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Gay Israeli Soldiers Report Regular Abuse

Gay Israeli Soldiers Report Regular Abuse

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A study released Monday reveals that Israeli LGBT soldiers are frequently victims of verbal abuse and physical violence on the part of their comrades, the Jerusalem Post reports.

LGBT soldiers in the Israeli Defense Force were asked about their treatment throughout the induction process by the Israeli Gay Youth movement. Forty percent of LGBT soldiers said they have been subjected to verbal attacks, while 20% claim to have been physically or sexually assaulted. Soldiers say these acts are for the most part ignored by commanders. The survey also found that 49% of soldiers who hear homophobic comments directed toward others on military bases ignore them, 37% join the taunting, while 13% take a stand for the accosted soldier.

Although these acts seem widespread, Israeli Gay Youth said the survey results showed an improvement since 2006, when 62% were found to participate in abusing gay soldiers.

"The IDF is known as one of the more enlightened militaries in the world which allows male and female soldiers who are not heterosexual to serve in its ranks," Israeli Gay Youth said in a statement. "At the same time, the military needs to review the claims by these soldiers in order to better understand the climate in which they serve and how it affects their service."

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