Hundreds of IDF reservists hit out at insubordination as judicial reform tensions simmer

Some 250 reserve soldiers and veterans of elite Paratroopers Brigade reconnaissance unit sign letter addressed to defense minister and IDF chief, decrying calls by reform opponents to not report for duty

Some 250 reserve soldiers and veterans of the elite Paratroopers Brigade reconnaissance unit have signed a letter addressed to Defense Minister Yoav Galant and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, expressing their opposition to insubordination as opponents of the government’s judicial reform push threaten to not report for duty.
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"We, the veterans of the Paratroopers reconnaissance unit throughout generations, write this letter to express our resistance to the blatant insubordination observed in certain reserve units that unfortunately choose to serve in the reserves only under certain conditions or specific government decisions," they wrote.
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מחאה בדרך לירושלים
מחאה בדרך לירושלים
IDF reservists block Jerusalem road in protest of Judicial reform
(Photo: Brothers in Arms)
"Since our forefathers dreamed of returning to the Holy Land thousands of years ago, through persecutions and pogroms across Europe and Africa, culminating in the Holocaust that threatened to annihilate the Jewish people, the dream of Israeli soldiers serving in the ranks of the IDF to protect its people and borders has been the essence of the sacred vision reserved for devout believers.
Today, as we have the privilege to serve in the IDF, we have no intention of forsaking it for any reason in the world. Serving in the IDF and standing for reserve duty is a right and a source of pride," the letter stated.
"Until now, the fighters of the unit have refrained from withholding their service in the reserves due to political decisions that may be made, whether through significant legislation or political processes chosen by decision-makers. Reserve duty is the foundation of our existence in this country. Without it, the IDF cannot fulfill its missions and safeguard the security of Israeli citizens.
We believe that in military service and reserve duty, there is no place for such political considerations and any others. We must prevent societal disputes from entering the gates of the IDF. In our opinion, the IDF is the holy of holies and the cornerstone of Israeli society, and there is no room for politics to interfere.
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שר הביטחון יואב גלנט, הרטמכ"ל הרצי הלוי וראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו הערכת מצב לאחר הפיגוע בעלי
שר הביטחון יואב גלנט, הרטמכ"ל הרצי הלוי וראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו הערכת מצב לאחר הפיגוע בעלי
IDF chief Herzi Halevi and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
(Photo: Defense Ministry)
We have never examined who are the ones fighting alongside us, whether they are kibbutzniks, settlers, secular or religious, or any political affiliation, and we will continue to do so as required. Furthermore, we expect you to act to mitigate this inappropriate phenomenon of calling for insubordination to reserve duty, which is heard in various places."
"Throughout the years, we have left our spouses, children, families and businesses when we were required to fulfill our reserve duty, and we have done so without any hesitations or conditions, and we will continue to do so as required. If the current situation necessitates additional reserve duty days due to the refusal of some reservists, we will respond at the moment it is required. We call on you with a clear call to fulfill any mission whenever needed. We love the IDF and the State of Israel!"
The initiator of the letter is Hallel Shnekolski, a soldier in the unit, who said: "Unfortunately, there have been calls recently from several reservists from different units to refuse service due to judicial reforms. In my opinion, regardless of opinions regarding the reforms, there is no place to involve the IDF in the controversy. The IDF is the holy of holies of Israeli society, and we do not have the privilege to refuse to attend reserve duty and weaken the IDF."
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