Psychological Warfare is Being Waged Against Israeli Citizens

A psychological warfare operation is being waged those protesting the judicial reform. They are trying to manipulate the population by redefining basic ideas in society.

There is a powerful psychological warfare operation being waged against the Israeli population. The goal is to generate fear among the citizenry that the IDF’s ability to defend Israel has been significantly reduced. The hope is that this  will lead to mounting public pressure to abandon judicial reform, with the ultimate goal of toppling the current government coalition. Such a scenario would be disastrous for Israeli democracy and would cement the reality that a small minority controls the country. Therefore, it is critical to understand how those protesting against the judicial reform are operating. 

Distorting Reality

A new phenomenon has recently developed in Israel. Those protesting the judicial reform, aided and abetted by the media, are redefining the meaning of words and ideas in society.

Take the idea of “insubordination”. Until recently, a soldier refusing to report for reserve duty, whatever the reason, was simply called an “insubordinate”. Turns out that we were wrong all along. Now a soldier that refuses to report to reserve duty is simply someone who decided to “stop volunteering”. This is an example of language manipulation being used by those protesting the government’s judicial reforms. 

When air force pilots and combat soldiers in elite units declare they will no longer report to reserve duty, instead of calling it insubordination, it is now being labeled as “to stop volunteering.  Does that mean that the idea of insubordination doesn’t exist in the IDF? Of course it exists, but that is relegated to settlers, extremists and other deplorables who would dare refuse orders for the wrong ideas.

Setting the record straight

Therefore, as someone who served 29 years in the air force, let me set the record straight. Every reserve soldier who is qualified to serve, is part of a unit, and in good health, but decides not to report when called, is an insubordinate, and should be treated accordingly.

The air force pilots who signed public letters declaring they would “stop volunteering” for reserve duty are insubordinates. The same is true for the elite combat reservists. All of them. Their military career, however glorious it may be, doesn’t afford them the privilege to abandon their units because of political preferences.

I understand that some of the insubordinates had a long career in the army and it is difficult for them to receive instructions from the current government; one which they loathe. But for some reason, it doesn’t seem to bother them too much to receive a generous monthly pension from the same government.

MK Elazar Stern’s despicable statement

Major General and current Member of Knesset, Elazar Stern, said recently that he is “proud of those [reserve soldiers] who chose not to report for duty (insubordinates)”, and “happy for the conscientiousness they are showing”. The true meaning of his condescending statement is that he is embarrassed and sad for those reservists who were called to reserve duty and actually showed up.

When former army generals call on the reservists not to report for duty, they are willfully and intentionally harming the army’s ability to defend against and defeat our enemies, all in the name of achieving a political goal. What a disgrace!

Hypocrisy at its height

Protesters against the judicial reform ingeniously invoke the need for broad consensus on the issue, or that the current judicial reform suddenly changes Israeli democracy. I never heard any of these claims when strategic Israeli territory was handed over to Lebanon during an interim government without even bringing it to Knesset for a vote. When Israel retreated from Gaza, uprooting 8,000 Israeli citizens from their homes and ceding control of Gaza to our enemies – no one mentioned a word about a broad consensus. And when the Oslo Accords were passed, handing over Israeli territory to the PLO and arming it, no one mentioned “changing the rules.”   

Hold the line and speak the truth

In the meantime what can be done against this psychological warfare being waged against the Israeli population? The answer is: don’t get sucked into the hatred or dragged into unnecessary provocations.  Instead, against those who discuss doomsday scenarios for Israel, we must speak the truth without fear. By speaking the truth, we will expose their hypocrisy which will eventually become evident to the Israeli population. 

Barak Atias served in the Israeli Air Force for 29 years and has proudly served 41 days of reserve duty since the beginning of the year.


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  1. One important point: every plausible lie contains a kernel of truth. Some of the people who signed these letters are not active reservists. They are people who are too old to take active part in fighting, but who show up despite not being in the reserves anymore. They act as mentors, unit historians, counselors etc. Some of them come because they’re bored at home and want to meet up with their old friends. Obviously a threat from a bunch of old geezers that they will no longer come and give “back in my day” speeches isn’t much of a threat. In non-air force units, wide insubordination is handled by switching the entire command structure and removing all troublesome underlings. Israel can definitely train more pilots. Most of the duration of the course is getting a BA. If one’s loyalty is dependent on anything, it isn’t loyalty and disloyal soldiers are a bad influence. They ought to be discharged for refusing a direct order and reassigned to a less prestigious position.