At the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War held today (Wednesday), Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, the Chief of Staff, linked the divisions that surrounded the military after the war to the present day.
"In the early 1970s, divisions appeared in Israel on issues of security and society," said Halevi and added, "At the moment the thunder of war erupted, the division gave way to the mission. In recent months, we have faced internal division. The debate on what is a worthy moral world is a vital part of Israeli society from its inception."
According to him, "Even in times of crisis, we knew how to extract the common ground and seek refuge under it together. The ability to manage disagreements is a sign of a healthy society, but a dispute that ends in deepening divisions and schisms in Israeli society is dangerous. Given the security challenges we face, engaging in dividing arguments is arrogant and assuming that the IDF is immune from the destructive consequences of such division is a dangerous concept."
"The call not to enlist - a dangerous concept"
At this point, Levi spoke about the importance of military readiness: "When our enemies once again consider a large-scale threat to Israel, the responsibility to maintain a strong and prepared IDF falls on us, on all those committed to the covenant of Israel. It's permissible to criticize the IDF – we also bear responsibility for our mistakes, but it's forbidden to attack those who wear the uniforms, those who have dedicated many years to the security of the country – that is irresponsibility."
From here, the Chief of Staff strongly criticized the calls for refusal among reservists: "Calling on the young generation not to enlist in meaningful combat service is a dangerous concept; calls for not reporting for security duties in the reserves harm both security and the IDF. Soldiers in the People's Army come from different backgrounds, and in each one of their homes, there is a lively debate about the identity of the state and its values."
He further added: "From the moment they put on uniforms, the IDF becomes their home, and everyone within it is bound by their mission. With unwavering faith in the chain of command, IDF commanders look after their units, so that our soldiers will support each other in times of difficulty, driven by a sense of camaraderie and identification with the mission of defending the shared homeland."