Friday, May 20, 2011

Patricia DeGenno Is Ridiculous

We're used to daily amounts of Israel-bashing coming from the Huffington Post's blogger stable. Sometimes, however, there is an article just so far out that it stands head and shoulders above the rest in its absurd one-sidedness and lack of facts. This time, we have an article by Patricia DeGenno, who has been with the HuffPo for months but has not written so much recently. Her article is one long diatribe against Israel, as we can tell right from the title: "Israel: Your Last Chance is Now."

I guess I will start with the positive views expressed in Ms. DeGenno's article.  She agrees that a full "right" of return is impossible, and suggests instead that new Palestinian refugees be allowed to move into Israeli settlements, but only if the Jewish settlers chose to leave. If they don't, they must be Palestinian citizens. She thinks that Jerusalem should be internationalized and that the both states (ideally) should be demilitarized, but doesn't mind starting with the Palestinians. She is not a one stater, unlike many of her supporters in the comments. As we will see, she has swallowed the Arab narrative whole, without chewing, and blames Israel completely for everything that has gone wrong.

Ms. DeGenno begins by drastically rewriting the history of the "Nakba Day" protests, even though they only took place a few days ago. In her world, they were "unarmed civilians" who merely "moved" toward the border at which point Israel (and Israel alone) fired on them for no reason. The border violations are ignored, the rock and bottle throwing is ignored, the assaulting of Israeli soldiers is ignored. Why? Doesn't fit the narrative, I guess. Hooray for journalistic integrity. Which would be one thing, but then she cranks this falsified history up to the next level so that she can shake her finger at Israel:
"The real strategy for Israel should have been to allow the protesters to reach the border, hold them there and protect their right for peaceful demonstrations. What was obvious though is that Israel is incapable of protecting peaceful protests; it has become much too comfortable instead with solely firing weapons."
I mean, really. This is insulting to my intelligence and to hers. Does she think her readers are idiots? Or that we all pay as little attention to the news as she does? Did she really think we wouldn't notice the videos of the "protesters" crossing the border and attacking the soldiers? And here's another question: Did the Huffington Post editors even notice such blatant untruths in one of their articles? Or did they just not care? Ms. DeGenno certainly didn't. Oh, and of course this rewrite of history is not confined to May 15, 2011. She also rewrites the "Nakba" itself, that the Palestinian exodus occurred and the Palestinian state was lost not because of any war (what war?) but because Israel was declared "unilaterally."

Even though Ms. DeGenno is not in favor of a "one state" (though she clearly wouldn't mind if such a thing were to occur) she also very clearly has a problem with Israel as a state of the Jewish people. In her article she refers to it as a "theocratic state," betraying the common misperception of what Jews are. She also complains further about the Palestinian situation and declares that "No state will remain viable while millions of people are dominated, marginalized or occupied." As if what the Palestinians do has any impact of Israel's existence. Funny how when America invaded and occupied two countries no one questioned its right to exist. Like I said, the Arab narrative has been swallowed. And just in case this wasn't enough evidence of Ms. DeGenno's issue with Israel, let's take a look at a message she wrote in the comments section:
"Closer to the fact is that I do not believe separation by religion or race is sustainabl­e anywhere and Israel itself is actually proving this. It is a nice idea based on a a horrendous past but disengagem­ent from the rest of humanity is not the way to deal with injustice."
Except, of course, this only applies to the Jews and not to the Palestinians. What double standard? Let's move on, because having established her falsified historical record and having made her politics clear, she can now start to make her demands.

In the process of calling for what she believes is the right decisions for the US to make, Ms. DeGenno further betrays her belief that Israel and only Israel can fix the problems of the region
"U.S. interests are only served if King Abdullah and the Gulf monarchies stop pandering to the extremist and chose democracy, opportunities and freedoms for the people. As for Israel, it is in America's interest and theirs to do the same. Building a wall or murdering unarmed protester [sic] is not the answer. The world at large understands this as well."
Right. Of course. Because if the Palestinians aren't democratic, and have yet to prove to the world that they are actually capable of running a state on their own, it must be because Israel isn't letting them. Once again inconvenient facts are ignored, such as the new economic prosperity in the West Bank, and of course the oppression of Hamas and the PA toward their own people. But of course I can't fault Ms. DeGenno for refusing to talk about that last one. That's what passes for normal on the Huffington Post. At this point she betrays her knowledge about the situation in the West Bank. After pointing out that Israel has money, she says:
"There is no reason why it can't move forward and share its knowledge with the Palestinians helping to train those who govern, develop infrastructure and lay the foundation for a solid economy."
See? They have been, Ms. DeGenno. In fact they've been trying for years. It is just that like many Palestinian supporters, you ignore what you don't want to see. This is a picture-perfect example of that, just like the rewrite of the May 15th "protests" above. We're getting close to the finish, but Ms. DeGenno can't stop without some parting insults at the Jewish people and their collective memory:
"Finally, each must have their own capitol city while Jerusalem becomes an international center for all people of all religions. A place to celebrate the steps toward inclusion and ultimately setting a precedent for no longer tolerating discrimination or unjust treatment, displacement or genocide against those who are not like you."
It would have been insulting enough that Ms. DeGenno implies that Jews are committing "genocide" against the Palestinians, joining the long list of "human rights supporters" who devalue the word every time they used it. It would have been insulting enough if she really thinks Israel's motivations are just that the Palestinians are different from them and not the hundreds upon hundreds of people killed by those "innocent victims." It would have been insulting enough if she had said that Jerusalem is not already a place for people of all religions. But she just has to thrown in all three, and I can guarantee you that even though she doesn't come right out and say it, you know that she isn't lecturing the Palestinians to change their ways. No sirree. Can't do that.

And of course, because this is an anti-Israel Huffington Post article, it just wouldn't be complete without the one-state threat:
"If it does not it will be destined for one of two outcomes -- a one-state solution (which would in the end benefit everyone the most) or no state."
I would really, really like to see how Ms. DeGenno would imagine a "no state" scenario going down. Maybe it involves Martians dissolving Israel with their ray guns. Clearly her understanding of current events don't take place on planet Earth, so why not? In the end, Ms. DeGenno has some good ideas, but they take a back seat to her slanderous attacks on Israel and babying of Israel's enemies. I can see why she has been at the Huffington Post for so long. She fits right in.

1 comment:

  1. The point its impossible to reverse reality. No Israeli government is going to evict 500,000 people from their homes by force and there may be close to a million living in the lands of the mythical 1948 borders in a decade's time.

    What is the solution for them. Where do they live? In facilely demanding Israel withdrawal, the world is ignoring reality and many complicated issues to which there is no apparent solution.

    Some problems in this world don't have one.


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