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Queering Anti-Zionism

Academic Freedom, LGBTQ Intellectuals, and Israel/Palestine Campus Activism

Corinne E. Blackmer

Award Winner

Jewish Studies, Israel and Middle East, Queer Studies

Published: November 2022
ISBN: 9780814349984
Pages: 222 Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 1 b&w map
Published: November 2022
ISBN: 9780814349991
Pages: 222 Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 1 b&w map
Published: November 2022
ISBN: 9780814350003
Pages: 222 Size: EPUB
Illustrations: 1 b&w map

With engaged scholarship and an exciting contribution to the field of Israel/Palestine studies, queer scholar-activist Corinne Blackmer stages a pointed critique of scholars whose anti-Israel bias pervades their activism as well as their academic work. Blackmer demonstrates how the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to delegitimize and isolate Israel has become a central part of social justice advocacy on campus, particularly within gender and sexuality studies programs. The chapters focus on the intellectual work of Sarah Schulman, Jasbir Puar, Angela Davis, Dean Spade, and Judith Butler, demonstrating how they misapply critical theory in their discussions of the State of Israel. Blackmer shows how these LGBTQ intellectuals mobilize queer theory and intersectionality to support the BDS movement at the expense of academic freedom and open discourse.

Corinne E. Blackmer is professor of English and Judaic Studies at Southern Connecticut State University. She has authored numerous articles on Jewish Studies, Women’s Modernism, LGBTQ/Queer Studies, the Hebrew Bible, and American Literature. She has also co-edited two volumes: En Travesti: Women, Gender Subversion, Opera and Poisoning the Wells: Antisemitism in Contemporary America.

Corinne Blackmer exposes the ways in which prominent academics have once again placed their ideological ambitions (i.e., anti-Zionism) above empirical evidence. Her book recalls the ground-breaking work of physicists Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont, who exposed the misrepresentation of scientific concepts by prominent postmodern thinkers in their aptly titled, Fashionable Nonsense. Queering Anti-Zionism similarly reveals the misappropriation of human rights discourse by celebrated academics who often willfully display a profound indifference to facts and logic. Scholars and students who have been steeped in or exposed to queer theory will find refuge in and/or lively engagement with this eloquent work.

– R. Amy Elman, professor of political science, Kalamazoo College, and author of The European Union, Antisemitism and the Politics of Denial and Sexual Equality in an Integrated Europe

Queering Anti-Zionism embodies engaged scholarship at its best. Blackmer displays her unique talents and commitments as a pro-Zionist Queer scholar-activist to provide an informed analysis and critique of how key queer anti-Zionist commentators have engaged in anti-Israel propaganda and rhetoric. This is a book of exceptional integrity and accomplishment.

– David Ellenson, chancellor emeritus, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, former director, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University

Corinne Blackmer offers a powerful narrative about the destructive force of identity politics. It draws too tight a circle around the words and people allowed to enter its sacred struggle for social justice. And no entry to Zionists fuels a concoction of distortions about Israeli history and society.

– Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Family professor of Jewish studies and government emerita, Smith College

Queering Anti-Zionism is an important corrective to the Manichaean view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has overtaken queer academia. Corinne Blackmer challenges point-by-point the oversimplifications, false equivalencies, and misrepresentations presented by leading queer critics of Zionism; she offers in their place a balanced and informed understanding of the complexities of the conflict. This is a brave and very necessary book.

– Lillian Faderman, author of Naked in the Promised Land, My Mother’s Wars, and Woman: The American History of an Idea

After being maliciously attacked as a lesbian and a Jewish-Zionist, Corinne Blackmer set out to write about how the BDS—Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is damaging the field of queer studies. The result is an engaging book which offers valuable insight into how this discipline has become a breeding ground for repellent ideologies and propaganda that contradict postmodernist positions, fail to do justice by Palestinian LGBTQ individuals, stymie efforts to foster Israeli-Palestinian mutual understanding and coexistence, and ostracize and marginalize Jews.

– Miriam F. Elman, associate professor of political science, Syracuse University, and executive director, Academic Engagement Network

  • 2022 National Jewish Book Awards - Result: Finalist in the category of Education and Jewish Identity