Netanyahu pledges crackdown on Israel’s military no-shows

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to crack down against no-shows for military reserve duty by opponents of his judicial overhaul plan.

Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel is not to “accept insubordination” and that it will “act against it and will take all necessary steps” to guarantee the future of the entity.

Petitions have circulated purportedly signed by thousands of reservists who plan to refuse orders.

The Netanyahu plan, due for ratification next week, “will open a direct path to dictatorship,” said a letter signed by 1,700 former military officers, which was published in the biggest-selling Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth last week.

The opposition has stepped up a half-year-long protest campaign in the recent past.

Minister of military affairs Yoav Gallant recently said calls by military reservists to refuse to show up for duty over the regime’s plans to overhaul the judiciary were “a reward for our enemy.”

Gallant publicly warned in late March that the rift over the overhaul was causing divides in the military that posed a tangible threat to the security of Israel.

In response to that warning, Netanyahu ordered the dismissal of Gallant. That intensified the protests, and made Netanyahu temporarily suspend the legislation for three months and withdraw the dismissal.

Opposition party leader Benny Gantz has stated Netanyahu has “closed off [his] heart” to fractures in Israeli society tied to the judicial overhaul.

“It’s not too late to stop and return to dialogue. A leader must make tough decisions – and it’s time to make them. Netanyahu, don’t tear the people apart,” Gantz added.

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