By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — July 25, 2023 … The Israel Defense Forces has never been more powerful and prepared for any event.
“At the current point in time, the IDF is competent. There was an increase in requests to stop reserve service, alongside this, there is a dialogue between commanders and servants,” IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari said in a statement.
“If IDF reservists do not report for a long time, there will be damage to the army’s competence,” he warned. “This is a gradual process that will be affected according to the reporting of the reservists.”
Earlier this week, a small number of reservists from different units of the Israeli army threatened to suspend their voluntary service if the bill was adopted.
In response to the vote and ensuing protests from citizens and reservists alike, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi called for unity to defend Israel and “guarantee the existence of the state,” urging that IDF reservists report for duty.
“The days of controversy and crisis require emphasizing the common and the unifying task of defending the country as our deep commitment,” Halevi said in a statement.
“The IDF is ready for any challenge, this is our imperative to guarantee the existence of the state.
The IDF consists of every soldier, every commander, in the reserves and regular (army), who work together for a common goal,” he continued.
“We must bring together the reservists who are very dear to us, whose contribution to the security of the country is great. Even those few who made a decision with a heavy heart not to report, the IDF needs you. Only together will we protect our home. We will train, prepare, and do it together. Choose to stand firm in the face of the challenges of this complex time. We have a lot of responsibility.”
Israel National Unity party leader Benny Gantz, a retired army general who served as the Minister of Defense between 2020 and 2022, says from the Knesset rostrum that he is concerned that social divisions tied to the coalition’s plan to sap the judiciary of power are spilling over into the Israel Defense Forces, as some reservists say they will not show up for voluntary duty in protest.
While Israeli politics generally endeavors to “keep the IDF outside of disagreements,” says Gantz.
Gantz is asking all IDF Reservists to report to duty while all disputes outside the IDF are resolved.
Politicizing the military “is a national mistake and it’s a very grave leadership failure,” says Gantz.