Netanyahu calls refusal to volunteer for military service 'unacceptable'

Prime Minister says in a democracy, the military answers to the elected government, not the other way around, as refusing to serve erodes Israel's deterrence against its enemies

Liran Tamari|
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said that the refusal of the IDF reserve volunteers to serve in the military contradicts democracy and puts Israeli security under threat. "It is unacceptable for a group within the IDF to threaten the government Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting postponed from Sunday, due to his unexpected hospitalization.
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"Amending the reasonableness clause will not only preserve democracy but strengthen it," the prime minister said referring to the bill that is expected to be brought to a final vote next week, despite growing protests and calls to suspend the legislation. "Claims of a democratic collapse are detached and intended to scare the public.," he said.
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ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בישיבת הממשלה בירושלים
ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בישיבת הממשלה בירושלים
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Mark Israel Salem)
"To those who wave the democracy flag, in a democracy, the military is subject to the elected government, not the other way around. calls to refuse to serve and the refusal itself contradict democracy and the law," he said adding that such action would pose a direct threat to national security and bolster Israel's enemies to launch attacks. "No democratic country can accept such blackmail," he said and warned that the government will take punitive action.
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מחאת המילואימניקים ליד ביתו של יואב קיש
מחאת המילואימניקים ליד ביתו של יואב קיש
IDF reservists protest outside the home of former Air force pilot and current minister Yoav Kisch
(Photo: Ido Erez)
"We know you and we know you are panicking, former members of the Israeli Special Operations Directorate and Offensive Cyber units said. "Don't lecture us about the essence of democracy, considering that you're planning to dismiss the Attorney General and other gatekeepers of democracy the day after passing your bill."
According to their statement, "A prime minister who cares about his troops doesn't send his supporters to brand them sympathizers of terror and doesn't abandon them to the International Criminal Court. You have lost legitimacy. You can fool everyone, but you won't be able to mislead history."
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