Senior Israel Navy reservist suspended for refusing to serve, protesting judicial reform

The suspension of a second reservist is up for review.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israel Defense Forces suspended Rear Adm. (res.) Ofer Doron for refusing to show up for duty in protest of judicial reform, the army announced on Thursday.  The decision, approved by IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, was made following a conversation Doron had with OC Navy Vice Adm. David Salama.

The suspension of another reservist, Rear Adm. (res.) Eyal Segev, is up for review. Both hold the rank of brigadier-general and have been serving voluntarily after passing the age of mandatory service.

‘My values don’t allow me to serve in the army of a dictatorship,’ Brig. Gen. Ofer Doron wrote earlier this month to the Israeli Navy’s chief, Haaretz reported.

“I’ve been serving in the navy for 44 years, half in the regular army and half in the reserves, in a variety of challenging command posts at sea, at headquarters and at operational headquarters. Since my demobilization, I have voluntarily served 20 to 50 days a year, the vast majority of them at night or on Shabbat. My uniform was always ready to be donned immediately; during times of tension, so was my car in case there was a call-up – and there were more than a few,” he wrote.

Segev has also served for 44 years, 19 of them as a volunteer. He, too, wrote a letter to the chief explaining his opposition to the reforms, Haaretz reported.

“This letter was written with a trembling hand and a choked-up throat,” he wrote.

“Israel’s current government, which was legally elected, has decided to perpetrate a coup against our system of government and turn Israel into a dictatorial regime in which power lies solely with the government, with no checks and balances and no effective oversight. The process that is very clearly emerging and has been openly announced by the government will quickly lead Israel to become a regime like Putin’s Russia or Erdogan’s Turkey,” he claimed, according to Haaretz.

Others have defended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, accusing Israeli courts of judicial activism and overreach, and upsetting the balance of powers between the branches of government.

On Sunday, Netanyahu cut short his vacation in the North and summoned Halevi for an “urgent” meeting focusing on the military’s operational readiness. Channel 12 reported that day that Halevi, Mossad intelligence agency head David Barnea and Shin Bet leader Ronen Bar were mulling going public about challenges facing Israel’s security services in light of reservists’ threats to refuse to show up for duty.

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Meanwhile, Netanyahu and Justice Minister Yair Levin agreed this week to freeze the reforms for 12 months. “All the coalition heads are working in full cooperation to pass both the conscription law and the legal reform,” the Likud party stated.