Refuse reserve duty during war to oust gov’t – Labor head

New head of the Labor party Yair Golan says reservists should shirk duty during war until new elections called.

By World Israel News Staff

Yair Golan, a former Meretz MK who was recently elected as the new head of the left-wing Labor party, called on Israelis to refuse to report for reserve duty during wartime in order to force new elections.

A recording of Golan speaking at a recent conference, which was broadcast by Channel 14, included remarks urging a return to the “mass civil disobedience” promoted by anti-government protesters during the demonstrations against judicial reform in early 2023.

“The smallest threat of civil disobedience put Netanyahu under crazy pressure. Why don’t we make much more extensive use of it?” Golan said.

He clarified that “civil disobedience is, for example: ‘We do not [show up to] reserve [duty] until this government changes.'”

Golan’s remarks sparked backlash from a number of politicians, including Netanyahu’s political rivals.

New Hope head Gideon Sa’ar and Yisrael Beitenu chair Avigdor Liberman both condemned Golan’s statement, saying he should publicly retract them.

Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said he was opening a criminal investigation into the remarks, saying that they could be classified as incitement.

Golan, who served as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the IDF before entering politics, is a staunch opponent of Netanyahu and has repeatedly called for a “mass rebellion” aimed at removing the “evil” premier from power.

The lawmaker has a long history of making incendiary remarks against religiously observant and right-wing Israelis, having called settlers “despicable subhumans” – a term evoking Nazi-era terminology for Jews – and has equated the IDF’s treatment of Palestinians with the Third Reich in Germany.

In January 2023, Golan called for disruptive mass protests against the current right-wing government.

“We’re changing things. No more polite Saturday evening protests. No more lamentations and complaints. Just actions. Just results,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Businesses will be shut down, services will come to a halt, roads will be blocked, and this arrogant person who presumes to rule, with the help of corrupt, extreme, and dark forces will be made to realize that the people are sovereign.”