Reservists protest the protestors
In face of protest by some reservists demanding political and military echelons step down due to results of war in Lebanon, another group of reservists sends letter slamming ‘dangerous whirl of rash and unthinking criticism, which strengthens and encourages Israel’s enemies’
“Childishness,” “irresponsibility,” and “shooting ourselves in the foot” – these are just some of the expressions a group of reservists used to describe their colleagues’ protest in a letter they sent out this week.
Dozens of reserve officers and soldiers joined the call for “real national responsibility" in response to the demonstrations of their colleagues.
'Rash and unthinking criticism'
“As we return home from serving in Lebanon, we are disappointed to discover that in the past few weeks the public discussion has sunken into a dangerous whirl of rash and unthinking criticism, which strengthens and encourages Israel’s enemies,” they wrote.
“We call for an immediate stop to this practice which spells inevitable disaster. The irresponsible declarations of defeat along with the inappropriate demands to dismiss leaders only unjustly encourages our rivals, harms our deterrent abilities and frays the social unity. A nation that hastens to declare its own defeat, when it is its enemies who have failed, is a nation losing its sense.”
Attorney Ariel Sagi, a 28-year-old reservist officer from Tel Aviv and one of the leaders of the initiative, is convinced that reservists’ protests “pour the baby out with the bathwater.”
Sagi elucidates his and his colleagues’ grievances: “We decided that it was wrong for reservists to cause such damage, so we united against the phenomenon. Their conduct is irresponsible, immature, and an unnecessary wallowing in the situation. It is a signal to our enemies that all it takes is killing 150 Israeli soldiers to claim victory over Israel. We need to stand more respectably.”
Representatives of other long-standing reservist organizations, such as Baltam (a six-year-old movement for the advancement of reservists’ interests) and the Hapash forum for reserve soldiers, also expressed distress over the central demand of reservist protestors for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz to step down.