A few years ago I attended a "mesibat gius", an "enlistment party", for a relative who was joining a combat unit. People gave him various tips about army life. Several people told him to always remember the Palestinians were humans, not just automatic terrorist suspects. I remember one person saying that "once you forget the Palestinian civilians are human, you also forget that you're human". It seems to me that kind of message needs to be an integral part of the training of combat soldiers.
Today's Haaretz editorial (Hebrew version here) calls for an external investigation:
"The IDF's internal investigations, which are moving ahead very slowly, are not enough. The army is absorbing more and more religious extremism from the teachings of the IDF's rabbinate. It would be appropriate to investigate the problems from outside the IDF and root them out before the rot destroys the IDF and Israeli society."I couldn't agree more. An investigative committee like the one set up after the Second Lebanon War should be set up, but this one should be focused on the moral and ethical aspects of the operation and IDF soldiers' training in general.