IDF Code Of Ethics

Who Is The IDF?

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is the military of the State of Israel.
The IDF operates under the authority of the democratic civilian government and the laws of the state.
The purpose of the IDF is to defend the existence of the State of Israel and its independence, and to thwart enemy efforts to disrupt the normal course of life within it.
IDF soldiers are committed to fighting, dedicating all their efforts, and even risking their lives to protect the State of Israel, its citizens, and its residents.
IDF soldiers will act according to the values and orders of the IDF, while upholding the laws of the state and human dignity, and respecting the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

What is the IDF Spirit?

“The Spirit of the IDF” is the ethical identity card of the IDF, which should underlie the actions of every soldier within the IDF, both in regular service and in reserve duty. “The Spirit of the IDF” and the derived operational rules constitute the IDF’s ethical code.
“The Spirit of the IDF” will guide the IDF, its soldiers, commanders, units, and corps in shaping their patterns of action. According to “The Spirit of the IDF,” they will act, educate, and evaluate themselves and others.

“The Spirit of the IDF” draws from four sources

  1. The tradition of the IDF and its combat heritage as the Israel Defense Forces.
  2. The tradition of the State of Israel, with its democratic principles, laws, and institutions.
  3. The tradition of the Jewish people throughout generations.
  4. Universal moral values based on human dignity and respect.

Fundamental Values

  1. Defense of the State, Its Citizens, and Residents – The purpose of the IDF is to defend the existence of the State of Israel, its independence, and the security of its citizens and residents.
  2. Love of the Homeland and Loyalty to the State – At the core of service in the IDF is the love of the homeland, commitment, and dedication to the State of Israel – a democratic state that serves as the national home for the Jewish people – and to its citizens and residents.
  3. Human Dignity – The IDF and its soldiers are committed to respecting human dignity. Every person has intrinsic value, regardless of origin, religion, nationality, gender, status, or role.
  4. Statehood – The IDF is the people’s army, a national army, subject to the law and the government. IDF soldiers will act with the mission, IDF values, and the security of the state as their foremost priorities, executing their duties with integrity, professionalism, and representativeness.


1. Perseverance in the Mission and Pursuit of Victory – An IDF soldier will act and operate with courage in the face of every danger and challenge presented. The soldier will persevere in their mission with determination and wisdom, even if it means risking their life.

2. Responsibility – An IDF soldier will see themselves as an active partner in ensuring the security of the State of Israel and its residents. The soldier will show continuous involvement, initiative, and diligence, operating within the framework of their authority, and will be willing to accept consequences for their actions if need be.

3. Reliability and Trustworthiness – An IDF soldier will present things entirely and precisely as they are. They will do so throughout all stages of operation, including planning, execution, and reporting. The soldier will operate in a manner that will enable their commanders and fellow soldiers to trust them when completing tasks.

4. Personal Example – An IDF soldier will conduct themselves in the manner that is required of them and in the manner they expect their fellow soldiers to act. They will do so out of recognition of their ability and responsibility as an IDF soldier and outside of it, to be a worthy role model to those around them.

5. Human Life – An IDF soldier will recognize the critical importance of human life and behave in a safe and measured manner at all times. During combat, the soldier will put themselves and their fellow soldiers at risk only to the extent required to fulfill their mission.

6. Purity of Arms – An IDF soldier will only exercise their power or use their weapon in order to fulfill their mission and only when necessary. They will maintain their humanity during combat and routine times. The soldier will not use their weapon or power to harm uninvolved civilians and prisoners and will do everything in their power to prevent harm to their lives, bodies, dignity, and property.

7. Professionalism – An IDF soldier will aspire to gain the professional knowledge, skills, and expertise required to fulfill their position in the IDF. The soldier will implement these while engaging in their role to continuously improve their personal achievements and the achievements of their unit.

8. Discipline – An IDF soldier will operate to the best of their ability to fulfill what is required of them in a complete and successful manner and in accordance with the orders they were given and the values of the IDF. The soldier will ensure they are only giving out legal orders and do not follow blatantly illegal orders.

9. Camaraderie – An IDF soldier will operate out of commitment and devotion to their fellow soldiers. The soldier will always extend other servicemembers a helping hand when they are in need of assistance or dependent on it and they will do so despite any difficulty or risk.

10. A Sense of Mission – An IDF soldier will see their service as a vocation; they will be intent on contributing as much as possible to defend the State of Israel and its residents. They will do so as a representative of the IDF who is operating within the authority given to them according to IDF orders.

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