Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Yair Golan speaking at a demonstration.

Following his landslide election as chairman of the Labor Party, a recording of Yair Golan surfaced in which he was calling for widespread civil disobedience to apply pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Remember the reservists’ letter?” Golan is heard saying in the recording. “The slightest threat of civil disobedience put Netanyahu under crazy pressure. Why don’t we make much more extensive use of it?” Golan then explained: “Civil disobedience is, for example: ‘We don’t do reserves duty until the government is replaced.'”


The reservists’ letter was part of a campaign pushed by the Brothers-in-Arms and other anarchist groups during the political fight over judicial reform in the first nine months of 2023. Yair Golan, who retired from the IDF at the rank of a General, was one of the leaders of the movement that brought thousands of demonstrators to the streets.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Wednesday night appealed to Attorney General Gali Baharav Mihara, demanding that she open a criminal investigation against the new Labor Party Chairman for calling for recalcitrance of IDF reservists during a public conference.

In a letter he sent to the AG, Minister Ben Gvir wrote: “Former MK, and chairman of the new Labor Party Yair Golan, who is known for his semi-legal statements, this evening issued additional horrible statements that constitute a clear and explicit incitement to rebellion and refusing orders during wartime.”

Ben Gvir cited the quick action that had been taken last week by the IDF against a reserves soldier who said on camera that his loyalty was to the prime minister and not the chief of staff or defense minister, and wrote, “It’s true, this is not about a fighter who is currently in Gaza – after all, when it came to him you didn’t finish watching the video and already permission was issued to open a criminal investigation against him. Still, you are expected to announce this evening that the Golan will be summoned for questioning and be prosecuted.”

Ben Gvir added that “the rule of law cannot be a mere recommendation when it comes to people who are right in your opinion. Things are doubly serious when we are at war on all fronts, and any statement like this actually endangers the citizens of Israel.”

Minister Ben Gvir concluded his letter, “Under these circumstances, I implore you to act immediately and order the law enforcement system to fulfill its role, at least as quickly as you issue your letters to me.”

Golan, for his part, responded, “The attempt of the poison machine and the mouthpieces of the historically failed prime minister to pin on me a call for refusing to serve is nothing less than cheap manipulation. We call for a large, broad, and continuous non-violent civil protest that will lead to a change of the government, elections, the return of the hostages, the return of the refugees to their homes, and the end of the war for the survival of Netanyahu’s rule.”

But, you know, he did call on reservists not to serve, as can clearly be heard in the recording above.


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