Members of the IDF's elite 8200 unit have published a counter-letter to their colleagues, Walla! News reports Friday night, after 43 fellow reservists alleged to the press that the unit was guilty of "human rights violations."
"We are veterans of Unit 8200, soldiers and reserve soldiers, past and present, who wish to express shock, disgust and total renouncement of the letter written by our fellow soldiers, who chose political refusal over our unit," the opposing text said.
"This political refusal has no place in the army in general and in Unit 8200 in particular," it continued. "In the hour that reserve soldiers are called to serve their country, we put aside our preferences and political opinions and go to serve our country."
"We regret that our friends make cynical use of politics in their legal and moral duty to serve in the reserve unit, which in our eyes constitutes the highest honor, and seek [instead] to undermine the activities and achievements in the unit's defense of the country and its people."
The veterans also rejected the initial letter's outrageous claims that the IDF was using information on Palestinian Arabs to "stalk" them and "harass innocent people" instead of defending Israeli civilians.
"As those familiar with the unit for many years, we cannot accept the allegations of lack of ethical and moral principles of intelligence work in the unit," it said. "From our first days in the unit, we learned the importance of monitoring and collecting data in accordance with high professional standards and regulations."
"Both in regular and reserve services, we have witnessed many cases where the operation of the unit's intelligence capabilities resulted in the preservation of human life on both sides," it continued. "Even when ethical dilemmas arise on the job, and during the war, witnesses [of crimes] were and still dealt with in a mature and responsible manner, in line with the principles of international law and the code of ethics and morals of the army."
Over 150 people have expressed support for the counter-letter so far, and the initiators are attempting to collect as many signatures as possible before mailing a physical copy of the document to the leftist opponents in the next several days.
The leftists' letter has also begun to stir reactions from MKs, with Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin stating earlier Friday that the soldiers do not deserve the privilege of serving in the elite unit.
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) has released her own response to the letter as well, stating Friday night that the letter is a "social suicide bomb" and "reflects the moral inadequacies of the Israeli education system."
"They distort history and are unfit to serve in the most moral army in the world," she added.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)