Education and Change For Border Police

Author: A Wider Bridge Staff
Published: November 7, 2016

Following a homophobic incident earlier this year, LGBT education organization and the education array of the Israeli Border Police reached an agreement on cooperation to educate commanders and officers of the Border Police on the LGBT community.

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LGBT Organization Hoshen: Education and Change and the education array of the Israeli Border Police reached an agreement on cooperation, in which 30 activities will be held in the coming year for commanders and officers of the Border Police – both within the framework of training and in bases in the South, Central and Jerusalem.

The emerging cooperation was made following the request of the Aguda through the Nir Katz center for struggle against LGBTphobia to the chief commander of Border Police Yaakov Shabtai, after the homophobia events at the gay pride protest in Beer Sheva earlier this year, and the arrest of Shay Sekler by Border Police officers.

During the demonstration in Beer Sheva, a Border Police officer turned to Ira Sekler, mother of community activist Shay Sekler, who carried a sign for the Tehila organization (the Israeli PFLAG) that read “My son is gay, so what?!” and told her – “I could vomit on your sign.”

Shay, who was standing beside her, responded aggressively to the policeman and started filming him with his phone, asking him to identify himself.The officer refused to be identified, and arrested Shay for assaulting a police officer – but that was only the beginning. In an open video letter on Facebook, Shay described a horrible homophobic evening which he had to face, being held by the police.

“… the only way to fight hatred and ignorance is through education and unmediated encounters,” wrote Dr. Gil Fisshhof and Ohad Hizki to the Border Police commander. “In order to do so, the organization “Hoshen – Education and Change” was established, which uses information, training and personal stories brought to reduce hatred and hostility towards the gay community in schools, in the army, in the police and in other places… ”