Mass resignations cripple IDF, sparking manpower crisis

Photo: Nati Shohat, Flash90

A “wave” of high-profile resignations has rocked the embattled Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), with some former officers complaining about a lack of promotions. Joining the outgoing soldiers are two Colonels and the army’s International Spokesman Lieutenant Richard Hecht.

Why It’s Important: A manpower crisis of this magnitude could jeopardize Tel Aviv’s ongoing mission of the complete “destruction of Hamas,” and comes amid a recent push to forcibly conscript ultra-orthodox Jews, who typically are exempt from Israeli military service.

  • Among those who resigned are Lt Col Daniel Hagari’s second in command, Colonel Butbol, Colonel Moran Katz, the army’s International Spokesman Lieutenant Richard Hecht, as well as a number of female officers.
  • Israel has continued to take mounting casualties in its push toward the southern Gazan city of Rafah.

Israel’s manpower shortage is mirrored by it’s greatest ally, the United States, who recently cut 24,000 jobs amid it’s own set of recruitment shortfalls.

The Conversation: While the IDF has not officially commented on the sudden withdrawals, some have speculated that they came about after things did not work out “professionally and personally” for many officers.

  • “The picture is complex, since it is a military system and sometimes people reach retirement age and leave for no particular reason, but despite this, the number of people who retire at once during a war is unusual.”
  • “The army is in need of manpower now. It’s not a matter of politics, it’s a matter of mathematics,” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday. 

In the Headlines: As Israel continues it’s war on Gaza—which many have labelled a Genocide of the Palestinian people—the nation and it’s many Western allies have accrued international condemnation.

Just last month, a member of the US Airforce set himself on fire to protest the Gaza war. His actions have ignighted debate on America’s role in what many have called a “massacre,” of mostly unarmed women and children.