My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Anti-Israel Prof Likely to get Tenure...

I doubt this can be stopped, but what a blot on Columbia.
Joseph Massad, whose fiery writings attacking Israel and alleged intimidation of Jewish students have made him the most polarizing figure on the Columbia University campus, is likely to be awarded tenure, according to a professor in his department.

Mr. Massad, an assistant professor of Arab studies, easily cleared the hurdle of his fifth-year review in the spring and is undergoing a tenure review this academic year, a complicated process that often takes more than six months to complete.

While Mr. Massad's future at Columbia poses a problem for an administration seeking to shed a reputation among Jewish groups, alumni, and donors that the university is a base for anti-Israel scholarship, such concerns are unlikely to outweigh several factors in his favor, a professor of Hebrew literature in Mr. Massad's department of Middle East and Asian languages and cultures, Dan Miron, said.

By denying tenure to Mr. Massad, Columbia president Lee Bollinger and the university's trustees would risk a backlash from faculty members who would accuse Columbia of yielding to pressure from the press and from Jewish groups, Mr. Miron said.

"Columbia is not courageous enough to say 'no' to this person and face a whole choir of people who would say, 'Aha, you caved in,'" Mr. Miron said.

Mr. Massad, who is on leave this fall semester, also has the support of academic peers in Middle Eastern studies, whose evaluation of his work would focus less on his writings on Israel, in which he often calls for the country's destruction as a Jewish state, than on other subject matters he has covered. He has also written on Jordanian national identity and Western depictions of homosexual behavior in the Arab world. The latter is the subject of his second book, "Desiring Arabs," which is to be published by Harvard University Press.

"He happens to be a fairly good scholar when he's not dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict," Mr. Miron said.