Middle East Over 600 Israeli reservists stop serving in protest over judicial reform

Under a growing state of social unrest and polarization, Israel faces two dramatic weeks in and out of the Knesset

Middle East Over 600 Israeli reservists stop serving in protest over judicial reform

Under a growing state of social unrest and polarization, Israel faces two dramatic weeks in and out of the Knesset. Before the parliamentary recess at the beginning of April, the Government intends to approve some of the laws of its project of changes in the judiciary that, due to the unprecedented internal crisis and warnings about the economic effects, may be more moderate than those announced in January. The most contentious point continues to be the desire of the coalition to have a majority in the commission that appoints judges.

The massive demonstrations in the streets, with a spectacular display of force the day before yesterday in the eleventh consecutive Saturday of protests, are beginning to have tangible effects on the Army. Around 650 reservists have communicated that since this Sunday they have not presented themselves to voluntary service in protest against the parliamentary progress of the government plan by denouncing that it strikes down the separation of powers and judicial independence. The announcement of these officers and soldiers performing Miluim (reserve service) in Aman Special Operations (Military Intelligence) and cyber warfare related department confirms Army chief Herzi Halevi's fears that the political-legal crisis -social penetrating compulsory military service in general and reserve service in particular.

At the same time, Air Force reservists (180 pilots, some 50 controllers and around 40 responsible for activating drones) will not show up for training scheduled for the next few days, alleging that these are "two critical weeks in the regime change that they claim, which is why active steps are necessary to stop the unilateral process". Thus, they indicate, they will dedicate themselves to promoting dialogue and fighting in defense of democracy. But not going to Air Force training with all that this means in Israel is an infinitely more effective and symbolic protest than showing a banner in front of the Parliament in Jerusalem.

"I notified the head of the squad that I cannot go. This is not a political issue but a crisis of confidence. I served the country regardless of who governs because I had high confidence in the State in its democracy and its counterweights. Today, for Unfortunately, this is not the case in the face of the maddened race of judicial changes," says a high-ranking officer in his least secret mission in his 30 years of service and clarifies that none has rejected the call-up if it is an operational mission.

In the biggest internal crisis he has dealt with in his more than 15 years as prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu sent a message to Halevi. "I expect the Chief of the General Staff and the security services to fight with determination against the refusal to serve that has no place in the public debate. A country that values ​​life cannot tolerate these phenomena," he said, also asking the Inspector Chief of Police, Kobi Shabtai, to "enforce the law and prevent violence and roadblocks to allow the routine life of citizens." On the other hand, he reiterated the need for reform "to ensure the balance between the three authorities that has been broken in recent decades as has not happened in any democracy in the world."

"Netanyahu, stop the legislation and the head of the Army will not have to fight against insubordination, the head of the Shin Bet (internal security service) will not have to fight against incitement and the head of the Police will be able to deal with the fight again against terrorism before Ramadan. Everything is in your hands, stop blaming others," replied the head of the opposition, Yair Lapid, who demanded a condemnation of the attacks by radicals against protesters in recent days.

"I am in favor of a broad judicial reform, but we must take into account what is happening in the country. Netanyahu must intervene and stop the legislation to talk," says Likud deputy David Bitan in favor of freezing the reform at a time in which the tensions are at a high point of tension that perhaps is still far from reaching the ceiling

According to the criteria of The Trust Project