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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Symposium Regarding Ethics During Warfare Given to IDF Commanders

Wednesday (April 13th), the first part of an educational leadership symposium took place for approximately 40 senior commanders (Lieutenant Colonel ranking and above) of the 162nd Division. Commanders of the 162nd Division’s battalions and brigades stationed all over Israel left their areas of command to attend the symposium, which dedicated a full day to reinforcing morality and ethics during warfare.

The day began with a series of lectures given by academic professors, a Colonel in reserves from the Military Advocate General unit, and a senior military analyst, discussing various moral issues that arise during contemporary combat operations. After which, the commanders were divided into smaller groups and discussed international law, the right to target those seeking to harm civilians, and other topics related to the lectures given.

The day ended with a visit to a military cemetery and a tour of the graves of esteemed commanders of the Harel Brigade, killed while fighting for the creation of the State of Israel.

Commander of the 162nd Division, Brig. Gen. Agay Yehezkel, emphasized to the commanders that “we must stop our daily routines every so often and ask ourselves difficult questions about morality and ethics during warfare. Even we, the commanders, need a ‘refuel’ of our values which will enable us to properly answer our soldiers’ questions and better prepare them mentally and ethically for the next combat challenge.”

The next part of the symposium will continue to examine morality and ethics and will involve a meeting and discourse between the commanders and their spouses/partners.