A female soldier has mud applied to her face for camouflage in this photo from an IDF Instructors course in 2006..
(photo credit: IDF FLICKR)
More than 200 people are expected at Tel Aviv’s Beit Hachayal on Thursday night for the launch of “Israeli Pride Times Two,” which aims to double the number of female and LGBT combat soldiers in the IDF.
The project, headed by Omer Nahmany, aims to promote and assist female and LGBT recruits toward meaningful experiences before, during and after their service.
“The IDF is one of the most progressive armies in the world,” Nahmany told The Jerusalem Post
, but “there are those who try to push us out,” he said, referring to extreme right-wing organizations and rabbis who have made disparaging comments against LGBT or female soldiers.
“I decided to try to fight this phenomenon and joined forces with friends of mine who are women and LGBT soldiers in the army. We decided instead of just reacting, we would be more proactive and try to bring more LGBT and female combat soldiers in the army,” he said. “We want to maintain the IDF as a meeting point for Israeli society.”
MKs Stav Shaffir (Zionist Union), Yael German (Yesh Atid), Sharren Haskel (Likud) and Merav Ben-Ari (Kulanu) will speak at the event, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
Following the launch of the project, Nahmany said the upcoming months will see the creation of pre-military preparatory courses to empower and provide guidance and tools for women and LGBT community members interested in combat service.
The project will also have mentoring by former female or gay combat soldiers to groups of LGBT and female soldiers throughout their service and sponsor a conference honoring those from the LGBT community who serve in the security forces.