Congratulations to Alexandra Ringling, a master’s student in Geography at the University of Missouri Columbia and the winner of the first Sexuality and Space Specialty Group Student Poster Competition for her poster, “Homonationalist Rhetoric in Israel: Neoliberal Sexual Politics in the Gay Tourism Industry.” The abstract is provided below.
Abstract: This poster explores Israel’s alignment with the LGBTQ movement in relation to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, focusing on the homonationalist rhetoric in its gay tourism industry. Gay tourism to the state has been used as a tool for justifying Israel’s confinement and regulation of Palestinians, making queer identity an involuntary geopolitical pawn of the state. The neoliberal commodification of sexuality allows Israel to perpetuate fixed, homonormative notions of same-sex attraction in the global economy. Focusing on
capitalism and the movement of people through the gay tourism industry centers the political alliance between Israel and the United States, where gay tourism propaganda is most pertinent. Such analysis provides a theoretical framework to understand how Israel has co-opted identity-based rights to replace social justice as a measure for a democratic,