The Israeli security establishment believes that by allowing repeated attacks on top military brass, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to shift responsibility onto them over the current harm to the state of military readiness caused by some reservists’ refusals to carry out their duties in protest of the coalition’s controversial judicial overhaul legislation, Hebrew media reported Monday.
According to Channel 12, Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi urged Netanyahu at a briefing on military readiness on Sunday to release a statement condemning recent attacks by coalition members and others on military chiefs over the damage to national security caused by the overhaul push, and was surprised when the premier did not do so, the network reported, citing unnamed security officials.
“Netanyahu’s attacks on the heads of the army and the retreat of those surrounding him are an attempt to put the responsibility for what is happening on the shoulders of the Israel Defense Forces,” Channel 12 quoted an official as saying.
Earlier Monday, the prime minister’s son, Yair Netanyahu, shared a Facebook post that said Halevi “will be remembered as the most failed and destructive chief of staff in the history” of the Israeli army for not cracking down on the reservists. The post was deleted from Netanyahu’s page around half an hour after it was shared.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant swiftly defended Halevi in a tweet, praising him as “one of the most excellent officers that I’ve met in all my years” in the Israeli military and security establishment.
Without explicitly condemning the post shared by his son, Netanyahu tweeted that the country faced “big challenges,” and that he was “working day and night together” with the defense minister, the chief of staff, senior military officers and security forces to “jointly guarantee Israel’s security under all circumstances.”
On Sunday, military heads were said to have warned Netanyahu that the army would really begin to feel the negative impact of the reservists’ protest in another two weeks, according to the Kan public broadcaster. The meeting with military generals Sunday also included Gallant and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi.
Source: Israeli media