As of Monday, 40,967 have signed an online petition to remove pro-Hamas Professor Joseph Massad from his position at Columbia University's Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS).
Massad called the terrorist attack "awesome" and "stunning" in his Oct. 8 piece for the online publication The Electronic Intifada.
"No less astonishing was the Palestinian resistance's takeover of several Israeli settler-colonies near the Gaza boundary and even as far away as 22 kms, as in the case of Ofakim," Massad wrote, characterizing in positive terms the murder, rape, beheading, and burning of civilians.
Current estimates place the number of hostages taken into Gaza at 199.
The Change.org petition objects to Massad's celebration of terrorism.
"Massad's decision to praise the abhorrent attack encourages violence and misinformation in and outside of campus, particularly putting many Jewish and Israeli students on campus at risk," the petition states.
Middle Eastern studies is among numerous disciplines and political departments spreading anti-Israel rhetoric on college campuses including Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) activism.
In 2022, Campus Reform reported that the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) uses its peer-reviewed articles and other resources to push its BDS agenda against Israel.