IDF cancels tribute to reservists over 'budget cuts' - Israel News, Ynetnews

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Last year's event Photo: Defense Ministry
Last year's event Photo: Defense Ministry

IDF cancels tribute to reservists over 'budget cuts'

After canceling Independence Day INF sail, military calls off Lag Ba'omer event honoring Reserves. Army officials: Event postponed due to budget cuts

Yossi Yehoshua
Published: 04.16.12, 11:51 / Israel News

After cutting back on reserve duty days and number of military exercises, reserve soldiers get hit once again as IDF cancels event honoring them.


The event, which is held annually around Lag Ba'omer to solute reserve soldiers for their contribution to the state, is usually attended by high ranking officials such as the defense minister and chief of staff. It has traditionally featured a long list of top notch artists such as Shlomo Artzi and Yehuda Poliker.


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Though the IDF – citing cutbacks in the defense budget – planned a smaller event with an estimated cost of a few hundred thousand shekels, it eventually decided to cancel it altogether.


While officials in the IDF claimed that the event was not canceled, but merely postponed until August for budgetary reasons, sources privy to the decision said the event "will not be held in August, or at any other time."


Commanders of reserve battalions were infuriated when learning about the decision to cancel the event. "The IDF cut the soldiers' benefits, retracted its intention to cover transportation expenses, harmed the preparedness of the units and even scaled down food and equipment supplies, and now they are canceling the symbolic event that honors reserve soldiers.


"When the reserve apparatus finally collapses, no budget will be able to help it," a message posted on an online forum for reserve soldiers stated.


On Sunday it was reported that the IDF decided to cancel its annual Independence Day naval sail, citing budget cuts. Other public events to be nixed this year include the "IDF parking lots" that are set up throughout the country, and offer thousands of families musical performances and other activities.






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