Does It Matter If the Israeli Gay Soldier Photo Was Staged?

Israeli

Is it the thought that counts?

The UK Guardian:

By noon on Wednesday it had been "liked" almost 10,000 times and had attracted more than 1,400 comments. But the Times of Israel news website claimed the photograph was misleading, saying: "The two soldiers in the photo are not a couple, only one of the two is gay, and both the soldiers serve in the IDF spokesperson's office."

A spokesman for the IDF refused to answer a direct question on whether the photograph had been staged, saying it was irrelevant to the military's attitudes to homosexuality.

"The photo reflects the IDF's open-minded attitude towards soldiers of all sexual orientations," it said in a statement. "The IDF respects the privacy of the soldiers featured [in] the photograph, and will not comment on their identities. The IDF prides itself on its integration of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender soldiers, which it says "stands out in comparison to other militaries worldwide".

Comments

  1. Wolfi says

    Well, yes – obviously it’s the thought that counts when the picture is intended for a PR purpose. Even more power to the straight soldier for wanting to appear in the photo.

  2. Michael says

    I agree with the comment above. The fact that a straight soldier was cool with being in the picture is demonstrative of just how open and accepting many of their military’s members are towards the gay community.

  3. ndc says

    Does it matter that they are probably on their way to throw Palestinians out of their homes, or starve old women and children, or murder people or otherwise trample the right of Palestinians.

    A terrorist gay person is still a terrorist.

  4. ndc says

    Does it matter that they are probably on their way to throw Palestinians out of their homes, or starve old women and children, or murder people or otherwise trample the right of Palestinians.

    A terrorist gay person is still a terrorist.

  5. Myackie says

    wow…NDC liked his/her comment so much they said it twice.

    Please show me a picture of a starving palestonian…all the pictures I’ve seen they look pretty fat and healthy…
    go drink some more kool-aid and try to educate yourself and not believe propaganda.

  6. BobN says

    Uh… of course it “matters”. They staged a photo and implied it was just the way things are. It’s called propaganda. I hope, but doubt, it reflects reality.

  7. says

    The Guardian is an Israel-hating, left-wing moonbat mouthpiece. No surprise they would attack Israel, attack the only country in the Middle East that is a champion gay rights leader. Shameful.

  8. mynci_bone says

    “Please show me a picture of a starving palestonian…all the pictures I’ve seen they look pretty fat and healthy…”

    “Go drink some more kool-aid and try to educate yourself and not believe propaganda”

    Hey, Myackie, instead of talking through your @ss, why not try getting up off it and living and working over there like I have? Then you might actually see what utter rubbish you’re typing – propaganda can cut both ways or did that never occur to you? Or maybe you just made up your mind that “Israel = Good; rest of Middle East = Bad” and decided to stick with that no matter what.

    I despair about this country sometimes, I really do. Or perhaps, you’re viewing from your nice new settlement in illegally occupied Palestinian territory?

  9. Myackie says

    so Mynci defends arabs who routinely execute gays just for being gay? fine…you’re clearly one of those self-hating fags…I am NOT! I will defend a country that protects gay citizens…you clearly feel that you are not worthy…see a shrink you twit.

  10. ratbastard says

    I think there’s some cultural misunderstanding at work here. Also, are most people aware Israel has huge non-Jewish population, roughly 1/3rd the total population?

  11. ratbastard says

    I think there’s some cultural misunderstanding at work here. Also, are most people aware Israel has huge non-Jewish population, roughly 1/3rd the total population?

  12. Michael Bedwell says

    No, it doesn’t matter. “The Times of Israel” doesn’t document how they “know” only one of the men is gay. But, even if it’s true, even if BOTH are straight, “staged” photos are common to every government agency in the world. The more important point is that the Israeli government CHOSE to CELEBRATE gay service members in some way while, sadly, our Department of Defense is still only paying lip service to appreciating our own—where’s THEIR official photo celebrating the end of DADT?—while simultaneously CHOOSING to discriminate against them. E.g., while other federal agencies have officially sanctioned Pride Month events, the Pentagon has none. And, even after repeal, gay service members are OFFICIALLY and ARBITRARILY banned from inclusion in diversity appreciation programs of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute that has celebrated, e.g., Black History Month, Women’s History Month, etc., for years with special events and posters [such as those at the link below] distributed to our bases and ships around the world. [The IDF’s publishing of this photo, regardless of the Kinsey status of those photographed is the same kind of thing.] Further, our gay troops are OFFICIALLY and ARBITRARILY banned from the protections against harassment and discrimination under the Military Equal Opportunity Program that, again, straight blacks, women, and members of ethnic, religious, and political groups automatically get. Finally, contrary to the myth, not ALL partner same-sex partner benefits are banned by DOMA yet, for instance, gay military couples are OFFICIALLY and ARBITRARILY banned from access to military family housing.

    http://deomi.org/SpecialObservance/posters_category.cfm

  13. says

    The PR campaign’s caption said:
    “It’s Pride Month. Did you know that the IDF treats all of its soldiers equally?”

    No, it does NOT matter whether the models in the photo are gay, straight or bi, actual soldiers or models dressed for the picture, or whether they’re a couple, friends, brothers, or complete strangers who met for the photo shoot.

    I actually found Towleroad’s chosen headline yesterday (calling them a gay couple) to be presumptuous when I read it. Nothing suggests they are a couple; all we know is that they are two guys holding each others’ hands and that the IDF wants to let us know that they don’t have a problem with that.
    This is an ad. When people watch a Tide commercial in which a woman washes a man’s shirt, do they feel deceived to learn that the actor and actress don’t live together in real life?

  14. topdawgbombadil says

    I actually think it says more for Israel’s attitude of gays in the military that only one of the soldiers was gay and the straight soldier believed in the cause enough to pose.

  15. mynci_bone says

    “so Mynci defends arabs who routinely execute gays just for being gay? fine…you’re clearly one of those self-hating fags…I am NOT! I will defend a country that protects gay citizens…you clearly feel that you are not worthy…see a shrink you twit.”

    Ummm… No, Myackie, not what I said: by the reasoning in your last post, you’d have defended Nazi Germany if only it had been good to the gays.

    But that’s ridiculous, isn’t it? And not at all what you meant? On that much we agree (I hope). I respect Israel’s position on gay rights (and on many other issues) but I don’t therefore give them carte blanche to do what they like or absolve them from the many abuses they have committed at times.

    It’s not black-and-white, it’s not cops-and-robbers; you need to grow up a little and – if you’re one of the few of my compatriots who even owns a passport – try using it and traveling a little to see real life first hand without the propaganda that’s issued from BOTH sides.

    Best wishes – and not self-hating, btw… Not me using the term “fag” as one of abuse! O_o

  16. TommyOC says

    @Myackie

    “I will defend a country that protects gay citizens…”

    I’d much rather defend a country that protects the rights of ALL citizens. It’s not just your rights you should be concerned with promoting and protecting, but the rights of your fellow human beings.

    So applaud Israel all you want for protecting gay rights, but don’t forget to chastise them for creating and maintaining a second-class of people.

    There is nothing wrong with being objective and recognizing the negatives as well as the positives…. regardless of whether the subject of objectivity is your beloved Israel.

  17. TommyOC says

    @Myackie

    “I will defend a country that protects gay citizens…”

    I’d much rather defend a country that protects the rights of ALL citizens. It’s not just your rights you should be concerned with promoting and protecting, but the rights of your fellow human beings.

    So applaud Israel all you want for protecting gay rights, but don’t forget to chastise them for creating and maintaining a second-class of people.

    There is nothing wrong with being objective and recognizing the negatives as well as the positives…. regardless of whether the subject of objectivity is your beloved Israel.

  18. TommyOC says

    @Myackie

    “I will defend a country that protects gay citizens…”

    I’d much rather defend a country that protects the rights of ALL citizens. It’s not just your rights you should be concerned with promoting and protecting, but the rights of your fellow human beings.

    So applaud Israel all you want for protecting gay rights, but don’t forget to chastise them for creating and maintaining a second-class of people.

    There is nothing wrong with being objective and recognizing the negatives as well as the positives…. regardless of whether the subject of objectivity is your beloved Israel.

  19. Jeff NYC says

    I know, because the Jordanian or Egyptian or Syrian or Palestinian ads would feature REAL gay men in committed couples, right?

    Or maybe the Iranian one? You know, in which the two gay men would be hanging from nooses.

    Cause that would be better?

  20. Mk Ultra says

    It was staged by the IDF to show how gay friendly they are?
    Didn’t the original article mention how there is still a very worrying level of homophobia in the military?
    I would like to hear from some actual gay soldiers.

  21. MarcosD says

    I did not think for a moment it was real. Two soldiers in that sort of relationship would not be stationed together or working together for many many reasons. That is not the point. The point is the message IDF was trying to send.

  22. Myackie says

    wow…so nice to know that there are so many ‘humanitarians’ here today…so ready to defend the rights of the arabs who would kill them in a minute…good for you guys! Ummm…by the way…tens of thousands of your arab buddies are being killed by your other arab buddies in Syria and Egypt. do you care about that? No? so then I would prefer you just state what you really are…just jew-haters masquerading as humanitarians.

    very easy to see thru your bullsh*t

  23. says

    a friend of mine posted this on facebook yesterday with a similar concern. my response to him is the same as the response i have here. just because it’s staged does not mean it doesn’t happen. there are enough out gay soldiers in the idf that they clamor for the opportunity to join the queer birthright* trip. some are even hand picked by their superiors, as in the case of the ranking officer on my trip. misleading? no awy. sends an accurate message, as far as i’m concerned.

    *birthright, or taglit, is a 100% FREE trip to israel for young jews. if you or anyone you know is a jew (by ANY definition) age 18-26 who has never been to israel on an organized trip, please go to http://www.birthrightisrael.com – and feel free to contact me if you have questions about the queer trip!

    disclaimer: i have zero “official” connection to birthright israel, but i went on the queer trip and would be happy to put anyone in contact with the trip organizer i went through (the israel experience) or to discuss the (completely out) soldiers who took part in our group.

  24. andy says

    you gotta love the useful idiots taking up for Palestine. If Palestine had it’s way you’d be strung up. I tolerate everything but the intolerant and Palestine is the epitome of intolerant. I really don’t care if those animals live under apartheid.

  25. facts says

    Yes it matters

    Goes to the question of whether they can demonstrate in reality versus abstractly that they actually support gays.

    If you can’t get any to come out due to fear or whatever, it doesn’t matter what you say is the policy on record.

    De jure v. De facto.

    Of course, the Israel lovers will claim it doesn’t

    But to any one who cares about gays versus defending Israel or Palestine for that matter-it does matter whether we are seeing form or substance.

  26. NullNaught says

    @Facts
    The substance of the palestinian rhetoric is that they officially want all of us dead.
    The substance of the Israeli rhetoric is offiicially gay positive.
    That Israel is not perfect does not matter.
    Palestine hasn’t succeded into living up to their rhetoric either, I’m guessing because I bet not all gay palestinians living in palestine are dead.
    Give them both time and they’ll match action with rhetoric more closely.
    Who do you think is going to get to full gay equality first?
    You pick what ever side you please.
    I know which side my bread is buttered on.

  27. Myles Miller says

    The caption should read-Make Love, Not War! They do have nice bums, I do like the piece that that the one on the right is packin’ This a beautiful picture of two soldiers in love and want to flaunt it to the world, and all I have to say is

    Drop and give me twenty!

  28. mike flower says

    The US govt lives in fear of Israel cuz it knows that the Israeli armed forces, if pushed, would kick the living jesus out of the US military. THAT’S gay power.

  29. Sean NYC says

    It doesn’t matter if the photo was staged – they’re telling the truth. Israel’s IDF did away with their ban on gays at least 20 years ago and all are allowed to serve openly. All governments and agencies use PR to promote themselves.

    The IDF’s chief of staff’s policy states that it is strictly forbidden to harm or hurt anyone’s dignity or feeling based on their gender or sexual orientation in any way, including signs, slogans, pictures, poems, lectures, any means of guidance, propaganda, publishing, voicing, and utterance. Moreover, gays in the IDF have additional rights, such as the right to take a shower alone if they want to. According to a University of California, Santa Barbara study,[42] a brigadier general stated that Israelis show a “great tolerance” for gay soldiers. Consul David Saranga at the Israeli Consulate in New York, who was interviewed by the St. Petersburg Times, said, “It’s a non-issue. You can be a very good officer, a creative one, a brave one, and be gay at the same time

  30. Sean NYC says

    It doesn’t matter if the photo was staged – they’re telling the truth. Israel’s IDF did away with their ban on gays at least 20 years ago and all are allowed to serve openly. All governments and agencies use PR to promote themselves.

    The IDF’s chief of staff’s policy states that it is strictly forbidden to harm or hurt anyone’s dignity or feeling based on their gender or sexual orientation in any way, including signs, slogans, pictures, poems, lectures, any means of guidance, propaganda, publishing, voicing, and utterance. Moreover, gays in the IDF have additional rights, such as the right to take a shower alone if they want to. According to a University of California, Santa Barbara study,[42] a brigadier general stated that Israelis show a “great tolerance” for gay soldiers. Consul David Saranga at the Israeli Consulate in New York, who was interviewed by the St. Petersburg Times, said, “It’s a non-issue. You can be a very good officer, a creative one, a brave one, and be gay at the same time

  31. mynci_bone says

    Okay, Myackie – no attempt to even debate reasonably or look at the wider picture, just personal insults? I’m a “self-hating fag” and now I’m anti-semitic too? Despite being Jewish? All because I don’t subscribe to your one-sided, fact-ignorant views that sound like they were learned from Faux News? What are you? Some sort of gay Rush Limbaugh? On the basis of what you’ve written, your arguments have about the same credibility. I ain’t gonna even try and debate with you any more, just as I wouldn’t debate with him. Take care.

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