Joseph Massad at Cornell: Israel Has No Right to be Jewish State

Columbia Prof. Who Says Zionists Supported Nazis Speaks at Cornell


Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad, a controversial speaker who in the past has written and spoken about alleged Zionist-Nazi collaboration and the “Anglo-American gay agenda,” delivered a speech at Cornell claiming Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state, and recognizing it as such is equivalent to recognizing Israel as a “racist state.”

In fact, this claim is a step back from Massad’s previously quoted contention in a 2002 speech at Oxford University that Israel has no right whatsoever to exist: “The Jews are not a nation… The Jewish state is a racist state that does not have a right to exist.”

Massad concluded his speech by remarking: “It is the end of the Zionist colonial adventure, especially the removal of all the racist, legal, and institutional structures that Israel has erected, that is the precondition for lasting… justice and peace for all the inhabitants of Palestine and Israel.”

Massad, a professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History, spoke on Wednesday evening to a crowd of about 35 for an event entitled “Palestinians and the Dilemmas of Solidarity: Is the Two-State Solution Viable?” Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) sponsored the event.

Though the speech started out as assessment of the merits and demerits of various forms of solidarity among and with Palestinians, Massad soon turned to the topic of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), an economic and political strategy that seeks to dismantle the state of Israel and one which is particularly popular on college campuses, including Cornell. Despite the fact that no major university has adopted any measure of BDS, Massad praised its “success,” but he also criticized what he called the “co-opting of BDS” by Europeans when they try, according to Massad, to make BDS’s goal the establishment of a two-state solution.

“BDS is about boycotting all Israeli academic and cultural institutions, and expanded into even economic products, [not] until Israel goes back to the negotiating table, but rather until Israel ceases to be a racist state,” Massad said.

In response to an audience member’s question about the optics surrounding BDS, Massad suggested that U.S. students use words like “racism” and European students use “colonialism” and “occupation” when referring to Israel and BDS. The former, Massad said, is more emotionally powerful in this country whereas a word like “occupation” is more powerful in Europe because it “reminds” them of Nazi occupation.

Massad’s past writings and lectures demonstrate his fondness for the Israel-Nazi Germany analogy. Along with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which he praised in his Cornell speech, Massad argues Zionists collaborated with the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s in order to promote Jewish immigration to Palestine.

In a 2013 piece titled “The Last of the Semites” published by Al Jazeera, Massad wrote:

“… It is this shared goal of expelling Jews from Europe as a separate unassimilable race that created the affinity between Nazis and Zionists all along.

While the majority of Jews continued to resist the anti-Semitic basis of Zionism and its alliances with anti-Semites, the Nazi genocide not only killed 90 percent of European Jews, but in the process also killed the majority of Jewish enemies of Zionism who died precisely because they refused to heed the Zionist call of abandoning their countries and homes.”

West Germany’s alliance with Zionism and Israel after WWII, of supplying Israel with huge economic aid in the 1950s and of economic and military aid since the early 1960s, including tanks, which it used to kill Palestinians and other Arabs, is a continuation of the alliance that the Nazi government concluded with the Zionists in the 1930s.”

In 2008, Massad published a book titled Desiring Arabs in which he expounded upon his numerous contentions about homosexuality in the Arab world first outlined in a 2002 article titled “Re-Orienting Desire: The Gay International and the Arab World.”  In his article and book, Massad argues that homosexuality does not exist in the Arab world, or at least the homosexuality the “Anglo-American gay agenda” promotes, as he said at a 2010 speech delivered at UCLA. In that same speech, he also remarked, “Queer is about resistance to Islam” and “Queer is an example of cultural imperialism.”

Here are some more interesting quotes from Professor Massad:

“All those in the Arab world who deny the Jewish holocaust are in my opinion Zionists.”

“What is it about the nature of Zionism, its racism, and its colonial policies that continues to escape the understanding of many European intellectuals on the left?”

“For the Gay International, transforming sexual practices into identities through the universalizing of gayness and gaining ‘rights’ for those who identify (or more precisely, are identified by the Gay International) with it becomes the mark of an ascending civilization, just as repressing those rights and restricting the circulation of gayness is a mark of backwardness and barbarism.”

“[I]t is the very discourse of the Gay International which produces homosexuals, as well as gays and lesbians, where they do not exist.”

8 Comments on Joseph Massad at Cornell: Israel Has No Right to be Jewish State

  1. Whether Israel is a “racist state” is a matter of opinion, of course. Although I know of no laws that would support that contention so it seems unlikely.
    Regarding the cooperation of the Zionist movement and the Nazis,however, the Dr. Massad is correct. One of the goals of the Nazis was to rid Germany of the “Jewish vermin”. Sending Jews to Palestine, where the Zionists were competing with the Palestinians for land, fit the Nazi ideology. While the Nazis hated the Zionists their (the Nazis) immediate goal was to drive the Jews out of Europe completely. Cooperation , on a temporary basis, with the Zionist movement suited that goal.
    So, while I may disagree with the professors philosophy regarding Israel, his historical analysis is correct. There was a temporary cooperation between the Nazis and the Zionists to move Jews out of Germany and into the Middle East. In fact, Jews who moved to Palestine were actually given an economic incentive to do so (compared to Jews who simply left for other parts of Europe).

  2. The fact that in the first years of the Third Reich, Zionists tried to deal with the Hitler regime to allow Jews to immigrate from Germany hardly compares with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al Husseini, who spent the war years in Berlin, broadcasting to the Middle East and calling on his followers to expel the Jews, and organized a Bosnian SS brigade.

    Massad is nothing more than a propagandist.

    • But he is absolutely correct in saying that the Zionists were cooperating with the Nazis to allow Jews to emigrate to Palestine. That is an undeniable historical fact. It actually fit both of their short term goals. Zionists wanted to increase the Jewish population in Palestine as a buffer against the Arabs, Hitler wanted to remove all Jews from the European continent. They didn’t cooperate because they had similar philosophies. They cooperated because they had parallel goals.

      So, to suggest that Dr. Massad is “nothing more than a propagandist” is simply in error.. Evidently,while you may disagree with some of his analysis, he is correct in this case.
      Just because a scholar has different interpretations of historical events does not make one a “propagandist”. And it is possible to be correct in some areas and wrong in others. (A good example is his claim that homosexuality in the Arab/Muslim countries is an attempt to “westernize” or modernize those nations.) This denial of the universality of homosexuality, is, of course, hardly a singular claim. It just goes to show that a person can be well-versed in one area and not so well-versed in another. Or, have a “blind spot” when it comes to certain issues.

    • What a crock. Joseph urban cites no facts whatsoever. This fall far from even conjecture.. it;s outright fantasy. Regarding Zionist supposedly “trying to deal with Hitler” to be allowed to emigrate en mass to Israel.. yeah well DUHHHH Joey, the Reich was the government in charge of Germany at the time. They controlled immigration as well as emigration. Who the heck else are the Jews going to try working something out with? The government of Poland, of Austria? With the ZOA?? When antisemites like you want to sting, you extrapolate the darnedest things out of twisted facts. HOw the hell did you get into Cornell anyway?

  3. Death is near

  4. After being against allowing emigration and transfer of wealth to Israel, Hitler briefly was talked into allowing it. Then he shut the door. The British, meanwhile, were limiting, blocking and throwing Jews out. The fact, though, that Jews were trying to move to Israel during a time when ships with soon-to-be Nazi victims were denied entry throughout the Americas and Jews were blocked by countries around the world (in Turkey a ship with nearly a thousand Jews was not allowed to resupply or refuel, and the ship was pushed off, essentially murdering a thousand people), it is reasonable that Jews were trying to find a solution to leave. There were Jewish leaders who cooperated with the Nazis on ghettos and various matters hoping it would satisfy the Nazis and prevent genocide. Of course that was naive to say the least. But when pseudo-intellectual bigot Massad says the Jews cooperated, he implies something nefarious and leads people to believe something underhanded was going on. He also is, not surprisingly, being dishonest when he says almost all the anti-Zionists were killed. He says this as a hateful smug guess. Yet countless Jews tried or wanted to move to Israel and couldn’t escape in time or were blocked by the British. Everything that comes out of this guy is meant only to excise hatred of Jews and delegitimize Israel, whether through lies, twisting the truth, employing extreme hypocrisies and double standards, or playing with facts to dishonestly leave followers drawing false conclusions (as in the case above).

    • I guess I have confidence that when people are exposed to facts and evidence they can draw their own conclusions.
      When Hitler came to power in 1933 he had one major goal. Unite and purify the “German” people based on the concept of ethnic or racial identity. A falsehood, of course, but one that was attractive to many Germans.
      To achieve this he used a number of tactics. Violence to rid Germany of the “Bolsheviks” and “communists” . More violence to rid Germany of the Social Democrats (the only political party that seemed to believe in democracy). Then further violence to purge the “conservatives” with whom he was previously allied.

      The Jews were scapegoats. According to Hitler and the Nazis it was the Jews (especially the communist Jews) who stabbed Germany in the back and lost WW1. (Even though they were only 1% of the population and many were veterans of WW1).

      By the summer of 1933 Hitler was in control and began the process of getting rid of Jews. His main goal was not the extermination of Jews, per se, but to remove all Jews from Germany and eventually from Europe. It was at this time that he combined forces with the Zionists to arrange the emigration of Jews to Palestine. Jews who agreed to go to Palestine were allowed to take most of their wealth with them. And many younger Jews did just that. The older Jews, who had established businesses,etc. did not leave. There was a formal agreement betwen the Zionists and the Nazis to carry out his migration and trade (Haavara Transfer Agreement). And Jews who left for other areas or were forcibly deported were not allowed to take wealth with them. This was because Hitler wanted the Jews out of Europe entirely, so the incentive was to go to Palestine.

      It was in these early years that Jewish scholars and scientists and the upper and middle classes left. People like Bohr and Einstein, for example. And many were welcomed into other countries if they were educated or wealthy. Over 100,000 ended up in the USA. And Argentina, England, Brazil and France and various other nations took about 200,000 between them. About 52,000 ended up in Palestine. Poland accepted many Jews (who were subsequently caught in the Holocaust). Of course the less affluent Jews were not able to leave.

      And latter on , because anti-semitism and racism was hardly limited to Germany, many Jews were not allowed into other countries even if they could somehow find a passage. . They would be a burden on the weak economies. We see the same mind set today in regard to immigration. (We don’t want these foreigners. Go back where you came from. They take our jobs.).

      We cannot deny the Hitler -Zionist connection. But we also cannot pretend it was anything more than a temporary alliance of convenience for both parties. Hitler supported the Zionists only because it was helpful to him to remove the Jews from Europe, Zionists cooperated with Hitler only because they wanted to increase the Jewish population of Palestine and sell some products. (By 1938 the Nazis were attacking Zionist organizations, so that alliance was over) Anyone who makes more of the situation than that is simply ignoring vast amounts of evidence.

  5. It’s always interesting to see who supports such clowns.
    All he has to offer is hatred.

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