Integrity, Ethics and Family


“Who is wise? One who learns from every man…
Who is honorable? One who honors his fellow man.”
Ethics of the Fathers

a Jewish ethical code which was written in Israel two thousand years ago

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Fundamental Values of the IDF

The IDF serviceman will, above all, preserve human life, in the recognition of its supreme value and will place himself or others at risk solely to the extent required to carry out his mission. The sanctity of life in the eyes of the IDF servicemen will find expression in all of their actions, in deliberate and meticulous planning, in safe and intelligent training and in proper execution of their mission. In evaluating the risk to self and others, they will use the appropriate standards and will exercise constant care to limit injury to life to the extent required to accomplish the mission.

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The project “Great in Uniform” was set up 10 years ago.
The purpose of the project is to integrate young people with disabilities in the IDF,
first as volunteers and then as soldiers in every aspect, including the simple soldier’s ID and uniform,
as part of their preparation for an independent life and their integration into Israeli society.

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The MAG Corps: Maintaining the Rule of Law in the IDF
September 11, 2013

The IDF’s Military Advocate General Corps is tasked with ensuring that the military adheres to Israeli and international law. This unique unit – the only one in the IDF not subordinate to the Chief of the General Staff – exemplifies the Israeli Army’s mission of acting within and upholding the pillars of justice.

The officers and soldiers of the IDF Military Advocate General Corps (MAG Corps) know very well why the head of their unit is not professionally subordinate to the Chief of the General Staff.

Simply put, the MAG Corps’ job is to ensure that the IDF operates in accordance with both Israeli and international law, while promoting justice and integrating the rule of law MAG Corps symbolwithin the military. Because of the importance of this goal, and as a check on the power of the IDF’s chain of command, the head of the unit, the Military Advocate General (MAG), has complete professional independence and is appointed directly by the Minister of Defense, on the recommendation of the Chief of the General Staff. The MAG is only subordinate to the Chief of Staff as part of the chain of command and not in relation to his professional obligations. Unlike other IDF units, officers within the MAG Corps are not subordinate to any commanders outside of the MAG Corps.

New-MAG
Major General Dan Efroni was appointed Military Advocate General in 2011

 

The MAG Corps is engaged in a wide variety of challenging and important legal work ranging from environmental law, to the rights of Palestinians residing in Judea and Samaria and matters pertaining to compliance with international law. In all of these realms, the unit is charged with providing legal advice and enforcing compliance with the relevant law, while educating IDF personnel as to their legal obligations.

The unit is headed by the MAG, Major General Dan Efrony, who is a member of the IDF’s General Staff Forum. The Deputy MAG is Colonel Eli Bar-On. Col. Bar-On notes that “the independence of the MAG corps stands at the heart of its operation and this independence is entrenched by law. The MAG Corps is the only military unit to have specific legislation detailing its operations and obligations, a testament to the importance Israel, a vibrant democracy, places on the rule of law and human rights within the military.”

The MAG Corps’ work is essential to the operational successes of the IDF.

Israel continues to find itself under attack from groups who do not cease in their efforts to harm and kill Israeli civilians. These terrorist organizations not only disregard the laws of armed conflict, but actively exploit Israel’s compliance to the rule of law. As retired Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak noted, Israel “must often fight with one hand tied behind its back.”

Col. Bar-On explains that “it is often the MAG Corps’ role to ensure the strict adherence of the IDF to international and humanitarian law, while at the same time enabling the IDF to successfully protect the citizens of Israel.“

There are 6 main departments within the MAG Corps: (1) the Military Prosecution (2) the Office of the Chief Military Defense Counsel (3) the Legal Advisor to Judea and Samaria – which provides advice relating to the operations of the IDF in Judea and Samaria (4) the Legal Advice and Legislation Department – which provides general legal advice to the IDF as well as representing the IDF in legislative proceedings in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) (5) the International Law Department – which provides advice on issues ranging from verifying the legality of certain targets to considering the humanitarian aspects of IDF actions and (6) the IDF School of Military Law.

Among the MAG Corps’ most important work is that relating to international law. The November 2012 conflict in Gaza, Operation Pillar of Defense, is a case in point. The MAG Corps’ officers were deeply integrated into the operation to provide real time advice to all levels of command on issues such as the requirement to provide advance warning to civilians and the treatment of detainees on the battlefield.

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IDF and Palestinian Medics Team Up
June 19, 2013

Yesterday, a young Palestinian man was struck by a car while riding his donkey in the village of Huwwara, near Nablus. To save his life, IDF paramedics and Magen David Adom – an Israeli civilian volunteer organization – joined together with the Palestinian police and the Red Crescent.

Medics of the IDF, Magen David Adom, the Red Crescent and the Palestinian police treat a Palestinian patient

idf medic
Medics of the IDF, Magen David Adom, Red Crescent and Palestinian Police treat a Palestinian patient.

One of the first on the scene was IDF paramedic 2nd Lt. Shir Schlosser.

“Whenever we are called to an accident, we don’t consider whether it was an Israeli or Palestinian man who was injured. We never discriminate between the two,” she said. “When you’re there, you only see the injured person; you don’t pay attention to what’s around you.”

The wounded man suffered from multiple injuries, “possibly lethal,” noted Schlosser, “but working together, all four groups, we treated the injured man as needed, revived him and evacuated him to an Israeli hospital.”

med

IDF and Palestinian medics

Everyday Cooperation

According to the paramedic, cooperation between the IDF and Palestinian medics is quite common, with such instances occurring “at least a couple of times a day.”

“For every accident we alert the Red Crescent and work together,” she explained. “We always provide first aid because our treatment is often better than [the Red Crescent’s].”

She added, “We usually try to take injured Palestinians to Nablus, where they can understand the language and be with their families. But depending on the severity of the accident, we might bring them into Israel.”

Cooperation between IDF and Palestinian medics is inevitable due to the situation in Judea and Samaria.

“The population here is mixed in such a way that life is shared,” remarked Schlosser, “and we have to work together in order to succeed.”

Medical forces treated over 1,500 patients in Judea and Samaria in 2012. Roughly a quarter of these patients are Palestinian, most of whom were injured in traffic or work accidents or suffered from various diseases.

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Six Syrians Released from Israeli Hospital

by IDF spokesperson
February 27, 2013

Following completion of their medical treatment, six of the seven injured Syrians that received medical aid in Israel have been released today, February 27, 2013. The IDF medical discharge of the Syrians was completed at an undisclosed location for their own safety. An additional Syrian who is severely wounded remains hospitalized for further treatment.
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Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi
IDF Chief of the General Staff

“The missions and challenges we face are difficult and complex. Operational success will only be achieved if we fiercely preserve the ‘Spirit of the IDF’ and the morality which stands at the base of our actions, as I intend to fully preserve.”

“As someone who knows the soldiers of the IDF, and the values which guide them and their morality, I was not surprised to discover that the vast majority of complaints investigated both by the unit commanders and, in some cases by the Military Attorney General, were found to be groundless. The IDF had ensured, and will continue to insist, that its operations will be carried out by the rules of the State, and in light of the values of human life and the purity of arms – even in the face of an enemy that disregards every law and moral-ethical standard and uses its civilian population as a defensive wall.

“With that, we are not exempt from firmly treating the isolated extreme cases where the military commands were not followed and the moral code of the IDF disregarded- this is not only our duty but an interest of the first degree to every soldier and commander of the IDF. If we grant automatic immunity to every action and behavior only because it took place during combat, we will not be meeting our own expectations or keeping to the values which led us through generations of fighting our justified battle.

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The IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gantz

“The navy has many dimensions of operation in its submarines, missile boats and special units, and the navy has seen significant  progress in recent years thanks to determination, ethics, modesty and devotion. In the military we see a lot of significance to moral strength as well as physical strength. In the navy’s beginning, when ships were still crafted out of wood, it was said that ‘the ships may be made of wood, but its crew was made of steel’.
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A Soldier’s Graduation Surprise
idfspokesperson

Chaiandfather

Cpl. Daniel Chai had not seen his father in almost two years. As a dedicated lone soldier in the IDF’s Armored Corps, he could not afford the time or money to fly out and visit his family in his native country of South Africa. However, last week as hundreds of combat soldiers completed their advanced Armored Corps training, Cpl. Chai received a special surprise.

Cpl. Chai immigrated to Israel from South Africa two years ago and had not been home to see his family since. He was drafted into the IDF as a combat soldier assigned to the Armored Corps. “I wanted to be a combat soldier and it is hard, but it was what I really wanted to do,” he said.

Cpl. Chai’s mother passed away when he was 12 years old. His father and sister still live in South Africa, though Cpl. Chai and two of his siblings eventually moved to Israel.

Lt. Eviatar Hanan, the soldier’s platoon commander, heard about his soldier’s story and was shocked. “Daniel was my soldier in training. Part of our job includes making sure they stay in touch with their parents,” he explained.

Lt. Hanan described how when all the lone soldiers flew to visit their parents, Cpl. Chai could not do the same because he did not have enough money. At this point, the platoon commander started arranging to fly out Cpl. Chai’s father to Israel for his son’s course graduation.

When Cpl. Chai became engaged, Lt. Hanan used the opportunity to get in touch with his soldier’s new fiancee. Between them and their friends and families, they raised the necessary money to purchase airfare from South Africa to Israel. They were so successful that they raised enough money to buy a ticket for both Cpl. Chai’s father and seven-year-old sister.

Despite all the various hiccups and passport issues, the family successfully landed in Israel. Lt. Hanan brought the two to Yad L’Shirion in Latrun, the graduation site near Jerusalem. There they suddenly surprised Cpl. Chai during the ceremony by announcing that his father and sister were in the audience. “I was so overcome with emotions. Everyone knew except me,” he said with a huge smile after the heartwarming reunion with his father.

Cpl. Daniel Chai had not seen his father in almost two years. As a dedicated lone soldier in the IDF’s Armored Corps, he could not afford the time or money to fly out and visit his family in his native country of South Africa. However, last week as hundreds of combat soldiers completed their advanced Armored Corps training, Cpl. Chai received a special surprise.
Cpl. Chai immigrated to Israel from South Africa two years ago and had not been home to see his family since. He was drafted into the IDF as a combat soldier assigned to the Armored Corps. “I wanted to be a combat soldier and it is hard, but it was what I really wanted to do,” he said.

Cpl. Chai’s mother passed away when he was 12 years old. His father and sister still live in South Africa, though Cpl. Chai and two of his siblings eventually moved to Israel.

Lt. Eviatar Hanan, the soldier’s platoon commander, heard about his soldier’s story and was shocked. “Daniel was my soldier in training. Part of our job includes making sure they stay in touch with their parents,” he explained.

Lt. Hanan described how when all the lone soldiers flew to visit their parents, Cpl. Chai could not do the same because he did not have enough money. At this point, the platoon commander started arranging to fly out Cpl. Chai’s father to Israel for his son’s course graduation.

When Cpl. Chai became engaged, Lt. Hanan used the opportunity to get in touch with his soldier’s new fiancee. Between them and their friends and families, they raised the necessary money to purchase airfare from South Africa to Israel. They were so successful that they raised enough money to buy a ticket for both Cpl. Chai’s father and seven-year-old sister.

Despite all the various hiccups and passport issues, the family successfully landed in Israel. Lt. Hanan brought the two to Yad L’Shirion in Latrun, the graduation site near Jerusalem. There they suddenly surprised Cpl. Chai during the ceremony by announcing that his father and sister were in the audience. “I was so overcome with emotions. Everyone knew except me,” he said with a huge smile after the heartwarming reunion with his father.

The graduation signified the end of the 10-week-long advanced combat course. In the course the soldiers learned how to conduct combat in variety of different situations, each with unique challenges.

 

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