Joseph Massad's Warsaw Ghetto Complex





The October 2 death of Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazis, is for Columbia University's Joseph Massad yet another opportunity to equate Israelis with Nazis.

An article posted today in the Socialist Worker quotes Massad's latest effort to belittle the Holocaust and delegitimize the modern state of Israel by claiming that contemporary Israelis are to Palestinians what the Nazis were to the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. He even manages to sneak in some praise for the Palestine Liberation Organization back in it's "heyday"--that would be when it was more effective at killing Israelis, one assumes. (Perhaps he has reminisced about the good old days with his Columbia colleague Rashid Khalidi, who was a PLO spokesman back in the day.)

The Socialist Worker is happy to provide the latest platform for this insidious, ahistorical comparison by raising it in the second paragraph of the piece--hardly a shock given the hard left's rank anti-Semitism and alignment with radical Islam:

For occupied people the world over, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising has long been a symbol that resistance is possible, even in the face of an overwhelming military odds. During the Israeli assault on Gaza this past January, many Palestinians saw their own struggle in parallel with the Warsaw Ghetto fighters.

Palestinian scholar Joseph Massad recalled, 'Their uprising was always inspirational to the Palestinians. In the heyday of the PLO as a symbol of Palestinian liberation, the organization would lay flower wreathes at the Warsaw Ghetto monument to honor these fallen Jewish heroes [emphasis added].'

Such a touching story.

This isn't the first time Massad has played the Warsaw Ghetto card. Writing in Electronic Intifada in January, he made the following claims:

  • "The Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto executed Jewish collaborators with the Nazis and bravely faced up to the Nazi army with what little weapons it had before being massacred."
  • "On 12 May 1943, after he received word that the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto was finally crushed and many of its fighters killed, [Szmul] Zygielbojm [who tried in vain to tell the Allies about the slaughter of Polish Jews] turned on the gas in his London flat and committed suicide in protest against the indifference and inaction of the Allies to the plight of the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe."
  • "Mahmoud Abbas, having provided so many dishonorable services to Israel, lacks Zygielbojm's integrity and noble principles and would never follow in Zygielbojm's footsteps."
  • Comment: Massad called for PA president Mahmoud Abbas to commit suicide or, barring that, excuses efforts by his Hamas opponents to kill him and his supporters.

  • "As Palestinians are murdered and injured in the thousands, world powers are cheering on. This is hardly a new development. It happens often in the context of other populations being murdered by allies of the US and Europe, and it even happened during World War II as the Nazi genocide was proceeding. On 19 April 1943, Britain and the US met in Bermuda, presumably to discuss the situation of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. That was also the day when the Nazis had launched their war against the remaining Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto but were met with unexpected courageous resistance."
  • "The Gaza Ghetto Uprising will mark both the latest chapter in Palestinian resistance to colonialism and the latest Israeli colonial brutality in a region whose peoples will never accept the legitimacy of a racist European colonial settlement in their midst."
  • This past April I compiled a record of Massad's more outrageous statements, "Will Columbia Tenure Joseph Massad," from which the above examples are taken.

    Gross distortion of the historical record to advance political causes, the defense of violence against civilians, calls for political leaders to commit suicide--it's all in a day's work for the shameless Massad, the leader of the most intellectually and morally vulgar wing of the Middle East studies establishment.



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