Just when it looked like Columbia University might actually be striking an uncharacteristic blow for academic honesty comes word that the institution has caved in to pressure and awarded tenure to one of its most unsavory faculty members.Indeed, here's a criticism of Massad from Campus Watch.
The reportedly lucky recipient is Joseph Massad, associate professor at Columbia's Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Culture -- who has long been notorious for his obnoxious pronouncements on Israel (and Jews generally), as well as his bullying of students who dare to disagree with him.
Word of Massad's tenure comes from As'ad AbuKhalil, a California professor who blogs under the name "angryarab" and reports -- in a "message to all the Zionist hoodlums out there"-- that Massad "called me from Cairo to break the great news."
Columbia refuses to confirm the "great news," saying it does not comment on tenure issues as a matter of policy. But, if true, it represents a shameful about-face and craven surrender to pressure.
Last fall, Columbia Provost Alan Brinkley reportedly moved to deny Massad tenure. This after an academic panel found that Massad violated academic standards by failing "to show respect for the rights of others to hold opinions differing from his own."
(The opinions with which some students chose to differ, by the way, include frequent vitriolic comparisons of Israeli leaders to Nazis and diatribes alleging undue Jewish influence on US policy.)
That led some faculty members to demand an unusual second hearing, saying that tenure decisions should be based on a candidate's "scholarship, teaching and service, not his political views."
But what if, as with Massad, his teaching and his politics are inseparable?
As disquieting as Massad's politics is his demeanor. He's repeatedly been accused of harassing students who disagree with him.
Joseph Massad of the Middle Eastern department. According to reliable source, Prof. Massad has openly supported Islamist terrorism against Israel, including suicide bombings of civilians. In his class on Israeli-Palestinian politics, Massad openly engages in conspiracy theories, teaching students about the connections between Nazis, Rothchilds, international bankers, and a host of other nefarious characters (such as the Freemasons or the Knights Templars) to dispossess Palestinians of their land and make them permanent victims of Western colonialism and imperialism. From what I hear, his behavior behooves that of a paranoid conspiracy theorist, and not that of a published academic. Massad has also come close to belittling, if not denying the Holocaust outright.Here's what his friend the Angry Arab had to say.
I have a message to all the Zionist hoodlums out there: for all of you who campaigned and harassed and intimidated and who treated academic life like an aspect of Zionist thuggery, Joseph Massad has received tenure. He called me yesterday from Cairo to break the great news to me and I could not wait to report it to his enemies and mine. It is with great pleasure and gratification that I break the news to all of you. No matter what dirty tricks you (i.e. Zionist hoodlums) have resorted to, and no matter what sleazy methods you have employed and no matter what sinister propaganda you have resorted to, dear Joseph Massad deservedly received his tenure.Columbia must be so proud.