Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli on Wednesday condemned statements about the government made by members of the Brothers in Arms protest group.
A large part of a recent episode of CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” focused on the leading protest group made up of army reservists opposed to the Netanyahu coalition’s judicial reform efforts and right-wing and religious composition.
Shira Eting, a former combat helicopter pilot, and two other members of Brothers in Arms sat down with CBS‘s Lesley Stahl in Israel for the interview.
“Every democracy that turned into a dictatorship was elected in a democratic way. This is how democracies turn into dictatorships,” Eting said.
“If you want pilots to be able to fly, and shoot bombs and missiles into houses knowing they might be killing children, they must have the strongest confidence in the people making those decisions,” she continued, in reference to targeted killings of terrorists.
Neither Eting nor “60 Minutes” clarified that Israel often aborts such strikes at the last minute to avoid the risk of harming innocent civilians.
Chikli condemned the statements on “60 Minutes” by what he described on the X (formerly Twitter) social media platform as “activists of the extreme leftist organization Brothers in Arms who caused heavy damage to the State of Israel.”
The minister continued: “It is unimaginable that the citizens of the State of Israel, no matter how strong their opposition to the government may be, will serve the industry of lies of the PLO and its partners and fuel their efforts to delegitimize the IDF and the State of Israel.
“The Israel Defense Forces and the air force pilots in particular are a global example and model for preserving innocent lives in a combat arena—more so than any other army in the world—against a cynical and cruel enemy who systematically uses women and children as human shields,” Chikli wrote.
“The moral considerations that guide the IDF in combat meet the highest international standards, while fully cooperating with the Military Attorney’s Office and the relevant legal entities,” he added.
Chikli concluded by saying that the attempt to link the effort to restore a balance of power between the branches of government with exposing IDF soldiers to possible prosecution under international law is “bereft of any basis, disconnected from reality and serves those who seek us harm and only them.”
According to Chikli, there is no difference between Brothers in Arms and radical leftist anti-“occupation” groups such as B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence.