What’s queer about the anti-occupation movement?

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
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Bud Korotzer
Protester at LGBT Center in New York City at last year’s Israel Apartheid Week demonstration. (Photo: Bud Korotzer/Indybay.org)

On Saturday, March 3, 2012, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA), organized a protest at the New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, one year after the Center put a ban on any form of Israeli-Palestinian debate within its walls. The moratorium provoked responses from queer advocates in the U.S. and in Palestine. This year’s event was organized as part of Israel Apartheid Week activities in New York City. I gave a talk alongside featured speakers, including the prominent scholar/activist Judith Butler and Pauline Park, who was my co-participant in the first U.S. LGBTQ delegation to Palestine.

During our delegation’s visit to Hebron, we stood on a street separated by a 3-4 ft. partition. This barrier was seemingly designed to ensure safety…to somehow keep the peace by forcing a form of disconnection between the Israeli settlers and Palestinian people living there. We stood on the Palestinian side of the barrier and observed in horror as this guarded wall (this military apparatus of division, of mobility control, of segregation) forced many Palestinians to walk on one side as a means to allow the safety of the few settlers we observed walking on the other side. I was deeply saddened and angered by— what another delegate named—a mechanism of “apartheid”, this mini separation wall. I also felt a deep sense of shame when I was allowed access to the Israeli side of the barrier knowing that the Palestinians who live or daily travel in Hebron, could not.

This account, my standing at that wall…looking in the direction of the armed officers guarding it…feeling the force of segregation….is a troubling and perfect way to think about the question of what’s queer about the anti-occupation of Palestinian land and bodies and the Palestinian struggle for self-determination?

If we understand queerness to be a political framework—one that seeks the destabilization of state sanctioned regimes of control (of our bodies, our identities, our expressions whether sexual or otherwise), the refusal of labels that delimit and limit us, the undoing of accepted and mundane practices, laws, and ideas that diminish our humanity, the dismantling of literal and metaphorical barriers, of that 3-5 ft. wall in Hebron that actually harms both Israelis and Palestinians because it disallows the possibility of community—than the answer to the question of what’s queer about anti-occupation is: every damn thing!

We aren’t queer merely because of our varied sexualities. We are queer because we know how dehumanizing and oppressing it is to try to exist in our fullest human potential within the limited space of somebody’s, some state’s boxes, behind labels and, therefore, behind “walls”.

We are assembled here today because of, yet, another “wall” that is both ideological and material in the form of a moratorium. We stand here in the NYC LGBT Community Center in protest because The Center thinks that it is okay to build a barrier that prevents some peoples and ideas from being embraced within the community. We stand here because we know that tools of division used to somehow secure peace will only result in its absence.

What’s queer about anti-occupation? Every damn thing! What’s queer about walls, barriers, separations, division, disharmony, communal dissolution, the impossibility of solidarities, moratorium? Nothing!

About Darnell L. Moore

Darnell L. Moore is a fellow is a Visiting Scholar with the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University. His is an Editorial Collective member of The Feminist Wire and blogs at Huffington Post. He has also written for Lambda Literary, Mary: A Literary Quarterly, and Hyacide Magazine. He lives in Bedstuy, Brooklyn.

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  1. Dan Crowther
    March 6, 2012, 9:50 am

    “If we understand queerness to be a political framework—one that seeks the destabilization of state sanctioned regimes of control (of our bodies, our identities, our expressions whether sexual or otherwise), the refusal of labels that delimit and limit us, the undoing of accepted and mundane practices, laws, and ideas that diminish our humanity, the dismantling of literal and metaphorical barriers”
    ———————————————

    What do you mean “refusal of labels”? You voluntarily “identify” as a label – one that seems to have an incredibly arbitrary definition. Your the one hyphenating your humanity brother.

    Maybe I should just leave posts like this alone. Why can’t you just as a friggin human being be against Israel’s policies, walls etc – along with “ideas that diminish our humanity”? Ive never understood this at all.

    “As I looked in the direction of the soldiers, I thought about being left-handed and what that meant here in Hebron. What is so right handed about the occupation? How can the anti-occupation movement be more left handed?”

    This is just as arbitrary a statement, and makes about as much sense.

    • Meehow
      March 6, 2012, 11:35 am

      Queerness as a political framework tends to be based in part on a recognition of the need to historicize and contextualize “humanity” and other supposedly ahistorical concepts (including “queerness”). Has “humanity” always meant the same thing? Does it currently mean the same thing everywhere? Is it possible that even our own current understanding of “humanity” presupposes too much and thereby imposes unnecessarily repressive limitations on us? How are we involved in the construction of the current meaning of “humanity”? People often dismiss this line of inquiry as incoherent theoretical babble, but the asking of such questions is an important political act. Simply talking about humanity as though the meaning of this term is simple, obvious, static, etc. covers over these questions. Queerness, insofar as queerness is understood as critical and autocritical, draws them out.

      That being said, Moore doesn’t shy away from using humanistic language to denounce the Israeli occupation. He says being defined or limited by others is oppressive and dehumanizing.

      • Dan Crowther
        March 6, 2012, 1:49 pm

        But feel free to oppress yourself with your own definitions of yourself. rrrright. its a completely mindless exercise. and what a horrible distraction from what is taking place in palestine.

        Incoherent theoretical babble is a good way to describe it — i know its heresy to bash soft science “theory” but lets be honest with ourselves – this is a bunch of BS. But I guess if the physics department gets to speak in incoherent language, so to do the humanities.

        My working assumption is that we know pretty much Fck all about what it is to be “human” – so creating new categories and political identifications and their associated “theories” to help “define” or “undefine” what it is to be human is nothing but an exercise in futility and, in my opinion, self-indulgence in the extreme.

        Freedom is the precondition for freedom, to paraphrase Kant – shouldnt we be working toward this goal, rather than wasting our time coming up with new ways to define ourselves within the current state capitalist context? You are correct, that what was once true is often no longer true – all the more reason to cease with the arbitrary constructions of political identity.

    • RCiuffo
      March 6, 2012, 3:54 pm

      “What do you mean “refusal of labels”? You voluntarily “identify” as a label – one that seems to have an incredibly arbitrary definition. Your the one hyphenating your humanity brother.”

      Thank you, brother Dan! This is a BIG problem. Hyphenated rights have all but trampled and obscured basic human rights – just. basic. human. rights. It’s obscured our vision to the point that large numbers of people (I believe) are no longer capable of ordinary human reaction to unhyphenated generic human suffering. This allows the masses to ignore mere people. (Palestinians, hungry children, etc.) We must always have a hyphenated sufferer to ignite our measured and selective human reaction.
      Your response is plain common sense.

  2. hophmi
    March 6, 2012, 11:27 am

    Was it queer when several dozens Jews in Hebron were murdered during the 1929 riots? Is it queer that a few hundred need protection because without it, they wouldn’t survive amongst the Palestinian population for five minutes?

    • Bumblebye
      March 6, 2012, 12:36 pm

      Is it queer to constantly have to remind you that several scores of Jews in Hebron in 1929 were SAVED by their PALESTINIAN neighbors? Is it queer that you have a blanket loathing and fear of Palestinians as a result, rather than recognition of common humanity? Or at least a recognition that one militant group did not and does not represent all? Can you perhaps refer us to any stories of soon-to-be-Israelis protecting their Palestinian neighbors from the Nakba?

      • hophmi
        March 6, 2012, 12:52 pm

        “Is it queer to constantly have to remind you that several scores of Jews in Hebron in 1929 were SAVED by their PALESTINIAN neighbors?

        There were Jews saved by Germans and Poles too.

        “Is it queer that you have a blanket loathing and fear of Palestinians as a result, rather than recognition of common humanity?”

        I don’t loathe or fear Palestinians. But the Jews in Hebron need protection for a reason.

      • Peter H
        March 6, 2012, 3:47 pm

        Nice that Hophmi still won’t acknowledge that the settlements in Hebron are illegal.

      • hophmi
        March 6, 2012, 3:57 pm

        Are Jews illegal in Hebron?

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2012, 4:57 pm

        “Nice that Hophmi still won’t acknowledge that the settlements in Hebron are illegal.”

        Of course he won’t! Hophmi is a liberal Zionist. He is extremely liberal about what the Zionists can take.
        You won’t get anywhere accusing Hophmi of selfishness. Why, I’ve never read anyone so liberal with other people’s homes and land and liberty.

      • Chaos4700
        March 7, 2012, 2:22 am

        Pogroms are, hophmi. At least they’re illegal in Palestine. Apparently, not so much in the “Jewish nation.”

      • eGuard
        March 7, 2012, 6:47 am

        hophmi: But the Jews in Hebron need protection for a reason. Actually, they are protecteing the Palestinians there. Didn’t you forget a massacre?

        And here at Allenby Bridge they are protecting Jews too?

    • Cliff
      March 6, 2012, 12:40 pm

      hophmi,

      What does the 1929 riots have to do w/ 45+ years of an ongoing military occupation and continued colonization of Palestinian land?

      Are you going to whitewash suicide bombing because Zionist terrorists killed innocent Palestinian civilians throughout the 48′ War? Or because they ethnically cleansed 750K Palestinians and then razed their villages and then prevented their return?

      Or the massacre of innocent Palestinians at Kafr Qasim in 1956?

      And LOL@your cynical, phony concern for the well-being of Palestinian queers within their society.

      You don’t know anything about Palestinian society. Just this perpetual absurd caricature you use to either present Palestinians as victims (homosexuals in an Islamist regime) or as villains (‘Palestinians supported the Mufti/Palestinians are Nazis’).

      [...]
      Your movement is only supported due to total whitewash of the conflict by a corrupt mass media and because of fanatical evangelical Christians.

      • hophmi
        March 6, 2012, 3:59 pm

        “And LOL@your cynical, phony concern for the well-being of Palestinian queers within their society.

        I haven’t even made that argument yet. Thanks, Cliff.

        “You don’t know anything about Palestinian society.”

        Neither do you, apparently.

        “Your movement is only supported due to total whitewash of the conflict by a corrupt mass media and because of fanatical evangelical Christians.”

        I’m sorry your position doesn’t have more public support Cliff. I’m sorrier you (As usual) blame everyone else for that.

      • Chaos4700
        March 7, 2012, 2:20 am

        Oh, your laughing about phony concern for the well-being of queers? Go find a nuke in Iran and sit on it.

    • Peter H
      March 6, 2012, 12:45 pm

      “Is it queer that a few hundred need protection because without it, they wouldn’t survive amongst the Palestinian population for five minutes?”

      Even if this is true, so what? Settelements are illegal, period. It is completely unjust (& a violation of international law) to restrict the human rights of Palestinians to protect a bunch of illegal settlers.

      • hophmi
        March 6, 2012, 4:00 pm

        There were no settlements in 1929. Only Jews.

      • Cliff
        March 6, 2012, 5:48 pm

        He isn’t talking about 1929, troll.

        The settlements are illegal and there have always been more massacres of Palestinians by Zionist terrorists than the other way around.

        Your comment above was an attempt at presenting a picture of the conflict where the power dynamic between Israelis and Palestinians are reversed.

        Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestine – not the other way around.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2012, 2:10 pm

        “Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestine – not the other way around.”

        Better watch out, Cliff! You know how Hophmi proves his points, with a tsunami of irrefutable facts and figures! I hope you won’t be too disappointed when he proves you wrong.

    • Charon
      March 6, 2012, 1:32 pm

      Well it is quite strange to waste so much money and resources just so 500 or so violent religious fanatics can live there.

      Much has been written about the massacre you mention, but few Zionist sources are even interested in examining the cause. The cause was not irrational hatred for Jews. Zionists – not indigenous Jews – were the target. To put it quite simply, not that they deserved it but they were asking for it. Just like any slaughtered colonial Americans by the indigenous natives. You reap what you sow. Always the effect without ever mentioning the cause. Contrary to popular belief, Muslim Arabs and Jews are not mortal enemies. Islam doesn’t encourage people to kill Jews. People are not born with irrational hatred. There is always a reason. Not saying there is a good reason, but there is a reason why the Hebron settlers are not exactly well-liked. They are terrible neighbors who commit terror and get away with it and have a special security agreement to protect them.

      Hebron has always been an obstacle to the ‘peace process’ and the settlers have no right to live there. No right at all. Not even on religious grounds because too much stuff in Palestine has wrongly been attributed to biblical places as a means for Zionists to claim the land. I’ve read claims that the Cave of the Patriarchs was either a Hindu (Lotus flower entrance) temple or more likely and Edomite temple.

      • hophmi
        March 6, 2012, 2:58 pm

        “Well it is quite strange to waste so much money and resources just so 500 or so violent religious fanatics can live there.”

        It is. I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to do it and I don’t support it. I’m harshly critical of it, actually, and I’ve been there and been angered by it. But then again, it isn’t right to exclude Jews from the city either.

        “Much has been written about the massacre you mention, but few Zionist sources are even interested in examining the cause. The cause was not irrational hatred for Jews. Zionists – not indigenous Jews – were the target. To put it quite simply, not that they deserved it but they were asking for it. ”

        They were asking for it? Let’s not go down that road, OK? The Jews killed (and raped and mutilated) in Hebron were a mixture of women, children, and yeshiva students. The mob was incited by the Mufti, among others. It was a pogrom.

        “Contrary to popular belief, Muslim Arabs and Jews are not mortal enemies. Islam doesn’t encourage people to kill Jews.”

        No one said they were, nor that Islam encourages people to kill Jews,

        “Hebron has always been an obstacle to the ‘peace process’ and the settlers have no right to live there. No right at all.”

        Do Jews?

        “Not even on religious grounds because too much stuff in Palestine has wrongly been attributed to biblical places as a means for Zionists to claim the land. I’ve read claims that the Cave of the Patriarchs was either a Hindu (Lotus flower entrance) temple or more likely and Edomite temple.”

        Whatever it was, both Jews and Muslims believe that the Patriarchs are buried there, and Israel has allowed the Waqf to run the place. For hundreds of years, no Jews were allowed to visit by the Muslim authorities.

      • Cliff
        March 6, 2012, 5:52 pm

        Do Jews?

        When in the past 45 years, did ‘Jews’ (your generalization) ask the Palestinian people to vote on whether Zionists could steal their land and homes?

        Why are you concerned about whether Jews can live in Hebron or not, when they DO already.

        Any sane person would first consider the illegality of the colonization of the territories and not academic discussions about what happens next (as if Israel is going to give up the settlement enterprise anyway).

        No one here is trying to dialogue with a racist like you hophmi.

        I wouldn’t ‘dialogue’ to a skin-head or a KKK member and you’re on the same level.

        Phil, why isn’t this troll banned yet for Nakba denial (in the past) and the constant stream of bullshit posts he pollutes the blog with?

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 7, 2012, 12:13 am

        “The mob was incited by the Mufti, among others. It was a pogrom.”

        The mob was incited by the Zionists in Jerusalem, including Klausner and Betar, with claims of stealing the land of the Palestinians, who rightly feared that the Jews were in Palestine to steal the land and destroy the lives of the Palestinians, which turned out to be 100% correct. Those Jews who were in Palestine without any intent to steal the land should, of course, be mourned. Their blood is on the hands of the Zionists as well as those who did the killing.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2012, 2:15 pm

        “Phil, why isn’t this troll banned yet for Nakba denial (in the past) and the constant stream of bullshit posts he pollutes the blog with?”

        Well, ifHophmi’s fact-and-figure based accusations of anti-Semitism against Phil Weiss doesn’t do the trick, nothing will.
        That one is in the “Walzer” thread.
        Unless, of course, they are laughing too hard in the Moderators Suite to push the “ban” button.

    • Keith
      March 6, 2012, 11:25 pm

      HOPHMI- “Was it queer when several dozens Jews in Hebron were murdered during the 1929 riots?”

      You continue to amaze. Would you like to do a body count comparison of Palestinians versus Jews? If it was 10,000 Palestinians to one Jew, you would lament the one Jew. The Palestinians are unpeople to you. There is no other explanation.

  3. DICKERSON3870
    March 6, 2012, 1:09 pm

    RE: “we stood on a street separated by a 3-4 ft. partition. This barrier was seemingly designed to ensure safety…to somehow keep the peace by forcing a form of disconnection between the Israeli settlers and Palestinian people living there.” ~ Moore

    MY COMMENT: Designed to insure safety? Perhaps not. Perhaps it is designed to maintain acquiescence of the Palestinians by inducing within them a sense of permanent temporariness (and ‘learned helplessness’) pursuant to an Israeli philosophy of “maintained uncertainty”. Somewhat akin to the Warsaw Ghetto.

    FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    (excerpts)…It was [Ariel] Sharon
    who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness
    …It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence

    SOURCE – link to lrb.co.uk
    ALSO SEE: Learned helplessness - link to en.wikipedia.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      March 6, 2012, 1:43 pm

      P.S. RE: “If we understand queerness to be a political framework—one that seeks the destabilization of state sanctioned regimes of control (of our bodies, our identities, our expressions whether sexual or otherwise), the refusal of labels that delimit and limit us, the undoing of accepted and mundane practices, laws, and ideas that diminish our humanity, the dismantling of literal and metaphorical barriers, of that 3-5 ft. wall in Hebron…” ~ Moore

      MY ELABORATION: As I see it, the maintenance of acquiescence through “maintained uncertainty” and “learned helplessness” is very similar to to the maintenance of acquiescence through “state sanctioned regimes of control (of our bodies, our identities, our expressions whether sexual or otherwise) [and] labels that delimit and limit us, [and] accepted and mundane practices, laws, and ideas that diminish our humanity [and] literal and metaphorical barriers [like] that 3-5 ft. wall in Hebron…”.

      P.S. INTRODUCING MY NEW AVATAR, “NUTTYYAHOO” by DonkeyHotey (JPEG) – link to google.com

  4. Matthew Graber
    March 6, 2012, 2:44 pm

    Dan, I’m a little surprised by your disdain for queer theory.

    What brings you to this work? What political theory and instilled values drive you to stand up and say that what Israel is doing is wrong?

    As Darnell shows, Queer theory allows for individuals to self-define their own sexual preferences, without having to conform to a specific identity. Furthermore, queer theory allows for sexual preference to be disconnected wholly from gender identity, and thus allows for a fluid conception of sexual preference.

    You refer to this as arbitrary, but what is it that allows for individuals to self-define their sexual preferences that is so threatening to you? I only say that because you sound angry and threatened, particularly when you say ‘Why can’t you just as a friggin human being be against Israel’s policies, walls etc – along with “ideas that diminish our humanity”?’

    From my understanding, Darnell is against walls and constructions based upon identity because he sees the walls in Hebron as analogous to so many of the walls constructed elsewhere in society, metaphorically and physically.

    Queer theory creates a political space for equality, free from the social division created by sexism, racism, and classism. When individuals are allowed to be as they wish, without having to conform to the stereotypes and histories associated with their identity, they are free.

    • Dan Crowther
      March 6, 2012, 4:01 pm

      So, without “queer theory” individuals are “unable” to… “self-define their own sexual preferences, without having to conform to a specific identity.”?

      Really? This is a shocking new development.

      Seems to me that someone saying “i should be able to….” comes first. And you don’t need any “theory” to back up the claim, let alone creating a new “ism” or whatever. One can comes to these conclusions on their own, through rational observation (or otherwise) – just like with every other soft science “ism” in the world.

      I don’t think too much of “political theory” in general – let alone these fly by night pseudo intellectual – hipster “theories”. It’s soft science, with no way to prove or unprove anything – its a completely subjective field.

      Im definitely not threatened or angry – its just that Ive been hearing this (what i think is nonsense) all my life. Im from northampton massachusetts, the home of smith college (famous all girls school) with a large gay/lesbian population. And so, part of my frustration with sexuality based identity politics is that they create a huge umbrella that all gays/lesbians etc fall under. No class or social distinctions, just sexuality – this is a problem.

      Let’s take Northampton for example. It prides itself as being gay/lesbian mecca of sorts – but there’s a catch: you have to afford to live there. And so in the 90′s the liberals in northampton and elsewhere cheered on as more and more ‘lgbtq’ people moved to northampton, everyone thought it was a great. except the working class and poor people (some of whom you would think were gay) who had to move because the town became so expensive. Rachel maddow moved in, the walls went up, as it were.

      In Provincetown on the cape, there has basically been a ethnic cleansing of the Portuguese fishing communities that have been there for centuries. so, not only do i think the argument about “breaking down walls” by creating new ones in the form of political identities is fallacious, ive seen first hand the exact opposite in the practical application of sexually based political identity “movements” — The “movement” in this context is always “liberating” the most well off in the oppressed community – in my mind, wealthy gay folks don’t really need my support, but poor gay folks do. And with sexually based identity, you strip away the distinctions that exist within said “community” – it becomes a catch all, and it hurts the less well off.

      Sht man, I live in the south end of boston, same thing happened here – used to be Boston’s Harlem, then the white boys down town let it go to sht during the 80′s, and in the 90′s there was a large influx of gay men, now its the most “exclusive” neighborhood in boston. Where did the black folks and other minorities go? Who cares, right? And I think that is largely true of most “gay” neighborhoods in most cities, they are almost by definition exclusivist.

      But going by your account of “queer theory” it’s totally fine that wealthy gay men (for example) move in and eventually boot out racial and ethnic minorities, because according to queer theory, these rich gay guys are also part of a minority group that needs to experience “freedom.” This is pretty distasteful to me.

      Like I said, Im not big on “political theories” but whatever else is true about them, in order for them to be worth anything, they need to take into account economics and class. And I am deeply suspicious of “theories” that neglect to address economic and class issues when constructing the associated political identity. To me, it wreaks of opportunism – as in, “who wants to read my book about palestine?” — “who wants to read my Queer book about Palestine?”

      We don’t need anymore “(enter political identity here) for Palestine” groups – we need, all of us, to be humans that refuse to remain silent and passive in face of the violent attack on our shared humanity taking place in Palestine. All of the other shit, in my view, is sectarian.

      • Dan Crowther
        March 6, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Just want to make clear — i find these problems not just in sexually based identity politics, but in identity politics in general – also, i love provinctown.

      • Dan Crowther
        March 6, 2012, 5:19 pm

        you guys aren’t gonna block this comment, are you? im answering grabers question(s)

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2012, 5:48 pm

        “So, without “queer theory” individuals are “unable” to… “self-define their own sexual preferences, without having to conform to a specific identity.”?”

        Yes, that might very well be the case. That’s the way it goes, unfortunately. What seems effortless and natural (forming a sexual and gender identity) to one person might be an excruciating process, one which has driven more than one person to suicide, to another. What seems like pretentious and unecessary blather to one person might be tremendously liberating, a veritable revelation, to another.
        Dan, my friend, there is no such thing as safe sex.
        Me, I’m happy as long as nobody with a moustache tries to kiss me. My wife says its awful, and she always knows what I had for dinner. Ewww.

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2012, 8:55 pm

        I see my comment to Dan is not getting approved. Moderators, if you don’t like the part about the moustache, just lop it off. It’s not important.

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2012, 9:00 pm

        I might as well ad, Dan, that I found the process of developing a gender and sexual identity so confusing, so at odds with my own inclinations, that I gave the entire thing up as a bad job. Maybe some support (well, and some support hose) would have helped, even if it came in a package labeled “queer theory”.

      • RoHa
        March 6, 2012, 10:01 pm

        And now I desperately want to know what you said about the moustache.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2012, 2:20 pm

        “And now I desperately want to know what you said about the moustache.”

        They approved it, darn their hides! A person gets no protection from themselves around here.

        Anyway, my point is, it’s always easier to develop a sexual and gender identity if your sexual and gender identity happens to fall within accepted norms.
        If it doesn’t, you may need help, and support, even “queer theory” Different strokes, I believe, is the applicable adage.
        And I would be the last to disparage that. I know what happened to me.

      • Dan Crowther
        March 7, 2012, 3:03 pm

        hahahahaaaa!!! I hope you know I’m not trying to be close minded or disrespectful toward’s anyone’s sexual inclinations etc — I just bristle at the “as a (fill in identity here) I oppose Israeli injustice (or injustice anywhere).

        In any event, your points are well taken mooser my brother

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2012, 11:09 pm

        “In any event, your points are well taken mooser my brother”

        Thanks, Dan! And always remember, I love ewe, too.

      • eljay
        March 6, 2012, 6:03 pm

        >> Dan Crowther @ March 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

        Well said. And I agree.

      • dmoore
        March 6, 2012, 6:24 pm

        Dan:

        Thanks for critically engaging my remarks.

        Queer theory certainly has its limitations and problems, for sure. Other folk have written about this extensively…I have also offered my own critiques. But, let me say a bit about the way I am using queer in my remarks: I imagine queer to be a political praxis (a way of life rather than some form of political theory-though, it is that too). In other words, queer politics might lead one to refuse labels (even the label of “queer”). In many ways, it is a way to erase identity markers that turn us into differentiated communities and peoples as opposed to a human family, hence, my continual reference to the dismantling of “walls” (literal and metaphorical) in my remarks.

        Also, I gave these remarks to an audience of queer identified folk; therefore, my goal was to make the connection between the Palestinian quest for self-determination to queer struggle.

        And, you bring up a good point about the limitation of “political theories” when it comes to truly taking into account the material and real time affects of economics and class…I tend to agree…and others (particularly people of color) have critiqued queer theory because of this very issue. But, the problem is not so much located in the “theory”, or, rather, the political way of life…the problem has something to do with one’s choice to disconnect his/her politics from their way of life. One can say the same of any “progressive political struggle” – queer or otherwise – just because you/we are progressive does not mean that we maintain an analysis that is intersectional and committed to responding to oppressions in real time however they show up.

        For the record, I don’t have a book to offer…nor do I frequent Provincetown…my worldview is greatly shaped by what I see living and writing and doing activist work in Bedstuy or Newark or Camden-places that many “queer” folk tend to ignore in our struggles for equal rights. What I do see is the potential to radicalize movements that are separated by “walls” like class, race, sexuality, etc. In that way, I think you will find that we agree (more than we might disagree) regarding our need to “refuse to remain silent and passive in the face of the violent attack on our shared humanity taking place in Palestine” and Uganda and Syria and Detroit and wherever injustice shows its head.

      • Dan Crowther
        March 6, 2012, 6:57 pm

        darnell, brother — thanks for your reply, and yes, we certainly agree more than we disagree, even on this issue. As a fellow anarchist, I dig the approach your taking, sort of a “last identity you will ever need” if I understand you correctly.

        If queer means intropection and self analysis, along with a heightened sense of our collective humanity regardless of how others choose to identify themselves, shit man, I’m queer. I’m down.

        Now that we got that out of the way, let’s make some moves!!

        I didn’t mean to bash you about books and such — I was just kind of making a general point, sometimes I use the chainsaw when the scalpel is more appropriate, my bad.

        Again, cheers for the reply – keep up the good work(s)

        – D

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2012, 9:10 pm

        “Also, I gave these remarks to an audience of queer identified folk; therefore, my goal was to make the connection between the Palestinian quest for self-determination to queer struggle.”

        Well, isn’t that a coinky-dink! Why right now at Hasbara Central operators are standing by to help “queer identified folk” make the connection between the Jewish struggle for self-determination and the “queer struggle” We call it “pink-washing”.
        Funny how that works, isn’t it?

      • dmoore
        March 7, 2012, 5:40 pm

        Dan: I tend to use the chainsaw as well. But, do know that I honestly hear you and value your feedback. So, thanks again. Darnell

      • dmoore
        March 7, 2012, 5:45 pm

        Mooser:

        Queer does not necessarily mean LGBTQ identified. That’s one point. Another is: pinkwashing is not shorthand for talking to LGBTQ folk about the Israeli struggle for self-determination…it speaks to the privileging of LGBTQ rights discourses as a means to dismiss or “wash away” the human rights abuses and violations of international law by the state of Israel.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2012, 11:25 pm

        Thanks for responding dmoore. My description of “pinkwashing” may have been off, but when the furore scribendi is on me, accuracy is often sacrificed to keeping it crisp.

  5. dbroncos
    March 6, 2012, 10:09 pm

    hop:
    “I don’t loathe or fear Palestinians. But the Jews in Hebron need protection for a reason.”

    How many millions per year do American tax payers spend on “protection” for Jewsh settlers in Hebron? I’d love to see a per person $ amount.

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