Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Katherine Franke's "Collaboration" Update

I hope that you remember Katherine Franke's odious op-ed in the Gay Voices section of the Huffington Post in which she accused Israel of "pinkwashing" before engaging in some serious pinkwashing of her own. She has recently published an update because the target of her attack (PFLAG) posted a response. In the interests of full disclosure here it is:
"Jody Huckaby, PGLAG's Executive Director sent me the following thoughtful response on Wednesday, February 22nd:Dear Ms. Franke:Thank you for contacting me about the meeting today at our offices.We reviewed the issues that you raised and discussed them at length internally because we took very seriously the concerns you raised. We decided that we should live the value of our mission statement to provide opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and [act] to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity. As the original family voice on LGBT issues in this country, we know that our model of support, education, and advocacy of, for, and by LGBT people, family members, friends, and allies has been replicated in Israel and many other countries in part because of this philosophy of engaging in dialogue. At PFLAG, we take very seriously our nonpolitical nature and believe that we must cross party lines, borders, faiths, and any other gaps that divide us to unite in a common vision of LGBT equality.I wanted to make you aware that we did not receive any financial sponsorship for this event. The gathering was intended only for the purposes of engaging in a dialogue around LGBT issues. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you on identifying representatives from Palestinian organizations for a similar dialogue.Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to schedule time to talk. I can be reached here via email or at the contact information provided below."
And here is Professor Franke's response. Emphasis is mine:
 "Jody - thank you so much for your thoughtful response to my letter. I hope you understand that my concerns were generated not by the substance of the meeting, but by the collaboration with the Israeli Embassy, whether or not you received any financial benefit from them. I laud your commitment to remain neutral on issues of politics, and regret that the Israeli Embassy may have pulled you into something more divisive than you ever intended. 
I am delighted that you are interested in meeting with other activists and organizations from the region. While it is difficult for Palestinians to travel to the U.S., both because of the cost and because of severe restrictions on their travel, I do hope we can find a way for you and your organization to work collaboratively with the families of LGBT people in Palestine. 
I look forward to working together in the future, and remain a great supporter of PFLAG."
Remember, the original issue that got Prof. Franke's blood pressure pumping was that PFLAG had a meeting with an Israeli government official. That's it. Not that they had made any kind of political statement, but simply that they sat down in the same room with an Israeli and had a conversation.

This means that any exchange of words between an Israeli and a gay person is considered "collaboration" in the eyes of Prof. Franke. No matter what they were talking about. Now maybe it's because PFLAG was meeting with a government official that was the problem, but I notice that Prof. Franke went out of her not to engage with any Israeli gay organizations during her trip there. Either way, her views are anti-democratic and anti-peace. But I think we already knew that.

2 comments:

  1. I just dashed off an email to her suggesting an LGBT 'birthright' type program to afford all expenses paid trips to Gaza, the font of LGBT rights and liberal tolerance and freedom, as well as a suggestion that per the normal rules of war, all collaborators must be shot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Much of the very articulate and intelligent response to this woman who didn't deserve either of those elements was fairly standard, but there was one critical line I wanted to highight:
    "As the original family voice on LGBT issues in this country, we know that our model of support, education, and advocacy of, for, and by LGBT people, family members, friends, and allies has been replicated in Israel and many other countries in part because of this philosophy of engaging in dialogue."
    It's not quite a blow off to the idiotic original complaints, but the fact that she could not counter it---falling back on her bankrupt original whining--makes it obvious that he wasn't talking about her most-Leftist favored governments, and the genuine cause of civil rights is being addressed by the adults in the room. And that group doesn't include Prof. Fink.

    ReplyDelete

Hey guys we've started to employ a slight comment policy. We used to have completely open comments but then people abused it. So our comment policy is such: No obvious trolling or spamming. And be warned: unlike the Huffington Post we actually enforce our comment policy.