Friday, November 03, 2006

Yet Another Israel-Hating Speaker At Marquette


This talk has been cancelled.

It’s yet another in a long line of one-sided programs and speakers hostile to Israel.

This coming Thursday, November 9th, Dr. Joseph Massad will speak on the Marquette campus in the AMU Ballroom A, at 7:00 p.m.

The title of his talk will be “Academic Censorship of Middle Eastern Issues and Programs in the U.S.”

Massad, who teaches at Columbia, has been a particular target of groups that support Israel.

And this should hardly be a surprise, since he is virulently anti-Israel.

To begin with, he won’t concede that Israel has any right to exist. He has referred to “[t]he status of the European Jew as a coloniser who has used racist colonial violence for the last century against the Palestinian people.”

According to the Columbia Daily Spectator, he has “likened Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s cultural views to those of Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels.”

Perhaps most interesting are comments from some of his students. One says of a class he teaches:
Like the Intro to Islamic Civ class, however, it is all heavily biased. The professor (and, shockingly, many of the students) tend to turn discussion sections into “us vs. them” blame game, where they list the west`s various cultural crimes ad nauseam. . . .
And another:
“This was possibly the most offended I’ve ever been. Massad does not even pretend to give the entire picture, he states that on the first day. Besides being offensive, is it really worth it to take a class that doesn’t tell you both sides of a controversy? I worry about the people who enter the class with little to no knowledge of the topic and form their opinions based on Massad`s lectures and assigned readings. . . . The class is taught unethically, and should be renamed “Why Palestinians Hate Israel.”
And still another says that in his class:
You’ll spend most classes wondering how an apoplectic rant about US Foreign Policy that relates only vaguely to Plato or Aristotle is supposed to represent the “core” of your Columbia education. Massad clearly tries to provoke his students into applying ancient philosophy to current events, but he takes a categorically anti-U.S. tack at every possible opportunity, and usually succeeds only at alienating his students.
Massad appears to be coming to Marquette to whine about “academic censorship.” And indeed, a fair number of people have called for him to be fired for his anti-Israel biases. But he hasn’t been.

A fair number of conservatives have called on Marquette to fire pro-abortion Professor Dan Maguire. And some liberals have called on Marquette to fire us for our support for the death penalty. But neither of us whine about “censorship.”

Massad, rather than being a victim of some sort, is part of a Middle Eastern politics faculty at Columbia that shares his extreme views.

We, of course, have no objection to his speaking on the Marquette campus. But then, as we have repeatedly said, we have no objection to a Klansman speaking on the Marquette campus.

The issue is a broader one. It’s about biased discourse.

Marquette has a long history of giving special treatment to attacks on Israel.

There was, for example, the 2005 Arab Heritage Celebration. A key element of “Arab Heritage,” as defined by the groups that put it on was hating Israel – and lying about things like the supposed “Jenin massacre” and whether Israel has ever used nerve gas.

In the fall of 2005, Marquette’s Manresa program sponsored a panel titled “Jews of Conscience.” The implication was that Jews who support Israel don’t have a conscience, since all the speakers were virulently anti-Israel.

In early March, 2006, a woman named Julie Enslow spoke at Soup With Substance, a program sponsored by the University Ministry.

Then, just last month, a “Social Justice Teach-In” at Marquette featured a strong critic of Israel (Robert Ashmore, of the Philosophy Department), and nobody to present a pro-Israel view.

Thus the simple fact is that a leftist axis including the University Ministry, the Office of Student Development, Manresa and a supposed student organization called J.U.S.T.I.C.E. dominates the selection of speakers on this campus, and virtually all who deal with the Middle East are virulently anti-Israel.

The leftists who prate constantly about “diversity” don’t care about real diversity, which would be intellectual diversity. Such diversity would include speakers who support Israel.


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