Book Launch: A Queer Way Out: The Politics of Queer Emigration from Israel

Key information

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Russell Square: College Buildings
Khalili Lecture Theatre

About this event

Hila Amit

The very language of Zionism prizes the concept of immigration to Israel (aliyah, literally ascending) while stigmatizing emigration from Israel (yerida, descending). In A Queer Way Out, Hila Amit explores the as-yet-untold story of queer Israeli emigrants. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Berlin, London, and New York, she examines motivations for departure and feelings of unbelonging to the Israeli national collective. Amit shows that sexual orientation and left-wing political affiliation play significant roles in decisions to leave. Queer Israeli emigrants question national and heterosexual norms such as army service, monogamy, and reproduction. Amit argues that emigration itself is not only a political act, but one that pioneers a deliberately unheroic form of resistance to Zionist ideology. This fascinating study enriches our understandings of migration, political activism, and queer forms of living in Israel and beyond.


Hila Amit (b. 1985, Tel-Aviv) is a freelance researcher, Hebrew teacher and author. She is the founder of the International Hebrew School. She holds a PhD in Gender Studies from SOAS, University of London, and a Master’s in Gender Studies from the University of Tel-Aviv. Her first fiction book, Moving On from Bliss (Tel-Aviv: Am Oved, 2016), was awarded the Israeli Ministry of Culture Prize for Debut Authors. Her academic work stems from the intersection of Queer Theory, Migration and Diaspora Studies, Postcolonial Thought and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her research focuses on political activism, queer kinship, national belonging, and diasporic communities.