Opposing the Legal Reform Without Jeopardizing the Military Reserves
An Israeli military reservist trains during a battalion-wide exercise in the Golan Heights, March 23, 2011. (Israel Defense Forces)

Opposing the Legal Reform Without Jeopardizing the Military Reserves

Ma’ariv, Israel, March 4

This week, a memory of mine popped up on Facebook with an accompanying photo from my military boot camp. To give you an idea of just how old it was, the date on the photo was just a month shy of nine years. Seven years ago, I parted ways from my air force squadron and got discharged from the Israel Defense Forces. From that moment onwards, I made sure to continue serving the country through Reserve duty. I’m not telling this story to receive compliments or accolades but to try and convey my feelings over the announcement made by a group of military reservists on how they would quit showing up to serve due to the legal reform. Despite my opposition to the government’s hasty decisions and the path that is being taken to deepen the divide within our society, I find this threat almost impossible to accept. The IDF is essential to the success of the State of Israel. The military consists of fighters, aircrews, squadrons, ships, combat supporters, rescue forces, technological units, intelligence personnel, and administrative soldiers. Each link in this chain is needed for the nation to thrive. Through my military service, I learned invaluable lessons, met lifelong friends, and discovered who I am. I found a sense of mission and significance each and every day and, in moments of crisis, realized what is truly important. After my period of army service, which I remember fondly, I am determined to continue to serve and remind myself why we are all here. When I see these letters of protest, written by Israelis like me, questioning their duty to their nation, something inside me snaps. There is no greater demoralization than telling the military, “You need me, but I’m not coming.” Let me not be misunderstood: Legal reform should not look like this. Even with my basic legal knowledge, I understand that the sweeping changes we’re witnessing are bad. But the IDF is not to blame for the growing tensions that threaten our nation. It serves as a shield, a reminder of our sovereignty, and a fortification against those who wish to cause us harm. The decision to serve in the reserves is important for maintaining the morale of regular soldiers. We must not let this happen. –Michal Kadosh (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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