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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Thousands of Reservists Rally for Equal Share of Military Burden

Some 35,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv urging government to enact universal draft legislation.

Some 35,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv urging government to enact universal draft legislation.
Photo Credit: Tali Mayer/flash90

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As the Shabbat day turned into dusk, many hundreds of by-and-large secular Israelis who have done their military service and are now spending many weeks each year in reserve duty, gathered at the railway station in the city center, where in recent weeks the “Suckers’ Camp” was built by their brethren. Later in the evening, they all marched to the Tel Aviv Museum on King Saul Street, where the main rally was attracting tens of thousands (police estimate was between 30 and 40 thousand).

The keynote speaker, former GSS chief Yuval Diskin, said: “I served this country for thirty-seven years with love and with hope, and throughout these long years I did not even once, even for one moment, feel that I was a sucker. When I joined, almost everyone enlisted, but when I got out I discovered that we are close to the point where almost no one is enlisting. And that’s the whole story.”

Former Mossad chief, MK Avi Dichter said: “A large public is demanding this evening that which an overwhelming majority of Knesset members demand – a an historic legislation to establish the message: We all serve.”

Dichter added that “everything is leading to a bill to be prepared in the next few days.”

Student Union Chairman Itzik Shmully, who was a leader of last summer’s popular movement for social change in Israel, spoke from the podium to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“Mr. Prime Minister, tonight is the time for your own personal decision. All of Israel expects you, the Prime Minister of Israel, to make the most important decision in your public life and decide – are you a politician or Leader?” Shmuly said.

“If you are a politician – go ahead and establish build more panels and committees. If you’re a leader – make clear decisions! If you are a politician – continue to make deals and play for time. If you’re a leader – find the courage to make the right decisions now. If you are a politician, continue to speculate with our obligation to always defend our country, but if you’re a leader, then your commitment should be to establish here an egalitarian society.”

Several former high-ranking officers picked this evening to show their solidarity with the demonstrators.

Former chief of staff Dan Halutz, dropped a political bombshell in an interview on Meet the Press with Dana Weiss on Channel 2, and announced that he was retiring from Kadima.

“Following the moves of Mofaz and Netanyahu I’m leaving Kadima,” and delivered a jab at his party chairman: “I think we’ve had enough of these games, and politicians who sit in the government should take the actions required of them. For them to demonstrate in this rally would be a cynical move. After all, if they had solved the problem, there won’t be a need for the protest.”

Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz attended the rally, as did MK wannabe Yair Lapid and former Kadima chairperson Tzipi Livni.

Retired general Moshe Kaplinsky attend the rally, having told Channel 2: “I am here because a lot of people here were my soldiers. They are carrying an unreasonable share of the burden.”

Another former chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, took the stage and said that since he celebrated his son’s wedding this week, he could not arrive on time. “I’m glad I’m here, I salute all of you,” he concluded excitedly.

For some background information try Mofaz to Netanyahu: You Must Accept Haredi Conscription.

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7 Responses to “Thousands of Reservists Rally for Equal Share of Military Burden”

  1. Simca Brooks says:

    This is NOT true. The demonstrators here are not 'reservists' but leftist demonstrating to bring the government down under the mask of 'social rights'…
    These people 'The New Israel Fund' and are funded and supported by George Sorro. These people are attacking everything of value to Israel and Judaism!
    SO don't mislead the readers!

  2. Yori Yanover says:

    The movement to shoulder the burden equally runs across the political map in Israel and is based on a genuine sentiment by Israelis who must serve many weeks each year, after having served 3 years, while most Haredim don't do either. It is a simple call from one half of the nation to the other not to "stand over the blood of your fellow man."

    There is no connection that I'm aware of between NIF and George Soros and the Suckers Camp. If you actually possess knowledge of one, send it over and we'll blast it on our front page.

    But to just spew this stuff without foundation is chutzpah.

  3. Simca Brooks says:

    Well I'm sure you'd reject any references I might put forward, but here goes…

    The [Wikileaks] cables summarize meetings between U.S. officials and leaders of the New Israel Fund, B’Tselem, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, called ACRI, a flagship NIF project.

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/09/06/wikileaks-new-israel-fund-endorses-end-of-jewish-state/

    In an Israel Radio interview in the 8:00-9:00 hour this morning, protest leader Stav Shafir admitted to Israel Radio's Keren Neubach that American millionaire and peace process promoter S. Daniel Abraham has financed some of the 'social justice' demonstrations that have taken place in Israel over the last few weeks. Abraham admitted the same thing on Tuesday night.

    http://israelmatzav.blogspot.co.il/2011/08/s-daniel-abraham-financing-tent-cities.html

    Although Abraham refused to answer the question of how much money he donated, he did say he sees a connection between the settlements and the social distress he hopes will force an end of the conflict.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/146560#.T_mtCJHTS9U

    Abraham was a former board member of Soros’ International Crisis Group and had provided the manpower for J Street, while the Soros money stayed hidden in the paperwork that no one was supposed to see.

    http://frontpagemag.com/2011/daniel-greenfield/the-soros-plot-to-topple-netanyahu/

    Yair Lapid, media celeb who formed a party to run in the next Knesset election, bares truth of the protest agenda: a secular State of Israel

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/146243#.T_mrgJHTS9U

    With all of this mass infrastructure to support 'social' protests (while Greek families are turning their children out on the street) it's not hard to imagine that the suckers protest is also a campaign by the same people. If it is, no doubt it will come out sooner or later, much like everything else has.

    By the way, the Orthodox in Israel, although engaged in studies at Yeshivahs, also volunteer as firemen, medics, orphanages and more…

    Have a good read through the refs.

  4. Yori Yanover says:

    You are absolutely right about the long list of Israeli NGOs which are essentially anti-Israeli and which receive funding from foreign governments and other foreign sources.

    But in everything you cited there's not one bit showing that the reservists who demonstrated Saturday night in Tel-Aviv are not genuine. Since you didn't watch Israeli TV, I take it, I can share with you that Channel 2 interviewed strings of men of all ages who came down with their reservists' cards to show that they're in it not for the politics but out of a serious need for relief. They are feeling used up.

    So, please, we're waiting, show me proof that the organization "Suckers' Camp" is financed by foreign interests. I'm eager to see it.

    Or, if you can't, have the courage to say you made a mistaek.

  5. Yori Yanover says:

    Sorry, you can squirm, you can splash about, you can dig up dirt — but you told a lie — that the reservists at the rally were not really reservists, and that Soros and other outsiders are funding this. I asked you to prove it or to apologize for speaking an untruth. So now you committed a real sin of lashon hara against Plesner, who is a Jew according to halacha. I wonder if you have what it takes to simply admit a mistake.

  6. Simca Brooks says:

    You and your kind are the reason why people are turned off journalism!

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