Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Israel’s Military Acceptance of Homosexuals
Israeli soldiers ready for combat waving an Israeli flag.


Israeli solider holding a rainbow flag
 Author Donna Rosenthal captures the attitudes on gays in the army in her chapter Oy! Gay? “ the army is showing it to soldiers now because it’s the army of the people, everybody has to go  we don’t care if you’re gay.” Israel has one of the world’s most active military. Israel Defense Forces drafts both men and women at the age of eighteen.  Israel is one of the only country’s in the world that maintains obligatory military service for women. Although there is general exemption from compulsory service to various segments of the population and women usually take advantage of these exemption. IDF asks men to serve a three years and women twenty- one months.
            It wasn’t until 1983 that IDF permitted homosexuals to serve. Nevertheless the discrimination still occurred and many soldiers were banned from intelligence and top-secret positions until 1993 when the Knesset removes such restrictions against gays became illegal. The Knesset decision would open the homosexual issue in the army allowing many to serve and feel free to express themselves. Many in the IDF feel “ It’s a non-issue.” As see in the video Yermi Brenner article being open about homosexuality is still an issue for the individual. The military institution can be very accepting of homosexuality, but tension among soldiers still exist. As Tomar Azaria shares his experience which was positive, he does state it depends on your unit and there level of acceptance of the issue. The machismo way of thinking is very much part of society still today, and homosexuality contradicts that.
            Tel Aviv is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, but outside of the Liberal metropolis most Israelis are conservative concerning homosexuality. The Israeli military acceptance of homosexuals has open society to this issue. Nevertheless religious Jew, Arabs and Muslims still look down on homosexuality and many men live in the closet. The openness of the Israeli military towards homosexuality is used today to reflect on the “ don’t ask don’t tell” policy in the U.S.  Several articles I came across talk about the well adjusted military has been in regards to this issue. In an article  In Israeli Army Gay is no Big Deal  the author criticizes the U.S policy calling it ridiculous.
The sources I used were relatively pro gay rights in the army. In two of my sources which are article they set the Israeli army example not just to profess their pro gay rights but also use it as an example to advocate for the U.S to adapt to the same mind frame in regards to homosexuals in the army. I really liked the article by Yermi Brenner his video accounts add credibility to his article.  The third source was a website that contained the structure and facts about the Israeli army.
gay right rally Israeli and Rainbow flags being waved.


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