The cabinet marked the National Day of Recognition of Reservists during its weekly meeting Sunday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement thanking reservists for their service.
Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai and IDF Reserves chief Brigadier General Shuki Ben-Anat briefed the cabinet regarding the state of Israel's reserve forces. Ben-Anat expressed concern over the obstacles reservists face in the workforce.
Many reserves officers hide their rank when applying for jobs, out of fear that potential employers would not hire them if they knew that they would need to leave work for weeks each year in order to complete their annual service, he said. “It's a very serious problem,” he added.
Following Ben-Anat's briefing, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to form a committee that will think of ways in which Israel can encourage private sector employers to hire reservists. Neeman was asked to submit proposals within 60 days.
Israel must encourage employers to hire reservists despite the occasional inconvenience, as a matter of national security, Netanyahu said.
The prime minister implied that the government may crack down on those who fail to report for duty. “I know that the burden [of reserves duty] is not always shared evenly; perhaps this can be changed,” he said.