Joseph Massad, the Columbia professor who celebrated Hamas' barbaric attack on Israel last week as "awesome," should be fired from his position posthaste.
In fact, he should be jettisoned from any educational institution even faintly committed to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I should know: I fell for his poisonous prattle before.
Once upon a time, more years ago than I care to admit in public, I was a graduate student at Columbia when a group of undergrads (led by a very young Bari Weiss, the former New York Times editor who quit the paper after it went irredeemably woke and started her own media empire, the aptly named Free Press) came out and accused Massad and other professors of harboring a bias against Israeli and Jewish students.
Having spent my formative years in the Israeli peace movement, I wanted, desperately, to believe I had partners in dialogue who were as openhearted as I was and no one, let alone a professor at one of the nation's most celebrated universities, would engage in blatant bigotry.
I spoke to Massad and was lulled by his promises, thickly laced with academic jargon, that he was a disinterested scholar and a fair and balanced pursuer of peace.
Boy, was I wrong.
I spent the last decade, more or less, apologizing for my folly (including to Bari, who has since become a close and dear friend).
And I'm glad I did because saying sorry when you got something wrong is a crucial component of intellectual honesty and basic human decency all too rare these days.
But reading Massad's vile comments this past week gave my old trauma a new sense of urgency.
Because if I — a doctoral student, veteran of the Israel Defense Forces and knowledgeable observer of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — could be conned, students today are in for a terrifying ride.
It's safe to assume the young and impressionable men and women who registered for Massad's class (at a cost, mind you, of $1,970 per credit hour) weren't signing on for a primer on why one should feel — again, quoting Massad here — "jubilant" at the sight of 40 beheaded babies, or elderly grandmas executed on camera, or women raped next to the corpses of their dead friends.
It's safe to assume these kids were hoping for something a bit more nuanced, such as not applauding the worst single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.
And yet, for their tuition dollars, they got a warped love song to the modern-day Einsatzgruppen.
Is it any wonder, then, that a Jewish Columbia student was beaten with a stick last week?
Tell kids to hate Jews long enough, and eventually some will internalize the message.
And Columbia, sadly, is hardly alone: We've been treated to sickening sights of students at our best schools taking a breather from quibbling about microaggressions to prance around campus in support of a movement committed to murdering Jews, executing gays and subjugating women.
Which, if you're a parent or in any way teen-adjacent, elicits the following question: What now?
The immediate answer is easy.
Massad and his supporters are framing this conversation as one about academic freedom, as if calling the burning alive of entire Israeli families "innovative Palestinian resistance" is a serious, studious argument deserving of thoughtful consideration, dispassionate discussion or defense.
If this strikes you as a reasonable position, imagine Massad was praising not Hamas but Dylann Roof, arguing that those nine black Americans peacefully studying the Bible at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina had it coming.
If you wouldn't stand for that, you shouldn't tolerate Massad's death-cult hymns either.
But defrocking one professor, however revolting, is hardly a comprehensive solution.
This past week, anyone paying attention saw our colleges and universities for what they really are — mosh pits where mutually accrediting mediocrities can get together, revel in unspeakable depravities and call it scholarship.
It was such an orgy of hate that even our biggest donors, usually a dim and docile class all too happy to trade their millions for a few morsels of social cachet and a legacy admission for junior, started paying attention, with several wealthy givers slamming their checkbooks shut and walking away.
We should all follow suit.
We should remind ourselves of what I failed to realize as a young academic, namely that the thing we value isn't a gilded degree from a fancy school; it's education, not the least of which should include the very basic ability to tell good apart from evil.
Jews ought to be the first to leave these hothouses of hatred and build new and better schools, like the University of Austin.
And all Americans who care about education should follow suit.
The barbarians are no longer at the gates; they've captured the ivory tower, and now it's time for the rest of us to do the right thing and get out.