Netanyahu, IDF Lt.-Gen. Ashkenazi
Netanyahu, IDF Lt.-Gen. Ashkenazi Israel news photo: GPO

A Soldier's Story, released by American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), shows why the IDF is known as the world's most humane army.

The movie shows Maj. Ro'i Levy of the Golani Brigade discussing a dilemma he faced during Operation Cast Lead - similar to dilemmas faced countless times by other IDF soldiers and officers.

"I saw a group of perhaps 200 Arab girls [in Gaza], and behind them I saw three terrorists placing a Kassam rocket into a launcher, ready for launching at Israel. The only weapon with which I could respond was a machine gun - which is not accurate."

The narrator then places the burning question in bold relief: "Should Maj. Levy have ordered his soldiers to fire their machine guns, and risk killing Palestinian children - or hold their fire and allow terrorists to fire Kassam rockets at Sderot, possibly killing Israeli children?"

The end of the story, Maj. Levy, is that he "did not pull the trigger - and the terrorists in fact launched a Kassam rocket."

"Did I do the right thing?" he asks - and the question is left hanging, on the stark backdrop of the common practice of Israel's enemy of taking shelter behind children.

An IDF pilot tells another aspect of Israel's humanity-in-war: "When I have sighted a target, I have to inform headquarters a minute before I am ready to shoot, and then again 30 seconds before, and then again ten seconds before - just in case a civilian has entered the picture in the interval. It has happened many times that with ten seconds to go, I am ordered not to fire..."

The pilot similarly said that even when he is being shot at, he is not permitted to return fire "unless it is verified where the bullets are coming from at me. How can I know that he's not shooting from within a kindergarten?" Hamas has no such qualms, aiming rockets indiscriminately at residential areas, schools and kindergardens, which, for example, have killed a college student when a rocket hit the Sapir campus and a young girl returning from her youth group meeting.


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