Israeli Air Force commanders warn Netanyahu about ‘grave security danger’ of judicial reform

All 10 living former commanders of the Israel Air Force sign letter warning Netanyahu against the government’s judicial overhaul.

By World Israel News Staff

The former commanders of the Israel Air Force penned an open letter Monday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, warning that the government’s judicial reform plan could have serious consequences for the IAF.

The letter was signed by all 10 living former commanders of the Israel Air Force, including 102-year-old Dan Tolkowsky, who commanded the IAF from 1953 to 1958.

Amikam Norkin, the most recent IAF commander to step down, following the end of his tenure in April 2022, also signed onto the letter.

Of the 14 men who headed the IAF in the past, only four were not listed in the letter – all of them deceased.

The signatories wrote that they felt “deep concern regarding the processes which are occurring in the State of Israel and in the air force during this time period.”

“From a deep knowledge of the centrality and uniqueness of the air force to the country’s national security, which you also know well, we are trembling at the consequences of these processes and to the grave and concrete danger which this represents to the national security of the State of Israel.”

The former air force commanders called on Netanyahu and Gallant “to stop” the judicial reform plan “and to find a solution to this dangerous situation at the earliest possible date.”

The open letter was released after 37 Israel Air Force reserve pilots announced that they would skip a day of combat training this week.

“On Wednesday, March 8, we will devote our time to discourse and thinking for the sake of democracy and the unity of the people, and therefore we will not report to reserve duty on this day, with the exception of operational activity. During the rest of the week, we will report [for duty] as planned,” the reservists wrote in a letter.

They represent nearly the entire 40-pilot strength of the IAF’s 69 “Hammers” Squadron, which operates F-15I Ra’am (“Thunder”) fighters.