Shalom Life | April 24, 2014

IDF Embraces Pride Month on Facebook

Photo of gay troops posted on military's international Facebook page in show of support of gay, lesbian community, garners thousands of 'shares,' 'likes'

By: Itamar Eichner

Published: June 12th, 2012 in News » Israel

IDF Embraces Pride Month on Facebook

Be proud – in uniform: A recent photo posted on the Israeli military's international Facebook page is causing a positive cyber-stir, as it aims to express the army's support for gay soldiers, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.

The photo, which depicts an Artillery soldier and a Givati soldier holding hands, carries the caption: "It's Pride Month. Did you know that the IDF treats all of its soldiers equally?"

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the photo was taken as part of Israel's gay and lesbian community's Pride Month events, with the full cooperation of the featured couple.

The Foreign Ministry, as well as Israeli missions worldwide, has been known to use the IDF's acceptance of gay soldiers into its ranks as a symbol for Israel's progressive nature; but this is the first time the military has publically embraced the gay community on one of its social media platforms.

The message, according to the report, is clear: The IDF is a progressive, liberal army that does not discriminate against gay and lesbian soldiers in any way.

The IDF's Facebook initiative struck a chord: Within hours of posting the photo online, it garnered 4,621 "Shares" and over 6,500 "Likes," as well as hundreds of supportive comments.

The Foreign Ministry welcomed the initiative, saying that the massive response was "heartwarming."

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit added that as far as they know, "No other military in the world has taken such an initiative."

This article is reprinted with permission from Ynet.

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