Gay German Jews and the Arrival of ‘Homosexuality’ to Mandatory Palestine

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Gay German Jews and the Arrival of ‘Homosexuality’to Mandatory PalestineYuval YonayThisarticleexaminesthecontributionofgayimmigrantswhocametoMandatoryPales-tine from Germany to the emergence of the gay community in the Yishuv, the Jew-ish community in Palestine prior to independence in 1948. The article is divided intoseven sections. The first briefly reviews the new discourse about sexual orientation thatemerged in Central and Western Europe at the end of the 19thcentury and the be-ginning of the 20th. The next section deals with references to male same-sex sex inreligious, legal, newspaper, and literary texts in Mandatory Palestine, distinguishingbetween discourse on same-sex behavior and discourse on same-sex orientation, thatis, homosexuality. Section 3 presents the oral history project from which I took the twomain stories that serve as the basis for my analysis here. These two stories are narratedat length in the following two sections,leading to Section 6,in which I recap the signifi-cance of the gay immigrants from Germany for the development of a gay community inMandatory Palestine. Based on my analysis of post-Independence newspapers, I pro-pose that the attitudes toward sexual orientation that some German Jews brought withthem to Palestine did not penetrate the Jewish mainstream until much later. Israeli so-ciety only became cognizant of, and more receptive to, these attitudes during the 1950sand 1960s, in the wake of post-war changes in Western societies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQueer Jewish Lives Between Central Europe and Mandatory Palestine
Subtitle of host publicationBiographies and Geographies
EditorsAndreas Kraß, Moshe Sluhovsky, Yuval Yonay
Place of PublicationBielefeld
PublisherTranscript Verlag
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9783839453322
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameHistorische Geschlechterforschung
PublisherTranscript Verlag


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