Defense Minister Yoav Gallant attacked members of the Knesset and the government who recently made statements against the IDF and security forces, warning such statements endanger the IDF, on Sunday.
"Recently, elected officials, including ministers and members of the Knesset, allow themselves to make false, baseless, and irresponsible statements about the IDF, its commanders, and its soldiers," said Gallant at a ceremony recognizing outstanding soldiers ahead of Rosh Hashanah. "These are outrageous statements that endanger the most important asset of the State of Israel - the Israel Defense Forces, the protective tool of all Israeli citizens."
"You, commanders, soldiers of the IDF and members of the security forces who dedicate your lives to the security of the country and the protection of its citizens, deserve every support, and those who try to discredit you deserve every condemnation," the defense minister told the soldiers.
"The IDF is the people's army, the place of service for soldiers from all walks of life. Without the IDF, the State of Israel cannot be sustained, in the hostile environment in which we live. As Defense Minister, I undertake to protect the State of Israel and the IDF and its commanders. This is how I have acted throughout my life and this is how I will continue to act."
Gallant expressed appreciation for IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi for his handling of societal challenges affecting the IDF.
"Even in these days - and perhaps especially in days like these - it is important that we keep the IDF as such, and leave it above and beyond any dispute, we have no other army to lean on."
Coalition members launch verbal assaults on defense establishment
In recent weeks and months, a number of members of the coalition and cabinet have launched verbal attacks on the IDF, Shin Bet, and the rest of the defense establishment. Amid the attacks, Gallant has repeatedly issued condemnations of such statements.
On Friday, Likud MK Tally Gotliv stated that the IDF and Shin Bet "work for [Palestinian] terrorists and security prisoners."
Gotliv added that "the entire deep state is against Ben-Gvir."
Two weeks ago, MK Limor Son Har Melech (Otzma Yehudit) accused the commander of IDF Central Command, Yehuda Fuchs, of showing preferential treatment to West Bank Palestinians over settlers, saying that Fuchs "instills a pro-Arab policy that harms the Jews and the settlers."
In early August, Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu (Otzma Yehudit) excused attacks on Fuchs, stating that "no one is free from criticism."
The minister stated that there is "a thin line" between blame and permitted criticism of IDF officials, adding that he couldn't speak for statements by his fellow coalition and party members.
After being asked why the government - which promised in the elections to reduce the rate of terrorist attacks through right-wing policy - has so far failed to do so, Eliyahu complained that "the operational echelon in Israel today, unfortunately, and ironically, does not always carry out the decisions of the political echelon."
The minister accused officials, such as the chief of staff, of not carrying out the orders of the political echelon, adding that part of the reason the government was carrying out the judicial reform was to stop this.