Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Yussef Massad

While bored at the library this morning I found my way onto jpost (which I try to avoid) because my boss supposedly had an article there, but he didn't. So I clicked on the story of anti-Israel and Columbia and I remembered that the dude who is getting all the flack spoke erev-Shavuot my first year. He was really asinine, as I recall and claimed that Jews all descended from the Kazzars (thus we have no claim to Palestine, etc).
Not the point, really. So I went to his website and he has a long-winded apology exclaiming how he is really a good guy. Here is my favorite excerpt:

As for Noah Liben, who appears in the film according to newspaper accounts (I have not seen the film), he was indeed a student in my Palestinian and Israeli Politics and Societies course in the spring of 2001...He asked me if I understood his point. I informed him that I did not. Noah seems not to have done his reading during the week on gender and Zionism. One of the assigned readings by Israeli scholar and feminist Simona Sharoni spoke of how in Hebrew the word “zayin” means both penis and weapon in a discussion of Israeli militarized masculinity. Noah, seemingly not having read the assigned material, mistook the pronunciation of "zayi" as "Zion" pronounced in Hebrew "tziyon."
Indeed, he would write me E-mails, even after he stopped being my student, to argue with me about Israel. I have kept our correspondence. On March 10, 2002, a year after he took a class with me, Noah wrote me an E-mail chastising me for having invited an Israeli speaker to class the year before when he was in attendance. It turned out that Noah’s memory failed him again, as he mistook the speaker I had invited for another Israeli scholar. After a long diatribe, Noah excoriated me: "How can you bring such a phony to speak to your class??"

Oren, can you imagine being berated after three years for not having done the reading one day! Talk about a tape-recorder memory, Massad remembers everything. Reading this I thought of a debate between a supremely articulate Side-Show Bob and the more urbane Krusty the Clown. How can you juxtapose the word "excoriated" with "phony"? I find it funny more than anything else.
For the whole apology go here

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