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10,000 Israeli reservists announce their refusal to show up for service in PROTEST of judicial reforms
By Laura Harris // Jul 31, 2023

Approximately 10,000 reservists from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) declared in a July 22 press conference that they will no longer show up for service in protest against the "reasonableness standard" bill passed in the package of judicial reform legislation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition government recently passed the so-called "reasonableness" bill that removes the Israeli Supreme Court's ability to cancel government decisions it deems unreasonable.

The move of the 10,000 IDF reservists came after 1,000 IDF Air Force reservists expressed the same sentiment a few days prior, with the nonprofit organization Brothers in Arms facilitating the event that saw thousands of other reservists come and sign a letter expressing their own refusal to answer the call to serve. (Related: Doctors strike in Israel as judiciary overhaul protests continue.)

They accused the government of disregarding the values of Israel's Declaration of Independence and conflicting with the spirit of the IDF.

"We represent some 10,000 reservists who are telling the government, the defense minister and the prime minister the responsibility is on you," said Eyal Neve, leader of Brothers in Arms while supported by multiple infantry, special forces and air force units of the IDF reserve. "If you want us on your side as we've served under right- and left-wing governments, we're calling on you to stop the legislation."

"The deep commitment to Judaism and democracy is the inner fuel of our engine. Our statement is clear: If the government violates the basic values and becomes a dictatorship, we won't serve," said a retired fighter pilot who served in the Air Force for 35 years.

Ron Sheref, another leading member of Brothers in Arms, echoed these sentiments, stating that the government is eroding the nation's values and the spirit of the IDF. Their protest is fueled by a deep desire to live in a democratic country where basic values are safeguarded without fear of constant threats. "We are fighting for the dearest thing to us so that our kids can continue to live here," he said.

Netanyahu, IDF leadership in denial of adverse effect of protests and reservist withdrawals

In response to the tense situation, Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi are set to meet to discuss the readiness of the armed forces. But initial statements from the IDF top brass claim that it remains ready for war despite the ongoing protests and reservist withdrawals. Halevi and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also recently presented the military's readiness statistics to Netanyahu.

While there have been no incidents of infighting over the judicial reform debate within the military so far, the situation remains tense.

The IDF chief of staff also recently made a public visit to the Tel Nof Air Force Base near Tel Aviv. The timing of this visit raised eyebrows among observers who wondered if it was a direct response to the reservists' refusal. The IDF initially remained silent, declining to comment on the reservists' letter.

After two hours of silence, Air Force Chief Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar came up with a public letter addressing the situation. In his response, Bar acknowledged the complex circumstances surrounding the protest and mentioned that there would likely be intense media coverage in the coming week.

Bar emphasized the critical role the Air Force has played in safeguarding Israel for 75 years and stressed that the current security challenges are as dangerous as ever. He asserted that maintaining the highest level of vigilance is essential to protect the nation.

"We will clarify the exact details surrounding the letter and its implications. However, the responsibility which remains with us has not changed – to continue the dialogue with our reservists and mandatory service officers," Bar asserted.

Visit Resist.news for more stories like this.

Watch this video to learn more about the Israeli Defense Forces.

This video is from the Migratory Animal channel on Brighteon.com.

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Sources include: 

TheJerusalemPost.com 1


TheJerusalemPost.com 2


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