Israeli Army Issues ‘commandments’ Detailing Military’s Code of Ethics

The Israeli army this week unveiled what it describes as its “commandments” of military ethics, norms and values.

The document released this week, called the “IDF Spirit — Values and Basic Rules,” explains the army’s code of ethics in daily routine during peacetime and war.

The document was three years in the making, during which time a committee of senior Israel Defense Force officers and civilians conferred with officers and soldiers.

The panel included the head of the IDF’s manpower division, its chief education officer and a Tel Aviv University professor of ethics.

The 10-page document, which has already been distributed to the IDF officer corps and will be sent to servicemen and women soon, is divided into three sections.

The preamble is a descriptive characterization of the “IDF Spirit.”

The second part contains a list of core “values” that include: operation, persistence, responsibility, reliability, personal example, human life, purity of arms, professionalism, discipline, loyalty, representation and camaraderie.

The third section deals with basic rules of behavior for officers and enlisted soldiers, including behavior during military service and in the face of the enemy, and adherence to international war codes and law.

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