Joseph Massad

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Joseph Andoni Massad (born 1963) is a Palestinian American Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University, whose academic work has focused on Palestinian, Jordanian, and Israeli nationalism as well as representations of sexual desire in the Arab world.

On Anti-Semitism[edit]

  • ...the claims made by many nowadays that any manifestation of hatred against Jews in any geographic location on Earth and in any historical period is "anti-Semitism" smacks of a gross misunderstanding of the European history of anti-Semitism.
    • Massad, in "Semites and anti-Semites, that is the question," Al-Ahram, 2004
  • All those in the Arab world who deny the Jewish holocaust are in my opinion Zionists.
    • Ibid.
  • Anti-Semitism is alive and well today worldwide and its major victims are Arabs and Muslims and no longer Jews.
    • Ibid.

On American Jewry[edit]

  • Such a Zionist scenario misses the fact that the majority of American Jews are so assimilated into "whiteness" that they are no longer Jews, religiously or culturally, except by name.
    • Massad, "Deconstructing Holocaust Consciousness", Journal of Palestine Studies, 2002

On International Jewish Supremacism[edit]

  • Let us imagine a world where the majority of Israeli and diaspora Jews and their gentile supporters are no longer committed to Jewish supremacy.
    • Massad, in "The Ends of Zionism: Racism and the Palestinian Struggle", Interventions, 2003
  • American Jews have overwhelmingly opted not to be 'redeemed' in Israel, making it up to Israeli Jews through the financial and political support that they give to the Jewish supremacist state while remaining in their American 'exile'.
    • Ibid.

On the Talmud[edit]

  • In keeping with the Protestant Reformation's abduction of the Hebrew bible into its new religion and its positing of modern European Jews as direct descendants of the Ancient Hebrews, post-Enlightenment haters of Jews began to identify Jews as "Semites" on account of their alleged ancestors having spoken Hebrew. In fact the ancient Hebrews spoke Aramaic, the language in which the Talmud was written, as well as parts of the bible.
    • Massad, in "Semites and anti-Semites, that is the question" in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram. (2004)

On Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries[edit]

  • The history of Arab Jews who were abducted into the Zionist project late in the game is in turn irrelevant to the curricula of Israeli schools, wherein only the history of white European Jews is taught as the relevant history of all Jews.

On Alleged Zionist Collaboration with Nazi Germany[edit]

  • Unlike Arafat or Nasir, Sadat had been an avid admirer of Hitler... In assessing Sadat's enthusiasm for Hitler, however, it should be noted that unlike the many Zionist leaders (of both the Labor and Revisionist camps) who collaborated with the Nazis, some up to 1941 but others as late as 1944, Sadat only supported them from afar.
    • Massad, in "Palestinians and Jewish History: Recognition or Submission?", Journal of Palestine Studies, 2000

(Citing non-accredited Marxist writer Lenni Brenner regarding alleged Zionist collaboration with the Nazi regime.)

  • [Peter] Novick does not mention that there has never been much self-questioning by Zionists on what they could have done more to save European Jews, or perhaps, given the history of collaboration of the Zionist movement with the Nazis, whether they could have done less to hurt them.
    • Massad, "Deconstructing Holocaust Consciousness", Journal of Palestine Studies, 2002

(Again citing Lenni Brenner.)

On Comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany[edit]

  • Palestinians and Arabs were not the only ones cast as Nazis. Israel was also accused — by Israelis as well as by Palestinians — of Nazi-style crimes. In the context of Israeli massacres of Palestinians in 1948, a number of Israeli ministers referred to the actions of Israeli soldiers as "Nazi actions," prompting Benny Marshak, the education officer of the Palmach, to ask them to stop using the term. Indeed, after the massacre at al-Dawayima, Agriculture Minister Aharon Zisling asserted in a cabinet meeting that he "couldn't sleep all night... Jews too have committed Nazi acts." Similar language was used after the Israeli army gunned down forty-seven Israeli Palestinian men, women, and children at Kafr Qasim in 1956. While most Israeli newspapers at the time played down the massacre, a rabbi rote that "we must demand of the entire nation a sense of shame and humiliation... that soon we will be like Nazias and the perpetrators of pogroms." The Palestinians were soon to level the same accusation against the Israelis. Such accusations increased during the intifada. One of the communiqués issued by the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising defined the intifada as consisting of "the children and young men of the stones and Molotov cocktails, the thousands of women who miscarried as a result of poison gas and tear gas grenades, and those women whose sons and husbands were thrown in the Nazi prisons." The Israelis were always outraged by such accusations, even when the similarities were stark. When the board of Yad Vashem, for example, was asked to condemn the act of an Israeli army officer who instructed his soldiers to inscribe numbers on the arms of Palestinians, board chairman Gideon Hausner "squelched the initiative, ruling that it had no relevance to the Holocaust."
  • The more recent practice of writing numbers on the arms of thousands of Palestinians who have been crammed in Israeli detention camps since February 2002 through the present further demonstrates the Nazi system as a model for the Israeli army.
    • Massad, "The Ends of Zionism: Racism and the Palestinian Struggle", Interventions, 2003
  • Moreover, the lie that the film propagates claiming that I would equate Israel with Nazi Germany is abhorrent. I have never made such a reprehensible equation.
    • Massad, in "Intimidating Columbia University" in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, on the short film Columbia Unbecoming concerning claims of mistreatment of students with opposing viewpoints. (2004)

On Ariel Sharon[edit]

  • ...more recently, in late September 2001, and during an acrimonious argument which erupted in a weekly Israeli cabinet meeting between Prime Minister [Ariel Sharon] and his Foreign Minister [Shimon Peres], the following interchange unfolded: Peres was warning Sharon that refusing to heed American requests for a ceasefire would endanger Israeli interests and "turn the U.S. against us." Sharon yelled at Peres in exasperation: "every time we do something you tell me the Americans will do this and will do that. I want to tell you something very clearly, don't worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America and the Americans know it." This major ideological convergence between anti-Semites and Jewish supremacists in Israel is hardly surprising if one understood Zionism's project as nothing short of turning the Jew into the anti-Semite.
    • Massad, in the journal New Politics, Winter 2002, Vol. VIII, Iss. 4, pg. 89.

(The quotation from Sharon turned out to be unfounded, and was removed without comment in a subsequent version of the paper, "The Ends of Zionism: Racism and the Palestinian Struggle", Interventions, 2003.)

Views on Israel and Zionism[edit]

  • The only thing threatening Jews is its [Israel's] commitment to Apartheid and its racist people.
    • Massad, as quoted in Columbia University's newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, in February 2007

(Massad has personally disputed the wording of this quotation.)

  • The Jews are not a nation... The Jewish state is a racist state that does not have a right to exist.
    • Massad, in a lecture at Oxford University, March 2002
  • Israel insisted on freezing the moment at which the holocaust survivors became such.
    • Massad, in "Palestinians and Jewish History: Recognition or Submission?", Journal of Palestine Studies, 2000

On the Mufti of Jerusalem[edit]

  • It was the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husayni, who provided the Israelis with their best propaganda linking the Palestinians with the Nazis and European anti-Semitism. Fleeing British persecution, the mufti ended up in Germany during the war years and attempted to obtain promises from the Germans that they would not support the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. Documents that the Jewish Agency produced in 1946 purporting to show that the mufti had a role in the extermination of Jews did no such thing; the only thing these unsigned letters by the mufti showed was his opposition to Nazi Germany's and Romania's allowing Jews to emigrate to Palestine.
    • Massad, in "Palestinians and Jewish History: Recognition or Submission?", Journal of Palestine Studies, 2000

On the PLO[edit]

  • Since its emergence on the international scene, the PLO has always distinguished between Zionists and Jews.
    • Massad, in "Palestinians and Jewish History: Recognition or Submission?", Journal of Palestine Studies, 2000
  • The PLO has accepted this burden of vigilance. It has always made a point of demonstrating its sympathy with the Jewish victims of the holocaust and in condemning the Nazi regime.
    • Ibid.
  • In arguing against Zionism's designation of the Palestinian revolution as "terrorism," Arafat likened the Palestinian resistance to the American Revolution, the European anti-Nazi resistance, and the anticolonial struggles in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. After reviewing the British and Zionist outrages against the Palestinian people, Arafat emphasized that "all this has made our people neither vindictive nor vengeful. Nor has it caused us to resort to the racism of our enemies... For we deplore all those crimes committed against the Jews, we also deplore all the real discrimination suffered by them because of their faith." Arafat concluded by calling on Jews to oppose racism and desist from supporting the racist Israeli state, enjoining them to live as equals with Palestinians in a democratic Palestine.
    • Ibid.
  • [Fuad] Yassin expressed surprise; for him, the Palestinians wanted to honor Ghetto heroes because "we are still facing that kind of fascism against our people." At the ceremony itself, Yassin, accompanied by other PLO delegates, laid a wreath at the monument and asserted, "I have placed a wreath because the Jewish people were victims of Nazism and the Palestinian people are the victims of the new Nazis ... the Zionists and Israel."
    • Ibid.
  • Indeed, the PLO's submission to Israel's rewriting of the conflict had begun even before Oslo: part of the price for the Madrid Conference was the repeal, in December 1991, of the 1975 UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 (XXX) characterizing Zionism as "a form of racism and racial discrimination."
    • Ibid.
  • Arafat's prospective visit to the museum recalls Anwar Sadat's visit to Yad Vashem in 1977 in the company of Menachem Begin. Sadat's visit was also a symbolic submission to the Zionization of the holocaust and to its appropriation by Israeli propagandists for their own purposes.
    • Ibid.

"The legacy of Jean-Paul Sartre"[edit]

  • What is it about the nature of Zionism, its racism, and its colonial policies that continues to escape the understanding of many European intellectuals on the left?
    • Massad, in "The legacy of Jean-Paul Sartre", Al-Ahram, 2003
  • While most of these intellectuals have taken public stances against racism and white supremacy, have opposed Nazism and apartheid South Africa, seem to oppose colonialism, old and new, most of them partake of a Sartrian legacy which refuses to see a change in the status of European Jews, who are still represented only as holocaust survivors in Europe. The status of the European Jew as a coloniser who has used racist colonial violence for the last century against the Palestinian people is a status they refuse to recognise and continue to resist vehemently.
    • Ibid.
  • No matter how much Zionism continues to resurrect it and claim it as the excuse for its racist violence against the Palestinians, the holocaust does not justify Israel's racist nature.
    • Ibid.
  • Take Jacques Derrida as another example, who when lecturing in occupied Jerusalem in 1986 stated his position as follows: 'I wish to state right away my solidarity with all those, in this land, who advocate an end to violence, condemn the crimes of terrorism and of the military and police repression, and advocate the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the occupied territories as well as the recognition of the Palestinians' right to choose their own representatives to negotiations, now more indispensable than ever.' Derrida, however, felt it necessary to assert in his speech that the Israeli State's 'existence, it goes without saying, must henceforth be recognised by all'. Despite Derrida's opposition to White supremacist South Africa in the mid-1980s, he believes that Israel, a racist Jewish state, should be recognised by all.
    • Ibid.
  • Nowhere in his justification does [Etienne] Balibar note the fact that Israel is a racist Jewish State; his opposition is only to its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
    • Ibid.
  • In his recent book, 'Welcome to the Desert of the Real', famed Slovenian socialist intellectual Slavoj Zizek tackles the Palestinian question in a most unoriginal manner. What concerns him most is not the foundational racism of Zionism and its concrete offspring, a racist Jewish state, nor the racist curricula of Israeli Jewish schools, the racist Israeli Jewish media representations of Palestinians, the racist declarations of Israeli Jewish leaders on the right and on the left, or the Jewish supremacist rights and privileges guiding Zionism and Israeli state laws and policies -- all of which seem of little concern to him -- but rather Arab 'anti-Semitism' which should not be 'tolerated'. Arabs are in fact reacting to Zionist Jewish colonialism and its commitment to European white supremacy in Jewish guise.
    • Ibid.
  • Zionism's anti-Semitic project of destroying Jewish cultures and languages in the diaspora in the interest of an invented Hebrew that none of them spoke, and in the interest of evicting them from Europe and transporting them to an Asian land to which they had never been, is never examined by these intellectuals. Nor do they ever examine the ideological and practical collusion between Zionism and anti-Semitism since the inception of the movement.
    • Ibid.
  • When these European intellectuals worry about anti-Semitism harming the Israeli settler's colony, they are being blind to the ultimate achievement of Israel: the transformation of the Jew into the anti-Semite, and the Palestinian into the Jew. Unless their stance is one that opposes the racist basis of the Jewish State, their support for Palestinian resistance will always ring hollow.
    • Ibid.

"Palestinians and Jewish History: Recognition or Submission?"[edit]

  • Paramount among such events is the Jewish holocaust during World War II, which Zionists used for propagandistic purposes to assert their "right" to Palestine to which they had laid their suspect colonial claim half a century earlier. In appropriating the holocaust and its victims, Zionism and Israel asserted that any acknowledgment of the holocaust is an acknowledgment of Israel's "right to exist," and conversely that any attempt to deny Israel its alleged right to exist was perforce a denial of the holocaust.
    • Massad, in "Palestinians and Jewish History: Recognition or Submission?", Journal of Palestine Studies, 2000
  • The response of Palestinians and Arabs to Israel's linkage has varied. Some, falling into the Zionist ideological trap, reasoned that if accepting the Jewish holocaust meant accepting Israel's right to be a colonial-settler racist state, then the holocaust must be denied or at least questioned.
    • Ibid.
  • But while Palestinians are a lone voice demanding that Israel acknowledge the crimes it has committed and continues to commit against the Palestinian people, Israel is joined by a large international chorus in demanding that the Palestinians accept Zionism's ideological deployment of the Jewish holocaust to justify its crimes against the Palestinians.
    • Ibid.
  • Deutscher, it would seem, never stopped to consider that European Jews could have still fled as refugees without becoming colonists.
    • Ibid.
  • But in fact the Jewish tragedy did not create the Palestinian catastrophe. Zionism had sought to dispossess the Palestinians and establish its state long before the Jewish holocaust. Also, only one-third of holocaust survivors ended up in Palestine, mostly because they could not go to the United States. Furthermore, the claim made by some Zionists and Palestinians that the international support for the establishment of Israel resulted from the world community's sense of guilt for failing to rescue Jews from the Nazis is unsubstantiated.
    • Ibid.
  • The Arab countries, understanding that the arrival of holocaust survivors in Palestine would increase the Zionists' numbers and manpower, introduced a UN resolution calling for West countries to take in the holocaust refugees. All the countries that supported the partition plan resolution voted against or abstained on the refugee resolution.
    • Ibid.
  • The holocaust tragedy has been abducted by Israeli strategists, with few Jewish protests, for Israel's ideological acrobatics. As Palestinian recent history has shown, no Palestinian engagement with the holocaust will be satisfactory to Israel and its supporters. Israeli demands that Palestinians recognize the holocaust are not about the holocaust at all, but rather about the other part of the package, namely recognizing and submitting to Israel's "right to exist" as a colonial-settler racist state. The Palestinian authority has given up, but the Palestinian people should continue to resist this Zionist package deal. Their resistance is the only remaining obstacle to a complete Zionist victory, one that seeks to be sealed by Zionism's rewriting of both Palestinian and Jewish histories.
    • Ibid.

"The Ends of Zionism: Racism and the Palestinian Struggle"[edit]

  • Zionism as a colonial movement is constituted in ideology and practice by a religio-racial epistemology through which it apprehends itself and the world around it. This religioracial grid informs and is informed by its colonial-settler venture. The colonial model remains the best model through which Zionism should be analyzed, but it is important also to analyze the racial dimension of Zionism in its current manifestation, which is often elided.
    • Massad, "The Ends of Zionism: Racism and the Palestinian Struggle", Interventions, 2003, based on an earlier and shorter article entitled "On Zionism and Jewish supremacy", New Politics, 2002.
  • What Zionism remained unashamed about throughout its history, however, was its commitment to building a demographically exclusive Jewish state modeled after Christian Europe – a notion pervaded, as the following will illustrate, by a religio-racial epistemology of supremacy over the Palestinian Arabs, not unlike that used by European colonialism with its ideology of white supremacy over the natives.
    • Ibid.
  • As I have discussed Zionism's colonial pedigree elsewhere, in this article I will focus on this supremacist grid, an analysis of which, I believe, is a prerequisite of the victory of the Palestinian struggle.
    • Ibid.
  • Moreover, although Israel’s Jewish character was never part of the negotiations, it has always been made explicit that transforming Israel into a non-Jewish (read non-racist) state is not pragmatic.
    • Ibid.
  • Surely, if Israel can accommodate more millions of Jews in its small territory, it could conceivably do the same for the Palestinian refugees whom it expelled and whose land it invites these Jews to colonize. Yet all solutions that have been advanced by official and nonofficial Palestinians and Israeli Jews to resolve the refugee 'problem' seem to agree on the non-pragmatism of the return of the refugees to their lands.
    • Ibid.
  • What is at stake for the authors of these proposals, and of many others, is Israel’s maintenance of its Jewish supremacist character (dubbed its 'Jewish character').
    • Ibid.
  • Arafat himself frankly expressed his 'understanding' and 'respect' of the Israeli need to maintain Jewish supremacy in an editorial he published in the New York Times. He shamelessly asserted: 'We understand Israel's demographic concerns and understand that the right of return of Palestinian refugees, a right guaranteed under international law and United Nations Resolution 194, must be implemented in a way that takes into account such concerns'. He proceeded to state that he is looking to negotiate with Israel on 'creative solutions to the plight of the refugees while respecting Israel’s demographic concerns' – i.e., 'respecting' its Jewish supremacist concerns.
    • Ibid.
  • Indeed, racist views about the demographic 'threat' that the Palestinians constitute for a Jewish supremacist Israel are not confined to Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Jewish right wing (which is anyway a majority in Jewish Israel), but are also voiced by liberal and leftist Israeli Jews. In December 2000, the Institute of Policy and Strategy at the Herzlia Interdisciplinary Center in Israel held its first of a projected series of annual conferences dealing with the strength and security of Israel, especially with regards to maintaining its Jewish supremacist character. One of the 'Main Points' identified in the 52-page conference report is the concern over the numbers needed to maintain the Jewish supremacy of Israel.
    • Ibid.
  • Jewish demographic supremacy, which has always been the ideological cornerstone for imposing ethno-racial Jewish supremacy in Palestine (however the Jewish 'race' or Jewish 'ethnicity' may be defined), is as old as the Zionist movement itself. It was the founder of the movement, Theodor Herzl, who, in his Zionist musings, understood that European Jews would have to establish their ethno-racial supremacy through demographic supremacy.
    • Ibid.
  • Israeli Jewish society in Israel, as well as the Israeli leadership, continues to uphold Jewish supremacy as sacrosanct and non-negotiable.
    • Ibid.
  • Such commitment extends to the maintenance of the exclusive Jewish symbolism that Israel deploys, ranging from its Jewish flag and national anthem (which only speaks of Jews) to its ceremonial national days and the practices of institutionalized discrimination against its Arab non-Jewish citizens in every facet of life.
    • Ibid.
  • Since its inception, Zionism's Jewish supremacy borrowed much from anti-Semitic rhetoric. Not only did Herzl agree with anti-Semites that it was Jews who 'caused' anti-Semitism but also with the anti-Semitic conclusion that the end of anti-Semitism could only be brought about by the removal of Jews from gentile societies.
    • Ibid.
  • European anti-Semites, Zionism believes that European Jews, unlike European Christians, are not Europeans but foreigners who need to leave Europe to its 'real' people and be 'repatriated' to their own state in Palestine. Today's Israeli Jewish supremacists are reviving anti-Semitic ideas of the turn of the century that had accused Jews of seeking to control the world. From the infamous czarist Protocols of the Elders of Zion to genocidal Nazi propaganda, Jews as a 'power-hungry' people was a notion that was part and parcel of the anti-Semitic lexicon. Today's Israeli Jewish supremacists seem to agree with the anti-Semites that, if Jews do not control the world, they at least control America.
    • Ibid.
  • This is not to say, however, that the leaders of the US pro-Israel lobby do not regularly brag about their crucial influence on US policy in Congress and in the White House. That they have done regularly since the late 1970s.
    • Ibid.

(Citing the writings of Paul Findley.)

  • According to this Jewish supremacist Weltanschauung, and in line with anti-Semitic rhetoric, not only will Jews be supremacists over the native Palestinians whom they conquered and must continue to conquer; they are also said to be supreme on a global scale. The complicity between Zionism and anti-Semitism has become complete.
    • Ibid.
  • Israel's continued refusal to change its Jewish supremacist character or its racist policies toward the Palestinian people is portrayed in the international press and by official Israeli rhetoric as a defense of its 'democratic' principles and in defense of a Jewish people whose historic persecution came to a halt only because of Zionism's intervention.
    • Ibid.
  • However, the only way these arguments acquire any purchase is in the context of an international, read western, commitment to Jewish supremacy, wherein Jews are seen as white Europeans defending white European values and civilization against the primitive Arab hordes.
    • Ibid.
  • The cornerstone of Jewish supremacist thought is the commitment to establishing a Jewish state, where Jews (whether as a 'chosen people', as Europeans with a mission civilisatrice, or as a historically persecuted group who must be liberated at whatever cost) would have rights qua Jews over non-Jews, and all the accoutrements that follow from such a racially supremacist system.
    • Ibid.
  • It is Jewish supremacy that makes the question of Israel as a Jewish rather than an Israeli state sacrosanct, whose change would be non-pragmatic. It is a commitment to Jewish supremacy that makes the return of the Palestinian refugees a 'demographic threat' to the Jewish majority of Israel (which became a fact precisely because the Palestinians now seeking to return to their lands and homes were expelled from them in the first place). It is a commitment to Jewish supremacy that continues to legitimize the treatment of Israeli Palestinian citizens as third-class citizens. It is a commitment to Jewish supremacy that legitimizes the continuation of the occupation as a safeguard against threats to a Jewish supremacist Israel.
    • Ibid.
  • Institutionalized white supremacy in the United States and South Africa ended when the costs of maintaining it became too high to bear by white supremacists in both countries. It was only after the costs became high that people and rulers in both countries opted to end the institutionalized basis of white supremacy.
    • Ibid.
  • The Jewish supremacists in Israel, both rulers and population, have not paid much for the maintenance of Jewish supremacy. They have not only maintained the land they conquered but constantly expanded it. They have not only been able to eke out a living but also prospered economically, socially, and culturally.
    • Ibid.
  • It is only by making the costs of Jewish supremacy too high that Israeli Jews will give it up. This can be done by the continuing resistance of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories to all the civil and military institutions that uphold Jewish supremacy.
    • Ibid.
  • All solutions that ignore the maintenance of Jewish supremacy in Israel will fail. Unless the elimination of Jewish supremacy becomes the major goal of a real 'peace process', all other solutions will simply perpetuate the conflict.
    • Ibid.

"Deconstructing Holocaust Consciousness"[edit]

  • Norman Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry is a short but important and necessary addendum that advances important critiques of Novick and makes its own contribution to the debate by discussing aspects that Novick did not include.
    • Massad, "Deconstructing Holocaust Consciousness", Journal of Palestine Studies, 2002
  • Mark Chmiel's Elie Wiesel and the Politics of Moral Leadership is a case study illustrating the politics of holocaust memory through examining the life of its prime architect, Elie Wiesel, who has made a successful and profitable personal career of the holocaust.
    • Ibid.
  • Indeed, even before the 11 September attacks, there was little evidence that the holocaust had ever ceased being used as a bulwark to defend the state interests of Israel and its atrocities against the Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries. This was not a spontaneous development but the result of design. Indeed, it had become a matter of course to expect Palestinian victims of Israeli terror to pay obeisance to the Jewish holocaust before, or even instead of, criticizing Israel.
    • Ibid.
  • However, [Novick] does not account for the reality that views of Israel as being "beleaguered" are part of the same Zionist and Israeli strategy positing rising anti-Semitism to garner more support and immigration to Israel after the pool of immigrants had dried up in the mid-1950s. His point is that the perception of anti-Semitism is what led to more talk of the holocaust. However, it is this causal relationship that is suspect. One could posit that perceptions of a "beleaguered Israel," "oppressed" Soviet Jews, and the new "anti-Semitism," as well as talk of the holocaust, are all part of the same phenomenon rather than being caused by each other. One could further posit a different causal relationship with much of the same evidence Novick provides: namely, that it is Zionism, Israel, and America's use of past Jewish victimization to advance the Zionist agenda that informs the exaggeration of the relatively mild Soviet discriminatory policies against Jews (among other national and religious groups facing similiar discrimination) as holocaustal, the presentation of Israel as a victim of the new Arab "anti-Semites," or the condemnation of any criticism of American Jewry's support for Zionism or any criticism of Israel as "anti-Semitic."
    • Ibid.
  • Just as Zionism appropriated the tragedy of the holocaust to justify its atrocities, Wiesel was to legitimize that link in much of his discourse about the colonial settlement.
    • Ibid.
  • While Wiesel assailed the silence of the world about the Jewish holocaust throughout his career, he required that Jew and gentile alike remain silent about Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.
    • Ibid.
  • Novick, Finkelstein, and Chmiel have made important and crucial contributions to a topic about which little discussion has taken place, namely the rise in holocaust consciousness in the United States. All three books are indispensable for anyone interested in understanding how international Zionism, Israel, and the United States have collaborated in producing an elaborate ideological defense system of Israeli crimes, crimes which are supported, funded, and supplied by the U.S. government.
    • Ibid.

Desiring Arabs[edit]

  • The categories gay and lesbian are not universal at all and can only be universalized by the epistemic, ethical, and political violence unleashed on the rest of the world by the very international human rights advocates whose aim is to defend the very people their intervention is creating.
    • Massad, in his book Desiring Arabs (2008).
  • For the Gay International, transforming sexual practices into identities through the universalizing of gayness and gaining 'rights' for those who identify (or more precisely, are identified by the Gay International) with it becomes the mark of an ascending civilization, just as repressing those rights and restricting the circulation of gayness is a mark of backwardness and barbarism.
    • Ibid.
  • Western social Darwinists, who include modernisation and development theorists and their kindred spirits (UN agencies, human rights organisations and activists, NGOs, the IMF, the World Bank, the US State Department, etc) would see the possible "advance" of the Arab world (as well as the rest of the "underdeveloped" world) toward a western-defined and sponsored modernity as part of a historical teleology wherein non-Europeans who are still at the stage of European childhood will eventually replicate European "progress" toward modern forms of organisation, sociality, economics, politics and sexual desires. What is emerging in the Arab (and the rest of the third) world is not some universal schema of the march of history but rather the imposition of these western modes by different forceful means and their adoption by third world elites, thus foreclosing and repressing myriad ways of movement and change and ensuring that only one way for transformation is made possible.
    • Ibid., pp. 49-50.
  • Like the major US- and European-based human rights organisations (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International) and following the line taken up by white western women's organisations and publications, the Gay International was to reserve a special place for the Muslim countries in its discourse as well as its advocacy. The orientalist impulse … continues to guide all branches of the human rights community.
    • Ibid., p. 161.
  • [I]t is the very discourse of the Gay International which produces homosexuals, as well as gays and lesbians, where they do not exist.
    • Ibid., pp. 162-3
  • The advent of colonialism and western capital to the Arab world has transformed most aspects of daily living; however, it has failed to impose a European heterosexual regime on all Arab men, although its efforts were successful in the upper classes and among the increasingly westernised middle classes. It is among members of these richer segments of society that the Gay International has found native informants. Although members of these classes who engage in same-sex relations have more recently adopted a western identity (as part of the package of the adoption of everything western by the classes to which they belong), they remain a minuscule minority among those men who engage in same-sex relations and who do not identify as “gay” nor express a need for gay politics.
    • Ibid., pp. 172-3
  • The most recent campaign [by the “Gay International”] has targeted the Palestinian Authority (PA). The campaign started two years after the eruption of the second intifada. Articles published in the US press, written by Israelis or pro-Jewish activists, claimed that Palestinian “gays” are so oppressed that they could only find refuge in “democratic” Israel. Interviews with such “gay refugees” recounted horrid torture by PA elements. Indeed, the effort was inaugurated by US Congressman Barney Frank himself, who used the occasion to praise Israeli “democracy”...
    • Ibid., p. 188 (footnote)
  • [I]t is the publicness of socio-sexual identities rather than the sexual acts themselves that elicits repression
    • Ibid., p.197.
  • [T]he Gay International is destroying social and sexual configurations of desire in the interest of reproducing a world in its own image, one wherein its sexual categories and desires are safe from being questioned’
    • Ibid., p.189.
  • The Gay International and its activities are largely responsible for the intensity of this repressive campaign.
    • Ibid., on the "Queen Boat Affair", p.184.

(On May 11, 2001, Egyptian police officers boarded a Nile River cruise known as the Queen Boat, a floating disco for gay men. Fifty-two men were arrested, and many of them later claimed to have been tortured and sexually humiliated in prison. Most of the men were eventually acquitted, but 23 received convictions for either the "habitual debauchery," "contempt for religion" or both.)

  • It is not the same-sex sexual practices that are being repressed by the Egyptian police but rather the sociopolitical identification of these practices with the Western identity of gayness and the publicness that these gay-identified men seek.
    • Ibid.