Israel launches trans task force to tackle ‘exhausting, frustrating and bureaucratic’ hurdles faced by community

Josh Milton October 18, 2020
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Tel Aviv Pride 2019 in Israel. (Amir Levy/Getty)

Ministers in Israel announced Tuesday (October 13) the establishment of a landmark trans task force to tackle the “exhausting, frustrating and bureaucratic” hurdles the community faces when dealing with government agencies.

Justice minister Avi Nissenkorn and welfare minister Itzik Shmuli outlined the inter-ministerial team which will be the first of its kind in Israel, Ynet News reported.

Headed by some of the country’s leading senior officials across the ministries of justice, health, welfare, education, the task force will examine various administrative agencies.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is one heavily influenced by the ultra-Orthodox core of his coalition, and has adopted a see-saw approach to LGBT+ rights in recent years. Some bills that benefit queer lives are passed, others are not.

This fuzzy line between state and religion has prompted leading LGBT+ leaders to condemn the country’s treatment of trans people as an “urgent problem.”

Israel’s first-ever trans task force will aim to allow trans people to live their lives more freely. 

Ministers said that the group will offer solutions to such problems following a four-month investigation. Deputy attorney general Dina Zilber and Labor and welfare ministry deputy director general Avi Motola will helm the force.

“The trans community is experiencing discrimination and violence on a daily basis, simply because they chose to be who they are,” Nissenkorn said.

“Unfortunately, the trans community also faces unnecessary hurdles when turning to authorities. Services that are provided to the general public in a simple and fast way, become for them an exhausting and frustrating bureaucratic journey.”

“We have a duty to allow every person to live the life of their choice in a simple, accessible and equitable manner.

“The team we set up today will delve into the depths of issue, hear the full range of problems, present for the first time a holistic picture and will allow us to bring solutions that pertain to all areas of life of the trans community in Israel.”

Welfare minister Shmuli praised the move, saying: “Today, the state of Israel is taking another significant step toward making sure all Israeli citizens feel equal before the authorities.

“I am proud to lead this important move together with the justice minister Avi Nissenkorn as part of a series of steps we are promoting for full equality of rights for the LGBT community.”

More: Israel, Trans, trans rights

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