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Israel’s army readiness, Air Force cohesion at risk over judicial overhaul rift

Senior IDF officers fear that not only the operational readiness of the soldiers could be damaged by the refusal of reservists to show up for duty, the cohesion and the spirit of the whole army could take a serious blow.
An installation of a crashed Israel Air Force fighter jet is displayed in a protest against the government's judicial reform bill, Tel Aviv, Israel, March 29, 2023.

TEL AVIV — The legislation approved this week neutering the Supreme Court’s review of government decisions, and the widespread protest movement that preceded Monday’s vote, are expected to have a negative impact on the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

While the extent of the ramification is unknown as yet, several thousand reservists have already announced they are suspending their service to protest what they see as the government’s drift toward a dictatorship. According to the "Brothers in Arms" protest group last week, some 20,000 reservists from all branches of the army had signed on to an open letter, warning that they will not show up for service if the judicial overhaul is adopted. However, it is difficult to estimate if the number is correct.

For obvious reasons, the IDF has not published exact figures of those rejecting reserve duty call-ups. Members of the government’s security Cabinet also say they have not been given comprehensive information by the military officers who briefed some of them in recent days.

Air Force biggest concern

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