Congress members concerned about judicial overhaul’s security fallout, IDF vet says after DC visit

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Col. Joab Rosenberg, left, Brigadier General Roy Riftin, center, and Col. Ophir Bear at the B'nai Jeshurun synagogue in New York City, March 12, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Col. Joab Rosenberg, left, Brigadier General Roy Riftin, center, and Col. Ophir Bear at the B'nai Jeshurun synagogue in New York City, March 12, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

US Senators from both sides of the aisle are concerned about the security implications of the government’s judicial overhaul, a senior IDF reservist says after a series of meetings in Washington, DC.

“Our angle is important to them and that’s the main reason we could meet with people from both sides,” says Col. (Res.) Joab Rosenberg, former deputy head analyst for IDF intelligence, who met with Senators for about five hours this week, along with Col. (Res.) Ophir Bear, who piloted F-16 fighter jets for 27 years, and Brig. Gen. (Res.) Roy Riftin, former chief of IDF artillery.

“It’s not about being progressive or conservative or anything. It’s about Israel and I think they all care about Israel,” Rosenberg says. “All of them were very sympathetic to our concerns and worries. They wanted to learn more details about our specific angle on national security and the IDF.”

The veterans expressed their fears about the new government’s effects on national security and the IDF, including the chain of command, troops’ morale, reservists boycotting service, and far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s position in the defense ministry.

The group met with Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal and other elected officials who prefer to remain anonymous for political reasons, Rosenberg says.

The delegation visited the US this week to further pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against his government’s legislative blitz. In addition to meeting with Congress members, the veterans spoke with US media and Jewish community members.

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