Culture and Sport Minister Miki Zohar and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir shared a short video showing Air Force pilots conditioning aerial aid to IDF soldiers on their support or opposition to the judicial reform, sparking outrage from the IDF and many Israelis.
The video shows a soldier speaking into a radio saying "I need aerial aid immediately," with a pilot responding "do you support or not support the reform?"
The video ends with the soldier laying on the ground after an explosion saying "My brothers, from left and right, politics cannot be brought into the army," followed by a recording of the swearing-in of new IDF soldiers.
The video was produced by a person named Daniel Edri.
According to Ynet, Edri stated that "I saw what was happening in the army, in politics, without referring to one side or the other. I myself am an active reservist, from the air defense framework. I saw fit to make this video sponsored and acted by me. No party financed the video. I wanted to create unity and not strife, to unite society and stop the fratricidal war, to stop the political discourse. I actually chose to show that the same soldier, me, is calling the commander in the field. I wanted to show that even on land and in the air the discourse is inside us and kills us. You see my direct appeal after the explosion. I say my brothers - right and left. The political discourse should be left outside the army."
IDF condemns video, says it 'creates internal strife'
The IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari condemned the video on Thursday, stating that it "aims to create internal strife in the IDF, which deserves complete condemnation."
"The cohesion of the IDF is a supreme value. We completely reject all statements against the commanders and soldiers in regular and reserve service in the Air Force. These are the best soldiers and commanders in the IDF, who risk their lives night after night."
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant condemned the video as well, calling it "despicable" and stressing that it "will not achieve its goal."
"The video that ran in the last day on the Internet is a despicable video that tries to achieve strife and differentiation within the IDF," added Gallant. "I condemn this action and I say here - this video, like other actions, will not achieve its goal. The IDF will remain a connected and cohesive army. There is no place for statements of this kind, there is no place for attacking and deriving political coupons on the back of the IDF, its soldiers, its commanders, in all its formations."
"The IDF is an army that keeps war away but brings people closer to Israel. I ask all of you, please keep politics out of the IDF. The IDF is the army of all of us."
After the condemnation, Zohar deleted the post in which he shared the video, tweeting that he believed that the video "sought to convey a message of unity in a thought-provoking way and I shared it to echo the message that we are brothers."
"Unfortunately, a media organization decided to take it out of context and presented it as if it was offending one or another force. Of course, that wasn't the goal so I deleted it," added Zohar. "With or without a video, the important message is that we are brothers."
Ben-Gvir refused to delete the video, stating that it "illustrates well the danger posed by refusal."
"The video in question is intended to illustrate the tangible damage that exists in the attempt of elements that are a minority within a minority to refuse and incite refusal," added the minister. "Those who refuse to show up to call-ups against the background of the reform, whether they are from the Air Force or from another force, endanger the security of the citizens of Israel."
The "In Their Deaths, They Ordered Us" group of bereaved families condemned the video, stating "Words fail to describe the shock and pain at the fact that a minister in the Israeli government is trying to address the terrible rift that has opened and the disintegration of the people's army through a propaganda video that insults those who have given their lives for generations for a Jewish and democratic Israel."
"This is another example of the Israeli government losing its way: let's remember that minister Miki Zohar and his friends are not a team in an advertising agency but bear the ultimate responsibility for crushing cohesion in the IDF, disbanding the people's army and destroying Israeli society. Instead of distributing videos taken from the propaganda office of dictatorial regimes, take responsibility and stop the destruction to which you are leading the State of Israel."
The video and the storm surrounding it come as a few hundred IDF reservists began confirming that they would no longer show up for reserve service in light of the judicial reform. The IDF stressed that while it is aware of the refusals, the military is still fully ready for war.