After criticism voiced by Navy reserve officers, who recently published a letter in which they called for a probe into the "military failure" of the raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, some 100 of their colleagues, including commanders, division officers and company officers, sent a letter to the prime minister, defense minister and IDF chief of staff in which they expressed their support of the Shayetet 13 commandoes who took over the Turkish Marmara ship.
"We wanted to express our support of these esteemed people without making waves in the media, but after last week's critical letter, we decided to have ours published, so that the officers who chose to protest do not emerge with the upper hand," said Major (res.) Yaakov Barnes, one of the letter's initiators.
The signatories include several former senior Navy officers, such as Brigadier-General (res.) Haim Shaked and a number of colonels.
They said that their comrades who signed the protest letter "deviated from the norms and principles we were taught in the Navy. These norms teach us that criticism should be leveled after the process of studying all the facts and figures is complete, and not when you are fed rumors, from the media or from leaks within the Navy."
The letter went on to say, "We appeal to you in order to express our support and faith in the Navy's operation. We are certain that the establishment will do everything in its power to carry out in-depth investigations and correct the mistakes and flaws, if any are found.
"This letter is not meant to ratify or negate any criticism, but it is important we note that we take issue with the manner in which the criticism was expressed."