Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi (Likud) came out strongly against the IDF reservists who are refusing to attend training in protest of judicial reform, in a statement on Twitter Monday following public remarks on the subject from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“’And Mordecai did not kneel nor bow,’” wrote Karhi. “There are times when one must stand firm against the hegemony and the rulers... To the impudent [IDF reservist] refusers, I will tell you what Mordechai told Esther: ‘Profit and salvation will arise for the Jews from another place, and your father’s house will be destroyed.’ The people of Israel will manage without you and you will go to hell.”
"ומרדכי לא יכרע ולא ישתחווה" - יש זמנים שבהם צריך לעמוד איתן כנגד ההגמוניה והשליטים בעיני עצמם.לסרבנים המחוצפים, נאמר את מאמר מרדכי לאסתר: "רווח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים ממקום אחר ואת ובית אביך תאבדו". עם ישראל יסתדר בלעדיכם ואתם תלכו לעזאזל.נוע תנוע הרפורמה. לעת כזו הגענו למלכות. pic.twitter.com/m0paN4sT7j— שלמה קרעי - Shlomo Karhi (@shlomo_karhi) March 6, 2023
In another tweet, Karhi said: “the refusal is sad, disgusting and miserable. It is heartbreaking... “ He then quoted from the book of Isaiah: “Those who call evil good, and good evil; who present darkness as light and light as darkness; who present bitter as sweet, and sweet as bitter!”
הסרבנות היא עצובה, מסריחה ואומללה. וקורעת את הלב. הסרבנות וגרורותיה. לא האמירות נגדה."הוֹי הָאֹמְרִים לָרַע טוֹב וְלַטּוֹב רָע שָׂמִים חֹשֶׁךְ לְאוֹר וְאוֹר לְחֹשֶׁךְ שָׂמִים מַר לְמָתוֹק וּמָתוֹק לְמָר".— שלמה קרעי - Shlomo Karhi (@shlomo_karhi) March 6, 2023
The prime minister's Purim eve remarks
Netanyahu addressed the issue of judicial reform refusal earlier on Monday night at a reading of Megillat Esther at the Beit Horon military base. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir was present as well.
“We have never given refusals a foothold in any situation anywhere,” he said. “There was no place for refusal in the War of Independence, it had no place in the Oslo agreements and disengagement; there is no place for refusal now, and it must not have a place.
“In a public struggle, there is room for protest – there is room for disagreements, for expressing opinions – but there is no room for recalcitrance. Because they give it legitimacy, the scourge... will spread and become a [common] method. Anyone who does not like the democratic decision, or a certain decision is not to their liking” will use this method.
“I am convinced that we will overcome the reluctance... this time, but the seeds that are sown here can grow wild crops in the coming disputes.”
Reservists respond to Karhi's comments
IDF reservists arrived at Karhi’s house near the Gaza border to confront him after he told them to “go to hell.” They called on him to denounce Yair Netanyahu for referring to them as terrorists.
Shlomo Karhi and the media
Karhi came under fire in recent weeks for attempting to make dramatic budget cuts to the state-funded Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation.
The communications minister first put forward the proposal to shut down KAN in January, saying he believed that “there is no place for public broadcasting in the State of Israel.”
The plan has been postponed “until further notice” so that the government can focus its efforts on passing the much-disputed legal reforms instead, the representative said.
Eliav Breuer contributed to this report.