In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

4 A Traumatic Professorial Education: Anti-Zionism and Homophobia in a Serial Campus Hate Crime Corinne E. Blackmer As Israel defended itself from Hamas rocket fire, Corinne Blackmer, an openly lesbian, observantly Jewish Zionist, was targeted by hate crimes on her campus: her office door was defaced with antiqueer, antisemitic, and anti-Israel slogans; her voicemail was filled with threatening messages; and a swastika was carved into her car. Police, university authorities, and colleagues were quick to see the homophobic dimensions of the attacks but oblivious to the fact that she was also targeted for her Zionism. This episode demonstrates the selectivity of moral outrage: some of the very people who vigorously condemn bigotry against gays just as vigorously commit bigotry against Israelis and Jews. Blackmer subsequently chose to teach a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and describes the pedagogical challenges of dealing with a rabidly anti-Israel student seeking to dominate the discussion. The student lodged a discrimination complaint against her after she required that he document an anti-Israel class paper with actual evidence. Blackmer ends with an analysis of the odd turn of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer (LGBTQ) movement against Israel and a scathing critique of the absurd “pinkwashing” charge levied by anti-Israel LGBTQ activists. I. Anti-Zionist and Homophobic Hate Crimes In March 2008, as Israel responded to Hamas and other terrorist groups firing Grad rockets onto Israeli citizens all over southern Israel, I became the target of a series of hate crimes on my campus. I found it next to impossible not to draw a link between these events, although in some ways they were far apart. I am an out lesbian, an observant Jewish woman, and a Zionist. Proud of all these, my office door was covered with materials proclaiming my identities and convictions. I also teach courses in LGBTQ and Judaic studies. While my upper division courses are at times controversial, I always regarded this as to be expected in the course of things. The classes did not touch on disputes over Israel and Palestine but, rather, explored relations between Jewish and Christian identities in the context of the Hebrew Bible and contested meanings of sexuality 76 | Corinne E. Blackmer difference. Further, my colleagues and my administration were enthusiastically supportive of my multicultural endeavors. Therefore, I had nothing to prepare me when, one morning, a colleague approached and showed me that materials on my office door had been defaced— torn and scrawled over with profane, hateful language that was anti-LGBTQ, antisemitic, and anti-Zionist. Among the defaced things was the front page of the New Haven Register dated November 12, 2007, featuring a jubilant Jewish lesbian couple on the day that same-sex marriages became legal in Connecticut; a map of Israel; a photograph of myself holding flowers and wearing a kippa with my wife, Pilar; a picture of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem; the Israeli and LGBTQ rainbow flags; a newspaper reprint of Iranian men being hung and Saudi Arabian men being flogged for being gay; and a photograph of a friend on the beach in Tel Aviv wearing a T-shirt proclaiming “Proud to be a Jewish Queer.” The defacements were, in their fashion, meticulous, as each item had received its particular message , while the map of Israel was shredded into pieces without further comment. I also saw that I had received several telephone calls on the office line—among them three that contained implicit and explicit threats against both me and my wife. One consisted of a loud hammer banging down methodically, punctuated by a muffled voice intoning, “Pervert Zionist! Pervert Zionist!” I saved the messages and called the campus police. I thought about how Israeli military operations, no matter how justified by Hamas’s invidious acts of aggression, made me anxiously anticipate the inevitable stream of anti-Zionist protests; Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) advocacy; biased pronouncements from the United Nations; anti-Israel social media campaigns; and wallto -wall coverage out of proportion to that afforded analogous conflicts across the world. When the officer finally arrived, she took my statement and one scrawledover photograph as evidence and asked me if I knew anyone who might have done this to me. I said I could readily imagine the kind of person who could do this to me and explained my identities and affiliations, but I could not name a specific person. I did not have any concrete enemies as far as I knew. The officer...


Additional Information

MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.