The Spirit of The IDF:
The Ethical Code of the Israel Defense Forces
The Spirit of the IDF Draws from Four Sources:
From These Sources Come Three Fundamental Values:
From These Fundamental Values Come Ten Additional Values:
1. The IDF serviceman will, in all his actions and conduct, express the basic values of the IDF:
Perseverance in the mission, comradeship, discipline, respect for human life, loyalty, personal example, professionalism, purity of arms, representativeness, responsibility, and trustworthiness, as defined above and as appropriate to the specific circumstances.
2. The IDF serviceman, when acting in the framework of his military role, will be ever cognizant that he bears responsibility not only for the outcomes of his acts and omissions, but also for the patterns of behavior which they help to create, whether by order or personal example, by direct or indirect influence, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
3. The IDF serviceman will view himself, in each of his actions, as bearing full responsibility for the lives and safety of the servicemen and all others who are dependent on his actions or decisions.
4. The IDF serviceman will be ready to place his own life at risk when confronting the enemy or to save human life to the extent required, but he will preserve his own life and that of others in all other military situations.
5. The IDF serviceman will take into account, in every practical context, not only the proper concern for human life, but also the influence his actions may have on the physical well-being and spiritual integrity and dignity of others.
6. The IDF serviceman will endeavor fully to exercise his capabilities as called upon in accordance with the priorities assigned by the IDF to combat, command, combat support and combat service support roles.
7. The IDF serviceman, in all his actions, will take care to uphold the honor of the State, its institutions, monuments and symbols, including the honor of the IDF and its symbols.
8. .The IDF serviceman will show special respect for the fallen of the IDF. The serviceman will behave with deference in ceremonies, at memorial sites, and at memorial and honor ceremonies, and will treat bereaved families with proper respect.
9. The IDF serviceman will maintain the tradition of the IDF by showing honor and respect for IDF wounded and disabled.
10. The IDF serviceman will maintain the tradition of the IDF, will study the IDF's military heritage and will promote esprit de corps.
11. The IDF serviceman will carry out his military activities without obtruding his personal views in matters beyond his sphere of responsibility, authority and professional expertise. He will take special care not to inject his personal opinions on issues subject to public controversy of a political, social or ideological nature.
12. The IDF serviceman will make use of his military authority or status, whether command or professional, solely for the benefit of the IDF. He will never use his military authority or status improperly to advance a personal objective, or to go beyond the limits of his authority and responsibility, in letter or spirit, within or without the IDF.
13. The IDF serviceman will hold himself responsible for the outcomes of his orders. He will support those who have acted in accordance with those orders or as is proper, and will view himself as responsible for the patterns of behavior which he imposed.
14. The IDF serviceman will support his unit and its commanders in every way necessary to fulfill the unit's mission of building, promoting and employing military force. The serviceman will obey his commanders in accordance with the law and maintain respect for his commanders, peers and subordinates.
15. The IDF servicemen will never conspire to conceal any offense or mishap, and will not entertain any proposal to be party to such a conspiracy. When confronted with an offense or mishap, the serviceman will act as is reasonable and proper to correct the aberration.
16. The IDF serviceman who participates in a discussion or dispute dealing with an activity in which the IDF is involved, whether before, during or after its implementation, will express his views in accordance with his professional knowledge and conviction, with honesty, candor and courage.
17. The IDF serviceman will use the authority at his disposal towards others only as is fair, self-controlled, reasonable and professional. He will show due respect for the person and the privacy of those with whom he interacts.
18. The IDF serviceman will view his appearance in an IDF uniform as an expression of his loyalty to the values and basic principles of the IDF.
19. The IDF serviceman will use the force at his disposal, in all actions in the face of the enemy, manifesting perseverance in his mission, courage and judgment, always ready to carry out his duties despite danger to his life.
20. The IDF serviceman will be ready to do whatever is required, and even to endanger his own life, to come to the aid of his comrades or to recover wounded comrades from the battlefield.
21. The IDF serviceman will act, when confronting the enemy, according to the letter and spirit of the laws of war. He will adhere strictly to the principle of purity of arms and to the ethics of combat.
22. The IDF serviceman will treat enemy troops and civilians in areas controlled by the IDF in accordance with the letter and spirit of the laws of war and will not exceed the limits of his authority.
23. The IDF serviceman will act fairly with self-control, reasonably, and professionally, in carrying out the responsibilities of his position, in all his contacts with civilians in areas controlled by the IDF, whether in the course of battle or afterward. He will show respect towards the beliefs, values, sacred and historical sites of all civilians and military personnel as they deem proper and to the extent possible, in keeping with the values and basic principles of the IDF and in accordance with military needs and the given circumstances.
24. The IDF serviceman will fight and exert himself to the utmost, even placing his life at risk so as not to surrender to the enemy but to overcome him. He will not surrender as long as he has a chance of carrying out his mission. Even in the absence of such a possibility, he will not surrender as long as he has contact with his commander or the ability to extricate himself from his compromised position.
25. The IDF serviceman who, despite all efforts, has been taken prisoner will act according to IDF orders; responsibly, reasonably and honorably.
26. The IDF serviceman will give preference to promoting the IDF's goals, as is required of him, in accordance with regulations, orders, values and basic principles, over the advancement of the goals of any civilian body, in any instance of conflict of interests between the IDF's goals and those of that body.
27. The IDF serviceman, in all official contact with civilian bodies, will act professionally and without compromising the IDF's values, basic principles or honor.
28. The IDF serviceman may be involved in the activities of a commercial or civilian body only in accordance with the letter and spirit of existing orders and procedures, and within the limits of his position.
29. The IDF serviceman will refrain from receiving personal benefits as a result of his position, rank, status or actions. He will not request, nor will he agree to accept any favors from any agent, inside or outside the IDF, directly or indirectly, for himself or others, except in accordance with due orders and procedures.
30. The IDF serviceman will ensure that every public appearance, especially in the mass media, has prior approval, expresses outright and unreserved loyalty to the value and basic principles of the IDF, reflects the IDF's policies and decisions, and contributes to the public's confidence in the IDF.
31. The IDF serviceman will ensure that his behavior even in private circumstances cannot be interpreted as compromising the IDF's values or basic principles, does not detract from the public's confidence in the IDF, and will not contribute to the creation of patters and behavior that could harm the implementation of the IDF's values and basic principles.
32. The IDF serviceman, during his reserve duty, will act according to the same values and basic principles of the IDF as those that apply to servicemen in regular service.
33. The discharged serviceman may make private use of special or sensitive information which he gained or which came to his attention during his service only after he has received the proper authorization to make commercial media or other such use of such knowledge outside of the IDF framework.
34. The discharged serviceman may make use of his military status, including his reserve or retired rank, or may grant permission to others to do so, only in civilian contexts that do not compromise the IDF's values and basic principles, or its honor and the trust which it enjoys in the public mind.