81.2 F
New York
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Elite IDF reservists’ widespread refusal to serve is fake news – probe

Related Articles


Must read

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Batya Jerenberg, WorldIsraelNews.com

Reports about the threats made by hundreds of elite combat and cyber specialists not to report for duty if judicial reform legislation passes is fake news, according to recent investigative reports in the Hebrew press.

The Srugim website reported Saturday night that protest leaders announced in an “accurate” update of the current situation that “about 700 of our people completely stopped volunteering and having contact with the [IDF] system already in March,” specifically referring to special ops and offensive cyber forces.

These soldiers were joined by 250 already-retired comrades, they added, “mean[ing] we are now about 950 people, an unprecedented number considering the size of our units.” Journalist Ben Caspit of Maariv and Radio 103FM duly posted their “news” on his Twitter feed.

The only problem, said the article, is that the IDF told Srugim that this refusal is unknown to them.

In a Maariv report Friday, Galei Israel broadcaster Gadi Taub also blamed reporters for spreading fake news just because they are personally against the judicial reforms and want to help the cause.

One example he gave is an article in late June about 150 reservists from the air force’s special Shaldag forces who reportedly announced that they would stop volunteering for duty as long as reform legislation continues, The story was found to have several holes.

The Makor Rishon news site reported the same day as the story “broke” that “IDF officials clarify that the letter allegedly sent by reservists in the Shaldag unit did not reach any command officer in the IDF, but was distributed only in the media. In addition, an army official clarifies that most of the signatories are no longer on the reserve lists, some of them for a long time.”

Dictators? Investigative reporters threatened with lawsuit
In April, then-retiring IDF spokesman Ran Kochav said in a radio interview that he did not know of “a single case of refusal, certainly not in the regular army. Even the many reservists who expressed indignation about the protest issues essentially spoke hypothetically – ‘if [the legislation] passes,’ and ‘if it happens.’”

Taub went back to the first press report of a collective threat of insubordination, where an entire elite team, named “Urim,” was reported as saying that “after nearly 30 years” of serving together, they would stop because “we will not serve a dictatorship.” The report left unclear to whom this notice was sent, and Taub now contacted the writer, Nadav Eyal, for the details. Eyal said that the unit commander had received their message and threatened to sue him for libel if Taub “continued to develop the issue.”

Taub wondered at his “hysteria,” he wrote, adding that he then found out that “no statement was given to the unit, and Eyal’s new claim that ‘the unit commander received a message and knows who they are’ is also misleading. The Shaldag commander read about the refusal of the Urim Team in the newspaper, and he did not like what he read. In fact, he froze the reserve service of those behind the statement.”

As Taub’s article pointed out, it was the fear of widespread insubordination that would endanger the country’s security, which led Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pause the reform legislation and agree to negotiate for months with the Opposition under the auspices of the president. The talks have since broken down, and at least one aspect of the reform is expected to come to a vote in the Knesset Monday.

The IDF has just sent out a letter to its commanders presenting the rules regarding any refusal to serve, whether the reservists are volunteers or not. It says that only an individual who has been summoned to reserve duty and has specified that he won’t come due to the judicial reforms will be considered insubordinate.

It emphasizes that publicizing a group or individual letter for merely saying that the undersigned will refuse to serve in the future is not considered insubordination, and such declarations, including online posts or those made during demonstrations, will be ignored from a disciplinary point of view.

balance of natureDonate


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

- Advertisement -