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At the Center of an Academic Storm, a Lesson in Calm

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Article/book #: 16419
Title: At the Center of an Academic Storm, a Lesson in Calm
By: Robin Finn  
Published in: The New York Times
Date of issue: Friday, 8 April 2005
Topic(s) addressed: People/entities mentioned in this item:
Commentary (by JB):

See the photograph that accompanied this article in the New York Times, showing the appearance that is so discussed in the article.
Abstract:

IF intimidation, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, Joseph A. Massad, the Columbia University professor implicated last week by a faculty panel investigating charges of intimidation of students by pro-Palestinian professors, is apparently on his best behavior as he sits on his spotless microsuede sofa a stone's throw from the campus where his classroom conduct has been denounced as "inappropriate." And where he has received hate e-mail, including this advice from a fellow faculty member: "Go back to Arab land where Jew hating is condoned. You are a disgrace and a pathetic typical Arab liar."

Not a nice thing to say to a Christian fellow who began holding Seders as an undergraduate in Albuquerque (he had a Jewish roommate).

Who's intimidating whom here? Or, to borrow the title of an article Professor Massad wrote for Al-Ahram Weekly as the campus brouhaha reached a boiling point, spurred by "Columbia Unbecoming," a film produced in Boston by the pro-Israel David Project: "Semites and Anti-Semites, That Is the Question." Sort of.

According to Professor Massad, any self-respecting scholar of Middle East studies knows that "Israel is the party most responsible for the oppression of the Palestinian people." He has issues with the Palestinian national movement, too.








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