Jared Maslin has written this must-read article for Electronic Intifada about just the latest target of right-wing crazies at Columbia University. This time it is aimed at Professor Joseph Massad:
Specifically, a student group at Columbia called Campus Media Watch (CMW), backed by the pro-Israeli media monitor the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), recently violated university regulations while urging students to “report” on allegedly biased utterances by Massad and other professors, according to faculty members and students.
According to documents, news reports and interviews with students and professors familiar with the incidents, documents and news reports, Columbia senior Daniel Hertz falsely claimed this semester to be a registered student in the class “Palestinian and Israeli politics and societies.” Hertz criticized the content of the class on CMW’s website, and urged other students to report on any perceived bias in Massad’s teaching.
Hertz’ father, Eli E. Hertz, is a prominent pro-Israeli businessman and activist, who among other roles, serves as the chairman of CAMERA’s board and sits on the Executive Council of the powerful Washington-based pro-Israel lobby group the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
If the university administration does not take a firm stand in the case, professors and students argue, the incident could hamper freedom of expression in the classroom. The apparent attempt to eavesdrop on Massad’s classroom also coincides with a resolution denouncing the professor introduced in the New York City Council (Res 0050-2010, 3 March 2010).