Proposed law could cause revolt in IOF: Israeli media
The Israeli occupation forces are going through a rough patch, with divides brought up due to political schisms over the religious issues in the IOF.
A proposed bill among the powers within the Israeli coalition tasked with forming a cabinet has already sparked a debate within the Israeli occupation forces, which Israeli media said could cause a "revolution" within the Israeli military establishment.
"The coalition's agreements seek to subject the position of the chief military rabbi of the army to the authority of the Israeli rabbinic rather than the army," Israeli media clarified.
Additionally, based on the coalition's agreements, "the Knesset will enact a law bolstering the position of the chief military rabbi by ratifying his position by law by specifying his appointment and resignation," Israeli media added.
"The chief military rabbi will be appointed by a committee headed by the chief Sephardi rabbi and composed of five rabbis, a politician, and an officer: a cabinet representative, a yeshiva director, two other representatives of yeshivot, the commander of the army's manpower division, and the outgoing military rabbi," the bill says.
The bill also noted that the rabbi would be under the wing of the Chief Rabbinate instead of the Chief of the Army's General Staff.
Meanwhile, the bill caused a schism between the rabbinate and the IOF on various issues, "such as embracing the Jewish faith, burying non-Jewish soldiers, military service for women, and working on Saturdays, among other issues."
Schism has IOF in chokehold
Israeli media is wondering about where the IOF is heading as it crumbles under the weight of the political divide that has it in a chokehold after an Israeli Channel 13 report entitled "The Israeli Army in a Minefield of Domestic Politics" said: "the Israeli military, a symbol of Israeli unity, is approaching a crossroad."
Meanwhile, Brigadier General (res.) Amir Avivi said there is a certain movement within the Israeli occupation to target the IOF and undermine its so-called "legitimacy", noting that "the military is under attack when it should be outside politics."
Rabbis from the Religious Zionism Party called on their students to refuse to serve in the Armored Corps of the Israeli occupation forces in objection to "Tel Aviv" integrating three female Israeli soldiers into a military training course in which religious soldiers are participating, bringing to the foreground the existing issues and strain between religious and secular soldiers within the IOF, once again raising the issue of dual loyalty among its ranks.
"Rabbis in the military called on their students not to serve in the armored corps in protest against the inclusion of women in the training course," Israeli media said.
Additionally, Israeli media described the Rabbis' calls as a form of a "Rabbi revolution against the army", noting that in light of women becoming part of the same company as religious men, Rabbi Yaaqov Medan called on his religious students not to enlist in the company in question.
Several analysts and observers stood at this issue and discussed its repercussions and indications, seeing as it "reveals parts of the complicated and problematic relationship between the Israeli army and the yeshiva that send some of their students to serve in the military."
Israeli analysts underlined that the dangers of the calls for disobedience do not stem from their contents or context, but rather from the parties making the calls in the first place and the negative repercussions they are causing.
IOF before serious challenges
Additionally, Israeli media warned that there is a divide and fragmentation within Israeli society, and politicians are trying to involve the IOF in the ongoing rows, turning the establishment into a punching bag.
"The concern rising from hatred cannot be ignored or overlooked, neither can the divide and fragmentation in Israeli society, as well as the politicians' attempts to turn the Israeli army into a punching bag," said Israeli Walla! columnist and military affairs commentator Amir Bukhbut. "Leave the Israeli army out of any disputes."
Another threat posed to the Israeli occupation forces was reported on by Israeli media last week, saying there was a high rate of "short service of young officers and soldiers," noting that this matter constitutes "a strategic threat to the Israeli army that is hardly discussed."
"The rate of young officers and soldiers shortening their service is breaking records," said Tzachi Davush, a correspondent on the Israeli Army Radio station, noting that "the army is expected to witness a wave of departure of young officers and non-commissioned officers who receive low salaries in the coming months."
In this context, Israeli media last week warned that "Benjamin Netanyahu is weakening the Israeli army by extracting part of its power in favor of settlers," as it referenced Knesset Member Ben-Gvir's plan to "remove the border guard companies from the Central Command and direct them to Al-Naqab."
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, that would lead to "the return of the phenomena of the First Lebanon War [the 1982 invasion], such as refusal to serve and a lack of discipline in the Israeli army."
Earlier, Israeli occupation Security Minister Benny Gantz admitted that "Israel is facing many challenges, as the Israeli army has witnessed in recent years a continuous decline in recruitment rates, indicating that it is not only a demographic issue but rather a result of leadership decisions."