Touching IDF Facebook photo doesn't tell complete story

Mon. June 11, 2012 10:45 PM by News Staff

Gay and lesbian IDF soldiers report widespread sexual harrassment

Tel Aviv, Israel - A popular photo the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) posted on its official Facebook page showing two soldiers strolling hand in hand in Tel Aviv isn't necessarily telling the entire story.

"It's Pride Month. Did you know that the IDF treats all of its soldiers equally? Let's see how many shares you can get for this photo," the caption read. More than 5,000 people have "liked" the photo.

Despite the military's liberal polices, more than 40 percent of gay and lesbian soldiers in the IDF say they were sexually harassed during their time in the military. That according to a study by the Israel Gay Youth organization, based on a sampling of 364 gay and lesbian soldiers.

And although Israel was one of the first countries to abolish restrictions on openly gay soldiers, 45 percent of respondents said homophobic remarks are very frequent.