The crisis in Israel has become so intense that it has reached an institution that has been a source of great national pride and has previously kept away from politics: The army.
As Benjamin Netanyahu’s religious nationalist government seeks to limit judicial oversight of legislation – encouraged by Israel’s rising far-right and religious groups – there is bitter opposition to the reforms from the centre and the left.
And no institution in the country is more associated with a sense of national pride than the army, which also aligns with Israel’s traditional sense of a separation of powers within a state built on religious foundations but run along secular lines.
But Netanyahu’s move to limit the powers of the Supreme Court is unnerving many Israelis, to such an extent that it has become a fault line running through society, including people refusing to serve in the Israeli army.
Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Force Herzi Halevi has even warned that the army could collapse due to the impact of the crisis. Around 10,000 reserve soldiers from all army units have said they will suspend their service in protest against the reforms.
For such political controversy to have reached the military is significant. Israelis have always considered the army a national institution of vital importance.