Israeli military reservists at centre of anti-government protests

The voices of dissent from Israeli military veterans and reservists towards the country’s government are getting louder as protests against the “judicial reform” plans continue.

But after protests on Tuesday saw highways blocked, Israel’s military establishment is also pushing back, with army chief Herzl Halevi warning that “anyone who calls for not reporting [for reserve duty] harms” the Israeli forces and “security of the state”.

Military protest group Brothers in Arms was one of the dozens who participated in the second weekly “day of disruption”, in which the voices of ex-soldiers have taken centre stage.

Leading the way are the more than 10,000 reservist soldiers, including members of the elite intelligence unit 8200 and air force pilots, who have signed an online petition to “go to war for the soul of the nation”, threatening to boycott their reservist duty.

Retired army generals who spoke to Al Jazeera disagreed over the scope of the protesters’ harm to the army and its preparedness for a future conflict.

Amiram Levin, a former major-general and commander of the Israeli military’s northern command, insists that “the [reservists] are not threatening anything” and that it is the far right in the government that is “endangering the safety of the state of Israel”.



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