Sunday, November 20, 2011

Catz - Joseph Massad's Falsehoods, Columbia's Embarrasment

Sarit Catz
CAMERA Media Analysis
18 November '11

Joseph Massad's October 27, 2011 article Truth, facts and facts on the ground (Al Jazeera English) is remarkable for the sheer number of falsehoods the author, a Columbia University professor, employs to cast all blame for the Arab-Israeli conflict onto a supposedly apartheid Israel, while portraying the Arabs - and the Palestinians in particular - as blameless and innocent victims.

Many of Massad's assertions could only amaze informed observers, such as his charge that “Tel Aviv is the only Western city that does not have any Arab or Muslim inhabitants.”

Has Massad ever been, to use his term, “on the ground” in Tel Aviv? One would assume so, since no scholar would write about Tel Aviv never having been there. But how does he not know that thousands of Arab Muslims live in Tel Aviv, especially in the largely Arab neighborhood of Yafo (Jaffa)? Perhaps he will claim he meant there are no Arabs or Muslims in Tel Aviv outside of Yafo. But even excluding the residents of Yafo, there are almost 2000 other Muslims resident in the rest of Tel Aviv.

Here are the details should Professor Massad wish to go a library and actually do some research. According to the 2009 Tel Aviv Statistical Yearbook (Table 2.21, page 92) Tel Aviv's total population was 392,500, of which Jews and others were 375,200, and Arabs were 17,300. Of the Arabs, 15,500 lived in Quarter 7 (Yafo), meaning that 1,800 lived in the rest of Tel Aviv, amounting to more than 10% of Tel Aviv's Arab population.

In fact, Professor Massad could have used online telephone listings to look up Arab residents of Tel Aviv, such as Mr. Musa Mochamad, who lives in the beautiful new neighborhood of Neve Sharet, not far from the Neve Sharet country club.

In other words, Professor Massad could not have been more wrong about Tel Aviv.

Moreover, if Professor Massad was outraged by the (false) idea that there are no Muslims in Tel Aviv, is he equally outraged by the fact that in Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims, Jews and Christians are not even allowed to visit, much less reside? Helpful highway signs in Saudi Arabia make this all too clear:

The same discriminatory restictions apply to Medina as well, and to the entire area around these two Saudi cities. And the prohibition is strictly enforced by the Saudi authorities, as per this report of a Christian Sri Lankan being arrested for being in Mecca. Has Professor Massad ever protested this genuine Saudi apartheid, or is he devoted to human rights only when it is a useful tool to bash Israel?

(Read full "Joseph Massad's Falsehoods ...")

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