A petition seeking the removal of a tenured professor at Columbia University, Joseph Massad, has garnered over 20,000 signatures due to his recent praise of Hamas terror attacks, the NY Post reported
Massad, a politics and history teacher, has a history of controversy, previously facing investigations for alleged anti-Israel remarks. The current petition accuses him of "condoning and supporting terrorism" and calls for his ousting.
Joseph Massad, a tenured politics and history professor at Columbia University, has come under fire for a recent article he wrote on the site "Electronic Intifada." In the article, Massad praised last week's Hamas terror attacks, describing them as "awesome" and hailing the "stunning victory of the Palestinian resistance" against "cruel colonizers." These comments have triggered significant public outcry.
The petition to remove Massad was initiated by Maya Platek, a 23-year-old junior at Columbia University and a former student body president. In her Change.org petition, Platek accuses Massad of failing to condemn Hamas for its actions and supporting a "recognized terrorist organization." She condemns his actions as "encouraging violence and misinformation" both within and outside the campus. The petition has garnered over 20,000 signatures, reflecting widespread concern and outrage.
This is not the first time Joseph Massad has faced controversy at Columbia University. In 2005, the institution conducted an investigation that found some allegations of anti-Israel views expressed in his classroom to be substantiated, NY Post reported. The investigation also identified one instance of "unacceptable behavior by a professor."
Despite this scrutiny, Massad was granted tenure four years later after his second attempt at promotion.
Massad's academic interests, as outlined in his biography, include theories of identity and culture, with a particular focus on nationalism, sexuality, race, and religion. However, his statements and history have led to criticism, including accusations of "Jew-baiting" and strong opposition from Columbia alumni, who raised concerns about his tenure in 2009.
Bari Weiss, a Columbia alum and journalist, has been a vocal critic of Joseph Massad's pro-Palestinian leanings since 2005. She expressed her condemnation of the professor's recent remarks, emphasizing the need for a thorough examination of his statements. Weiss stated, "Joseph Massad, the author of this piece, is a tenured professor @Columbia. I have been criticizing him since I was an undergrad and was accused of being hysterical and worse for doing so. I was just listening to what he had to say. Read it for yourself."
Another former student, who had Massad as a professor, recalled an incident fifteen years ago when Massad canceled a class and instructed students to attend an on-campus pro-Palestinian rally. The administration later reprimanded him. This former student noted that it appears little has changed with Massad's approach.
Maya Platek, who initiated the petition, expressed concerns that Massad's remarks could put many Jewish and Israeli students on campus at risk. She noted that many students feel unsafe in the presence of a professor who supports acts of terrorism. The petition emphasizes the unacceptability of supporting one of the worst acts of terrorism in history, regardless of one's stance on the conflict.
The petition has gained considerable support from the Columbia student body, alumni, and others concerned about a professor at Columbia University expressing support for terrorism.
The petition's core demand is for Columbia University to hold Joseph Massad accountable for his comments and immediately remove him from the faculty. However, as of now, neither Massad nor the university has responded to the petition or the mounting controversy.