Israel 'in danger', say 1,200 air force veterans in warning over Netanyahu

They sent letter to Supreme Court warning of religious and ultranationalist threat to country's future

Israeli Prime Minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu. AP
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Almost 1,200 Israeli Air Force veterans, including a former chief of staff, have sounded the alarm about the future of their country under the incoming ultranationalist right-wing government led by Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu.

"What we have in common today is the fear that the democratic state of Israel is in danger," the letter to the Supreme Court and other top officials said.

The veterans called the legal officials "the final line of defence", asking them to do everything in their power to "stop the disaster" affecting the country.

Among the nearly 1,200 signatories were Dan Halutz, who served as military chief from 2005 to 2007, Avihu Ben-Nun, a former commander of the air force, and Amos Yadlin, a former head of military intelligence.

Mr Netanyahu is returning to power after winning a November 1 election. He is set to present his government to parliament on Thursday.

Although the exact make-up of his cabinet has not yet been made public, analysts have called Mr Netanyahu's government the most right-wing in Israeli history.

On Monday, the Supreme Court ordered Mr Netanyahu and far-right leader Itamar Ben Gvir, who is slated for the position of national security minister, to respond within two days to a petition that demanded the court block Mr Ben Gvir's appointment.

The petition was filed by Tag Meir, a grassroots organisation against hate-crimes and religious racism.

Earlier, Mr Netanyahu defended his choice of national security minister, adding that Mr Ben Gvir had "modified a lot of his views".

In several interviews since his election win, Mr Netanyahu downplayed the role of his coalition partners, like Mr Ben Gvir.

"I will govern and I will lead, and I will navigate this government," he told Al Arabiya.

"(The other parties) are joining us; they will follow my policy."

Updated: December 27, 2022, 12:45 PM
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