Moral Standards Under Pressure: The Israeli Army and the 'Intifada' [Abstract]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 4 (1990)

December 2, 1990

"The PLO practice of hiding behind civilians has produced severe tests for the IDF [Israeli Defense Force]." Have Israeli soldiers abandoned their moral obligations in war during the time of Intifada? The moral code of the"purity" of arms (tohar haneshek) has served as an absolute standard for the Israeli Army since the creation of Israel. The author emphasizes that although televised beatings of Palestinian women and children have caused an outcry, it would be unrealistic to hold Israeli soldiers to the same moral standards given the political situation; hence the IDF cannot be criticized for having committed some immoral acts under the unique circumstances of the intifada. The Israeli Defense Force has not abandoned its tohar haneshek and has maintained its commitment to moral values in national and international behavior.


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