Halevi warns of harm to Israel army prowess due to political division

Middle East Monitor  /  September 30, 2023

Israel Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi announced on Thursday that people are mistaken if they think the army can operate as normal with society being deeply divided, The Times of Israel reported.

“An argument that leaves behind it a polarizing divisive rift within Israeli society is dangerous,” Halevi stressed.

He added: “Given the security challenges, it’s arrogant to allow this polarizing debate and to assume that the IDF is immune from the effects of destructive polarization is a dangerous concept.”

According to the Israeli daily, Halevi meant to send a message to those who have called for recruits to refuse combat service or for reservists to freeze volunteer duty.

However, he repeats criticism of politicians and others who have slung insults at protesting reservists and service members: “It’s forbidden to attack those in uniform, who have devoted years to Israel’s security. That’s irresponsible.”

He continued: “Calling for the younger generation to refuse to enlist in combat service — that’s a dangerous conception. Calling to refuse to show up for missions by reservists harms security and the IDF.”