoat for your hatred of Jews. It really is that simple. If you cared about Palestinians, you would do far more than just criticize Israel.

        • naturally  

          we should hold the "only democracy" in the middle east to the same standards as 1) an autocratic monarchy 2) an autocratic dictatorship and 3) a highly divided country that's the playground for #2.

          Silly me, I forgot, everyone should be judged by the same lowest common denominator. But I guess that strips you of the moral high ground in any debate, right?

    • Jackpot!  

      You hit the nail on the head there! Lebanon is the problem! Israel was really defending Palestine when it attacked Lebanon last summer! Palestinians are suffering from Lebanese occupation, didn't you know?

  21. 123124  

    Palestinians would be mistreated anywhere. Refugees never get free buffets.

    • facts

      You're conflating colonialism with expansionism. Incidentally, Jabotinsky wasn't the first to embrace the notion of an Israeli state demarcated by the borders of "Greater Israel." This was a dream widely held in the early days of the Zionist movement, and privately espoused by David Ben-Gurion even at the end of the Mandate Era. Alas, it was ultimately abandoned in the interest of peace. But this is not a place for educational discourse I'm afraid.

  22. simplicity

    The history of Zionism really isn't that complex. It's just hardly known.

  23. 46 cont.  

    and now that you've forfeited the moral high ground in the conflict, please explain why you're deserving of 1/5 of the United States foreign aid budget and preferential treatment? kthnksbai

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