Some 100 reservists from Sderot decided to launch a public struggle and refuse to do reserve duty as long as the government continues to "abandon Sderot's residents." the reservists declared their intentions in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
The petition was signed by officers and soldiers in the reserve, both religious and secular.
"We, reserve soldiers and officers from Sderot, have been brought up on the values of Zionism, Judaism and the sacrifice for the state and its citizens. We used to believe that army service was a privilege and a duty for the State of Israel and its residents, and that this was the only way to ensure the existence of a safe home for the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora," they wrote in the letter.
"Last summer we were called up for the war in the north and responded to the call out of a sense of mutual commitment, national duty and a shared destiny with the residents of the north. We feel that this commitment is being violated in Sderot and the Gaza-area communities by the Israeli government," they added.
"The government does not offer a solution to the threat, but attempts to buy us with retreats and gifts… we refuse to have our children and the children of the region continue being the State of Israel's cannon fodder," they concluded.
'No leadership in Israel'Captain (res) Adi Azran, who is one of the letter's signatories, told Ynet, "We decided to take this action, which goes against one of my greatest principles – doing reserve duty – because we came to the realization that there was no leadership in Israel, and that the leaders are a bunch of clowns."
Azran said he was outraged by the long delay in addressing Sderot's plight. "For seven years the residents have been asked to stand in the frontline without fortification, and have been told: Don't run away from Sderot, hold on. This cannot go on. The Philadelphi Route can be closed within 40 days, and a military campaign is definitely part of a political process. The petition's significance lies in it presenting an alternative."
Raising awareness to situation in SderotAnother signatory, Lieutenant Colonel (res) Haim Kuznitz, said that he would have difficulty
doing reserve duty when he gets called up. "The feeling is that we're being treated with disrespect. We listen to the ridiculous suggestions of the cabinet members and find it hard to believe. Minister Yishai has offered to wipe villages off the map, this is clearly an illegal order, and the IDF would not do such a thing. Minister Sheetrit offered firing Qassams back into Gaza. This is a disgrace, these are clowns."
Kuznitz explained that the move was prompted by the feeling that people were being abandoned. "The state has succeeded in convincing people that there was nothing to so, and that this is our fate. We don't necessarily want a military offensive, we are familiar more than most with war's ugly face. All we want is quiet, that the state sees to it that there is quiet here."
Kuznitz said he hoped the petition would raise awareness and public consciousness to the situation in Sderot, and that more reservists would join it.