Infantry petition: We won't do reserve duty anymore
Reservists' protest steps it up: Soldiers in Galilee division of reserve company write to their brigade commander with 'shaking hands': 'Following difficult sense of deprivation and lack of consideration by our senior commanders – we are announcing that we don't intend to continue serving as reserve soldiers and request that we not be called up for active reserve duty'
Until now, the reservists' protest hadn't come to a situation of declarations that they don't intend to serve. Yet, according to the soldiers in the Orev company, who are about to be released from reserve duty Tuesday, the difficult decision was made in the face of great frustration and bitterness from their last reserve service in Lebanon. They signed the petition with "shaking hands."
One of the soldiers told Ynet, "We have been active since the end of July in the western zone. We carried out operations deep in the field, we destroyed launcher and damaged terror infrastructure. We received degrading treatment, the equipment was unsound, and there were supply problems on top of it all. But we kept quiet and drove on."
The soldiers are complaining about the fact that they received fewer days to prepare for service than other soldiers who received an emergency call-up. "Until now, soldiers from our company were stationed in Lebanon. Leading up to our release, we checked if we receive similar conditions as other reserve soldiers, in other words, five to seven days to recover. At first, they didn't answer our questions. Afterwards, they told us that we will receive only two days because we weren't operating deep in Lebanon," said the same soldier.
'It's hard for us to sign on such a thing'
Company soldiers say that they feel hurt. "We are running after the company commander and the deputy company commander in order to talk to them, but no one is listening. They're at the end of their rope," the soldier explained.
Tuesday evening the company soldiers and their friends formulated a petition declaring that in light of the lack of consideration and the sense of inequality between them and other reserve soldiers who received more recovery days, they don't intend to report for reserve duty.
"We gave our all – and this is what we get? We can't do it anymore," the soldiers say. The petition has been signed by 40 company soldiers. The officers, it was agreed, won't sign, but expressed that they support the petition in principle. "The officers preferred not to sign, but we sense that they are no less hurt than we are," said one of the soldiers.
According to the reservists, they would have been happy not to get to such a situation. "We are part of the IDF and want to continue being a part of it. If only we could prevent this, but one must also think about the soldiers. There are soldiers here that have never missed reserve duty, that report every time they are called. In this year alone we served 24 days in operational activity and another four days in brigade exercises. The feeling is so terrible that we can't keep quiet anymore," they said.
Soldiers of the reconnaissance company in the brigade have not signed the petition at this point. "We feel the same, as if we have been used. But on the other hand, it's hard for us to sign on such a thing – that we will never do reserve duty again. In any case, we won't let this treatment become part of the agenda and we are thinking how to act. If they don't listen to us, we also will sign on this document," said one of the reconnaissance soldiers.
IDF sources noted that they are looking into the reservists' claims outlined in the petition.