JERUSALEM (Oct. 13)
A group of 33 reserve soldiers and officers from elite Israel Defense Force combat units has blamed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies for waning motivation to serve.
The letter, published Sunday in Israeli newspapers, said Netanyahu’s policies were destroying “the hope to peace” and were dragging the country into an unjustified war.
The signatories warned that the “fighting spirit has been torn from our hearts, and without it we do not see how we will be able to participate and function in the next war, may it never come.”
David Bar Illan, director of communications at the Prime Minister’s Office, said the fact that the letter was published in newspapers first was a sign that it was politically motivated.
But some members of the government had a sharper reaction.
Agriculture Minister Rafael Eitan of the Tsomet Party said the letter seriously hurt Israel’s deterrence capability.
Deputy Education Minister Moshe Peled of Tsomet said the letter’s signatories were not worthy of their ranks and should be demoted.