When a “Massacre” Isn’t a Massacre

Throughout human history there are examples of man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man. When this inhumanity becomes a reality and force is involved, it is assuredly going to be violence on a grand scale. This is what a massacre entails. It involves elements of a sense of superiority mixed with racism which combine to form a blind hatred towards another group of individuals. The American West saw several massacres, most notably that which occurred at Wounded Knee in what is now South Dakota. The Turks massacred more than one million Armenians and hundreds of thousands of Kurds throughout their brief and bloody history. And of course, the Nazis under Adolph Hitler massacred more human beings than even Genghis Khan who ravaged the Far East centuries earlier.

What is decidedly NOT a massacre is that which has recently unfolded at our border with Aza. Deliberate attempts to breach a security border and efforts to stem the violence it generated by defensive measures is not even remotely a case of a massacre. Whipping up religious hatred on one side in order to provoke a violent response does not equal a massacre when the other side must respond with superior force. Hamas does not have to answer to a military command when it uses rockets, guns, bombs or grenades on soldiers in uniform, but the Israeli Defense Forces do. IDF bullets must be accounted for. The chain of command is solid and functioning. Their rules of engagement are very specific and have undergone years of revision in order to preserve military decorum and also her honor on the battlefield. Restraint is of the utmost concern. When various news sources, such as Al Jazeera, try to depict IDF soldiers as bloodthirsty military men, they neglect to mention that anyone entering the IDF must undergo psychological testing for fitness to carry weapons. Anyone expressing views in a racist vein is shown the door before they ever join a unit.

Israel’s military code of conduct is one of the most humane in the world. You can view this point on YouTube by watching the videos of Colonel Richard Kemp, OBE. He was the supreme allied commander in two different conflicts in recent history. He is emphatic on the subject of the IDF’s behavior as it fights semi-organized terror groups. His background expertise and professional approach to military conflicts cannot be ignored.

While it is always regrettable when lives are lost, it must be stated that someone must physically carry a child into a military zone of conflict. Babies cannot walk there on their own power. Deliberately taking children into a forbidden area where violence is promised on the one hand is the sole responsibility of the parents of that child. The death of even one child is difficult to endure, no less so than by the soldier or policeman who must respond with force to prevent being overrun by an enemy bent on murder and mayhem. The IDF counsels its soldiers post-engagement to ensure they receive psychological support when they have had to use deadly force. If only her enemies behaved in such a manner, the death toll at Israel’s borders would be zero.

About the Author
Rachel Grenadier was an olah from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2003 who returned to the United States in 2015. She really wanted to stay in Israel, but decided that having family members nearby was better for her health than a bunch of devoted, but crazed, Israeli friends who kept telling her hummous would cure her terminal heart condition. She has her B.A. and M.A. from George Mason University in Virginia and is the author of two books: the autobiographical "Israeli Men and Other Disasters" and "Kishon: The Story of Israel's Naval Commandoes and their Fight for Justice". She is now living in Virginia with her three Israeli psychologically-challenged cats and yet, denies being a "hoarder".
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