With little or no financial support and no ad agencies promoting their message, right-leaning and other sane rank & file Israelis are beginning to reverse the tide of the anarchist attack on Israel’s democratic institutions, most importantly the ideas of one-man one-vote, and if your side lost the election, you don’t get to push your ideas through violence.
And so, on Monday afternoon, Channel 14’s host of the popular political show “The Patriots,” Yinon Magal, launched an online petition calling on anyone who has served in the IDF to join the side of citizens who oppose the refusal to serve.
“The Reservists’ Petition – We Oppose the Refusals!” states: “We, male and female soldiers in the past or the reserves in the IDF oppose the refusals and are loyal to the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. We will serve the State of Israel because it is our only state – and we will protect her at all costs!”
As of 1:13 PM Israel time, 74,314 individuals have signed, which at this point constitutes 93% of the target, but the original target was 40K, and Magal has already announced that when it hits 80K, the petition’s target will be upped to 10K. Incidentally, as a retired IDF soldier, I, too, signed and can attest that the process requires a real email address. So, the numbers are probably real.
Also on Tuesday, Jerusalem-based journalist Inbar Twizer tweeted: “500 Doctors signed a letter of opposition to the strike in the healthcare system and call on the chairman of the Israel Medical Association ‘to stop the madness.’ One of the signatories is Dr. Amir Barak, until recently the Maccabi HMO’s chief orthopedist. ‘We apologize to the public for the irresponsible behavior of some of our colleagues in the profession. To strike due to a political position contradicts the Hippocratic oath,’ they wrote.”
500 רופאים חתמו על מכתב התנגדות לשביתה במערכת הבריאות וקוראים ליו”ר הר”י: “לעצור את הטירוף”. אחד החותמים הוא ד”ר אמיר ברק, האורתופד הראשי של טרם ועד לאחרונה של מכבי. “מתנצלים בפני הציבור על התנהגותם חסרת האחריות של חלק מעמיתנו למקצוע. לשבות בשל עמדה פוליטית – מנוגד לשבועת הרופא” pic.twitter.com/jF9JJGTy89
— Inbar Twizer ענבר טויזר (@inbartvizer) July 17, 2023
The past 24 hours have seen more and more operational units in the reserves raising the anti-refusal banner. This is a thrill to right-wing Israelis who have been languishing since January, watching the side that lost the election trying with great success to topple the democratically-elected government. Soldiers and officers are beginning to state with growing clarity that they will continue to show up for the defense of the State of Israel, and are even willing to volunteer beyond what is required, in the event that there is a shortage of reservists.
An aside: this morning I had to drive from Ra’anana to south Tel Aviv to extract a beloved family member who got stuck behind the anarchists’ lines after celebrating her birthday with her bohemian friends. I drove down Highway 4 to Highway 1 and into the Hatikvah neighborhood, and the roads were Corona days kind of empty. The temperature in the coastal communities right now is hovering around 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and my conclusion is that just like the Russians were twice saved by General Winter (against Napoleon and Hitler), we here in Israel are being rescued by General Summer, who is on steroids these days on account of the climate change. So, the Boomers and trust fund babies who blocked the highways with such vigor at 7 AM have by now escaped to their air-conditioned living rooms. The only place where traffic slowed down was near the Azrieli Towers on Ayalon Highway – and even that was not because of active protesters, but because the police had blocked the exits with huge trucks to prevent the ghosts of protesters from coming down to capture the highway.
It’s a little like when your immune system can make you sick by being hyper-protective.
Back to our report: In a letter that was sent on Monday by 130 officers and soldiers from the Research Brigade, graduates of the IDF Intelligence Division, they wrote: “We, the reserves women men of the research division, declare that we will continue to serve our country with love and dedication at all times, to protect the State of Israel under any government. We will not refuse an order and we will not set conditions for our volunteering for the IDF reserves.”
Another letter that was published on Monday came from the soldiers of the IDF’s special operations unit, who also stated: “We, the undersigned commanders and officers of the special operations unit, have served in complex roles for many years. We decided to break the silence and step out for a moment to say the obvious – we will continue to report to the reserves whenever we are called.”
On Monday I reported that among the letters of refusal that were distributed last Friday, calling on the government to stop the judicial reform legislation or else, there was an unusual letter that opposed those refusals and the calls to stop serving in the reserves, even though its signatories disagree with one another on the reform – Sayeret Matkal special force reservists who came out against the phenomenon of refusal and clarified in a letter to the commander of the unit, “If God forbid there is a manpower shortage – we will all volunteer to make up for it with additional reserve service days.”
And IDF HR’s reservist Captain K. told me on Monday that reservists are calling him up day and night, begging him to call them for reserve service (Elite IDF Reservists Condemn the Refusal to Serve).