IDF soldier 521.
(photo credit: IDF)
Half of the homosexual soldiers who serve in the IDF claim that they suffer from
violence and homophobia, according to a survey released on Monday by the Israeli
Gay Youth movement.
The survey was conducted among soldiers who are known
members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community as well
as youth who are undergoing the induction process.
The survey found that
LGBT soldiers were often victims of verbal and physical violence and that the
phenomenon was, for the most part, ignored by commanders.
The IDF does
not question candidates for military service about their sexual orientation and
soldiers who identify themselves as gay are drafted.
According to the
survey, 40 percent of the soldiers were verbally abused due to their sexual
orientation and 20% claimed to have been physically or sexually
“The IDF is known as one of the more enlightened militaries in
the world which allows male and female soldiers who are not heterosexual to
serve in its ranks,” the Israeli Gay Youth movement said in a
“At the same time, the military needs to review the claims by
these soldiers in order to better understand the climate in which they serve and
how it affects their service.”
The survey also found that 49% of soldiers
who hear homophobic comments in military bases ignore them and do not respond.
Another 37% participate and join in making fun of the homosexual soldier; 13%
reprimand the soldiers who are making fun of the homosexual soldier.
Israeli Gay Youth movement noted that this was an improvement since the last
survey conducted in 2006, when 62% of the soldiers were found to participate in
making fun of homosexual soldiers.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in a
statement: “The survey was not conducted by the military and therefore we cannot
comment on the findings.
Every claim that has to do with abuse that will
be received in the IDF will be dealt with accordingly. The IDF enlists into its
ranks all candidates eligible for service without connection to their sexual