VETERAN Israeli defence journalist Yoav Limor says if the judicial reform protests in Israel affect military readiness, Israel’s opponents could believe the country has been weakened. That could encourage them to attack, and he believes the price for that “could be paid in Jewish and Arab blood”.
Recently around a thousand Air Force reservists announced they would stop attending their reserve service if the judicial reform bill passed, something Limor said might tremendously harm the Israeli Air Force and the Israeli army’s ability to fulfil their missions.
“It divides civil society, but there are more and more signs that it might affect the army and therefore Israel’s security situation and therefore the balance of power in the Middle East,” he said.
Limor, who is the senior defence correspondent for the Israel HaYom newspaper, has been covering the Middle East conflict for 33 years and says until now the IDF was seen as a safe haven where the outside world didn’t interfere.
“Everybody fought shoulder to shoulder whether it was ground forces, Air Force, ground and air forces together. The current situation might affect the army as well in all aspects, and that is very disturbing,” he said.
He believes there are enemies of Israel such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and in urban areas in the West Bank, who have been attacking more than they used to and are being encouraged by the Iranians who are trying to form a ring of fire around Israel.
“[The protests] don’t mean that Israel is weaker, but that’s the perception within our enemies. So they think we are and if they do so, they might try to do more, and when you do, you might kill people, or they might drag Israel into fighting and fighting will kill people,” he said.
Limor will be visiting Australia in September along with former IDF chief of staff Aviv Kochavi for a series of events on behalf of the Jewish National Fund.
“We are coming to hug and say you are part of us. We are together. You are our logistics and heart around the world, and you must stay so – it doesn’t matter if Israel is divided or not. You have to stay connected to assist us and to assist yourself and unite Israel and Israel with you. And it can’t be any different,” Limor said.
JNF events: jnf.org.au