A tribute to the reservists

Last night, at the large ‘Barbi Club’ in Tel Aviv, a ceremony was held in recognition of the Israeli reserve duty. The War has been characterized by the most extensive reserve service mobilization in the history of the country, when at the outbreak of the war no less than 300 reserve soldiers were recruited, which raised the army’s manpower situation to the half-million area – an all-time high for the IDF, which reflects its full potential in times of national emergency. Most of the reserve soldiers have been released since then, and so have all the combat reserve units left the Gaza Strip. However, it is clear that the continuation of the war will require extensive work by the reserve service, which is already evident in the laws passed that extend the duration of reserve service for all citizens of Israel.

The conference was dedicated to all reserve personnel – currently serving, serving in the past, and their families. The conference was attended by a number of civilian organizations, together with prominent public figures, and discussed many issues – from the war experience to the discussion of the essence of victory in the war, questions about the future of the state and the Gaza Strip and the restoration of both, laws relating to reserves and options for supporting the reserve personnel in civil society. “Here is the essence of Zionism,” said former Minister Yoaz Handel, who served in the reserves in the war and fought in the envelope in the first week. It is our hope for a better and safer future. We have a moral obligation to continue to reserve duty, to defend the homeland and to defeat the enemy… The country is strong and remains strong.” Elisha Madan, who lost both legs during the war, represented the wounded reserve soldiers, and spoke of the importance of unity after October 7: “I don’t blame anyone, I’m broken and I’ll fix it. We’ll fix it together,” he promised.

In addition, during the conference, a special panel was held in which the issue of compensation for reserve servants was discussed. Shai Babad, the former director general of the Ministry of Finance, said that “the state must know how to reward the reservists in a much more meaningful way than what is being done today… At the top of every priority of our leaders, no matter who they are, there should be the reward of pleasure for those who put their lives at stake, and time after time they leave everything and go out to defend our country.” Indeed, with the outbreak of the war, many of the reservists jumped immediately, without waiting for a ‘order 8’ or an official call. With such a spirit, we will surely win.

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