Rogue Likud MK Tally Gotliv on Wednesday attacked both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief-of-Staff (Lt.-Gen.) Herzi Halevi in one of the most bizarre twists to date regarding the controversy surrounding IDF reservists quitting to protest the judicial reform.
Given that Netanyahu himself took over 24 hours to come to Halevi's defense after the IDF chief was attacked by both Yair Netanyahu and Minister in the Justice Ministry David Amsalem, but also that Gotliv has gone rogue beyond Netanyahu/s messaging in the past, it was unclear if she was butting-heads with the prime minister again, or part of some complex plan to let the prime minister's party both defend and attack Halevi.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued a joint statement defending Halevi from attacks by Yair Netanyahu, Amsalem, and others.
Those attacks on the political Right mounted after the IDF released multiple messages this past weekend indicating that its readiness for war was still holding, but was also starting to be significantly harmed by reservists quitting over the judicial overhaul.
Israel's security establishment working to warn of security risks
All three Israeli security chiefs, including the Shin Bet and the Mossad, have been trying to figure out ways to convince Netanyahu to pause his judicial reform push or to at least warn the public of its impact on Israeli security, while not overstepping their bounds as working for the political echelon.
The difficult balance of loyalty to the government's current policies versus loyalty to the State and its citizens' long-term security interests has never been more complicated to navigate.
In her attack on Netanyahu and Halevi, Gotliv said, "What right does this government have to exist if we are silent when the high command of the IDF weighed putting out a statement about the readiness of the IDF in a way that would play into the hands of our enemies and would gravely harm our national resilience?"
"It is our obligation to condemn this in a full-throated manner! To apologize? Only maybe for leaving the IDF chief in his position, the same IDF chief who through his silence has endorsed" IDF reservists' quitting to protest the judicial overhaul.
Despite Gotliv's statement, Halevi has gone on record dozens of times in months opposing IDF reservists' quitting, saying that while they can protest the judicial overhaul out of uniform, the state's security must take precedence over any political debate.
Halevi has also been attacked for the last couple of months by those opposing the government for downplaying the impact on the IDF of the judicial overhaul.
The IDF chief for his own part has said that he will not bend to the political will of either side.
Rather, as long as the IDF's readiness was not harmed, he rejected what he viewed as exaggerations by those opposing the government and now that the IDF's readiness is finally being harmed, he is rejecting requests by the government to cover that fact up."