At the heart of Saʾed Atshan’s book Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique is the question of how the queer Palestinian solidarity movement that had garnered so much transnational support early in the 2000s ultimately lost momentum and plateaued around 2012. Animated by this inquiry, the study investigates the movement from 2001 to 2018 through ethnography, autoethnography, and interviews. Atshan ultimately attributes much of this loss of momentum to a faction in the movement that he terms “radical purists.” Radical purists, he argues, had several effects on the movement. The most visible transformation radical purism produced was shifting political focus from an intersectional understanding of the fights against homophobia and Zionism as intertwined matters to simply prioritizing anti-imperialism over the struggle against heteronormativity.

In Palestine/Israel “Palestinian homophobia” has been evoked by the Israeli government to position Palestinians...

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