By Lee Walzer
Astonishingly, Israeli lesbians and gays were in a position to in achieving many political objectives that also elude America´s homosexual group. Israel´s superb courtroom has mandated same-sex spousal merits; the army, which by no means barred gays first of all, has got rid of its final reliable regulations; Israel´s parliament boasts a Subcommittee for the Prevention of Sexual Orientation Discrimination; and college curricula are gay-friendly -all of this in a rustic the place spiritual pursuits wield remarkable strength and whose identification this day is the thing of fierce fight. among Sodom and Eden, the 1st booklet to discover this quickly altering panorama, is predicated on interviews with over 100 Israelis, in addition to Palestinians. Lee Walzer explores how, inside a decade, Israel has advanced from a society that marginalized homosexuals to at least one that provides probably the most huge criminal protections on this planet. He lines the political, spiritual, and social elements that make Israel a homosexual rights trendsetter, reading the interaction among Judaism and homosexuality, the growing to be prominence of homosexual subject matters in Israeli literature, movie, track, and tv, and the position of the media in advancing lesbian and homosexual political growth.
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Additional resources for Between Sodom and Eden
Who did you meet? Did anyone give you anything to take on the plane? How do you know Hebrew? Gay couples obviously did not trouble Israeli security in 1994, yet another small sign of the progress that activists had made. That trip to Israel, my first with Kevin, really cemented my love for the country and my interest in its lesbian and gay community. As my pride in the development of Israel’s gay and lesbian community increased, I often found myself disappointed as an American gay man in the slowness of progress in the United States.
This latter statement suggests a process of political elites working in top-down fashion to legitimize the gay community in the wider public, and even in the eyes of the community itself. ” And, in fact, without that societal stamp of approval, it would have been quite difficult for the lesbian and gay community to emerge. Although Dayan is a committed left-winger, Israeli politics do not split so neatly between left and right, secular and religious, when it comes to gay rights. I spent two days in the Knesset in February 1998 going from one end of Israel’s political spectrum to the other: from the offices of Tamar Gozhansky, a member of Chadash (basically, the Israeli Communist Party), to those of Beni Elon of Moledet, as far to the right in Israel as one can go without being banned from running for the Knesset on grounds of racism.
Zandberg, too, is forced into some strange contortions. His party takes a hard line against any concessions to the Arabs (“There won’t be peace. The Arabs want to destroy us, eliminate us, in all sorts of ways”) yet sits uneasily in a government coalition with the ultra-Orthodox whose religious coercion it opposes. As for gay rights, Zandberg says that he supports it as a “liberal,” but that it was not a major issue for him. He did everything possible to downplay his involvement in the issue, although I found his reticence puzzling.