Israel to Arrest Reservists Who Refuse to Report for Duty as Part of Anti-Government Protests



The Israeli military may arrest reservists who have pledged not to report for duty as part of protests at the government’s judicial overhaul plans, Army Radio reported on Thursday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded a crackdown.

The seeping of the constitutional disputes into the conscript military has jarred Israelis who long saw it as an apolitical melting pot for a fractious society. On both sides of the schism, worries have been voiced about war-readiness.

The military spokesperson’s office has not formally provided figures for the reservist protests. But Army Radio, a popular Israeli broadcaster managed by the Defence Ministry, said “a few hundred” reservists had announced they would refuse call-ups.

Most of these are from the air force, Army Radio said. After ending their commissions, air force pilots and navigators are required to do weekly training and, according to veterans of the corps, make up around half of crews sent on combat sorties.

Sanctions being considered include arrest, suspension and dismissal, Army Radio said – but noted that, because air force reservists are designated as volunteers, they may be treated differently to reservists whose call-ups are obligatory.

This is really starting to look like a battle Bibi can’t win.

He’s got serious international pressure on him now.

The one thing he could do is provoke a war with Iran and then force the US to become involved.

He… might do that.