Meretz MK Suggests Changing IDF Pledge to Counter Refusal

MK Vilan proposes troops swear to listen 'only' to their commanders, to counter other influences.

Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan has submitted a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak requesting he change the service oath of Israel Defense Forces soldiers, in order to counter refusal of orders among IDF troops.

Vilan's recommendation would add the word "only" to the end of the line that states "I will follow the orders and instructions of my commanders."

The initiative follows the refusal of between 20 and 30 soldiers to take part in the evacuation of settlers from the wholesale market in Hebron in early August.

Vilan also suggested changing a line that states the soldier will sacrifice his life for the sake of Israel, to "to dedicate my all."

According to Vilan, the current line is antiquated.

Under Vilan's plan, the service oath would have to be submitted personally, in writing as opposed to the current system where the oath is given orally as part of a call and answer routine where units of soldiers call out "I swear" in unison to a series of vows.

Vilan stated that the current system allows soldiers who do not wish to make the vow to remain silent in the anonymity of a crowd and avoid making the pledge.