Many years ago, I stood as a young soldier with a bible in one hand and a rifle in the other. I took an oath to be loyal to the Israeli army and the government of Israel. I took an oath not to mix politics in my service, to give my life if necessary for the state of Israel. Every Israeli soldier took the same oath.
But it seems like with all the politics and protests, the oath has been forgotten.
This coming Sunday, a few days before Passover, we will renew the oath in front of army headquarters in Tel Aviv. We will be led by war hero, Brigadier General (res.) Avigdor Kahalani. We expect thousands of citizens from all over Israel who are worried about the politicization of the army to join us. We hope this will inspire an end to the divisive behavior of reservists who use their service as a political tool to impact policy.
The vast majority of Israeli society and Jews around the world understand that the IDF is the most important institution of the Jewish people. For 2,000 years we had no protection, we suffered pogroms, persecutions and ultimately mass extermination in the holocaust.
What stands between that bitter fate and our current security and prosperity is the IDF. The IDF is the army of the people of Israel, and it is above all political discussion. But the events of the past few weeks have weakened our army and is endangering our security. Our message is that above all, we must stand united. We have enough enemies around us who want to destroy us. We cannot afford this infighting.
We in the IDSF held extensive talks with our brothers in arms, other generals who have a different worldview than our own. We may not see eye to eye on many issues, but we all love our country and the IDF. We found common ground and signed a letter together opposing insubordination and politicization of the army. Every person in Israel can do the same.
As we approach Passover and Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, I am optimistic. We are all shaken by recent events. But we now have a deeper understanding of the need to unite. Israel is a vibrant society built on thousands of years of Jewish determination. Our country was forged by people of all different backgrounds and worldviews coming together to establish the most miraculous state of modern civilization.
I am confident that we can do this again.This Sunday everything will chang