"The patent absurdity of much of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict begs for a satirical treatment. On Wednesday night at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, Professor Joseph Massad answered the call with an incisive and funny lecture on "the language of Zionism."
No one will be be surprised by the overarching theme of his talk -- Israel as a colonial state, etc. But students told me they were surprised by Massad's approach, a marked contrast, they said, from his normally buttoned-down manner in lecturing.
Sponsored by the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, the speech gave an abridged version of the dictionary according to Zionism, backing it up with scholarly facts and quotes galore (always book-ended by the spoken "quote... unquote"). Throughout the speech, Massad built upon his dictionary until he ended with this brief statement of Zionist language:
Colonialism is peace, is security.
Anti-colonialism is war, is terrorism.
The West Bank is half the West Bank.
A Bantustan is a sovereign, independent state.
The Pragmatist is someone who accepts all the above.
The Extremist is someone who rejects it."
Ali Gharib for Mondoweiss