Is mass evacuation of Jews from Judea and Samaria still on the table?

Opposition lawmaker tells US that following threats by left-wing reservists over judicial reform, soldiers now feel that their political views provide justification to refuse to follow lawful orders.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Right-wing soldiers can now refuse orders that are against their moral code, such as evacuating Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, due to reservists’ threats not to serve due to judicial reform, a prominent MK told American officials.

In recent months, reservists in critical IDF units have threatened to refuse to serve and skipped crucial training due to their left-wing political views, disapproval of the current right-wing government, and opposition to potential reforms to Israel’s judicial system.

Speaking to officials from the Biden administration in Washington, MK Matan Kahana (National Unity) said that these reservists have created a precedent that soldiers can pick and choose what actions they’re willing to carry out under the auspices of their IDF service.

According to an Israel Hayom report, Kahana expressed his view that the reservists’ threats and refusal to serve means that soldiers now feel that their personal political views are a relevant factor as to whether or not they decide to follow lawful orders.

It’s “no longer relevant” for IDF officials to expect soldiers to follow commands when it comes to politically controversial actions, such as dismantling Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, he said.

The bottom line is “an event like the disengagement cannot happen again,” because soldiers will feel justified in refusing to obey orders they do not morally agree with, Kahana reportedly said.

Kahana, who served in both the elite Sayeret Matkal special forces unit and as a fighter pilot in the IAF, confirmed to Israel Hayom that he made the statements during a meeting with an American official.

The official was reportedly surprised by Kahana’s analysis and did not previously think that the reservists’ protests could potentially create legitimacy for refusal on the other side of the political spectrum.

Despite pleas from senior IDF brass and defense analysts, reservists from elite army units have repeatedly threatened to refuse to serve or participate in important exercises due to their political beliefs, as a means to pressure the Knesset to abandon the judicial reform legislation.