Between Sodom and Eden
Astonishingly, Israeli lesbians and gays have been able to achieve many political goals that still elude America's gay community. Israel's Supreme Court has mandated same-sex spousal benefits; the military, which never barred gays to begin with, has removed its last official restrictions; Israel's parliament boasts a Subcommittee for the Prevention of Sexual Orientation Discrimination; and school curricula are gay-friendly all of this in a country where religious interests wield extraordinary power and whose identity today is the object of fierce struggle.
Between Sodom and Eden, the first book to explore this rapidly changing landscape, is based on interviews with over one hundred Israelis, as well as Palestinians. Lee Walzer explores how, within a decade, Israel has evolved from a society that marginalized homosexuals to one that offers some of the most extensive legal protections in the world. He traces the political, religious, and social factors that make Israel a gay rights trendsetter, examining the interplay between Judaism and homosexuality, the growing prominence of gay themes in Israeli literature, film, music, and television, and the role of the media in advancing lesbian and gay political progress.