Halevi says without unity in the ranks, Israel cannot survive

Chief of Staff publishes a letter to his troops amid the crisis posed by the refusal of at least 10,000 members of the IDF reserve units among them pilots in the Air Force, to volunteer for service of what they call a non-democratic regime

Yoav Zitun|
Chief of Military Staff Herzi Halevi said on Sunday, that without unity in the ranks, Israel will not survive in the Middle East. Halevi addressed his troops in a letter warning of the repercussions to the IDF should volunteers in the reserves, act on their threats to no longer show up for service amid the government's push to change the balance of power between the courts and the executive and legislative branches.
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"Military service in active service and in the reserves is a duty and a great privilege. If we are not a unified force if the best among us do not serve, we will not be able to survive as an independent country in the region," Halevi wrote. "It is not too late for repair and we must do repair. There is no other way other than with unity. It is our responsibility and mine as IDF chief first and foremost."
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הרצלי הלוי בסיום קורס קצינים מחזור 66
הרצלי הלוי בסיום קורס קצינים מחזור 66
Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Halevi published the letter while over 1,000 members of the Air Force including pilots and navigators, said they would no longer volunteer to serve if the judicial legislation is passed and some 10,000 others from across the military, signed a declaration stating the same.
"The IDF's mission has not changed in Israel's 75 years and is to defend the country's existence. The military's might lies in the superiority of its human resource, its preparedness for war and its unity inside and outside the military," he said.
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מסיבת עיתונאים של אחים לנשק
מסיבת עיתונאים של אחים לנשק
IDF volunteer reservists in a press conference on Saturday
(Photo: Yair Sagi)
Halevi alluded to a clip posted on social media last week that depicted Air Force pilots deserting troops on the ground because they would not express opposition to the judicial overhaul. The clip was shared by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and by Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar. Families of fallen IDF soldiers were outraged and said the clip was hurtful to them and an affront to the memory of their loved ones.
"We have attempted to leave the IDF out of the public debate but were dragged into it," Halevi wrote, "When fractures appear in our ranks an infantry soldier may mistakenly believe he will not receive the support he needs from an Air Force pilot, because of a political dispute and a pilot would be wrong to think that we would allow him to return to duty if the need arises if he misses his necessary training routine."
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רץ ברשת: "לא מכניסים פוליטיקה לצבא"
רץ ברשת: "לא מכניסים פוליטיקה לצבא"
Inciting clip shared by Ben-Gvir, Zohar last week depicting pilots deserting troops over judicial legislation
The military chief went on to say that in the face of Israel's security challenges, no one has the right to refuse a call to service and asked the members of the volunteer reserves not to refuse to do so.
Halevi was scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to present him with the up-to-date evaluation of the military on its preparedness for war amid the announcement of reservists, but after Netanyahu was hospitalized, the meeting was postponed to an undetermined time.
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