IDF Code of Ethics
One of my listmembers, Pnina Isseroff ( who was also the author of the piece
"Choose your Music," I sent you), was asked about the instructions Israeli
recruits like her son receive. In answer, she translated the Israel Defense
Forces "Code of Ethics." I thought you might find this valuable in face of
all the outright Goebbels lies our sons are facing each time they try to
I suppose the fact that Jews are armed and that they can
actually defend themselves is the biggest problem for Hitler admirers, and
those who would like to start the roundups and deportations and gassings
they so enjoyed in the last generation. I know when people complain about
our army, that this is really where they are coming from.
That is not to
say excesses and mistakes and crimes never happen. But all of us do our
best to educate our soldiers to represent the Jewish people with pride.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, we succeed. I, for one, am extremely proud
to be the mother of one IDF reservist, and one future recruit, as well as
the wife of one who served for twenty-five years.
Code of Ethics of the Israeli Soldier
I've found my older son's IDF Code of Ethics, which is given to every
soldier in basic training and which he carries with him at all times. There
are 11 basic tenets of the IDF, which are:
1.Devotion to the Mission
6.The Purity of Arms
10.Worthiness to Represent the State of Israel
I won't translate the army definition of each one here, but under Purity of
Arms, it says the following:
"The soldier will use his arms and his power to subdue the enemy in the
necessary degree, and will restrain himself in order to prevent unnecessary
harm to human life, limb, honor and property."
"The Purity of Arms of the IDF soldier is the restrained use he makes of his
weapons and strength in the performance of his mission in the required
degree only, without causing unnecessary harm to human life, limb, honor and
property, of soldiers, of civilians, and especially the helpless, in times
of war and during regular security operations, during periods of quiet and
in time of peace."
These are explicit instructions which every soldier receives and has drummed
into him frequently during training. They have been part if the IDF code of
honor from the begining of the State. Therefore, acting differently is AN
EXCEPTION, not accepted by the army, and is investigated and punished.
And here is a translation of "5. Human Life":
"The soldier will protect human life to the utmost, out of awareness of its
highest importance, and will only place himself or another at risk to the
degree required to carry out the mission."
"The sanctity of life for the IDF soldier will be expressed in everything he
does: in careful and meticulous planning, in considered training and in
correct performance which correspond to the mission, the necessary level of
danger, and the suitable level of caution, in a professional manner, and
with the constant effort to keep loss of life to the minimum required by the
This doesn't refer only to the lives of soldiers, but to any loss of life.
© Copyright 2002 Joel Orr.
Last update: 7/29/02; 9:23:46 AM.