16 February 2023

The Honorable President of the State of Israel, Mr. Itzhak Herzog,

We, more than 440 members of the ‘Commanders for Israel’s Security’ senior and former leaders of the IDF, Shin Bet (ISA), Mossed, Defense establishment, the police, and foreign services, turn to you at this fateful hour to express concerns that echo the same concerns you have voiced in your special address to the nation, for the damage to Israel’s national resilience as a result of the hurried and swift legislative actions referred to as a “reform,” but, for all practical purposes, are a regime revolution  in the system of government that will result in an everlasting tragedy. The latest data indicate that the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens, people from all corners of society and political movements, vehemently oppose the nature of the government’s recent actions.

We turn to you because the government’s irresponsible plans will facilitate the subordination of all mechanisms of the State to a circumstantial coalition majority, having no checks and balances, with no meaningful separation of branches, by an unchallenged majority turning the government and its designees to become the Law, rather than subject to the law. Like many citizens watching the events unfolding in recent weeks, we, too, are astonished and deeply fearful of what may happen as soon as the first legislative proceedings are concluded. This proposed change is a revolutionary transformation of the character of the State, the values on which we were educated, with which we grew, and the values on which we raised the next generations. We see this looming regime change as an imminent danger to Israel’s national resilience, standing amongst nations, security, economy, and its essential bond with Jewish People in the diaspora.

We, who led soldiers and combatants in Israel’s wars, taught them the nation’s ‘ values, and defended Israel on the battlefield and in the diplomatic arena, are strongly calling to prevent a fatal collapse of those values. Furthermore, the splitting of the chain of command, politicization, and the introduction of politics-oriented ideology interfere in the professional, the activities and processes of the defense, internal security systems, and foreign affairs operations, hurt the effectiveness of Israel’s POL-MIL operations as a whole and may lead to external and internal confrontations, seriously damaging national interests resulting in unnecessary bloodshed, economic and social damage.

As in similar situations in which the rule of law and independence of the judiciary is damaged, the first to suffer the impact are IDF soldiers’ and  security forces’  physical and legal defense together disadvantaged citizens, the protections of whom will disproportionately decline even further. That was recently the primary motivation of reserve soldiers and other combatants joining  the widespread protest campaign. As you also noted in your address to the Nation, the enemies of the State are rubbing their hands with joy, hoping that the government’s actions will dismantle the foundations of Israeli society, its unity, and strength and will make it easier for them to attack the State of Israel, its citizens, and the entire Jewish People.

As those who bore the responsibility for the lives of hundreds of thousands of combatants, we call on you to act without fear and prevent, to the extent possible, the decline into the abyss and the disintegration we are facing. We write this with pain and with a sense of profound responsibility for the security of the State. As such, we will not neglect our national and civil duty and will fight in any lawful, legal way in a democratic state where the government and its designees are not the Law but, rather, subject to it.

We feel obligated to turn to you, and encourage you  to act as “the responsible adult” and as the representative of the clear majority of the people who share the same feeling, and ask  you to carefully consider  signing any laws that contradict the modern Jewish, national, democratic character of Israel, enshrined in its  Declaration of Independence. Precisely for that, you were granted the authority to sign laws as a requirement for their going into effect.

With great respect,

On behalf of hundreds of members of the ‘Commanders for Israel’s Security‘ movement:

  • Matan Vilnai, Ambassador, Maj. Gen. (res.), former Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Tamir Pardo, former Director of the Mossad
  • Nadav Argaman, former Director of the ISA
  • Shlomo Aharonishky, Commissioner (ret.)
  • Uzi Arad, former National Security Advisor to the PM
  • Ruth Kahanoff, Ambassador, former Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ami Ayalon, V. Adm. (res.), former Director of the ISA
  • Amram Mitzna, Maj. Gen. (res.), former Commander of the Central Command
  • Jacob Or, Maj. Gen. (res.), former Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories
  • Danny Yatom, Maj. Gen. (res.), former Head of Mossad
  • Aharon Ze’evi-Farkash, Maj. Gen. (res.), former Head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate
  • Yoram Ben-Zeev, Ambassador, former Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Amnon Reshef, Maj. Gen. (res.), former Commander of the Armored Forces
  • Nitzan Alon, Maj. Gen. (res.), former Commander of the Central Command
  • David Ben Bashat, V. Adm. (res.), former Navy Commander
  • Danny Rothschild, Maj. Gen. (res.), former Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories


Letter 2 President of the State of Israel