Diva Interventions: Dana International and Israeli Gender Culture

  • Amalia Ziv


Dana International, the Israeli transsexual pop Diva who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998, has made a profound impact on Israeli gender culture through her performative, textual and political interventions. This chapter examines this impact from a number of perspectives: Dana’s substitution of a glamorous image of transsexuality for the older abject representations; the contestation of the medical paradigm of transsexuality implicit in her affirmation of a transsexual identity and continuing affiliation with the gay community; her subversion of the Zionist gender project of reforming Jewish masculinity; and her rejection of the clear-cut distinction between gay men and transsexuals (hence, between gender identity and sexual identity) that underpins contemporary gay identity.


Israel Defense Force LGBT Community Drag Queen Jewish Male Masculine Pronoun 
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© Thomas Peele 2011

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  • Amalia Ziv

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