In this article, Mizrahi (Jews of Arab descent) and trans legal claims will serve to expose the law as a tactic of stability. These experiences, positioned at the in-between of stable legal categories, embody the “other” of law, the affective ideologies that the law refuses. If transgender as an identity category emerged from the violent process of separating homosexuality and transsexuality to constitute gayness as normative, Mizrahi emerged from pitting the Jew and the Arab against each other to constitute the “new Jew,” a coherent member of a normative (whitened) nation. Yet the Arab and the Jew, the trans and the homo, are not separate spheres of being but constitute one another, exposing the excesses of gender/sex and race/ethnicity. The Mizrahi and the trans experience cannot escape the desire for normalization or the trauma of otherness, whose materialization into rights and property they critique. Still, the realities of in-betweenness hold the possibility of exceeding coherence, in a state of constant transition between mutually exclusive categories of being. Both positions serve as an affective intervention if they are considered as transitional spaces where one can dare to question the stability of reality and accept its shifting compromise formulation.
By Ido Katri, 2019