Bogus threats: Warnings about IDF readiness made to ‘overthrow gov’t’ – Netanyahu associate

Source close to Netanyahu says IDF operational readiness not impacted by refusals, warnings from security officials are meant to weaken Netanyahu politically.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Warnings from senior IDF and security officials that the military’s operational readiness is threatened by reservists’ refusal to serve are politically motivated and not reflective of reality, a source close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

An associate of the premier cast doubt on reports of widespread refusals to serve due to the judicial reform legislation, telling Ma’ariv that the leaks are a “manipulation” intended to weaken Netanyahu politically.

The numbers of former soldiers who are declining to perform reserve duty or attend training sessions are minimal and do not seriously impact the military’s ability to carry out missions, the source said.

According to the source, the statements from the Israeli army’s top brass and heads of intelligence agencies signal an unprecedented push by the security forces to “control” the Israeli government.

The ultimate goal of the warnings regarding operational readiness are not aimed at stopping the judicial overhaul – rather, they stem from a desire to see Netanyahu unseated from the premiership, the source added.

The Ma’ariv report echoes similar sentiments expressed by American legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, who said that the protests over judicial reform are rooted in anti-Netanyahu sentiments rather than actual opposition to the legislation in question.

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Hebrew-language media has reported on increasing tensions between the upper echelon of the IDF and Netanyahu.

On Sunday, Netanyahu’s son Yair reposted a fiery tweet slamming IDF Chief of Staff Herzi HaLevi.

The younger Netanyahu posted the message from a right-wing journalist, which read, “Don’t be blinded by the headlines in newspapers…In the test of history, when the fog clears and the dust settles, you Mr. Halevi will be remembered as the most failed and destructive chief of staff in the history of the IDF and the State of Israel.”

While he deleted the tweet hours later, the premier notably did not condemn his son’s words nor publicly disavow the post.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli recently said that if government decisions become dependent upon the goodwill of the military, Israel will have transitioned into a third-world country style of governance. “When [the government] becomes subject to the [whims of the] army, we will be Turkey or Egypt. I have no intention of putting up with this,” he said.

“If the Knesset does not enact one law or another because military personnel threaten not to serve, there is one definition for this – we become a junta on the same day. “That’s a military dictatorship, a real dictatorship. We don’t have the luxury to submit to such threats.”