IDF adds ‘stateliness’ as fourth military value in code of ethics

The values outlined are acting for the good of the state, Defense of the State, its Citizens and Residents; Patriotism and Loyalty to the State; Human Dignity.

 IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi attends a ceremony of the Aharai! Youth Program, at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on June 17, 2022 (photo credit: FLASH90)
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi attends a ceremony of the Aharai! Youth Program, at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on June 17, 2022
(photo credit: FLASH90)

The IDF has added the “basic characteristic” of stateliness to the Spirit of the IDF, the code of ethics of the Israeli Army.

“The updated Spirit of the IDF will be supplemented with a fourth basic value: the value of stateliness,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said on Tuesday.

Over the past year, the military has carried out staff work in professional forums and in the General Staff, in order to update the IDF’s code of ethics that serves as the basis for all its operations. The directive to update the document was led by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi and the head of the Manpower Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Yaniv Asur.

The IDF's code of ethics:

The summary of the wording of the basic value of “stateliness” as approved by Kohavi is as follows:

“The IDF is the people’s army, a stately army, subject to the law and to the government. IDF soldiers will act when only the mission, IDF values and national security are before them, and they will do so with integrity, matter-of-factness and representativeness.”

 ISRAELI SOLDIERS walk with their weapons behind a group of Palestinians during clashes in Hebron in 2012. Korn questions what Judaism says about how the IDF should conduct itself. (credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS) ISRAELI SOLDIERS walk with their weapons behind a group of Palestinians during clashes in Hebron in 2012. Korn questions what Judaism says about how the IDF should conduct itself. (credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS)

Kohavi said that these basic values “give servants, their parents and the citizens of the country confidence and security in the IDF, and in light of this it is our duty to cultivate the value of stateliness.”

He said that “statehood is the backbone of values that preserve the functioning of the IDF and the public’s trust in the IDF. Soldiers and commanders, parents and citizens of the state must know that decisions and actions in the IDF are made solely in light of professional considerations and considerations of security and the good of the state. This is the thing that gives them trust in their unit members and commanders, trust that increases cohesion, and contributes significantly to the quality of functioning of the units and the entire military.”

“Soldiers and commanders, parents and citizens of the state must know that decisions and actions in the IDF are made solely in light of professional considerations and considerations of security and the good of the state."

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.Aviv Kohavi

The other values are the Defense of the State, its Citizens and Residents; Patriotism and Loyalty to the State; and Human Dignity.

“The Spirit of the IDF shall direct the IDF, its soldiers, commanders, units and corps in their activities,” reads the IDF’s website. “According to The Spirit of the IDF they shall conduct, educate, and examine themselves and their fellows.”