Israel's first trans officer helps with ethnic cleansing
Publisher: The Electronic Intifada
Date Written: 12/04/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20666
Queer and transgender activists protested an event featuring an Israeli soldier in Seattle on 5 April.The event was supported by the LGBTQ Commission, a body that advises city leaders on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.Two commissioners resigned in protest just days earlier, criticizing the groups participation as an act of pinkwashing. Pinkwashing is a public relations strategy that deploys Israel's supposed enlightenment toward LGBTQ issues to deflect criticism from its human rights abuses and war crimes and as a means to build up support for Israel among Western liberals and progressives.
Lt. Shachar Erez, who has been in the Israeli army for five years, is its first transgender officer, according to The Jewish Daily Forward.
He is on a national speaking tour sponsored by the Israeli army and foreign ministry.
Erez's tour is part of the "Brand Israel" campaign, an Israeli government effort to market a liberal image of the country to advance commerce and tourism and improve Israel's international standing.
The tour is hosted by StandWithUs, an Israeli government-funded lobby group with ties to right-wing anti-LGBTQ activists such as John Hagee of Christians United for Israel.
Along with advising the army's "gender affairs office," The Forward reports that Erez works "on a national project to relocate military bases from the center to the periphery of Israel."
This indicates that Erez, a commander in his unit, is involved in helping coordinate the mass expulsion of Palestinian Bedouin communities from their ancestral lands in the southern Naqab region of present-day Israel, part of the "Negev 2020" plan to "develop" the area exclusively for Jews.