Duke University Press
  • Have you registered as a member of our site? Sign up today.

  • Israel⁄Palestine and the Queer International

    Author(s): Sarah Schulman
    Published: 2012
    Pages: 208
  • Paperback: $22.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5373-7
  • Cloth: $79.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5358-4
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments  ix
    Introduction: Before  1
    Part I. Solidarity Visit  
    1. Awareness  23
    2. Preparation: Learning from Cinema  40
    3. Maps  48
    4. The Jewish Embrace  58
    5. Solidarity Visit  67
    6. Palestine  77
    7. Finding the Strategy  86
    Part II. Al-U.S. Tour  
    8. Homonationalism  103
    9. Amreeka  133
    10. Backlash  156
    11. Understanding  172
    Conclusion: There Is No Conclusion  175
    Appendix; Brand Israel and Pinkwashing: A Documentary Guide  179
    Index  187
  • Finalist, 2013 Lambda Literary Awards, LGBT Nonfiction category

  • “[T]he US playwright Sarah Schulman’s Israel/Palestine and the Queer International (Duke, 2012) undermines the idea that Israel is the bastion of social freedom in the region. Her careful, analytical memoir of her 2010 visit to Palestine and Israel, and of the tour she organized for queer Palestinians around the US in 2011, bristles with the possibilities of genuine solidarity if patience allows various political agendas committed to freedom to find the common space for their differences and unities to find each other.” — Vijay Prashad, Jadaliyya

    “In this brave nonfiction work . . . Schulman takes up the occupation, and the BDS (boycott/divestment/sanctions) movement. The book follows Schulman as she dissects her own complicated relationship to the Middle East, immerses herself in an intensive re-education process, and embarks on a unique, eye-opening Solidarity Tour of Israel/Palestine.” — Bec Zajac, The Brooklyn Rail

    “Solidarity, reciprocity, and recognition here reinforce each other, broadening the range of human rights that each movement affirms. The queer activist learns about colonialism and the anti-occupation activist learns about feminism. It is a remarkable testament to the value of the risk that Schulman ran in agreeing to deny her lesbian and gay constituency in Israel in favour of a broader human rights agenda in which their rights too might find validation and defence.” — Gerry Kearns, Dubin Review of Books

    “Written with verve and grace, Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International is eye-opening, courageous, investigative, an activists’ how-to manual, and a shining example of the best in contemporary gay liberation thinking of the sort we have come to expect from Sarah Schulman. The book is by turns hard-headed (in the best sense), clear-sighted, and tender and moving.” — Doug Ireland, Gay City News

    “[Schulman] eloquently and cogently describes how her awareness and transformation happened. She presents interesting stories about the queer Palestinians she meets, and bonds with, including anti-occupation activists, as well as details about the unique coming-out process for Palestinians.” — Gary Kramer, Philadelphia Gay News

    “Schulman’s ‘willful ignorance regarding Israel and Palestine’ is both acknowledged and interrogated through her own self-questioning and activism in this concise yet powerful activist-roman. . . . Is homonationalism the activist’s cry of the 21st century? Are you ready to interrogate your privilege? It is this call to acknowledge and interrogate our privilege and our ignorance that concludes Schulman’s fine work. . . .” — Marcie Bianco, Lambda Literary Review

    “Schulman’s greatest strength in this moving accuont of her politicization around Palestine is her personal exploration of how Jewish historical trauma is linked to the Israeli oppression of Palestinians. . . . This powerful narrative will be particularly helpful for folks struggling to understand the intersection of Jewish identity, queerness, and anti-occupation work.” — Wendy Elisheva Somerson, Bitch

    “Schulman offers an honest and unflinching look at her step-by-step process for challenging her own biases. It's courageous work, and something we don't see nearly enough of, especially when it comes to hot-button issues.” — Kel Munger, Colorado Springs Independent

    “[A] provocative argument against Israel’s recent attempt to market itself as a gay tourist destination. . . . [H]er skepticism regarding power is bracing. Schulman not only upends many of her own unquestioned assumptions, she also clarifies the connection between seemingly innocuous acts, like an effusive travel-section article extolling Tel Aviv’s gay-friendly cafes, and imperialism, racial prejudice and class struggle.” — Raymond Simon, Philadelphia Weekly

    “Through her writing, Schulman equips queer internationals with tools to push back, reflect, and synthesize. . . . Counterintuitive to the depressing subjects she explores, there is no pessimism in Schulman’s cataloging of what is wrong with the world. Instead, demonstrating a trait of the queer international, she is proactive in the face of adversarial forces such as familial, state, and capitalist violence.” — Ted Kerr, Pretty Queer

    Awards

  • Finalist, 2013 Lambda Literary Awards, LGBT Nonfiction category

  • Reviews

  • “[T]he US playwright Sarah Schulman’s Israel/Palestine and the Queer International (Duke, 2012) undermines the idea that Israel is the bastion of social freedom in the region. Her careful, analytical memoir of her 2010 visit to Palestine and Israel, and of the tour she organized for queer Palestinians around the US in 2011, bristles with the possibilities of genuine solidarity if patience allows various political agendas committed to freedom to find the common space for their differences and unities to find each other.” — Vijay Prashad, Jadaliyya

    “In this brave nonfiction work . . . Schulman takes up the occupation, and the BDS (boycott/divestment/sanctions) movement. The book follows Schulman as she dissects her own complicated relationship to the Middle East, immerses herself in an intensive re-education process, and embarks on a unique, eye-opening Solidarity Tour of Israel/Palestine.” — Bec Zajac, The Brooklyn Rail

    “Solidarity, reciprocity, and recognition here reinforce each other, broadening the range of human rights that each movement affirms. The queer activist learns about colonialism and the anti-occupation activist learns about feminism. It is a remarkable testament to the value of the risk that Schulman ran in agreeing to deny her lesbian and gay constituency in Israel in favour of a broader human rights agenda in which their rights too might find validation and defence.” — Gerry Kearns, Dubin Review of Books

    “Written with verve and grace, Israel/ Palestine and the Queer International is eye-opening, courageous, investigative, an activists’ how-to manual, and a shining example of the best in contemporary gay liberation thinking of the sort we have come to expect from Sarah Schulman. The book is by turns hard-headed (in the best sense), clear-sighted, and tender and moving.” — Doug Ireland, Gay City News

    “[Schulman] eloquently and cogently describes how her awareness and transformation happened. She presents interesting stories about the queer Palestinians she meets, and bonds with, including anti-occupation activists, as well as details about the unique coming-out process for Palestinians.” — Gary Kramer, Philadelphia Gay News

    “Schulman’s ‘willful ignorance regarding Israel and Palestine’ is both acknowledged and interrogated through her own self-questioning and activism in this concise yet powerful activist-roman. . . . Is homonationalism the activist’s cry of the 21st century? Are you ready to interrogate your privilege? It is this call to acknowledge and interrogate our privilege and our ignorance that concludes Schulman’s fine work. . . .” — Marcie Bianco, Lambda Literary Review

    “Schulman’s greatest strength in this moving accuont of her politicization around Palestine is her personal exploration of how Jewish historical trauma is linked to the Israeli oppression of Palestinians. . . . This powerful narrative will be particularly helpful for folks struggling to understand the intersection of Jewish identity, queerness, and anti-occupation work.” — Wendy Elisheva Somerson, Bitch

    “Schulman offers an honest and unflinching look at her step-by-step process for challenging her own biases. It's courageous work, and something we don't see nearly enough of, especially when it comes to hot-button issues.” — Kel Munger, Colorado Springs Independent

    “[A] provocative argument against Israel’s recent attempt to market itself as a gay tourist destination. . . . [H]er skepticism regarding power is bracing. Schulman not only upends many of her own unquestioned assumptions, she also clarifies the connection between seemingly innocuous acts, like an effusive travel-section article extolling Tel Aviv’s gay-friendly cafes, and imperialism, racial prejudice and class struggle.” — Raymond Simon, Philadelphia Weekly

    “Through her writing, Schulman equips queer internationals with tools to push back, reflect, and synthesize. . . . Counterintuitive to the depressing subjects she explores, there is no pessimism in Schulman’s cataloging of what is wrong with the world. Instead, demonstrating a trait of the queer international, she is proactive in the face of adversarial forces such as familial, state, and capitalist violence.” — Ted Kerr, Pretty Queer

  • "Al-Shulman has written an honest, warm, and moving book. This is a book about how the political heart expands to encompass the rights of queers and the rights of Palestinians, the rights of you and the rights of me, the rights of individuals and the rights of collectivities. This vision is neither stingy nor utopian, but deeply realistic. A must-read."—Vijay Prashad, author of Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today

    "This is an extraordinary, challenging, and moving book. It is both an honest account of the work Sarah Schulman had to do to allow the full reality of the occupation of Palestine to be registered in her consciousness, and a story—told firmly yet gently, with patience and care—of the shared labor of building activist worlds on occupied grounds. We embark on a journey with Sarah Schulman and many other activists, from Palestine, the U.S. and beyond, as they persist in the effort to make the liberation of Palestine essential to queer politics. We follow their footsteps, we trace the paths; we hear the conversations; we share the meals. If activism involves hard often painstaking work, if it involves mundane and ordinary tasks, we learn that it can also create connections that nourish and sustain. I hope this book becomes a teacher. I hope we join the invitation to become part of a new queer international where liberation for all is the common goal."—Sara Ahmed, author of On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life

    "This is a great book, brave, and compassionate. A journey of discovery, a coming of age, and more important, a search for justice. Our world is a better place for its existence. Read it, please."—Rabih Alameddine, author of The Hakawati

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    In this chronicle of political awakening and queer solidarity, the activist and novelist Sarah Schulman describes her dawning consciousness of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Invited to Israel to give the keynote address at an LGBT studies conference at Tel Aviv University, Schulman declines, joining other artists and academics honoring the Palestinian call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Anti-occupation activists in the United States, Canada, Israel, and Palestine come together to help organize an alternative solidarity visit for the American activist. Schulman takes us to an anarchist, vegan café in Tel Aviv, where she meets anti-occupation queer Israelis, and through border checkpoints into the West Bank, where queer Palestinian activists welcome her into their spaces for conversations that will change the course of her life. She describes the dusty roads through the West Bank, where Palestinians are cut off from water and subjected to endless restrictions while Israeli settler neighborhoods have full freedoms and resources.

    As Schulman learns more, she questions the contradiction between Israel's investment in presenting itself as gay friendly—financially sponsoring gay film festivals and parades—and its denial of the rights of Palestinians. At the same time, she talks with straight Palestinian activists about their position in relation to homosexuality and gay rights in Palestine and internationally. Back in the United States, Schulman draws on her extensive activist experience to organize a speaking tour for some of the Palestinian queer leaders whom she had met and trusted. Dubbed "Al-Tour," it takes the activists to LGBT community centers, conferences, and universities throughout the United States. Its success solidifies her commitment to working to end Israel's occupation of Palestine, and it kindles her larger hope that a new "queer international" will emerge and join other movements demanding human rights across the globe.

    About The Author(s)

    Sarah Schulman is a longtime AIDS and queer activist, and a cofounder of the MIX Festival and the ACT UP Oral History Project. She is a playwright and the author of seventeen books, including the novels The Mere Future, Shimmer, Rat Bohemia, After Delores, and People in Trouble, as well as nonfiction works such as The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life during the Reagan/Bush Years, Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, and Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America, which is also published by Duke University Press. She is Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at The City University of New York, College of Staten Island.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.