On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested the military’s chief of staff to quell a surge of internal opposition to a divisive government proposal to reform the court.
Netanyahu’s comments come when Israel is experiencing a severe crisis that has resulted in tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets each week for the past two months.
The country’s most dependable military has not been spared the division over Netanyahu’s ambitions to reform the judicial system.
Many reservists have vowed not to report for duty under what they perceive to be an impending regime change.
More than 700 elite Air Force, Special Forces, and Mossad members announced on Sunday that they would no longer volunteer for duty.
The revamp plan has caused significant division in Israel, as evidenced by the taboo discussion of refusing to serve in the military, which is required for most Jews and is held in high regard by them.
A compromise offer put forth by the nation’s ceremonial president intended to diffuse the issue has been rejected by Netanyahu. In his remarks to his Cabinet, he avoided mentioning reaching an agreement with opponents and instead declared that he would not tolerate “anarchy,” listing demands for his security chiefs to control protester-led road blockages, incitement against him and his ministers, and an increasing number of people refusing to serve.
“I anticipate a vigorous response from the military chief of staff and the leaders of the various arms of the security services in the fight against service refusal. “Refusal to serve has no place in public discourse,” he declared. “Such events cannot be tolerated by a state that aspires to exist, and we will not tolerate them either.”
The military didn’t immediately respond to Netanyahu’s comments. Lt. Gen. Herzl Halevi, the military’s chief of staff, is said to have cautioned Netanyahu that the reservists’ protest would compromise the force’s capabilities.
He has promised to see to it that it doesn’t and to exclude the military from the public discussion of the revamp.
In response, the opposition leader, Yair Lapid, tweeted that reservists would stop defying orders if Netanyahu halted the revision.
The military’s objection comes while Israel is locked in a year-long conflict with the Palestinians and as Iran, Israel’s archrival moves forward with its nuclear program. Iran denies the accusation that it is working on a nuclear weapon, which Israel makes.
Netanyahu promised on Sunday that the legislation reforms would be appropriately implemented while upholding the fundamental rights of every Israeli citizen. The change, according to his government, which is the most right-wing in the nation’s history, is intended to address an imbalance that has given the courts excessive power and hindered parliament from enacting the will of the electorate.
Some opposed to it claim that it will topple Israel’s delicate system of checks and balances and cause the nation to become autocratic. Netanyahu may have the opportunity to evade conviction in his corruption trial.