MK Yariv Levin
MK Yariv LevinIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) called for the immediate dismissal of 43 reservists from the IDF's elite 8200 Unit on Friday afternoon, after they announced their refusal to serve in the IDF due to leftist beliefs and misconceptions about the IDF's self-defense operation in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge.

Levin, a former 8200 soldier himself, scathingly attacked the claims of the letter, which alleged that the IDF harms Palestinian Arabs instead of protecting Israelis from terror attacks. 

"As a graduate of 8200, and as Chairman of the Subcommittee for Intelligence Affairs and the Defense Committee, I read the letter of refusal and I utterly reject the contents therein," Levin fired. 

"Military service is a privilege," he added. "He who refuses to help keep our state safe crosses the line between those who support Israeli democracy and freedom it represents, and joins those who support the Palestinian terrorists attacking innocent citizens of Israel." 

The Coalition Chairman clarified that the IDF is the most moral army in the world, and is certainly not wasting resources to harm innocent civilians, as claimed by radical leftists who signed the letter.

"We must keep the objecting reservists away from their army's ranks immediately," he urged. "Such people do not deserve the right to continue serving under Unit 8200."  

Earlier, the soldiers, who include extremist leftist activists, complained that their service to Israel's security "harms innocents" in an open letter published across the Israeli and international press. 

"There is an idea that serving in the intelligence corps does not include moral dilemmas, and only contributes to the lessening of violence and harm to innocents," wrote the insubordinate soldiers in their letter. "But during our military service we learned that the intelligence corps is an inseparable part of the military control of the territories (Judea and Samaria - ed.)."

 In response, the IDF cast doubts on the credibility of the letter's claims of abuse.

"The Intelligence Corps has no record that the... violations in the letter ever took place," it said in a statement.

"Immediately turning to the press instead of their (the soldiers') officers or relevant authorities is suspicious and raises doubts as to the seriousness of their claims," it added.

The statement also noted that Unit 8200 has received great praise, through various military awards and prizes.