Reservists Refuse To Protest Far-Right Government

A growing number of Israeli army reservists are refusing to return to duty in protest against the country’s new far-right government, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.

Reservists play an important role in the Israeli army and are called upon to serve up to sixty days a year.

Thirty-seven out of forty reservists from Israel Air Force 69 Squadron said they would not show up for training on Sunday, saying they would not offer their services to a “ dictatorial regime”, according to The Guardian.

The pilots who operate the F-15I form an indispensable strategic squadron capable of conducting long-range missions.

Security officials fear their opposition could lead to insubordination within the ranks of the serving army.

“For me, it is inconceivable to do so. I served in the Air Force for 31 years, 16 of them under Netanyahu, although I never voted for him,” Omer Denk, a former fighter jet pilot, told TheGuardian. -15 aged 51.

Although pilots and intelligence operatives have participated in boycotts over issues like the Gaza disengagement and the second war on Lebanon, the growing number of these types of incidents is unprecedented.

Mr. Denk adds: “It is not about politics. This is a crisis of confidence in a leadership that wants to destroy Israel as a liberal democracy.”

Thousands of people are taking part in Israel-wide protests against plans to overhaul the country’s justice system.

Critics, including influential business leaders and former military figures, say Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing the country toward authoritarian rule. They point to the obvious conflict of interest of targeting judges when the prime minister is on trial for corruption.

In Israel, anti-government protests turned violent for the first time on Wednesday when police used stun grenades and a water cannon to repel protesters blocking a Tel Aviv highway.

On Monday, Netanyahu called the reservists’ refusal to report for work unacceptable and spoke of an “existential” threat, writes The Guardian.

He also posted a picture of his military ID on social media, along with the caption: “When called to the reserves we always go. We are one nation.”

Former military officials have expressed concern about the proposed judicial changes, stressing that they could expose them to international prosecution, adds The Guardian.

Israel is not a member of the International Criminal Court. He says his own legal system adequately investigates allegations of wrongdoing by the armed forces.

Palestinians and human rights organizations have long argued that the very low number of indictments in Israeli investigations is nothing more than a cover-up for the occupation.

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