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Illustration Photo: Michael Kremer
Illustration Photo: Michael Kremer

'Reserves on verge of collapse'

Ahead of special Knesset session on Reserve Forces, 15 regiment commanders warn PM, defense minister that continued government's failures will soon bring about the corps' collapse

Yossi Yehoshua
Published: 05.29.12, 08:07 / Israel News

Some 15 regiment commanders, who serve in the Reserves, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz, warning that "continued government's failures" may soon cause the Reserves to collapse.


The letter was sent ahead of a special Knesset session on Israel's Reserves Force.


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The letter, published by Yedioth Ahronoth, warns against what it calls the government's "traditional policy of breaching promises made to reservists," adding that reservists "Are not pets in the Knesset's petting zoo. We are a sector, and just like you we can shrug off our responsibilities.


"If you don't start working for those who serve in the Reserves, you will find that there is no one there to protect your seats – or your homes," the letter said.


The military, the letter cautioned, "Has forgotten how to train for elementary things, because there it's not in the budget. We are sorely lacking in training days and the troops are worn out. In five years, you won't find officers willing to become more than company commanders. You will lose the professional advantage."


The commanders stressed that "Should we be called for duty we will report immediately. We will be given uniforms, weapons and munitions, but will others show up? Will they remember how to use their weapons?


"There has been a lot of talk about universal service. Let's start by giving those who are already serving their country the maximum – in the IDF and in civilian life. Then we won't have to constantly deal with the question of why everyone isn't willing to share the burden," the letter concluded.



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