This past year, the IDF (Zahal) has made huge progress towards equality. Gender and sexuality-based discrimination no longer has a place in democratic militaries. This is only the beginning, but here a few exciting policy changes that we made in 2015.

IDF Progress on Gender & Sexuality 2015

1. IDF (Zahal) Policy Supports Equality for Same-Sex Parents

New policy ensures that same-sex couples won’t have to simultaneously report for reserve duty.

IDF Progress on Gender & Sexuality 2015

Major (res.) Etai Pinkas (41, left), is a Bereavement Officer for the IDF (Zahal) Municipal Office in Tel Aviv. His husband, Major (res.) Yoav Arad-Pinkas (42, right), is a commander in the IDF (Zahal). The two are busy raising their three daughters (left to right): Gal (5), Noa (5) and Or (1).

“This new regulation means that in case of a national emergency – I know that my daughters won’t be left at home without a parent. As a father, this is very reassuring.”

– Maj. (res.) Etai Pinkas.

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2. Lieutenant Shachar Becomes First Openly Transgender Officer in the IDF (Zahal)

Lieutenant Shachar joined the IDF (Zahal) as a woman. Throughout his military service, he went through the unique and complicated process of changing his gender.

IDF Progress on Gender & Sexuality 2015

“I wear a men’s uniform because that’s how I feel. My whole life I’ve known I’m a man, despite the fact that I was born a woman. I think, feel, and identify as a man.”

– Lt. Shachar

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3. New IDF (Zahal) Policy to Recruit Soldiers with HIV

A regulation change will ensure that people with HIV can join the military just like any other soldier.

IDF Progress on Gender & Sexuality 2015

“This process is a significant step towards shattering stereotypes about people with HIV. I’m happy that the IDF (Zahal) understands that HIV-positive people can contribute in their military service just like anyone else.”

– Yuval Livnat, CEO of the Israel Aids Task Force

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4. First Female Combat Soldiers Guarding in Nablus

Female combat soldiers are sent to the frontline of Israel’s war on terror.

IDF Progress on Gender & Sexuality 2015

“We guard day and night, barely sleeping, so that the citizens can feel protected.”

-Sgt. Yanina Jatemliansquy

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