IDF

Publications Regarding IDF

Articles

Op-ed

Is Limiting the Gaza Fishing Zone Collective Punishment?

Against the backdrop of the armed conflict between Israel and the Hamas - is limiting the space available for fishing near Gaza's shores collective punishment?

Article

Study Reveals: Proportionality in War Still a Riddle

Israeli military officers are less tolerant of higher civilian casualties than their American counterparts.

Press Release

UN Commission Report on Gaza – Response

The report and its conclusions, regardless of whether or not they will be acceptable to the State of Israel, once again highlight the importance of the rule of law, and bring to the fore the need for in-depth investigations of events which might be construed as in violation of international law

Op-ed

Climbing up the Socioeconomic Ladder: Military Service among the Ultra-Orthodox

Even though military service seems to be one of the most blatant threats to the ultra-Orthodox lifestyle, it has become a rather attractive channel for broad segments of the community.

Article

House Demolition at the Israeli Supreme Court: Recent Developments

In its fight against terrorism, Israel has often been proud of its ability to effectively fight terrorism, while remaining faithful to democratic principles. House demolitions were always considered a necessary evil, which could be resorted to in very exceptional circumstances - are we now facing populist trends that runs contrary to the traditional ethos of subjecting counterterrorism policies to rule-of-law constraints.

 

Article

Citizenship and Military Service in Ultra-Orthodox Society

More and more ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Israelis are enlisting in the IDF, driven by personal, financial, and professional motives, with military service seen as an “entrance ticket” to Israeli society and to the labor market. But military service also introduces them to the shared components of identity and citizenship linking them to the state and its values, and enabling them to identify with others, from outside their community.

Press Release

Does Benjamin Netanyahu Face Real Competition?

The monthly Peace Index reveals that: 46% of Jewish Israelis name Benjamin Netanyahu as their preferred candidate for the next prime minister.

Article

Presentation of the Israeli Democracy Index to the President of Israel

"Our central mission—and we see you as a partner in this—is to strengthen Israel’s democratic core in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence"  says Yohanan Plesner in his address to President Reuven Rivlin.

Article

The Role of Politicians and the Role of Attorneys

For Israel, coping with the situation in the Gaza Strip is far from simple. The way the situation is handled has security, economic, humanitarian, and political implications. Therefore leadership must act and speak responsibly - this is not always the case.

Article

Women’s Service in the IDF: Between a ‘People’s Army’ and Gender Equality

Over the years and especially in recent decades, the concept of gender equality has also become relevant to the discussion of military service, and more and more roles have been opened up to women serving in the IDF. Dr. Idit Shafran Gittleman presents an overview of 70 years of women in the IDF.

Article

‘Black Friday’ and Other Investigations: Initial Observations

Initial observations on Israeli's Military Advocate General's decision to conclude investigation into 'Black Friday'.

Press Release

If Meitav's Website Was Hacked - the Breach Was Almost Inevitable

The breach of IDF’s Meitav website was almost inevitable, in light of inadequate attention to the need to protect sensitive personal information and the lack of supporting legislation in Israel.

Press Release

Israel needs a draft law that will uphold the principle of civic equality

 

Now is the time to rise above petty politics and pass a draft law that will uphold the principle of civic equality in Israel.

 

Op-ed

Israel's wealthiest are abandoning IDF combat units

Israel's secular elite has lost its enthusiasm for combat service and now targets intelligence units, such as Unit 8200.

Article

Proposal for Amending Ultra-Orthodox Conscription Plan

IDI puts forth analysis of why the proposed conscription plan for the ultra-Orthodox is problematic and offers an alternative approach

Podcast

Quo Vadis, IDF?

Professor Yuval Shany and Professor Amichai Cohen discuss the pivotal role of the IDF in Israeli life - past and present. 

Press Release

Will Israel go to war in the coming months?

The monthly Peace Index of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, published today, finds that the Israeli public split on prospect of war in the coming months

Op-ed

Will an Amendment to Israel's National Security Law Change the Rules of the Game?

In the US and more recently in Israel there is public discussion over the principled issues of the balance between the different branches of government in matters of national security and the proper mechanism to create accountability in these matters are universal. 

Op-ed

What is the State’s Obligation to Soldiers who have been Captured while Fulfilling their Duty?

In an op-ed soon to be published by the Jerusalem Report, the former head of the Shin Bet security service argues that mutual responsibility is the cornerstone on which the resilience of Israeli society is founded, and is most strongly expressed in the commitment of the government of Israel to do everything possible to secure the release of its captured soldiers.

Op-ed

A Bitter Failure of Israel’s Democracy

While there is no way to know whether the military picture of the recent Gaza war would have been different had members of the security cabinet been kept abreast of the tunnel threat, there can be no doubt that what occurred was a failure of Israel’s democracy.

Press Release

Israel Democracy Institute Scholar: Should Elor Azaria be Pardoned?

The Israel Democracy Institute’s Dr. Amir Fuchs came out against the statement by Minister Naftali Bennett that Elor Azaria should be immediately pardoned, even if convicted by the military court. Azaria shot a terrorist who came at soldiers with a knife, after the terrorist was disarmed. Fuchs said that Bennett’s proposal is unadvisable.

Monthly Peace Index: IDF should Espouse Pluralistic and Open Value System

Sixty-nine percent of Jewish Israelis believe it is good for the IDF to espouse a pluralist and open value system, including accepting “others,” such as members of the LGBT community.

Op-ed

Israel’s Agreement with Turkey: Does it Protect IDF Soldiers from Prosecution?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced recently that Israel and Turkey had reached an agreement leading to reconciliation between the two countries – and the Knesset approved the deal. Now the question becomes: will the deal have the impact Israeli soldiers are hoping for? Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.

Press Release

Plesner: 'Political Echelon has Obligation to Support IDF Senior Commanders'

IDI President speaks out after heated conversation between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon goes public.

Press Release

IDI President Yohanan Plesner: 'Against Rally for Soldier Who Shot Neautralized Terrorist'

IDI President Yohanan Plesner today came out against the decision to hold a rally on April 19 in support of the IDF soldier who shot dead a disarmed Palestinian attacker in Hebron last month.

Press Release

A Democratic or Republican Candidate?

Peace Index: Israelis weigh in on which candidate is better for the Jewish State; Survey examines perceptions of Jerusalem as a divided city.

Op-ed

Are Israeli soldiers at risk of prosecution abroad?

Prof. Amichai Cohen argues that there is only one good way to prevent prosecution of Israeli soldiers abroad: Israeli authorities must conduct effective, independent, and genuine investigations in cases where there are suspicions of war crimes or other violations. This article was first published by Times of Israel.

Press Release

Prof. Amichai Cohen Warns about International Intervention in Israeli Investigation of Operation Protective Edge

Upon the release of the findings of the international investigation of Operation Protective Edge: IDI warns that the intervention by international bodies in the investigation of the events of the Operation in Gaza undermines the basis of the international demand to establish investigative mechanisms and weakens the Israeli legal system.

Policy Statement

IDI Submission to the UN's International Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict

Submitted to the UN International Commission of Inquiry on February 11, 2015, this document details the role of lawyers within the Israeli Defense Forces in implementing and enforcing International Humanitarian Law within the IDF.

Op-ed

The Haredi Draft: Snakes and Ladders

Prof. Yedidia Stern analyzes the problems with past proposals to integrate the ultra-Orthodox sector into the IDF, and proposes a new solution.

Op-ed

Is There a Place for God in the Israeli Army?

In an article in the <em>Jewish Week</em>, IDI Vice President Yedidia Stern discusses the question of whether it is appropriate for commanders to use religious rhetoric in motivating their soldiers, and stresses the need for the Israeli army to represent all.

Op-ed

The IDF’s Fighting Ethos in the Wake of Operation Protective Edge

IDI President Yohanan Plesner stresses the need to ensure that the Israel Defense Forces remains at the heart of the Zionist consensus so as to enable it to continue to be the army of all citizens of Israel.

Op-ed

A Betrayal of International Law

In a Jerusalem Post op-ed, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer argues that by breaching their responsibility to be impartial, the  UN Human Rights Council and its commission for investigating alleged war crimes in Gaza are betraying international law, even if unintentionally.

Op-ed

The IDF: Army of the People or Army of God?

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer addresses the question of the appropriateness of the letter that Givati Brigade commander Col.Ofer Winter sent to his subordinate officers as Israel prepared for the ground incursion in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

Op-ed

Mourning for Gazan Children Isn't Left-Wing

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer discusses the High Court of Justice's decision to uphold the Israel Broadcasting Authority's rejection of an infomercial in which the names of Gazan children who were killed in Operation Protective Edge would have been read aloud. 

Op-ed

Investigating Allegations of Violations of the Laws of War by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge: The Alternatives Available to Israel

How should suspected violations of the international laws of war be investigated? As Operation Protective Edge winds down, Prof. Yuval Shany and Prof. Amichai Cohen discuss the options of an internal investigation by the IDF, an international investigation, and an Israeli commission of inquiry.

Article

Investigating Allegations of Violations of the Laws of War by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge: The Alternatives Available to Israel

How should suspected violations of the international laws of war be investigated? As Operation Protective Edge winds down, Prof. Yuval Shany and Prof. Amichai Cohen discuss the options of an internal investigation by the IDF, an international investigation, and an Israeli commission of inquiry.

Op-ed

On Operation Protective Edge, Justice, Law, and Victory

Admiral Ami Ayalon asserts that the winner of today's wars is the side whose story is perceived as just, and argues that without a diplomatic track, Israel cannot win the war, even if the war is justified and Israel adheres to international law in the face of terrorists who violate it. 

Op-ed

A Red Alert for Israeli Democracy

In the midst of Operation Protective Edge, IDI President Yohanan Plesner warns of the dangers of racism, incitement, and stifling of free speech and asserts that it is essential to internalize a substantive democratic culture. 

Policy Statement

Operation Protective Edge and International Law

As Operation Protective Edge enters its second week, IDI experts outline the legal basic concepts involved in asymmetrical warfare and the boundaries of permissible action according to standard interpretations of existing international law.

Op-ed

The Role of a Legal Advisor during Times of Combat

IDI Researcher Attorney Eli Bahar discusses the central role that members of Israel's system of legal counsel play in formulating the rules of what is permissible during warfare in real time, during the fighting, in order to ensure that Israel's citizens will not be ashamed of themselves after the fighting ceases. 

Op-ed

Ultra-Orthodox Integration: It Takes Two to Tango

In an op-ed in Ynet News, IDI researcher Dr. Haim Zicherman discusses the steps that Israeli society must take in order to enable ultra-Orthodox men to integrate into the Israeli army and workforce.

Op-ed

My Jerusalem: Thoughts for Jerusalem Day

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer shares thoughts on Jerusalem, which symbolizes what is most beautiful and exalted in Jewish culture: the commitment to law and morality, to justice and mercy.

Op-ed

A Jewish State Warrants Our Sacrifice

IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern reflects on the privilege of sacrifice and the necessity to maintain a Jewish Israel in order to justify that sacrifice, in an article written for Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Victims of Terrorism.

Article

Remembering Ariel Sharon (1928–2014)

Dr. Ofer Kenig presents some of the milestones in the career of Ariel Sharon, the 11th Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

Op-ed

The Peri Committee Recommendations: Fanning the Flames of Haredi Extremism

IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern warns that the Peri Committee recommendations on the ultra-Orthodox draft will undo progress already made in integrating Israel's Haredi community into Israeli society.

The ‘Jenin-Jenin Law’: A Blessing or a Curse?

In an op-ed in <em>Maariv</em>, IDI Vice President Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs warn that the proposed amendment to Israel's Anti-Defamation Law, which would allow IDF soldiers to bring a class action suit for libel when the operational activities in which they participated are criticized in the media, will have the opposite of its intended effect.

Op-ed

The ‘Jenin-Jenin Law’: A Blessing or a Curse?

In an op-ed in Maariv, IDI Vice President Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs warn that the proposed amendment to Israel's Anti-Defamation Law known as the  'Jenin-Jenin Law' will have the opposite of its intended effect.

Op-ed

Half-Measures in the War on Terror: An Israeli Perspective

In an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Prof. Yuval Shany discuss the need for measures, laws, and institutions designed to combat the war on terror in order to strike a balance between concern for national security and the need to safeguard democratic values such as human rights and the rule of law.

Op-ed

Crossing the Syrian-Israeli Border: Acts of War or Disturbances?

The violent incidents that took place on the Israeli-Syrian border in June 2011 raise the question of how the Israel Defense Forces should deal with violent events that resemble disturbances while at the same time affecting important Israeli security interests. IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Yuval Shany offers his analysis of the Israeli response to these events.

Op-ed

An analysis of the proposed comprehensive counter-terrorism bill that was prepared by IDI's Terrorism and Democracy research team and submitted to the Ministry of Justice.

In an op-ed in Yedioth Ahronoth, IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern urges the Israeli government to fend off political pressure, act morally, and assert that anyone who has converted to Judaism in the Israel Defense Forces is a Jew.

The Conversion Crisis: The Chief Rabbi of Israel vs. The Israel Defense Forces?!

The following op-ed by IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern was originally published in Hebrew in the <em>Yedioth Ahronoth</em> daily newspaper on December 8, 2010, just before the Knesset was scheduled to vote on a bill that would recognize the validity of all conversions performed within the context of the service in the Israel Defense Forces—a vote that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed by several days due to competing pressure within the political system. It urges the Israeli government to fend off political pressure, act morally, and assert that anyone who has converted to Judaism in the IDF is a Jew.

Op-ed

Rabbis vs. the Army: New Tensions between Religion and State

Dr. Kalmen Neuman discusses the conflict faced by Orthodox soldiers who must choose between their religious commitment and the authority of the IDF when commanded to evacuate settlements.

Op-ed

Opinion: Will an Investigative Committee be Set up to Evaluate Goldstone’s Findings?

As calls for an independent Israeli investigation of the events of Operation Cast Lead grow stronger, IDI's Dr. Dana Blander looks at the history of Israel's investigative committees.

Op-ed

Opinion: Goldstone Notwithstanding, IDF Obligated to Investigate Conduct

This op-ed by IDI Prof. Yuval Shany argues that despite the Goldstone Report’s shortcomings, it strengthens the demand to investigate claims raised against the IDF through an extra-military entity. As he sees it, the main question to address is whether the army's internal investigation of "Operation Cast Lead" meets the requirements of international law.

Article

The “People’s Army”?

This article presents the main milestones in the recurring attempts to put a satisfactory arrangement for the deferment of military service for yeshiva students in place. In doing so, it surfaces the changes that have occurred over time in the constitutional, legal, and public responses and attitudes on this issue.

Press Release

Peace Index: 40% of Israelis Believe that Rifts Between Groups Will Widen

Monthly survey also finds that 84.5% of Israeli public defines mood as good or very good while 43% expresses trust in Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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Op-ed

How Israel’s Leadership Betrayed Democracy

Despite the verdict, the real story in the Azaria affair is the moral, not the legal, issue, and this debate is alive and well.

Press Release

Three Years since Operation Protective Edge, Israeli Public Defines Israel’s Security Situation as Good

Latest Peace Index: More than half of Jewish and Arab Israelis see high chances of war between Hamas and Israel in coming year

 

Article

Pardon Requests in Cases Brought Before Israeli Military Courts: How Do They Work?

Even before the conclusion of the Elor Azaria trial, there were calls for the 'Hebron Shooter' to be pardoned. Under such circumstances, what does a pardon entail and how can an IDF soldier who had been sentenced in a military court of law be granted one?

Press Release

Arabs & Jews Agree: Trump will be Friendly toward Israel

Latest Peace Index: despite UN Security Council Resolution 2334, majority of Jewish Israelis support continued building in the settlements; Israelis consider trial of Elor Azaria unfair; in 2017, all are optimistic 

Press Release

IDI in the Media on Elor Azaria

IDI was quoted in nearly 500 articles connected to the Elor Azaria verdict, including interviews with Yohanan Plesner, Yedidia Stern, Mota Kremnitzer, Amichai Cohen, Tamar Hermann and Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler. We reached a potential 403 million individuals, through coverage in 28 countries and 42 states, plus Washington, D.C.

Press Release

The Post that was Never Written

"The court must be allowed to pursue the legal process, without intimidation or attempts to undermine its independence."

Op-ed

Azaria and the ‘Helmand Incident’

As the IDF's military court handed down its verdict in the case of Elor Azaria, the soldier accused by the military prosecutor of shooting and killing a terrorist who no longer constituted a clear and present danger, it is an appropriate moment to recall the recent experience of another soldier in another army.

Op-ed

After the Elor Azaria Trial:

Israel's senior political leaders are playing with fire when they publicly justify violating the rules of war and ethical conduct. Troublingly, a majority of the Israeli Jewish public agrees.

Elor Azaria: Statement by IDI President Plesner

Following the conviction of Elor Azaria on Wednesday, January 4, IDI President Yohahan Plesner called on leaders to spearhead a coordinated effort involving the education system, the IDF, and the political leadership.

Article

Has an IDF Soldier Ever Been Convicted of Manslaughter?

In the last decade, no member of the IDF has been convicted of an offense as serious as that with which Azaria is charged.