Gideon Levy writes in Haaretz that the most “moral army in the world” is anything but:
Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi is a moral and ethical paragon who stands atop an organization that is no less moral or ethical. Last week, he broke his silence and proved his acute sensitivity to matters of conscience: “We have not one gram of tolerance,” the chief of staff said in a loud and clear voice, referring to those who had hazed soldiers. “We ought to view this incident as a reminder of the high ethical threshold expected of us,” he said in a clear and crisp voice, referring to the affair involving Brig. Gen. Imad Fares.
However, on the same day the chief of staff – who brags of his “high ethical threshold” – made his statements, a report commissioned by U.S.-based Human Rights Watch was made public. It stated that during Operation Cast Lead, the Israel Defense Forces killed 11 civilians, including five women and four children, who were carrying white flags, an act that has been characterized as a war crime. This should have been far more shocking, but we did not hear one word about it from the chief of staff. For this, he had kilograms of tolerance.
The IDF under Ashkenazi, who demanded that the army “scour with a steel comb every platoon and squad” in response to the hazing incident, did not investigate the killing of white-flag bearers. All of a sudden the IDF – whose spokesman, Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu, launched a disgraceful delegitimization campaign against the rights group Breaking the Silence for daring to take shocking testimonials from soldiers – is backing an investigation of every tent. “We ought to encourage revelations,” the fearlessly investigating chief of staff said of those hectoring soldiers, as the IDF stifles any possibility of revealing suspicions of war crimes.