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Who is Mya Guarnieri?


A guest post by AKUS

A new star being used to bash Israel and the USA has appeared in the not very illustrious constellation of the Guardian’s Jewish anti-Israeli contributors to CiF.

The woman with the curious name, Mya Guarnieri, has twice hit the jackpot on CiF by focusing on two topics guaranteed to  generate numerous clicks thus endearing her to the Guardian’s marketing department:  an article demonizing Israel for proposing to repatriate children of foreign workers and one claiming that the Ku Klux Klan is taking over America.  Both were thoroughly mocked by readers, particularly for the generalizations in her over-the-top final paragraphs: “The scene was a reminder that a state [Israel] “so white and so ugly” was established long ago – the children are just the latest victims” and “Gainesville’s struggle is a mirror for the country {USA]. And so are my memories. In the past, there was antisemitism, roiling just below the surface. Now, there is Islamophobia.”

What her efforts to disparage Israel and America lack in quality, she makes up for in quantity and self-promotion. As she claims, apart from two articles in the Guardian,  her writings have appeared in the Huffington Post (following which Hawkeye pointed out here that unable to take criticism of a misleading article about freedom of the press in Israel she threatened legal action against Brothers in Judea in an attempt to shut them down) and the Jerusalem Post (At home and Abroad – surprise – a sympathetic article of the sort the Guardian will never publish). The list she maintains of media and blogs that have published her columns reads like a who’s-who of Israel hate: Ha’aretz, The Jewish Daily Forward, Maan News Agency, Common Ground News Service, and Mondoweiss. Her blog roll of favorites blogs includes Dicky Silverstein’s vile “Tikkun Olam”, and, believe it or not, the Guardian’s Brian Whitaker’s feeble “Al- Bab”!

She boasts that her “work” has appeared in Al Jazeera English and been “offered” to the BBC. A search on a Dubai paper/blog which laps up her nasty articles about Israel reveals 20 articles, most presenting Israel in as bad a light as possible, especially concerning treatment of foreign workers. This is a topic she seems to have made a central concern in her weird universe and about which she is claiming to write a book. One can only wonder at the irony of a newspaper in a Gulf State, all of which have such notorious records of mistreating of foreign workers, indignantly publishing articles by Guarnieri about the treatment of foreign workers in Israel!!

So who is Mya Guarnieri?

She claims to be Jewish and is “a Tel Aviv-based journalist and writer” with Israeli citizenship .  Like two other Guardian favorites, Seth Freedman and Rachel Shabi, she seems determined to live in the very Tel-Aviv bubble she scorns in a country which faces daily challenges she prefers to ignore.”.

In addition to her writings in other media, she runs her own blog: http://www.myaguarnieri.com/. She states that she is “a graduate of Florida State University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, which The Atlantic Monthly has ranked as one of the top ten creative writing programs in the United States”. Modesty is not one of her strong suits.

I will pay her (or her teachers at FSU) a compliment – she seems to write her own material rather than regurgitating articles from the Israeli English Language press. Looking at a couple of articles she has written, it appears that she may even be able to speak and understand Hebrew, rather an important qualification for a “Tel Aviv-based journalist”. She actually appears to interview real people and provides their names. These characteristics set her apart from Freedman, Shabi, or the Guardian’s ace plagiarist, Harriet Sherwood. Occasionally she seems to find art to enjoy in Israel, though of course those articles do not make their way into Georgina Henry’s Culture Gulag – for example: A wildfire of Art in Tel Aviv.

On the other hand, we are dealing with a sort of Israel-based Seamus Milne. As I commented on Adam Levick’s excellent deconstruction of her Ku Klux Klan article: “from her writing she is an example of arrested development stuck in a sort of 12 year-old teenager view of the world – someone who seems to have discovered off-the-wall loony-left views in college and never grown out of them. Why on earth did she feel she needs to live in Israel? ” Having reviewed her track record and continuous attempts to promote herself  I think the answer to my question is that, as with Freedman and Shabi, she realizes she is more marketable as a Jew writing anti-Israel articles from Israel than she would be from Florida.

For the psychoanalytically inclined, make what you will of these extracts from her writings:

http://www.bowlofmilk.com/Binge/27/Spring_2008/Guarnieri.htm

Shards

I.
There was a whole year I couldn’t stop buying light bulbs. ….

II.
I stood staring at the light bulbs wondering what it would feel like to put one in my mouth and to slowly slowly apply more and more pressure just the right amount of pressure until it popped and shattered into my gums. I wondered how the shards would feel and how they would crunch if I chewed. It’s funny, I never thought about swallowing them, but I never thought about spitting them out either.

III.
I envisioned myself chewing light bulbs on a fairly regular basis. Don’t worry, I never did it, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. Maybe that’s just about right, for that time in my life. I was in my late twenties and just divorced….

(“and just divorced” … I can’t think why …)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mya-guarnieri/reporters-notebook-my-pol_b_584465.html

I’m not sure I should be saying this publicly, but I’ve not been writing much lately because I’ve been in a bit of a depression.

A political depression, that is. Interviews, research, press releases, and headlines pile on top of me, one after another, leaving me heavy and defeated. Two Palestinian-Israeli activists were arrested and, initially, news of their detainment was gagged. As proximity talks began Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed, on Jerusalem Day, that building will continue in Jerusalem and that the capital will remain “united.” And, in annexed East Jerusalem, Palestinians receive appallingly few services from the “unified” municipality.

Sometimes, I feel so thick with it all I can’t find the strength to write about it. Etc.

(So stop …)

http://web.mac.com/renkat/Winter_08-09/Mya_Guarnieri.html

Jerusalem Syndrome

I want my feet to bleed on to these stone streets. Then I will rest, I will sleep under the buildings, I will root myself into the earth.

Etc.

Mya Guarnieri – a very strange person indeed. If ever I have come across someone who seems talented but deserves the characterization of “poor mixed up kid”, she qualifies. It’s a pity she does not grow up and stop taking the easy route to modest success by demonizing Israel – one senses that she alone of the Guardian’s stable might have something valuable to say.

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20 replies »

  1. You would have thought that someone with such an acute sense of responsibility would first have paid attention to the cracks and problems existing in her own community. Why is it that this she had to come all the way to Israel to pick on people that she doesn’t know to express her morality? Did she get thrown out or is she afraid to go against Mom and Dad’s authority at home?

    Are we dealing with a criminal or a little girl whose parents rule her?

  2. I’m excited to be witnessing one of the most creative minds of this era. The “Shards” piece was brilliant. What I’d really like to see her do is a piece on “My depression at not finding my favourite shade of toenail polish in Tel Aviv.” Better yet, how about “My Dinner With Lauren,” produced by the BBC. Wouldn’t that be something?

  3. Ms. Mya Guarnieri dreams of swallowing light bulbs or something to that effect. Is this normal… of course it ain’t. Her mishegaz is beyond strange, it’s downright crazy.

  4. In *lV* of her lightbulb thing, she has written:
    “two boards bent, worn, bare of tarnish.”
    What does she mean “Bare of Tarnish?” Why would the floorboards be bare of tarnish? Were they metal floorboards? Or does she mean varnish? That’s been bothering me. Not a lot.

    Only, wooden floorboards are usually varnished, and her annoying self obsessed pacing might have worn some of it off, especially if she couldn’t be bothered to sweep up the grit.

    The EU has made lightbulbs illegal in the UK and you can only buy those darkbulbs. Perhaps shes been sucking them, I understand they contain mercury.

  5. Mya Guarnieri is a piece of fucking garbage who appears to spend her life trying to promote exaggerated Israel-bashing crap. She says on her blog she supports the “one-state solution” — in other words, she supports Israel being destroyed as a Jewish homeland. Yet this piece of filth manages to get her insane, obviously biased views published.

  6. Mya likes to crunch light-bulbs? Sounds like time for a new Duvidl song:

    This Light-bulb of Mine
    (to the tune of, “This Little Light of Mine.”)
    (Hat tip:Harry Dickson Loes, circa 1929)

    Chorus:This light-bulb of mine,
    Mya won’t let it shine.
    This light-bulb of mine,
    Mya won’t let it shine.
    This light-bulb of mine,
    Mya won’t let it shine,
    On it she’ll dine,
    Make ground-glass-fine,
    With cheese and wine.

    My light-bulb is the meal she loves;
    In her gob that light-bulb shoves;
    Washed down with juice of electro-lights.
    And oh, what bright red lights she shites.
    Gonna give her light-bulbs for her tea.
    Gonna see what colour lights she’ll pee.
    In every dark corner, show this sign:
    “Light-bulb’s where Mya’s sun don’t shine.”

    Chorus:

    DS Al Coda

  7. Yeah, we’ve had a few run ins with ol’ “Sue Happy.” A memorable one is where she called for the right of return, and I said she was calling for Israel’s destruction.

    She wrote, “tell me where, exactly, did i call for the “destruction” of israel? i live here. why would i want my home destroyed?
    a state for the jews doesn’t have to be EXCLUSIVELY jewish. a shared state doesn’t mean a destroyed state.”

    I replied that ending the Jewish character of the state would end a great many things about it, such as the flag, etc. That would mean Israel, as we now know it, would be destroyed. And she supports it.

    She didn’t get back to me.

  8. Zach

    “She didn’t get back to me.”

    Of course she wouldn’t – she was too busy thinking about eating light bulbs! Yum yum.

  9. This Guarnieri the bulb cruncher,sounds very mixed up,she should have stayed at home,the last thing that Israel needs is mixed up migrants like her Seth,and Shaby.Go back home we don’t need or want you.

    She writes for Haaretz,a newspaper that gives the anti-everything Guardian a run for it’s money.

  10. Zach

    Israel is already not EXCLUSIVELY Jewish. It is shared with people from many other religions. Apparently she hasn’t noticed.

  11. Guarnieri is disturbed all right.

    I am a little uncomfortable, however, about mocking the afflicted.

    OCD can be a very serious condition which affects every aspect of the sufferer’s life.

    All of which begs the question as to whether encouraging her to spew out hatred in print helps her condition or hinders it.

    Perhaps the £75.00 (or whatever is the equivalent in dollars) might pay for one session of cognitive behavioural therapy.

  12. I find Guarnieri’s admission on the web that she has what has to be OCD quite creepy – it’s a seriously weird sort of badge of honour – but it’s entirely fitting with the sort of guff she writes which reflects her “thinking.”

    @who – perhaps Guarnieri’s family paid her to get out of the country? And sometimes people emigrate or travel in the hope that they will be able to exercise their demons. That rarely works.

  13. Does anyone think that I could be paid £75.00 to spout rubbish if I wrote to Kath Viner that I used to have an overwhelming urge to chew razor blades?

    Not true, of course, but since when has CiF or the Guardian ever distinguished between fact and fiction?

    Sue, if Guarnieri can no longer get “relief” perhaps Israel-hatred has replaced the light bulb chewing obsession? (I read somewhere that even when someone has been cured of obsessions about one thing, other obsessions develop to take its place).

  14. Hang on a moment, people – Guarnieri is supposed to have some sort of degree in creative writing.

    Perhaps the urge to eat lightbulbs is just an expression of what passes for her muse?

    Or perhaps not….

  15. Mitnaged

    Guarnieri is disturbed all right.

    I am a little uncomfortable, however, about mocking the afflicted.

    I felt the same before reading this post from Snoopy the Goon.

    The lady is a disgusting psychopath.