To the Editor: Professor Joseph Massad complains in "Middle East Forum's Web Site Lists CU Professors" (Oct. 21, 2002) that students in one of his spring classes "harassed him by interrupting his class and attempted to circulate a petition demanding his firing." I was in the class to which he refers--Palestinian and Israeli Politics and Societies--and witnessed first-hand his contempt for students who questioned his presentation of the facts. It should be cause for serious concern that Massad views legitimate questions raised in class as "interruptions" and "harassment" when they express a viewpoint divergent from his own.
I was also aware of the issue of the petition, though not directly involved. The petition to which he refers was never even drafted, only discussed as a possible option by frustrated students. And none of them demanded Massad's firing as he claims; they simply requested that he present a more balanced treatment of the facts on such a controversial subject.
Massad should learn to refrain from hyperbole and fact-distortion, even when such methods further his ends. If his points are truly valid, surely he can find a way to argue them without stooping to such dishonorable tactics.
Julia Galef, CC '05 Oct. 28, 2002