The IDF can lie and cheat (and most Israelis won’t care)

One of the finest new blogs on the block is Coteret from Israel, news and views rarely heard anywhere else.

A recent post highlights comments by Ofer Shelah, Maariv’s defense analyst, on the culture at the IDF. The most moral army in the world? Hardly:

Would the IDF chief of staff lie?”¦It is unlikely that anyone here would feel the need to lie, and it is more unlikely that he would have to pay any price for being caught in a lie. The Israeli public accepted the results of Kafr Kana, the Shehade assassination and Operation Cast Lead with a shrug of the shoulders. The other side is always more vicious, it shoots at civilians deliberately, it hides inside a civilian population. We’ve long since stopped judging ourselves by a moral yardstick, and consider this a demand of a hypocritical and hostile world. Had he lied, nobody would have been outraged. Just as no one was outraged by the speed with which the IDF closed the investigations into wrongful acts in Operation Cast Lead—and today Israel is wracking its brain over the serious ramifications of the Goldstone report. In society’s whining self-perception as victims, a lie by the army is considered justified self defense against the criticism of an anti-Semitic world. [In the IDF] you won’t have to lie, and if you do lie, nobody will demand that you go.