Israeli military pilots boycott training over judicial reforms
The IAF Squadron 69 is one of Israel's top units and operates advanced F-15 Thunderbird aircraft, primarily serving as Tel Aviv's long-range strategic arm
By News Desk - March 05 2023

(Photo Credit: AFP)

According to Hebrew media, 37 of 40 reservists of an elite unit in Israel’s air force (IAF) revealed that they will refrain from attending scheduled training in response to the Israeli government’s judicial overhaul.

The IAF Squadron 69 is one of Israel’s top units and operates advanced F-15 Thunderbird aircraft, primarily serving as Tel Aviv’s long-range strategic arm. The IAF also depends on reservists during combat periods, typically requiring individuals discharged for frequent training to ensure combat readiness. 

The squadron pilots informed their acting commander on 5 March that they would not participate in further training sessions or resume duty until Tel Aviv’s government halts its judicial reforms.

The squadron members added that they have agreed to skip scheduled drills on 8 March to “devote our time to dialogue and reflection for the sake of democracy and national unity.”

This controversial legislation grants Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition government the power to limit Israel’s national judiciary, as they can replace court judges with others that are more aligned with the government’s rhetoric. Critics suggest that these reforms are a threat to “Israeli democracy,” disrupting the balance between branches of the government, as well as hindering “judicial activism.” 

A few days prior, 700 Israeli activists called on the administration of US President Joe Biden to impose sanctions on Netanyahu under the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016, meant to target foreign officials for corruption and human rights abuses, specifically as a result of Netanyahu’s push for judicial reforms.

In the wake of the Israeli government’s recent decisions, there has been a drastic increase in Israelis seeking to obtain foreign passports, according to a report released by Israeli Channel 12. Not only do many Israeli citizens seek to leave the country, but several Israeli companies have begun to move their money abroad, amounting to over $4 billion in the past month.

Last month, Israeli cybersecurity corporation Wiz revealed its plan to withdraw its money from Israel. The cyber company is valued at $6 billion and is set to withdraw tens of millions of dollars from national banks. This decision was made due to pressure from investors over concerns about Israel’s judicial alterations.

Most Popular