Check out this interesting article today from the NY Time about Hillary Clinton's emerging role in the push for Palestinian statehood. While the original subject is fascinating, there's one point that can be expanded to also reference the LGBT movement and ties in with Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz's earlier post about movement building.
Referencing Clinton's history of supporting Israel, the article tells how she recently said the US is "deeply disappointed" by "counterproductive" plans by Israelis to build houses in East Jerusalem - a stark contrast to her position in 1999. (emphasis mine)
"A bit of an epiphany," in the words of one aide, came in March 2009 on the road to Ramallah... "Everyone got quite silent and as we approached Ramallah there were these troops in berets. They were so professional, we thought at first they were Israel Defense Forces. But, no, they were Palestinians, this completely professional outfit, and it was clear this was something new."
That "something" is fundamental: the transition from a self-pitying, self-dramatizing Palestinian psyche, with all the cloying accoutrements of victimhood, to a self-affirming culture of pragmatism and institution-building. The shift is incomplete. But it has won Clinton over. And it's powerful enough to pose a whole new set of challenges to Israel: Palestine is serious now.
When will queers learn the same lesson and move from being a self-pitying, self-dramatizing group to a culture of institution building? When do we become professionals instead of knee-jerk reactionaries? Where is our institution and how do we build one?