An Israel Defense Forces major was removed from his position for participating in a pro-judicial reform demonstration while in uniform, the military announced on Sunday.
Soldiers up to the rank of lieutenant colonel are allowed to attend political protests so long as they are not identifiable as service members.
The major who was sanctioned attended the pro-reform rally in Jerusalem on Thursday while wearing his fatigues, in violation of IDF regulations.
The IDF handed the officer a 25-day suspended jail sentence and was set to transfer him to a noncommand position.
Organizers said that some 600,000 people attended the “March of the Million” near the Knesset, thereby putting to bed opposition claims that Israelis are united against judicial reform. It also provided much-needed backing to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
Supporters of reform have been slow to respond to months of protests against it that have led Netanyahu to pause the process and enter into negotiations with the opposition under the auspices of President Isaac Herzog.
As judicial reform talks restarted at the President’s Residence this week, Likud Party officials said that progress in negotiations won’t be possible as long as the Yesh Atid Party continues to participate.
Yesh Atid led by Yair Lapid is attempting to torpedo the talks, they said, and chances of success would improve if discussions were held only with the National Unity Party led by Benny Gantz.
Likud officials cite the demand of Yesh Atid to include the issue of haredim IDF service in the talks as one example of how the latter party is working to prevent a meeting of the minds.