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Israeli Military Celebrates Gay Pride With Cutie-Patootie Photo

OMG! It’s adoooooorbs! Yesterday, the Israel Defense Forces posted a photo on their Facebook timeline of two male soldiers holding hands. The caption challenged: “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.”

As of 4:17pm Eastern Standard Time, the delightfully casual pic of one man chatting on his cell phone while the other totes a big, scary machine gun got 6,908 shares, 9,010 likes, and 1,284 comments, and majorly counting. Interestingly, the comments are divided between naysayers and supporters.

Israel has allowed openly gay soldiers to serve since 1993, with the passage of an anti-discrimination law. Ironically, that’s the same year “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” passed in the United States.

The Times of Israel reports that the photo is staged. The men are not a couple, and one of them is straight.

Before anyone cries “Foul!”, this is actually better. A gay man and a straight man holding hands couldn’t be a more comforting sign of acceptance, friendship, alliance and unity between gay and straight soldiers. The army isn’t about finding romance. It’s not about gay soldiers hooking up. It’s about fighting for your citizens while standing by your fellow countryman, regardless of his or her sexual orientation. Gay and straight holding hands together in joint cause is the greatest symbol of equality we can think of. We’d love to see a similar gesture from two American soldiers, wouldn’t you?

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  • Schlukitz


  • Adam

    Ugh I keep forgetting to move to Israel

  • Hyhybt

    @Schlukitz: You’re still around!

  • Richard Ford

    OK, so what if one of the soldiers is straight and the other is gay? Or what if one is bi and the other is gay, or one is gay and the other is gay, or what if one if bi and the other is bi, or what if they’re both straight? What if the picture IS photoshopped, or whatever, so what?
    The point is, if guys feel a special affection for each other and they feel like expressing it physically and publicly, by holding hands, that’s fulfilling for them and the prudes be damned. Whatever kind of sexual interaction they may or may not have is their own business, just as it is between opposite-sex couples.
    So many unfortunate souls would rather see images and representations of no emotion at all–or even of hate–than they would of love.

  • Charley

    Don’t think you’ll see this picture on the Palestinian defense force web site. Or any other Arab country for that matter.

  • W

    Awesome pic

  • Matt

    I agree with Richard Ford. Then again I’m sure Schlukitz will chime in with his biphobia, bisexual erasure, and bigotry towards bisexual men as usual. ;)

  • Jay

    These are the same soldiers who kill Palestinian civilians, women, and children.

  • Schlukitz

    Matt in comment no. 7 has just identified himself as one of my detractors who never misses an opportunity to smear me with his unsubstantiated claim that “I am sure that Schlukitz will chime in with his biphobia, bisexual erasure, and bigotry towards bisexual men as usual.”

    Matt has no empirical proof of his charges, but that does not stop him from making up lies and attacking me for no good reason, which in itself, should be a violation of Queerty’s Comments Policy, if it isn’t already so.

  • Ish

    Schlukitz-please! You’re biphobic, bigoted, and everyone here on queerty and another blog knows this about you! Gay men like YOU are no better than Rick Santorum, the Bachmanns, and Rev. Fred Phelps.

  • Schlukitz

    I sincerely hope that the editors of Queerty are taking note of the personal attacks that are being made against me and for which no substantiation or empirical proof has been provided. Ish in comment number 7, is another of my detractors who never misses an opportunity to lie about me and make personal attacks and practice character assassination on those that they do not like.

    My question to Queerty is, why are some commentators like Mark and Ish, who sound more like the type of people one would encounter at WND, allowed to attack commentators and hurl invectives on this blog with impunity, which is a clear violation of Queerty’s TOS, while the victims comments get moderated for trying to defend themselves?

  • Jack

    @Jay: Do you post the same things about U.S. soldiers? Let’s not forget that Palestinian terrorists make their weapons under family homes so that they can claim Israeli soldiers killed civilians, conveniently forgetting to mention that there was no way to stop the weapons making without killing civilians. You are easily fooled by the same people who would kill you if they had the chance.

  • Jose

    I agree with Jay. I can’t get excited about this when I know about the Israeli war crimes against civilians of Palestine.

  • brick manson

    Queers aginst Iraeli Aparthied need to shut up! Israel has always been pro gay…they get what it’s like to be hated for being different!!..

  • Sansacro


    and all Germans kill Jews, and all Arabs kill Gays, and all Christians are against gay marriage. Life is so easy this way. Yawn!

  • Aussie Col

    This story is about acceptance and not about war. I love this picture, I love the IDF’s stance on it. Interesting story about the photo’s origin. I can assure you that no straight man in the Australian Forces would allow a picture to be taken holding the hands of another man in that way, let alone a gay man.

    I surely do not understand the attacking of Schlukitz in these comments. And it detracts from the story. The only thing wrong I see is the enthusiastic attacking of him/her.

    And Israeli Soldiers do kill Palestinians, as US Soldiers have killed Vietnamese, as Australian Soldiers have killed Japanese, As Palestinian Soldiers do kill Israeli Soldiers…an on and on…Soldiers kill, that’s what they are trained to do. Again nothing to do with this story.

  • JayKay

    And cue the parade of quislings, lining up to tear down the only country in the region that isn’t an anti-gay shit hole.

  • vomit

    Queerty is totally down with ethnic cleansing when its done by gay or gay friendly armies! When that’s the case, its cutie-patootie!!!

  • Hyhybt

    @vomit: I believe the archives are accessible; how about quoting where Queerty says that?

  • R.A.

    What part of “free of any agenda except that gay one” don’t you get?

  • mk ultra

    And if Saudi Arabia faked such a photo?
    Would you be bending over backwards to justify it as “a comforting sign of acceptance, friendship, alliance, and unity”?
    Or would you call it propaganda?

  • Triple S

    As @Aussie Col said, us Australians just never would do it, even if they’re around my age (17), regardless or what combination of sexualities the two people may be. At the very least, even if this is staged and fake, what would Israel gain out if this? It’s already the ally of the US and other places in the Western World.
    What’s with all the doubt and naysayers?

    We can sit here ALL DAY and ramble on about what MIGHT happen, and what MAY be the actual case, in other words, bitch about the infinite hypotheticals that can be associated with this picture, or we can hope that this is indeed a genuine symbol of acceptance.

    Just lighten the fuck up. The world is not as hopelessly void of anything good, you know.

  • Schlukitz

    @Triple S:


  • Aussie Col

    @Triple S: I was supporting the picture, but using that example and then I pointed out that the post was not about war, or about bullying Schlukitz. *Confused*

    Enjoy your life. Take up reading.

  • Aussie Col

    @Schlukitz: I was supporting you because they were being treated unfairly. Won’t make that mistake again. Thanks for showing your true colors….sorry to the others, you were obviously right.

    Is this a site for the disturbed? Or is it a comedy blog, cause it makes me laugh.

  • Lefty

    What a beautiful image about love.
    The big gun is a nice touch, isn’t it?

  • ousslander

    @mk ultra: I would call it propaganda if it came from a country that jails and executes gays not one that offers equality

  • Lefty

    What a beautiful image about Pride.
    The fact neither of them is showing their faces is a nice touch, isn’t it?

  • Schlukitz

    @Aussie Col:

    No one was attacking you and I apologize if you felt that I was doing so.

    And I was in total agreement with you and the fact that Triple S quoted you.

    I was also in agreement with Triple S that the world is not hopelessly void of anything good.

    In the many years that I have been reading and posting on Queerty, I have learned not to take sides on any issues because of the polarization that seems to always follow by doing so. I make every attempt possible to get along with those who come to this site and I appreciate the fact that you supported me. I came online today with the intent of expressing that appreciation to you, but your post preceded mine.

  • FelixWood


    Unfortunately Israel is in the grip of right-wing extremists and is a dreadful place to live at the moment.

    When the population are sensible enough to vote Likud out and Labour in, then perhaps things might improve.

  • Ish

    Schlukitz now you’re just lying and anyone can do a simple search and see here on queerty or on a well known blog that we both post at, that you’re biphobic, bigoted, and that you hate bisexual men. ;) This makes you no better than the Bachmanns, Rick Santorum, and even Rev. Fred Phelps however it’s worse since you’re an LGBT person.

  • DrewSF

    Brick Manson-That is not true at all. Israel has not always been pro LGBT. Many LGBT people have visited there and have encountered a lot of homophobia there from Israeli citizens.

    Let’s also not forget how many Jews even reform ones, and especially conservative, Hasidim, and Orthodox Jews are more homophobic than Moslems and Christians are.

  • Lance

    LOL thanks for posting that link Charlie. It’s clearly staged and I agree that it’s difficult to find excitement in Israelis who are all for treating Palestinians sub-human and think nothing of killing Palestinian civilians, or against the apartheid of Palestinians.

  • Spike

    Ah how sweet, even gay terrorists can fall in love.

  • Hyhybt

    @DrewSF: Why do you spell it “Moslem,” and where do you get the idea that even Reform Jews are more homophobic?

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, having no personal knowledge. But since what you say contradicts what I’ve read everywhere else, more information (especially including where that information comes from) might be illuminating.

  • Nicko

    Another in a long line of ‘pink washing’ for the IDF/Israeli Government – discounting their continued human rights abuses against Palestinians by promoting Israel’s acceptance of gays; but, I’m sure that it will garner enough ill-informed likes on Facebook to achieve what the IDF wanted.

  • Nicko

    @Aussie Col, if you are looking for an Australian example of a related image, check out the Australian Defence Forces (ADF)/Defence Families Australia book “Voices : stories of Defence Families (Canberra : Defence Families of Australia, 2011), which includes photographs (*showing faces*) of a male couple and their twins born through surrogacy.

  • UsualPlayer

    Photo is fake. Contrast this to real photos in U.S. and UK of gays in the military.

  • Patrick

    @Hyhybt: Reform Jews are very Liberal so are Conservative Jews

  • Patrick

    @Nicko: ‘Pinkwashing’ tell me more when the United States does the same when ‘spreading the seeds of freedom’or when Canada does the same on a peacekeeping mission

  • Patrick

    @Spike: What?

  • Patrick

    @Charlie: it called PR and every country does the same

  • Patrick

    @DrewSF: and there is a lot of Homophobia here in the United States what is your point?

  • Charles The Great

    @Aussie Col: I have too been in the Army and yes I seen things and had to kill people it apart of the job. I know most people who have never been in a Military or what is about usually do not have a clue what they are taking about anyway

  • UsualPlayers

    Again the Israeli fanatics here will pretend not to get the point: The point is that we can link to several REAL photos of gays in the military while Israel apparently could not find one real one.


    You claim they are so open to gay rights there. Well, actually, you don’t. You say its not as bad as Palestine, etc. Let’s concede your point. That the Middle East is bad for gays. That doesn’t explain why Israel is great for us.

    This all would have been great even 2 years ago before DADT repeal in the U.S., and the pictures of gay soldiers (real ones turned towards the camera, not hiding it) have been plastered online.

    The problem ultimately for Israel is that they are claiming not to be pinkwashing, and yet their choices inevitably suggest they are.

    I am not interested in being used as a prop however much the Israel supporters here are okay with that.

    The fact is that it shouldn’t have been that hard to show a gay couple with their face turned towards the camera if the Israeli military is so comfortable with gays. I have seen pics not just from the U.S., but also Canada, the UK and the list goes on.

    This by comparison to other countries that are open to gays seems pathetic. Your defense of it is not helped by changing the subject to the Muslims. In fact, it makes you transparent. No one is saying Muslim countries are great on gay rights. But, is that supposed to be the standard Israel wants to take on this issue? The lowest common denominator rather than those countries that have surpassed it?

  • Charles The Great

    @DrewSF: Yes! I can agree but it is not that way anymore and just because some Israelis are Homophobic but the state do enforce LGBT rights in Israel if Anti Israel activists hate that. USA has failed still to extend LGBT rights to all Americans do to many Homophobic Christians stopping any advancement from passing into law

  • Charles The Great

    @UsualPlayers: Israel has more advance LGBT rights then in the United States but it really nice to see LGBT Anti Israel fanatics doing the work of the homophobic overloads in the Anti Israel Movement. Also how is it a policy? I wonder why many Anti Israel fanatics go to Northern Cyprus and LGBT Anti Israel fanatics go there too on fake’aid ‘missions to Gaza when Northern Cyprus government throws LGBTS for even having sex?

    Really Pinkwashing then why can’t something like this happen in Gaza?


  • Charles The Great

    @UsualPlayers: why can’t Anti Israel fanatics demand the elected offical of the Palestine to extend equal rights to LGBTs in the West Bank and Gaza? Why not demand the Hamas government and the Palestinian National Authority to extend equal rights to LGBTs. Also why do Palestinian have to operate inside Israel and not the West Bank and Gaza?

  • Hyhybt

    @Patrick: I know it; that’s why I’m asking what grounds he has to claim they’re “even more homophobic” than other groups.

  • UsualPlayers

    You never bother to explain why a country that is ” more advance[d]” on ” LGBT rights then in the United States” can’t find gay soldiers willing to show their faces rather than manufacturing a fake PR campaign to prove its progressive creds.

    I could careless what happens in Palestine or the Middle East or what happens between Israel and other Middle Eastern countries.

    I do, however, care when a country that’s not yet great on gay rights is pretending it is. There are more ways to be anti-gay than in the laws. One thing the photo makes me re-consider are the statements that I have seen that have said that while there are no laws on the books, Israel is still virulently homophobic except for some liberal enclaves. I thought it may be an exaggeration, and that the pinkwashing may be unfair, but whoever approved this photo, and the subsequent online campaign by Israeli fantatics are making me re-think that. I guess you think people are stupid, but this is a piss poor decision on your part to push a photo of a “gay” couple where the two feel they must hide. I mean- do you know anything about the gay community at all? Have you not heard of pride? Of the closet?

    By the way,if someone wants to see the complexity of being gay in the conservative parts of Israel, there’s “Tremblin’ Before G_d” and “Eyes Wide Open.”

    But hey, I am a “hater” so that’s why I watch movies about the country as well as excellent ones like Yossi etc. rather than because I see a country where there are a lot of contradictions- including the nutty right wingers such as defending this absurd campaign.

  • Hyhybt

    There is something else to consider: a staged, anonymous photo can often depict an *idea* better in some ways than a photo of a specific, identifiable couple would.

  • UsualPlayers

    I have a hard time believing they were trying to achieve some kind of artistic statement like that. The fact is that if they had even consulted with one gay person they would have known that the point of being out and pride is that we are often hidden by society, and often by proxy of the effects of society on us, by ourselves. At the very least, this is poor judgment. I don’t understand why they could not find gay soldiers to do this if there is no stigma attached to it in the Israeli military. Its that simple for me. No Israeli-Middle East politics. No attempts to change the subject to claim others are worse than Israel. Its the same way I would treat such a photo by the U.S. military so I see no reason to treat the Israeli military any better on this.

  • B

    I think the picture is clearly anti-Israeli propaganda. OK, I’m joking. It’s just that the image suggests that to walk down the street holding hands with your boyfriend, you better be packing some serious firepower.

  • R.A.

    That’s the only way to do it here in Dixie.

  • Chuck

    I thought all straight men in Israel hold hands with their friends and kiss each other as greetings.

  • Aussie Col

    @Nicko: Thanks Nicko, that is a surprise. While we do live in a fairly free society here I had not expected that from an organisation that usually presents a very macho image.


    Karu Adam, so good to see hot Israeli, man M`m M`m. I am an Israeli, born and had to leave my country man years a go for just being homosexual (not gay). My right have been taken a way from me and I couldn’t even get a job, or driver licence. The Israeli, “HOMOS” are the best xoxoxox Adam A Karu…


    Just to re mind you all (NINCOMPOOP) about the Palestinian, GAY MEN AND WOMEN, who gets political Asylum (place of refuge & safety) in Israel! not in F&*%# USA.

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