PM hits back at reservists, says ‘military reports to elected government’

By Lilach Shoval and i24NEWS 17.7.23

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting Monday that threats by IDF reservists to refuse to serve unless the government halted the judicial reform were endangering the security of Israelis.

“In a democracy, the military reports to the elected government and not the other way around. Whereas in a military regime, the government is subordinate to the army and more precisely to a group within the army. This is the fundamental difference between a democracy and a military regime,” Netanyahu said.

He stressed that “the incitement to refusal and the refusal itself are against democracy and against the law. This is true for any democracy, but in our democracy, the incitement and refusal directly endanger the security of all Israeli citizens. They harm the deterrence against our enemies who can easily be tempted into acts of aggression against us, and they undermine the discipline within the army, which is the basis of the army’s existence in the first place.”

The cabinet meeting, which is traditionally held on Sunday, was postponed by a day due to Netanyahu’s hospitalization due to dehydration. At Monday’s meeting, Netanyahu assured that he was “feeling excellent.”

Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, 800 veterans of the Shin Bet security agency sent a letter to Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warning that if the judicial reform proceeds, it would pose an “immediate danger to the security of the state.”

This is in addition to the 180 IAF pilots and reservists who have already informed their commanders directly that they will stop serving if the Knesset votes to abolish the reasonableness clause that allows courts to invalidate government and ministers’ decisions based on their “reasonableness,” according to The New York Times.

Another letter, also sent on Sunday morning, was sent to the commander of the IDF elite commando unit, in which over 400 active reservists in addition to those who have already retired threatened to stop their voluntary service if the clause is passed.

On Sunday evening, Gallant convened an emergency meeting with the IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and senior defense officials about the possible threat to military readiness due to reservists’ protests. According to the report, at the end of the meeting, Gallant and Halevi agreed to raise the issue with Netanyahu in the coming days to relay the concerns over the negative impact of the judicial overhaul on military readiness.

July 17, 2023 | 1 Comment »

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  1. That sounds very serious and we can certainly wait till next week to bring this subject to Bibi’s attention…