By Lee Walzer
Astonishingly, Israeli lesbians and gays were in a position to in achieving many political pursuits that also elude America´s homosexual group. Israel´s ultimate courtroom has mandated same-sex spousal merits; the army, which by no means barred gays firstly, has got rid of its final legit regulations; Israel´s parliament boasts a Subcommittee for the Prevention of Sexual Orientation Discrimination; and faculty curricula are gay-friendly -all of this in a rustic the place non secular pursuits wield remarkable energy and whose identification this present day is the thing of fierce fight. among Sodom and Eden, the 1st booklet to discover this speedily altering panorama, relies on interviews with over 100 Israelis, in addition to Palestinians. Lee Walzer explores how, inside of a decade, Israel has advanced from a society that marginalized homosexuals to 1 that provides one of the most vast criminal protections on the earth. He strains the political, spiritual, and social elements that make Israel a homosexual rights trendsetter, studying the interaction among Judaism and homosexuality, the transforming into prominence of homosexual issues in Israeli literature, movie, tune, and tv, and the function of the media in advancing lesbian and homosexual political growth.
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Extra info for Between Sodom and Eden
Weizman then expounded further on the gay issue: “To turn it into something where everyone comes out of the closet, this I can’t accept. . ” The type of homophobia expressed by Weizman certainly is not unknown. The reaction, however, is indicative of the new consensus regarding gay rights among the predominantly Ashkenazi and secular Israeli elite in politics and the media. 1 That Friday evening Israel Television’s Yoman newscast reported on the remarks with more than a hint of disapproval of the president, for good measure inviting Israel’s best-known gay couple, Amit Kama and Uzi Even, into the studio to give their reaction to the president.
The new self-confidence became clear to all eighteen months later when, in a demonstration combining equal parts of Fame and Zo Artzeinu4 (as one Israeli friend, Dani Kaplan, described it to me), lesbian, gay, and transgender activists blocked Tel Aviv’s busy Ha-Yarkon Street to protest the abrupt end of the annual Wigstock Festival. Within four weeks of that catharsis they propelled Michal Eden to second place in the Meretz primaries, leading to her election to the Tel Aviv City Council as Israel’s first openly lesbian official in November 1998.
As he inched through the Tel Aviv traffic, we settled on thirty shekels, and I resigned myself to being ripped off but at least making it to the board meeting on time. Happy at having such an extravagant fare, the driver, a Jew of Middle Eastern origin, looked at my new 1994 Pride Month T-shirt and asked me what I was doing in Israel. I took a deep breath and told him that I was on my way to a board meeting for the World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Jewish Organizations. He allowed that he had heard something about an incident at Yad Vashem (undoubtedly, since most Israelis, especially taxi drivers, are glued to the radio every hour on the hour for their news fix).
Between Sodom and Eden by Lee Walzer