“The Pride Revolution”

Homonationalist Remembering in an Israeli Documentary

  • Roey J. Gafter
  • Tommaso M. Milani
Keywords: homonationalism, scale, collective remebering, temporality, militarism


Israel has recently undertaken a branding strategy that has created a problematic image of the country as an LGBTQ haven in a supposedly sexually retrograde Middle East. Interestingly, while there is a large body of critical scholarship investigating the workings of Israeli homonationalism outwards, as a form of soft diplomacy, wooing international constituencies, the question of how homonationalism is discursively produced and circulated inwards for Israeli audiences has remained relatively unexplored. In order to gain a glimpse of homonationalism within Israel, we analyze the documentary hamahapexa hagea (“which was broadcast in Hebrew by the Israeli public broadcasting corporation on May 2020. With the help of the notions of collective remembering, scale and affect, we demonstrate how the remembering of the Israeli LGBTQ movement and its affective loading, pride, is characterized by specific spatio-temporal discursive moves that position Israel as an exceptional context. On a national scale, Middle-Easternness is highlighted as a key feature of Israel’s exceptional character, enabling Israel to “come out” as simultaneously pro-gay and Mizrahi (lit. “Oriental”). On a global scale, the more traditional and Middle Eastern traits of Israel are downplayed, with a view to portraying Israel as a positive exception of LGBTQ progress compared to the West. Interestingly, the military is made to play a key role in the construction of Israeli exceptionalism with regard to LGBTQ rights, and grief and trauma for fallen soldiers is presented as the emotional litmus test for acceptance of non-normative sexualities in Israel.


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How to Cite
Gafter, R. J., & Milani, T. M. (2023). “The Pride Revolution”: Homonationalist Remembering in an Israeli Documentary. Lambda Nordica, 28(2-3), 54-81. https://doi.org/10.34041/ln.v28.896