IDF chief concerned reservists' act of rebellion could impact military operations
In a public petition, some 250 reserve officers from the Israel Defense Forces’ Military Intelligence Special Operations Division, including senior officers, expressed opposition to the Netanyahu government’s judiciary reform plan, going so far as to say they will refuse to show up for duty.
In recent weeks, pilots, sailors, submariners and Special Forces operatives have signed similar petitions against the government’s judicial overhaul. Consequently, IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Herzi Halevi reportedly is worried the reforms could negatively impact crucial army operations and military drills.
The IDF leadership reportedly is also concerned that the legal controversy ultimately could reduce motivation among Israelis to take part in reserve duty.
“At this point, we haven’t encountered actual refusal to arrive for reserve duty, but we are definitely worried about the discourse,” an unnamed senior military official told the Walla news site.
“How do we deal with this atmosphere? We talk about it, we don’t ignore it. We explain that there is room for disagreement – but not in the ranks of the military,” the official added.
Major “Aleph”, referring to the first Hebrew letter of his first name, is one of the initiators of the recent IDF petition.
“Our letter creates a huge tide because everyone understands more will join – pilots, the Nahal Brigade, the Mossad, police officers,” said "Aleph."
He warned of serious consequences if the government moves ahead with the judicial overhaul.
“It will become that whoever wants to make unilateral decisions will be forced to uphold the [security] apparatus unilaterally. We will definitely not be the useful idiots who let fanatical extremists destroy what was painstakingly built for 75 years. Why do I need to be in the Special Operations Division and not get protection from The Hague? Either everything is done in agreement or nothing happens,” said "Aleph."
Halevi previously vowed he would not allow the military to get involved in politics. However, because the IDF mainly consists of civilian conscripts in reserve duty, it is unclear how this would work in practice.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.