June 23, 2003

New Book On Gays In Israeli Military Has Become A Bestseller

Study Examines War on Terror Through Eyes of Gay Israeli Soldiers

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL,  – The new book “Brothers and Others in Arms” by Israeli scholar Danny Kaplan has become a bestseller in LGBT bookstores, including the #1 non-fiction bestseller at In a Different Light San Francisco, according to events coordinator Jerry Blume, and the #4 bestseller among men’s titles at Lambda Rising, Washington, DC.

The book, published by Haworth Press, explores homoeroticism in the Israeli military and is the first Israeli book to become a bestseller among gay readers in America. According to Geoffrey Bateman, Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at UC Santa Barbara, “We have known for some time that Israel’s inclusion of gay and lesbian soldiers has not influenced the military’s performance. This compelling and informative study tells the human side of the story for the first time.”

The book examines the war on terror in the Middle East through the eyes of gay Israeli soldiers. Israeli gay and bisexual men talk about life and death situations in the Israeli military while fighting against Hizballah as well as confronting Palestinian civilians. At the same time, they explain in a touching manner how they have come to terms with their own sexual identities.

Kaplan, a cultural psychologist specializing in military culture and masculinity, analyses the cultural and sexual underpinnings of the Israel Defense Forces, and how brothers in arms become brothers in bed. Various chapters in “Brothers and Others in Arms” address how sexuality reinforces the thrill of combat and the sexual demonization of the enemy; how military culture is based on non-homosexual homoeroticism; and how the Israeli case may be relevant to American military policies. Kaplan has taught courses on sexuality, Israeli culture and qualitative research methods at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.


“…makes a significant contribution both to the ongoing debate about gays in the military and to the wider and equally important project of understanding the complex relationships of homosociality, homosexuality, and military culture. Kaplan’s skill as an interviewer and his mastery of the research evidence allow us to appreciate the realities of life in the military”
– Larry Gross, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania

“Engaging, candid, sophisticated shines a fresh light on Israel culture and offers an important yet balanced critique of the Israeli military-and of the deep and disturbing merging of militarism, sexuality and masculinity.”
– Joshua Gamson, Department of Sociology, University of San Francisco

“…brave and sensitive; gets under the skin of military masculinity, to reveal an erotic ferocity only barely concealed. By exploring the experiences of gay and bisexual men in the military, the author at once shows how gay men are not very different from straight men and how the entire military edifice is designed to make them feel different anyway. This is a path-breaking study!”
– Michael Kimmel, editor Men and Masculinities

“…explores in a rich way, one of the most interesting aspects of Israeli society, the intersection between ‘manliness’ and queer love in Israeli army units.”
– Daniel Boyarin, Department of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley

Please contact Shelly Jones: Jones@haworthpress.com.

Please visit your local bookstore or Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com.