[ View the story "Israel's gay exodus?" on Storify] Israel's gay exodus? New research suggests ongoing problems are driving the country's LGBTQ community to seek life abroad.
The Stream· Tue, Jun 17 2014 16:39:41
Tel Aviv is known as a
global gay capital
more than 100,000
attendees to its annual gay pride festival in June of this year. Israel has a long history of
LGBTQ rights, ending the ban on homosexual sodomy in 1988,
the Employment Nondiscrimination Act in 1992 and since 1993, permitting gays to serve openly in the military. This year Israel also
a law protecting school students from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity.
However, many argue that a lot more needs to be done to support the LGBTQ community, which continues to face discrimination. Last year, ministers
a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to have civil unions. Israel currently
only marriage unions conducted under religious authorities. While same-sex unions are recognised by the state, couples can only wed outside Israel.
During this year's annual gay pride parade, both the embassies of the
raised the rainbow flag signifying gay pride.
Festival goers shared images from last week's gay pride parade.
What a great vibe here in #TelAviv for #LGBT #Pride Parade, with over 100,000 people! #Israel #breaking #gay
My People. My Country. Proud. #TelAviv #pride #lgbt #ally #Israelinstagram.com
Despite Tel Aviv's popularity as a destination for LGBTQ tourists, a growing number of queer Israelis are
what they say, are safer spaces in Berlin. Under German
, Jews with ancestors who suffered persecution by the Nazis can get dual citizenship,
queer Israelis to move for equal rights and better economic opportunities.
A recent study by
, a researcher on the experiences of queer Israeli migrants, explains 'pink-washing', a term used to describe what many
is Israel's public relations campaign that glosses over the challenges faced by LGBTQ communities.
While Israel tries to market itself to the world as a country that is enlightened and liberal toward its gay community — which is known as ‘pink-washing’ — many of my interviewees showed the less 'pink' side of LGBT life in Israel.haaretz.com
Activists protested Tel Aviv's promotion of gay pride week, raising concerns about 'pink-washing'.
Its called #PinkWashing..makes #Israel seem Progressive while hiding its Oppression of Palestine
Hey guyz, Israel is demolishing another Bedouin town to make way for Jews, but did you know Tel Aviv has a gay pride parade so it's ok.Ali Abunimah
Israel in a nutshell: 100,000 march in Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade while thousands of soldiers sweep WB searching for 3 kidnapped settlersOri Nir
Don't let imperialists pinkwash Israel as "gay friendly." Colonialism is a threat to queer folk everywhere.bossy
Many, however, argue that Israel remains one of the only gay-friendly places in the Middle East.
@krokodealer I don't care about democracy. #Israel is THE ONLY tolerant state for gays in the whole Middle East. I'm gay. SOCCER MANIAC
@mmbilal @AJStream it's not an image. Gay-friendly is a reality in Israel compared to the rest of the middle east. #AJStream #Israel #ISISAloe
@locke @AJStream Not part of the community, nor think is true. Imp to point out injustice of #lgbt community in all other ME countries.Erin Cohen
@AJStream Are you #gay in any #arab country? Would you like to live? Better move to another country.Saul Danilewitz
The Stream community debated the nature of LGBTQ rights and marriage legislation in Israel.
Tari Dambo I think it's fantastic how there are anti discrimination policies to protect gay people in Israel in terms of employment, however it's paramount that they at least have the option of domestic partnerships so that their relationships are legally recognised. Ultimately allowing them basic rights, so that they can function normally as couples.Tari Dambo
@AJStream Only religious marriages are approved of.Civil marriages r recognised if done in other countries.1 company gives an option 4 ...AngelRobinFox
@AJStream ..."partnership agreements" but they are not recognised outside Israel... Once it is not an ethnocratic state it might change ..?AngelRobinFox
Some accused the Israeli government of pink-washing.
@locke @AJStream I think the government plays lip-service to LGBT equality so they can seem modern, liberal and 'tolerant' for western eyes.Karl Hayden
We won't be silent when Israel uses "equality" (tourism, pride parades) to pinkwash a racist unjust occupation. #NoHomonationalismChristopher Carbone
This community member highlighted Israel's complicated relationship with the LGBTQ community.
@locke @AJStream Israel is a complicated situation, on many fronts. Acceptance of homosexuality is one example. The interplay between...Karl Hayden
@locke @AJStream ..religion and secularism, Israeli v Palestinian or Arab, Socioeconomic status.. There are so many variables. Plus...Karl Hayden