Joseph Massad

Salata Baladi or Afrangi?


Cultural critic Joseph Massad finds a problematic political agenda is at the heart of Nadia Kamel’s first documentary Salata Baladi, in which she mourns the imagined loss of a cosmopolitan Cairo, told through the story of her mother Mary Rosenthal, a.k.a. Naila Kamel and her separation from family that left Egypt for Israel. 

Subverting democracy


As the enemies of the Palestinian people have been attacking them on every front – Israel with its inquisition against Azmi Bishara and with him Palestinian resistance to the racist basis of the Jewish state inside the green line, or Hariri Inc. and its 14 March allies intent on proving the might of the Lebanese army at the expense of Palestinian civilian lives in Nahr al-Bared, and the continued siege by the Israeli military occupation and its US sponsor of the occupied territories – the latest attack came from Palestinian collaborators with the enemy: the Fatah leadership abetted by the United States. 

Israel's right to be racist


Israel’s struggle for peace is a sincere one. In fact, Israel desires to live at peace not only with its neighbours, but also and especially with its own Palestinian population, and with Palestinians whose lands its military occupies by force. Israel’s desire for peace is not only rhetorical but also substantive and deeply psychological. The only thing Israel has asked for, and continues to ask for in order to end the state of war with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbours, is that all recognise its right to be a racist state that discriminates by law against Palestinians and other Arabs and grants differential legal rights and privileges to its own Jewish citizens and to all other Jews anywhere. 

Pinochet in Palestine


Before the United States government subcontracted the Chilean military to overthrow the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in 1973, it carried out a number of important missions in the country in preparation for the coup of 11 September. These included major strikes, especially by truck owners, which crippled the economy, massive demonstrations that included middle-class housewives and children carrying pots and pans demanding food, purging the Chilean military of officers who would oppose the suspension of democracy and the introduction of US-supported fascist rule, and a major media campaign against the regime with the CIA planting stories in newspapers like El Mercurio and others. 

The (Anti-) Palestinian Authority


One of the most important measures that the Israeli and Palestinian architects of the Oslo agreement took in order to guarantee the structural survival of what came to be known as the Oslo “peace process” was the creation of structures, institutions, and classes, that would be directly connected to it, and that can survive the very collapse of the Oslo agreement itself while preserving the “process” that the agreement generated. This guarantee was enshrined in law and upheld by international funding predicated on the continuation of the “Oslo process”… 

Blaming the lobby


In the last 25 years, many Palestinians and other Arabs, in the United States and in the Arab world, have been so awed by the power of the US pro-Israel lobby that any study, book, or journalistic article that exposes the inner workings, the substantial influence, and the financial and political power of this lobby have been greeted with ecstatic sighs of relief that Americans finally can see the “truth” and the “error” of their ways. “But,” asks Jospeh Massad, “when and in what context has the United States government ever supported national liberation in the Third World?” 

Munich, or Making Baklava


“The best baklava is made by the Arabs in Jaffa,” insists the Mossad case officer to his chief agent in charge of assassinating those Palestinians Israel claims planned the Munich operation of 1972. Besides being excellent baklava-makers, we learn little else in Steven Spielberg’s film “Munich” about Jaffa’s Palestinians, the majority of whom were pushed into the sea by Zionist forces in May 1948. Columbia University professor and EI contributor Joseph Massad examines Spielberg’s film and finds that it continues a tradition started by Otto Preminger’s 1960 film “Exodus,” and ultimately serves to justify rather than question Israeli terrorism and violence. 

Targeting the university


Targeting the university is the latest mission of right-wing forces who have hijacked not only political power and political discourse in the United States but also the very vocabulary that can be used against them. The campaign of the last three years or so to attack US universities as the last bastion where a measure of freedom of thought is still protected is engineered to cancel out such freedom and ensure that scholars will not subvert the received political wisdom of the day. 

EI EXCLUSIVE: Joseph Massad's response to the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee Report


In late 2004, claims of intimidation in the department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC) of Columbia University hit newspapers around the world after an unreleased documentary Columbia Unbecoming, which purported to reveal incidences of intimidation and anti-Semitism in the classroom. The primary target of the organized campaign was Professor Joseph Massad. Columbia University ultimately formed an ad hoc committee to investigate, which released its report on 31 March 2005. Joseph Massad responds. 

Joseph Massad responds to the intimidation of Columbia University


The recent controversy elicited by the propaganda film “Columbia Unbecoming,” a film funded and produced by a Boston-based pro-Israel organization, is the latest salvo in a campaign of intimidation of Jewish and non-Jewish professors who criticize Israel. Professor Joseph Massad, who has been a central target of this campaign, responds, exposing its tactics and explaining that its aim is to stifle pluralism, academic freedom, and the freedom of expression on university campuses in order to ensure that only one opinion is permitted, that of uncritical support for the State of Israel.