Blue and White Pride‘s new project “Pride x2 to Israel” has been criticized during its opening event and after, by LGBT people who disagree about the role of the Israeli army. Omer Nahmany, the project’s Executive Director, addresses the criticism, saying that the project is not about the political role of the army, but about the army as a fabric of society.
In recent days, I personally, and all the wonderful staff of the organization Blue and Whte Pride, are absorbing a lot of criticism from all directions on our organization and on our Pridex2 To Israel project.
It’s not pleasant, but the truth is I was not expecting to be received with roses and trumpets. Our message is complex and sometimes difficult to understand. And because of that it’s important for me to emphasize the goal of the project on which I’m working days and nights in recent months.
The Pridex2 To Israel project refers to our citizenship, to the day after being discharged from the army.
It talks about the future in Israel, in 3, 4, 5 or 10 years, when our little children go to kindergarten and first grade. What atmosphere will they get from their teachers? Will our children learn that for women the sky is the limit, and they can reach as far as they want to, or will they teach them that the peak of their lives will be cooking dinner for their husbands and children.
And whatever happens to women will happen to LGBT people. That’s how it is. And I’ll explain:
Many years ago certain groups began to understand that the integration of their people into key positions in the country would be beneficial to them. I don’t blame them; on the contrary, I have learned from them. Now they are officers in the army, Knesset members, managers of leading associations, police chiefs and investigators…. most of them worthy of their titles (and some of them racist, homophobic and misogynist). But with all due respect – they have no idea what you and I are talking about. Openness, tolerance, different but equal- these values aren’t actually interesting to them. On the contrary, they believe that we, and our liberal values, endanger their existence and strength. And you know what? They’re right.
Our integration into key positions will lead to a change in perception.
A woman (or two, or four) of the General Staff or a gay defense minister will never let this contempt of minorities happen – to treat women as objects or LGBT as excess baggage. A teenage girl who is given an example by other women to pull herself higher…and an LGBT person who will never know the concept of “closet” because this will not be an issue – this will be the future, and no one will dare to curse or belittle LGBT people – if the defense minister is gay.
When that happens, I want to see a leading rabbi (who gets paid from our taxes!), say that a woman is for “amusement” and then finds himself ostracized. Or an MK who calls gays perverts and then discovers he is anathema.
So here’s the news – it will not happen so fast. And it will not happen unless we push our people into key positions.
This project is a struggle for Israel in 2020, Israel in 2025 and even in 2030. The Israel of tomorrow.
And I’m here to put up a fight. I want to live here without fear, without hiding or being ashamed. And I especially want Pride x2. Minimum!