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News > Israel

Israeli Air Force Reservists Protest Against Judicial Reform

  • Israeli army reservists protesting in Tel Aviv, July 19, 2023.

    Israeli army reservists protesting in Tel Aviv, July 19, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @AFilan

Published 21 July 2023

They call on Prime Minister Netanyahu to carry out reforms based on broad agreements and respect the independence of the judicial system.

On Friday, 1,142 volunteer reservists of the Israeli Air Force announced their suspension of service in protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's judicial reform.


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They conveyed their decision in a letter addressed to Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and Air Force Chief Tomer Bar. The Air Force volunteers joined over 4,000 reservists from various Army units who have announced similar measures in recent weeks.

The reservists call on the Netanyahu administration to "reach broad agreements" regarding the judicial reform and "strengthen trust in the judicial system from all sectors of society and preserve its independence."

This week, the Israeli parliament is expected to definitively approve the law that nullifies the "Doctrine of Reasonability", which allows the Supreme Court to review and revoke governmental decisions.

"The law allowing the government to act extremely unreasonably will harm the security of the State of Israel, cause a loss of confidence, and violate our consent to continue risking our lives," emphasized the reservists.

"Legislation affecting the Jewish or democratic character of the State of Israel should be carried out through negotiations and broad public agreement," they pointed out, expressing being "heartbroken" to have to take protest actions.

In March, when the Parliament was about to pass the law that grants extensive governmental control over the judges' selection committee, hundreds of reservists announced for the first time their intention not to report for duty.

This prompted Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to publicly call for halting the reform due to the "tangible danger" to Israel's security. Netanyahu dismissed Gallant from his position, which led to even more massive protests.

Social discontent forced Netanyahu to postpone the reform, initiate dialogues with the opposition, and reinstate Gallant in his position. However, in June, negotiations broke down and the government decided to proceed unilaterally with its reform plan.

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