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Etai Pinkas Discussed Community Rights in Israel

Etai Pinkas, an LGBTQ activist in Israel, spoke in Bloomington, Indiana about the history of LGBTQ rights in Israel on Thursday evening.

The Helene G. Simon Hillel Center organized the event, which was co-sponsored by other Jewish and LGBTQ associations in an effort to encourage discussion of gay culture in Israel.

“It’s a diverse country,” said Yotam Elias, 26, a Jewish Agency Israel Fellow at Hillel.

Growing up, Pinkas said he wanted to be a politician, but upon realizing he was not straight he decided his goal was unattainable and abandoned his dream.

He thought it would be too difficult for a gay man to get elected in Israel at the time.

However, he was elected as a city council member in 2003, after serving as chairman of the national LGBTQ association in Israel.

“Only then I realized that my old dream, that I thought was not possible, was fulfilled without even my intention to go back to my dream,” Pinkas said.

Elias said it is a possibily for both men in a gay 
relationship to be called into military service at the same time, leaving the children home alone.
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