update deskIsrael News

Gallant bans Barak from speaking at IDF college, per report

"Anyone who calls for refusal of any kind will not be part of the ranks of the IDF," said sources in the Defense Ministry.

Former prime minister Ehud Barak speaks at the Haaretz Democracy Conference in Jaffa, Nov. 9, 2021. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak speaks at the Haaretz Democracy Conference in Jaffa, Nov. 9, 2021. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant canceled a lecture by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak at an Israel Defense Forces’ military academy due to the latter’s role in urging Israelis to refuse reserve duty to protest the government, Channel 14 News reported on Monday.

Barak, who plays a leading role in the movement seeking to bring down Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was invited to address soldiers at the Israel National Defense College, located north of Tel Aviv, and prepares senior IDF staff for command and management roles.

Following significant backlash on social media, sources in the Defense Ministry told Channel 14 correspondent Yishai Friedman that “anyone who calls for refusal of any kind will not be part of the ranks of the IDF.”

Barak’s invitation was criticized by Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Amichai Chikli, who said on Sunday that “in the midst of a difficult war … the lead instigator of political refusals [to serve] is invited to give a lecture to senior officers.”

Chikli, who also serves as a lawmaker for Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party in the Knesset, called the invitation “an unprecedented scandal.”

Barak, a former Labor Party leader, was the IDF chief of staff from 1991 to 1995. He also served as defense minister in governments led by Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu.

In February, Barak called on the Israeli public to “besiege” parliament to force elections and bring down Netanyahu.

The former premier told Army Radio that “30,000 citizens need to camp outside the Knesset in tents for three weeks, day and night,” until “the country shuts down [and] Netanyahu realizes that his time is up.”

Barak called for demonstrators to “separate from the [anti-judicial reform] protest movement” and declared that elections “must not wait” until after the war with Hamas.

On Tuesday, the Likud Party renewed calls for Barak to be prosecuted under sedition laws, submitting a request to Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara to order a police investigation into his remarks.

On Sunday, opposition groups kicked off a “Week of Disruption” to force elections within four months. Eran Schwartz, the CEO of Blue and White Future, an NGO linked to Barak, said rallies would continue until a coalition with “a desire to do good to the people” is elected.

Authorities arrested nine people at an anti-government demonstration near Netanyahu’s Jerusalem apartment on Monday night after they tried to break through a barrier at the premier’s residence, local media said.

Another rally is set to take place at the Knesset on Tuesday, followed by an event in Israel’s south on Wednesday night. And on Thursday, more protests are scheduled near Netanyahu’s Jerusalem and Caesarea residences.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates