Peres champions reservists

May 25, 2011 01:25

President calls on Knesset to enact legislation to provide greater support to reservists and give them greater incentive.

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President Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Complaints by IDF reservists that they are under-appreciated and treated unfairly by their employers by legislators and law enforcers have found a sympathetic ear in President Shimon Peres.

On Tuesday, the president was the guest of Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, who escorted him on a tour of the Tze’elim army base in the Negev to review the operations of some 100 reserve soldiers from Battalion 5037.

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After reservists spoke with Peres and Gantz about their problems in both the army and civilian life, Peres called on the Knesset to enact legislation to provide greater support to reservists and give them greater incentive.

Peres said it was unacceptable that young couples, in which one or both partners serves in the reserve forces, cannot afford to purchase a home.

It was even more unacceptable that individuals who have missed work for reserve duty have been dismissed by their employers, he said.

This attitude has to be uprooted, the president said, emphasizing that the quality of the army depends on its personnel.

Peres empathized with the reservists and told them their complaints that they were not being adequately compensated for the time they give and the risks they take, were entirely justified.

It was unfair for them to be treated in such a manner when they spent long periods away from their families serving the security interests of the nation, he said.

The soldiers also complained to Gantz that the onus for national security is placed on a few.

Gantz agreed that the burden was not shared by all and that there is an imbalance between those who serve and those who do not.

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