UPDATE (March 10, 2023): After he promised to stop convincing other ait force pilots to go AWOL from reserve duty, Peled has been reinstated as a pilot.
Ilana Dayan’s Uvda investigation TV show has discovered that the Air Force commander has expelled one of the IAF pilots from Squadron 69. Most of the pilots in Squadron 69 have been refusing to show up for reserve duty in protest of the judicial reform. The specific pilot who was expelled is the community organizer who convinced the other pilots to stop showing up for their mandatory reserve duty. Uvda will be presenting the rest of the information this evening.
פרסום ראשון: הטייס שהוביל את מחאת הטייסים, הודח מחיל האוויר. פרטים נוספים – הערב ב”עובדה”
— עובדה (@Uvda_tweet) March 9, 2023
The anarchist community organizers have been crossing more and more red lines as their protests against restoring the balance between the courts and elected officials drags on.
The biggest red line they crossed so far was when they began politicizing their IDF reserve duty and began declaring that they wouldn’t be showing up for training. In Israeli society, the IDF is considered sacrosanct and most try to avoid inserting it into overt daily political disagreements.
IAF reserve pilots often spend one day a week in the air force to make sure they are always ready to fly on missions.
It’s unclear how the other pilots will respond to the decision. They may decide they prefer to remain pilots, or others may join the protest against the organizer’s expulsion.
The IAF can’t be in a situation where it can’t trust that its pilots will show up to defend the country, and it may decide that the loss of a squadron outweighs the risks the anarchists have introduced to security of the country.
It’s almost guaranteed that the anarchists will begin calling for protests outside the home of the IAF commander, in response.
The IDF spokesperson released the following statement (translated) on Thursday afternoon:
“Last night the Commander of the Air Force, General Tomer Bar, had a command discussion with Col. (Res.) G. The conversation dealt with the continuation of the reserve service of Col. (Res.) G in light of his conduct around the events of the hour.
“At the end of the conversation, the commander of the air force informed the officer that in light of his conduct, he would not be able to continue in the reserves until further notice, since he had acted contrary to the instructions of the commander of the force, in a manner that did not suit the rank and status of the officer.
“The officer will be entitled to bring his claims before the Chief of Staff, before a final decision is made regarding his continued service.
“The IDF cherishes its servicemen in the reserves, respects their right as citizens to act according to the dictates of their conscience, alongside leaving them outside of any public controversy, in order to maintain the competence of the IDF and the public’s trust in it.”
The commander of the Air Force, General Tomer Bar, said in regards to the suspension of Colonel Gilad Peled: “He created a lack of trust, he was not open with me; When I asked him – he didn’t tell me what he was doing, and took authority that I didn’t give him. He coordinated and synchronized the non-appearance of people in the squadron, which is wrong. The decision to suspend him is my personal one. The chain of command cannot be interrupted.”