Following arguments made by Edward Said in his book Orientalism , Massad asserts that 19th Century European antisemitic characterizations of Jews have transformed in the present era to target Arabs, while maintaining the same racialist characterizations, and thus, racism towards Arabs and Muslims today is a form of "Euro-American Christian anti-Semitism and Israeli Jewish anti-Semitism.
Massad has characterized Israel as "a racist Jewish state. Massad writes that after Europeans invented the racialist conception of the "Semite," the Zionist movement "adopted wholesale anti-Semitic ideologies",  and describes Zionism as an "anti-Semitic project of destroying Jewish cultures and languages in the diaspora", which has ultimately led to "the transformation of the Jew into the anti-Semite, and the Palestinian into the Jew. Massad has spoken of genetic links being established between 19th-century European Jews and the ancient Israelite kingdom and the creation of a "semitic" identity for Jews at that time as actually a European, racist construction designed to portray European Jews as foreigners.
The claim made by the Zionists, and by Professor Morris, that late nineteenth-century European Jews are direct descendants of the ancient Palestinian Hebrews is what is preposterous here.
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This kind of anti-Semitic claim that European Jews were not European that was propagated by the racist and biological discourses on the nineteenth century, that they somehow descend from first-century Hebrews, despite the fact that they look like other Europeans, that they speak European languages, is what is absurd.
Massad argues that US imperialism is ultimately behind Israeli actions.
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He has problematized the mainstream criticisms of the Israel Lobby by explaining the underlying imperialist affinities that tie Israel and the US together: "the lobby is powerful in the United States because its major claims are about advancing US interests and its support for Israel is contextualised in its support for the overall US strategy in the Middle East. Massad views US culture as deeply infected with racism and misogyny, tying the Abner Louima case to torture in Abu Ghraib , and arguing that in Iraq, "American male sexual prowess, usually reserved for American women, [was] put to military use in imperial conquests", with "Iraqis Massad has also criticized Arab intellectuals who "defend the racist and barbaric policies" of the United States , the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the Arab world.
Massad refers to the Palestinian Authority as the "Palestinian Collaborationist Authority," calls Mahmoud Abbas the "chief Palestinian collaborator," and accuses the PA of collaborating with Israel and the United States to crush Palestinian resistance.
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In , a pro-Israel activist organization, the David Project , produced a film, Columbia Unbecoming , interviewing students who claimed that Massad and other Columbia professors had intimidated or been unfair to them for their pro-Israel views. This eventually sparked the appointment of an Ad Hoc Grievance Committee by the university to investigate the complaints.
The Ad Hoc Grievance Committee, which concluded its work in April , dismissed most of the allegations against Massad, writing in its report that it had "no basis for believing that Professor Massad systematically suppressed dissenting views in his classroom. Critics described the committee's findings as a whitewash.
In response to the investigation of Massad and other professors by Columbia, Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union , expressed concern that it would become an inquisition into the political views of professors, and that there was a "political agenda" motivating the complaints. Lieberman previously had met with some of the Columbia students who have made the allegations featured in Columbia Unbecoming and said in an interview that it was "wrong to accept these allegations at face value".
Massad continues to deny the one allegation that the report found "credible. In an editorial discussing the case one week after the release of the Committee report,  the New York Times noted that, while it believed Massad had been guilty of inappropriate behavior, it found the controversy overblown and professors such as Massad themselves victimized:. There is no evidence that anyone's grade suffered for challenging the pro-Palestinian views of any teacher or that any professors made anti-Semitic statements.
Zionism and anti-Semitism: Joseph Massad on the sordid historical alliance | Moderate Rebels
The professors who were targeted have legitimate complaints themselves. Their classes were infiltrated by hecklers and surreptitious monitors, and they received hate mail and death threats. The panel had no mandate to examine the quality and fairness of teaching. That leaves the university to follow up on complaints about politicized courses and a lack of scholarly rigor as part of its effort to upgrade the department.
A review by Massad of the book Palestinian Art , written by Israeli art history professor Gannit Ankori , was threatened by a libel suit in Britain. To avoid a libel suit, the CAA agreed to issue an apology to Ms. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Joseph Massad. Joseph Massad speaks at the University of Chile in Columbia University. Archived from the original on Retrieved Columbia University Press — via Amazon. Nations and Nationalism. University Of Chicago Press — via Amazon. LA Review of Books. Retrieved 11 September Al-Ahram Weekly Retrieved 29 March Al-Ahram Weekly. Archived from the original on October 1, New York Sun.
October 22, Retrieved 23 April New York Daily News. When antisemitism emerged as a political ideology, it latched onto the Semitic linguistic category that encompassed Jews, and antisemites converted this into a racial category. But given the force of European racialism and its deeply racist culture then and now, the belief in the foreignness of Jews persisted.
It is a belief that the Zionist movement espoused. Zionist scholars focused on the concept of the Jewish race, the centrality of Jewish demography to the survival of the race, the physical health of European Jews, the rate of intermarriage with non-Jews, the Jewish birth rate, and rates of Jewish conversions to Christianity.
Some of their scholars were most concerned with the racial purity of Jews, arguing that the Enlightenment threatened this through mixed marriages, which introduced impure blood into the race - although they acknowledged that children of these marriages often remained outside Jewish communities, helping to preserve the racial purity of Jewish communities.
Now that they had affirmed Jews were a race, Zionists needed to prove they were direct descendants of ancient Hebrews, as there seemed to be other contenders for this claim - namely, the Palestinians who had inhabited the land since time immemorial. Like neighbouring Egyptians, Syrians and Iraqis, Palestinians are said to have mixed with peninsular Arabs after the peninsular Arab conquest of the region in the seventh century. Yet, Zionists, like Netanyahu, insist fantastically that all Palestinians are newcomers to Palestine from the Arabian peninsula.
While modern Egyptians non-controversially claim ancient Egyptians as their ancestors, and modern Iraqis claim the Babylonians and the Sumerians, the threat came from Palestinians, who would claim that ancient Hebrews alongside Canaanaites, Philistines and all other ancient inhabitants of Palestine as their ancestors. The irony, however, was that even the founders of modern Israel, David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, insisted in a book that Palestinian peasants - then the majority of the Palestinian population - were the descendants of ancient Hebrews.
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That the leaders of the Zionist movement would recognise Palestinians as the ancient inhabitants of the land, whose majority converted from Judaism and other local faiths to Christianity and later to Islam, was a dangerous precedent that had to be erased from the memory of official Zionism and Israel.
And so it was.
This background terrifies Zionist ideologues and imperils their racialist claims. Here, the advances in genetic science in the last few decades and the baseless claims of many of its commercial practitioners have been a gift for Zionist racialism. In line with this bogus race science, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently jumped on the findings of geneticists and archaeologists who uncovered the skeletons of ancient Philistines, whose genetic markers they attributed to southern Europe. This was taken as proof by Zionist racialists that modern Palestinians are not linked to the ancient inhabitants of Palestine, and therefore have no claim to their own homeland.
Related The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians
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