Israel Sparks Security Crisis After Judicial Overhaul
The US expressed concerns about Israel’s “rushed judiciary overhaul” and the implications it could have on the country’s security. Washington sent the CENTCOM commander on a quick trip to Israel after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the country’s military readiness could be affected.
Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the IDF chief of staff, said they have tried to stay out of the current discourse. “But given its current prominence in Israeli society, we got caught up in it, and our unity was impaired. It is our duty to prevent these cracks from widening.” 1,142 air force reservists announced last week they would end their volunteer duty in protest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to overhaul the judiciary. The Israel Air Force relies heavily on the reserve pilots for its combat and reconnaissance missions.
A reservist said it was one of the most difficult decisions he ever made in his life. “I came to the conclusion that this government is the biggest danger that Israel faces right now. More than any external enemy or threat, be it Iran, Hezbollah, anyone out there. Since I don’t believe in violence inside Israel, the only option that I was left with is to stop serving in reserve, because I don’t want to serve a dictatorship.”
Chuck Freilich, a senior researcher at The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, said Israel is at a historical inflection point in which extreme measures may have to be taken to endure the country’s fundamental character of democracy. Yiftach Golov, a disabled IDF veteran, said the reservists are the backbone of the IDF. “They comprise the majority, the bigger fraction of the IDF, with strength in numbers and higher expertise.”
Netanyahu failed to take into consideration the country’s security when he went ahead with the judiciary overhaul.