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Community, The Israeli Equalls party

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Community, The Israeli Equalls party

Israel’s LGBTQ party, Community, The Israeli Equalls party, reflects a wide range of voices from all sectors, ethnicities, and minorities of Israeli society. However, the basic values to which all its members adhere are equal rights; promotion and protection of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) lifestyle; duty toward and mutual responsibility with Israeli society as a whole, and the LGBTQ community in particular; and tolerance of an array of diverse lifestyles in Israeli society. Its perspectives regarding all aspects of Israeli life are varied and express the views of its elected officials and of its constituents.

With respect to votes concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the party will authorize its elected MKs with the right to vote according to their personal views.

Serving the LGBTQ Community

Community, The Israeli Equalls party will strive to join each government coalition in an effort to advance the members of its community. However, entering any coalition, particularly one that may have difficulty passing laws that benefit the LGBTQ community — for example, among others, changing the laws pertaining to adoption, same-sex marriage, and surrogacy for gay fathers — will be contingent on the coalition’s and government’s commitment to hold a referendum regarding these issues and to act in accordance with its results.

The party will cooperate fully with The Aguda – Israel’s LGBT Task Force (“LGBT Task Force”) as well as other community organizations, and will demand that the State of Israel officially recognize the LGBT Task Force as the umbrella body representing the LGBTQ community and its organizations in the Israeli public. It will demand government budgets for the LGBT Task Force and community organizations, as well as promote the establishment of an office or authority to mediate between these organizations and the Knesset in all matters related to the LGBTQ community. Furthermore, the party will promote legislation for LGBTQ rights and recognition of LGBTQ workers’ unions, and will address incidents of discrimination, homophobia, or hate crimes perpetrated against the LGBTQ community or against other marginalized sectors of Israeli society.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party will work to promote its candidates in local and regional authorities and in local elections, but will work in conjunction with selected representatives of the LGBTQ community, even if they are members of a different party.

The party endorses and is committed to the demands (detailed below) submitted to the prime minister in July 2018. It will operate toward the complete realization of these demands. As well, it will receive frequent updates from the heads of the community’s organizations with respect to the evolving needs of its constituents.

Recognizing the LGBT Task Force and LGBTQ Community Organizations

The organizational development of the LGBTQ community began with the establishment of the LGBT Task Force for the preservation of individual rights in 1975. It was an outgrowth of the founding of various women’s organizations: a Zionist-feminist group of female academics in 1970, the women’s liberation movement in 1972, the lesbian-feminist group in Haifa in 1975, the women’s group within the LGBT Task Force in 1976, the women’s center Kol L’Isha in Haifa in 1977 and in Jerusalem in 1979, Isha L’Isha in Haifa in 1984, Reut Nashim in Tel Aviv in 1985, Kalaf in Tel Aviv in 1986 and in Jerusalem in 1987, and others.

The Task Force was registered as the “the association for the preservation of individual rights” in 1982, and Otzma, the LGBT Task Force’s political arm, was founded in 1989.

The expansion of the community’s organizations began with the founding of The Other Decile, an LGBTQ student organization established at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1991, followed by the establishment of other LGBTQ student and community organizations, including Hoshen, Tehila, Bat Kol, Havruta, Iggy, Maavarim, the Gila Project, the Committee for the War Against AIDS, Proud Fathers, and the LGBTQ Sports Club, Beit Dror, and the LGBTQ shelter in Holon.

The increased activity and influence of the Task Force and the establishment of other community organizations reached its peak with the implementation of a cooperative effort between organizations such as the Pink Panthers and the LGBTQ Underground in the last wave of protests.

Yet, the LGBT Task Force has received neither state recognition as the umbrella organization of the LGBTQ community in Israel nor an appropriate government budget.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party will work toward government recognition of the LGBT Task Force as the LGBTQ community’s umbrella organization. It will demand a state budget for the LGBT Task Force and for all LGBTQ community organizations, will ensure the budget’s appropriate distribution, and will promote the community’s organizational culture by means of the following:

1.   Establishing a government authority dedicated to the care of the LGBTQ community; its associations, organizations, and establishments; and its individual members

2.   Establishing a prize fund and community scholarships to foster organizational initiatives within the LGBTQ community

3.   Endowing academic chairs and scholarships for members of the LGBTQ community in Israeli and international academic programs to facilitate the development of leaders in Israel and around the world

4.   Arranging tours of LGBTQ organizations and meetings with LGBTQ activists for government ministers, public officials, and members of Knesset

5.   Forming and regulating a comprehensive community archive containing protocols for organizational meetings and newspaper/media articles related to the LGBTQ community since the founding of the State in 1948

Preventing Crime and Violence Against the LGBTQ Community

The members of the LGBTQ community have been under threat of crime and violence for many years. The hate crimes perpetrated against community members are expressed in every possible manner from teasing in the schoolyard to bullying in the army, to harassment in the work place, to discrimination by state policies and institutions. They are perpetrated through premeditated attacks and even physical harm.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party has set as a primary goal to fight to eradicate hate crimes based, inter alia, on the demands presented by the LGBTQ community as follows:

1.   Increasing the severity of punishment for hate crimes perpetrated on the basis of sexual orientation or perceived or actual gender identity

2.   Completing the enactment of the Interpretation Law.

3.   Amending the procedure involved in changing the sex on identity cards after sex-change treatments

4.   Granting the right to be buried in accordance with the wishes of the deceased and the gender with which he or she identified

5.   Advancing legislation prohibiting conversion therapy for minors, as well as the advertisement of conversion therapy

6.   Addressing marital law in all aspects of the LGBTQ community’s lifestyle, including marriage, divorce, hospitalization, death, inheritance, and survivor benefits and pensions

Recognizing LGBTQ Families

Members of the community experience discrimination in terms of every aspect related to their right to marry, to establish a family, and to raise children recognized as Jews.

Nevertheless, the LGBTQ community has experienced a welcome wave of births in recent years through a number of means, including surrogacy, joint parenting, adoption, and sperm banks. Each child born to community members brings love and light. The child and its parents engender change in their environments without receiving any recognition for their accomplishment. The LGBTQ party views parenthood as a basic human right that is not contingent upon one’s sexual or gender identity or sexual orientation. Community, The Israeli Equalls party will do everything in its power to assist members of the community who wish to start and raise a family in realizing this desire. It will do so, inter alia, by supporting the following demands of the LGBTQ community:

1.   Recognizing civil marriage for members of different religions, different streams of Judaism, and same-sex couples

2.   Recognizing the right to divorce without the required involvement of the state or other religious institutions

3.   Amending the surrogacy law to enable gay couples or individuals to implement the process of surrogacy in Israel by giving equal legal status to that of heterosexual couples, without limitations on the parent’s age or the number of biological children

4.   Registering same-sex parents in the same manner as heterosexual parents

5.   Enabling the possibility of adoption for same-sex parents both in Israel and abroad

Adapting Social Services for the LGBTQ Population

Community, The Israeli Equalls party empathizes with the profound pain suffered as a result of the difficulties facing LGBTQ individuals in the religious, Haredi, Druze, Muslim, and Christian sectors, which leads to harassment, prostitution, and suicide. In an effort to enable every member of the LGBTQ community to enjoy a fair and good life, the party joins the demands of the community, including:

1.   Developing a continuum of unique services designed to address the needs of LGBTQ individuals within the religious, Haredi, Druze, and Arab sectors that aims to prevent involvement or helps them escape prostitution

2.   Establishing and promoting programs designed to encourage and integrate transgender individuals in the employment market

Promoting Equality in Health

The party welcomes and promotes the establishment of the Clalit Medical Clinic at the LGBTQ community center in Gan Meir, Tel Aviv, and calls for all Israeli HMOs to open similar branches in other large cities. Additionally, the party calls for Israel’s HMOs to hold special professional training courses for family practice doctors across the country to aid in understanding the particular needs of the LGBTQ community. To that end, the party joins the community in making the following medical-related demands:

1.   Expanding and regulating the activities of the committee for sex reassignment surgery, including allocation of operating rooms

2.   Including non-genital sex reassignment surgeries in basic health services offerings

3.   Developing written procedures for treating transgender individuals in the mental health system

4.   Including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for the general population and drugs to improve the lives of those who live with HIV in basic health services offerings

5.   Adding funds for research regarding health issues in the LGBTQ community, in regard to both physical and mental health, as well as appropriate implementation of the implications of such research

6.   Appointing a trusted member of the LGBTQ community in each government hospital and in the administrative ranks of the various HMOs

Advancing Education for Tolerance and Acceptance of the LGBTQ Community

Community, The Israeli Equalls party sees education as the primary instrument for the social advancement of LGBTQ community members and therefore joins the community’s demands in this regard by —

1.   Establishing and distributing a written director-general’s circular defining treatment of the LGBTQ community in general and the transgender community in particular in the education system, including state-religious education

2.   Introducing LGBTQ content in the educational system and in relevant academic institutions

3.   Introducing mandatory training for teachers, educators, counselors, academic lecturers, therapists, psychologists, and others in the education system regarding treatment of the LGBTQ population

International Relations

Israel’s LGBTQ community is diverse; one that develops and maintains cultural ties, business connections, friendships, and loving relationships with members of similar communities around the world. These unmediated connections overcome differences of opinion and religion, and cultural and national boundaries, and serve as a basis for the promotion of peace and brotherhood.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party views fostering international ties between the Israeli LGBTQ community and communities abroad as an expression of human diversity and cultural richness, and a means to developing and strengthening Israeli society through trade, tourism, business, culture, and more. This is to be accomplished through the following:

1.   Cooperating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an effort to promote cultural ties between the Israeli LGBTQ community and parallel communities abroad

2.   Promoting the Israeli LGBTQ community’s representation in multinational LGBTQ committees, conferences, and organizations, encouraging dialogues, and strengthening these connections in the Diaspora

3.   Initiating and budgeting for international LGBTQ cultural festivals in Israel (in addition to the LGBTQ film festival), including events centered around LGBTQ literature, theater, performing arts, and more

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As an LGBTQ party whose members come from all parts of society, Israel’s standing as an enlightened society is important to us. We do not intend to focus our political activities exclusively within the LGBTQ community. Rather, we will attend to the difficult conditions facing all marginalized sectors of Israeli society, including older olim (“immigrants”) from North Africa, new olim from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, and other parts of the Diaspora; residents of the periphery; the sick, the disabled, the elderly, Holocaust survivors, single-parent families, Muslim citizens of Israel, Christians, Druze, Bedouins, Circassians, and others.

Therefore, the charter below for Community, The Israeli Equalls party, addresses a number of issues with which Israeli society is currently occupied.

State and Religion

The State of Israel, as a Jewish democratic state, must guarantee freedom and equality, and provide for the needs of all its citizens, including members of its resident minorities, regardless of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party believes in the historic right of the Jewish homeland, the land of our ancestral inheritance, from which we were expelled and to which we returned after 2,000 years of exile. Community, The Israeli Equalls party believes that Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish nation, and must therefore be based on the values of democracy, equality, and mutual responsibility, as determined the vision of the prophets and reaffirmed in the Declaration of Establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party respects the Torah and Judaism. The party recognizes both as part of the national and spiritual identity of the country. We believe we must act in accordance with the values of Judaism, including exercising “compassion toward the stranger, the widow, and the orphan,” without imposing Orthodox halacha as the foundation for day-to-day life, especially for those who do not adhere or observe, while preserving freedom of — and from — religion for all citizens of Israel.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party recognizes the wondrous capacity of the Jewish religion for renewal. As with every religion, particularly under stressful conditions, the nature of the Jewish religion is to expand and branch out to find new paths to the hearts of its devotees and future followers. Therefore, the party supports the right of every Jew to maintain his or her faith in God in their own way, to renew rituals as they see fit, all while being recognized as a fellow Jew and enjoying all rights granted as such.

The party calls for official recognition of all streams of contemporary Judaism as part of renewing Jewish people, extending a hand of peace and love to all streams of Judaism in Israel and in the Diaspora. Community, The Israeli Equalls party recognizes their profound spiritual contribution to the continuity of the Jewish nation and the security of its future, and will gladly — and willingly — take part in all efforts and endeavors of renewed Judaism. As such, the party will develop close ties with LGBTQ synagogues in the Diaspora and with Jewish LGBTQ organizations all over the world.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party embraces its religiously observant members and recognizes their faithfulness and devotion, which inspires them to live observant lives. It calls upon the rabbinic and educational establishments to accept observant members of the LGBTQ community, their parents and their children, and to reach out to them to share their rituals, beliefs, and communal practices.

Today, the Reform and Conservative movements are the only ones in Israel that recognize children born through surrogacy as Jews. The Ministry of Interior also recognizes these children as Jews; however, their status is not accepted by the State rabbinate, which will make their lives much more difficult in the future. Further, although rabbis and mohalim (“those who perform Jewish circumcisions”) are prepared to circumcise our newborns, they refuse to recite the traditional blessings that welcome the infants into the covenant of Abraham, a decision that is as humiliating as it is discriminatory.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party will demand the inclusion of community members who were born through surrogacy into the covenant of Abraham. Moreover, it will seek to abolish conversion for minors, and work toward recognition of surrogacy-born community members as full-fledged Jews, which includes the traditional blessings, so they are a true part of the covenant of Abraham from birth to marriage and from marriage to burial.

Therefore, the party will act on the following levels with regard to state and religion:

A.     Granting full an d recognized conversion authority to Reform and Conservative rabbis in Israel and the Diaspora for purposes of registering births, marriages, and deaths

B.      Fuly recognizing the Jewishness of the offspring of the members of the community who were born via surrogate and underwent conversion in any Jewish community in Israel or in the Diaspora

C.      Enacting a civil marriage law and its application to all citizens of Israel regardless of religion, sex, gender, age, or origin

D.     Outlawing databases that determine the extent of a person’s Jewishness according to the purity of blood or his attribution to his mother.

E.      Allocating ongoing budgeting for alternative synagogues or synagogues in the gay community

Peace and Security

Community, The Israeli Equalls party believes in the historic right of the nation of Israel to exist, and recognizes the complexity of the political situation in the Middle East, particularly with respect to Palestinian concerns. Therefore, with a discerning perspective and a desire to avoid perpetuating the oppression of another people, Community, The Israeli Equalls party will support any political solution that is implemented with the appropriate considerations and in accordance with the geopolitical circumstances in the region. 

Community, The Israeli Equalls party views the value of equality in both civil and military service as the foundation of Israel’s existence and preservation, as well as the basis for its growth. The party will work to introduce compulsory military service or national service for all citizens of Israel regardless of religion, race, sex, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity and to strengthen the rate of enlistment within Israel’s minority populations.

The party admires all members of the LGBTQ community who put their lives on the line for the State, and respects the memory of those who have fallen in the service of our country. The party believes it is the duty of each and every citizen to participate in either military or national service, and that it is the obligation of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to provide full equal rights to its LGBTQ soldiers and not to exclude them from any role on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

The party will work with all branches of Israel’s security forces and volunteer to ensure the recruitment of community members in all positions and roles so they may contribute their talents and efforts to Israeli society as a whole.

The party will seek to obtain the following tools related to peace and security:

A.     Initiating and budgeting for ongoing training in the ranks of the IDF’s Personnel Division for staffing and human resources

B.      Initiating and budgeting for seminars and lectures on the LGBTQ community at the IDF Command and General Staff College and at Ba’ad 1 (Officers’ Training Base)

C.      Initiating and budgeting of seminars and lectures on the LGBTQ community for IDF officers, noncommissioned officers, physicians, and psychologists on both active and reserve duty

D.     Transferring members of the LGBTQ community who are experiencing difficulties during their IDF service to the framework of National Service, as applicable

E.      Granting exemptions for regular and reserve duty to members of the LGBTQ community who are single parents.

F.      Working toward the granting of tourist visas to members of the Palestinian and Jordanian LGBTQ communities (in accordance with the approval of General Security Services)

G.     Doing its utmost to help LGBTQ Palestinians whose are persecuted or whose lives are in danger, including working toward moving them to another country

Culture

Community, The Israeli Equalls party views Israel’s multiculturalism as an essential part of its identity, its moral strength, and its physical fortitude. The party believes in the richness of the country’s multiculturalism, in the value of each culture to contribute to Israel’s vibrant social mosaic, and in the right of equality for each and every culture that wishes to preserve its unique traditions. Community, The Israeli Equalls party therefore commits to act to preserve and nurture the varied cultures that exist in Israel.

As an inseparable part of this, Community, The Israeli Equalls party recognizes the importance of Israel’s artists and designers, and believes in the liberty and freedom of the individual artist. The party will act to encourage and strengthen the arts and related cultural institutions, and ongoing cultural activities, throughout Israel.

This will be done, inter alia, through the following:

A.     Initiating scholarships or prizes in the arts at the municipal, regional, and national level

B.      Granting tax and VAT exemptions for artists who are conducting a crowdfunding projects for the purpose of completing their work

C.      Updating the tax brackets for artists; including all expenses associated with the artistic process for tax reductions

D.     Encouraging and supporting the establishment and the existence of new cultural initiatives such as periodicals, galleries, fringe and local theaters, regional cultural centers, musical and dance groups, and more

E.      Developing, encouraging, and supporting the establishment of scholarship funds and prizes for artists who record, document, preserve, or focus on the cultural diversity of the LGBTQ community in Israel and abroad

Education

Community, The Israeli Equalls party views education as central to the foundation of Israel’s existence and development as a Jewish egalitarian democracy. It will work to educate about tolerance and acceptance toward the “other,” and to inculcate these values in each child as they are.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party endeavors to mold Israeli society into one that is inclusive, one that does not exclude the “other,” including individuals with special needs, but rather recognizes and acts toward them with respect and mutual understanding. As such, Community, The Israeli Equalls party will devise a unique approach with respect to the education of children with special needs and their integration in the educational system, as well as the education of their surrounding society.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party believes in the equal, balanced integration of community members in Israeli life from birth to old age. The party distinguishes between family values (love, compassion, inclusion, and growth) and the different familial structures through which these values are embodied and developed.

Therefore, preserving tradition alongside nurturing innovation, the party will work to include content regarding changing and new family structures, and prepare lesson plans to introduce these concepts in early childhood education.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party will work to increase supervision of daycare centers and kindergartens throughout the country and to provide the caregivers, teachers, and educators with appropriate training related to LGBTQ individuals.

Community, The Israeli Equalls party will act to include educational content related to the LGBTQ community in middle schools and high schools as part of citizenship, sociology, Israeli literature, and history classes. In addition, the party will demand that citizenship classes become part of the mandatory core curriculum for all students as part of their preparation for life in Israel.

The party will work to expand the law granting free education to include post-secondary and vocational studies at the State’s expense. With this in mind, the party will encourage the development of a culture of creativity and research in all educational institutions.

The party will also work to organize periodic educational conferences regarding the LGBTQ community at universities and colleges.

The party believes in the significance of service in the educational system and will work to ensure that members of the LGBTQ community participate in the form of a preparatory program or as part of their military or national service.

A.     Including LGBTQ-related lessons in teaching tracks in colleges, universities, and teacher training seminars

B.      Establishing regular curriculum about accepting “the other and the different,” in which lessons address the problems of violence, rejected children, and diverse identities

C.      Inviting parents from the LGBTQ community to tell the stories of their families to their childrens’ classmates

D.     Initiating a permanent or traveling exhibition on the subject of surrogacy and diverse families, and funding the publication of books on diverse families to expose teaching staff, parents, and children to an exciting range of stories about these families in Israel

E.      Budgeting and funding for the publication and distribution of children and youth books that reflect the values of diverse family structure and the diversity of the LGBTQ community

F.      Eliminating the ban in the educational system on the establishment of animal petting areas; providing ongoing budgeting for their establishment and maintenance as a tool to encourage students to love animals and to learn how to interact with them, to love flora and fauna, to teach the values of personal responsibility, and to develop a commitment to nature and the environment

G.     Including content for LGBTQ children, in cooperation with Israel Gay Youth, Hoshen (Israeli non-profit LGBTQ organization), youth movements, and other informal education frameworks

H.     Writing curricula in creative fields for primary and secondary schools that, among other things, includes writers and artists in the educational system and in other ways.

Economy and Industry

Community, The Israeli Equalls party supports each individual’s right to take advantage of his or her profession and skills, and to accumulate capital. The party will work to restrain and harness the forces of the free market in favor of a welfare state, accomplished not by increasing regulatory mechanisms but rather through reforms in taxation, investment, and balanced distribution of resources.

In addition, the party will act to introduce a transparent, equitable, and fair division of the government budget between the various sectors of Israeli society, strengthen disadvantaged populations, and nurture and develop the periphery. The party will work to develop the infrastructure for public transportation and to establish new residential areas throughout the country.

Due to the fact that many members of the LGBTQ community are self-employed, the party will work to improve the rights of those who are self-employed, including provisions for unemployment and pension benefits, holiday pay, and partial subsidies of self-employment taxes.

This will be done, inter alia, by:

A.     Promoting and supporting LGBTQ individuals in professional organizations.

B.      Establishing LGBTQ chapters in Israeli professional organizations.

Health

Community, The Israeli Equalls party believes in each individual’s right to receive the best possible medical treatment and to provide those in need with necessary subsidies. Therefore, the party will work to better the health system, strengthening the status of social workers and nurses and improving public health services. Additionally, the party will work to include drugs for gender confirmation surgery in general health packages, and PrEP to forestall the spread of AIDS, which will prevent infection, improve the health of the country’s citizens, and save taxpayer money.

Social Welfare

Community, The Israeli Equalls party believes in every person’s right to equal opportunities under the law and that it is the duty of the State to enable all its citizens — regardless of religion, race, sex, nationality, sexual orientation, or gender identity — to live and maintain happy, secure lives.

Therefore, Community, The Israeli Equalls party advocates consolidating social services and preventing their privatization or placement in the hands of subcontractors or non-profit organizations.

In addition, Community, The Israeli Equalls party will focus on promoting the rights and availability of social services for the marginalized minorities in Israel, including gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender individuals, queers, women, Holocaust survivors, the elderly, the disabled, and members of Arab, Druze, Bedouin, Christian, and Circassian communities.

The party will do everything in its power to promote social equality in Israel, to encourage job creation for members of these minorities, and to initiate assistance for vocational retraining courses. As well, the party will work toward minimizing economic inequality in the country.

The “New Family”

Israeli society today consists of a rich variety of different types of families. But there is a deep gap between the multiplicity, stratification and diversity of the new family structure and the State attitude towards it. Therefore, the party will enforce recognition of new family structures by the State, by the following means:

A.     Conducting professional training courses for supervisory level positions in government institutions including the National Insurance Institute, Income Tax Authority, etc.

B.      Changing the use of “Father” and “Mother” on official and government forms to “Parent 1” and “Parent 2”

Environment

Community, The Israeli Equalls party takes a holistic approach to human life and sees it as a component of universal existence, placing great importance in preserving Israel’s striking landscapes and natural beauty. To this end, the party advocates rejuvenating streams, rehabilitating historic sites and heritage sites, treating waste-rich industrial zones, developing and cultivating green vistas, preserving the coastline, and preventing contamination of the sea. The party will join the struggle to limit the use of the State’s natural resources and to preserve the quality of life in Israel.

The party believes in the humane treatment of animals and related rights to protection and preservation. It will therefore act to improve the conditions related to animal breeding, to reduce exploitation, to curb consumption of animals, and to promote this holistic approach to nature in Israeli society.

A.     Promoting and encouraging waste recycling at the municipal and national levels through the educational system or through enforcement

B.      Promoting the Prevention of Soil Contamination and Rehabilitation of Land Law 2011, which requires businesses to treat and remediate soil and groundwater on their property

C.      Promoting education for cleanliness and preserving the environment, in cooperation with existing organizations such as Council for the Restoration of Historic Sites, the Council for a Beautiful Israel, the Society for the Protection of Nature, and others

D.     Removing hazardous chemicals and elements such as gas rigs and petrochemical plants from residential areas, as required and defined by the Ministry of Environmental Protection

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Our decision to found Community, The Israeli Equalls party, the Israeli LGBTQ party, was a conscious decision inspired by the need for freedom — much like the decision to come out of the closet, to marry members of our own sex, or to establish a family. Each and every member of the party, its voters, and its supporters decided to maintain his or her own way of life, and the nature of such a decision is always to engender renewal — of ourselves, our identities, and our lifestyles.

Similarly, Community, The Israeli Equalls party has no intention of letting this charter persist solely as some distant vision. We, the founders of this party and its leaders, hereby oblige ourselves, immediately upon receipt of approval by the party registrar, to establish task forces assembled from the best of those in the aforementioned fields. Further, we shall work to promote comprehensive legislation and public and government programs to bring the vision expressed in this charter to fruition to better the lives of LGBTQ community members and all the citizens of Israel.

We would like to thank the community leaders, rabbis and spiritual advisers, academics, lawyers, artists, writers, and others who read and contributed to this charter: Yossi Berg, Yair Dovrat, Michal Eden, Prof. Rachel Elior, Nadav Entebbe-Garoshka, Liad Kashnovski, Ayala Katz, Hannah Klein, Shirley Kovleski, Galit Oren Moran, Michael Ross, Ilan Sheinfeld, Tzvi Zegelshten, Tami Zilberg, and Amit Zuk.

 

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