Time to Change the Rules of Engagement

Time to Change the Rules of Engagement

Like all armies, the Israel Defense forces has Rules of Engagement. The IDF is one of the most morale armies in the world. That statement is true, though our enemies will quickly disagree with it and their supporters will scoff at seeing it in writing. We have clearly defined Rules of Engagement and our soldiers are reminded of these rules regularly. There is a long list of things a soldier must do before he takes the shot to kill. Other than during an actual war (and there are rules there too), a soldier is commanded to warn a terrorist or suspected terrorist. The exception, thankfully, is if the soldier feels that his life is in imminent danger. And if it isn’t, the soldier knows that his misjudgment will bring him to trial.Engagement on the border

Thanks to the Elor Azarya case, many soldiers will now hesitate to shoot a terrorist (even one who has already attempted to murder someone), lest some leftist be waiting for the opportunity. Lest some leftist raise the cry that the soldier, who has dedicated three years of his life to serving this land, that the soldier to “rot in jail.”

In less than 24 hours, the Palestinians are threatening to swarm across our borders. They call it a “march of return” or a “million man march”. What do they want these “million” men to do? (Never mind that there aren’t a million men in Gaza…sometimes, I wonder if there is even one). They want them to illegally storm the border of a sovereign nation. The leadership of Gaza wants them to overwhelm our soldiers in sheer numbers with the goal of getting as many of those “men” across the border. Armed with whatever they can bring – guns, knives, explosives, axes, they have one order only. Should any of these attackers manage to circumvent our border, they have instructions to kill. Anything. Whatever. Have a nice time.

We can’t stop them from marching but what we can do…now…is change the Rules of Engagement.

There is no return policy. They are not returning to Israel (none of them was born here and most likely none of their fathers or mothers were born here). And, should then manage to get into Israel, there’s no return policy there either. None of those who get across the border are expected to return to Gaza. They’ll die in Israel or on the way to Israel and that’s okay for a culture that loves violence and death. That’s the plan; that’s the scene they want. Palestinian leadership wants pictures of dead bodies littering the field and for once, in the interests of our people, we should give it to them.

Tomorrow is being called Black Friday in Israel. We know what is likely to happen. Even now, Arab nations are probably drafting the next UN resolution to condemn us. Really, the only question is the number of bodies we will be accused of providing this time. If 50 die, we will be accused of killing 500. If 500 die, the resolution will state 5,000. Remember, this is what they did in Jenin; this is what they do during every war.

Ironically, even the heavens are cooperating, doing their part. In the last few hours, a massive dust storm began blowing in, even now. The air is dirty and laden with dust. Soon, muddy rain will fall. But the Palestinians who march are not listening to the heavens, to a God who loves life, light, freedom.

Tomorrow, the Jewish people will sit down and celebrate freedom. Nothing less. Tomorrow is the anniversary of our leaving Egypt, leaving slavery. It is the beginning of our becoming a sovereign nation – over 3,000 years ago. As we prepare our homes today, the Palestinians are preparing their weapons. We clean our stoves, refrigerators and floors; they polish their knives and their guns. Truly, the difference between our worlds has never been more clear than it is at this moment, as the heavens storm above us all.

For most Israelis, there is nothing that we can do to stop what will happen tomorrow. All we can do is dig deep into our faith and push the fear away. All we can do is pray for our sons and daughters. And, for mothers like me, with guilt and shame, I can think God for my youngest son having finished the army and returned home just a few months ago. And, we can prepare our homes for the Passover holiday – because that is the ultimate sign of trust in God, in Israel, in our leaders, in our soldiers.

But, there is one more thing that we can do – we can call on the government today. Today, the Israeli government must announce that the rules of engagement have been changed for the next 10 days. Any Palestinian, any man or woman or child, approaching the border fence, any border fence, will be assumed to be armed. Any attempt to cross the border means a clear intention to cause violence.

And the moment, that individual touches the fence – that’s it, really – just TOUCHES the fence, our forces have orders to shoot to kill. No, we will not yell out “STOP!” in Arabic and English and Hebrew. Finally, we will not fire in the air. Forget firing at their legs. Shoot to kill.

Thousands of years ago, the Jewish people were born and tomorrow, perhaps hundreds or thousands of Palestinians will choose to die. Just as then, it was our choice to have faith, choose life, and leave Egypt, now it is their choice, to choose death if they attack us.

Current Engagement Rules Are Wrong

That simple. Change the rules of engagement now. The Palestinians are banking on what they consider our cowardice. They don’t think we have the guts to shoot them down in mass numbers and that our hesitation will enable them to attack us. They’ll come tomorrow in vast numbers, across fences and through tunnels. In the water and over the hills. And the only way to stop them, the only way to protect our children, our lives, our country is to change the rules of engagement today.

Without hesitation, shoot to kill. Nothing less. Approaching our borders means you want to kill us. Our laws, the Torah, the Ten Commandments, all that Judaism and Christianity are based on, demands that we protect ourselves. That we kill in order to stop them from murdering us.

Change the rules of engagement now.


  1. Joanna Fox

    The Rules of Engagement in the USA military had extended the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and caused many American troops to lose their lives. Because of these rules, there have been many good soldiers who volunteered to serve our country, rotting forgotten in Leavenworth Prison. Under our President Trump, many of these insane Rules of Engagement, and Catch and Release have been abolished.

  2. Murray Freedman

    Good post. Hard to argue against. As someone on FB also wrote, the Egyptian border (to Gaza) is not stormed. Why? Because they would, without question, be killed. Perhaps that is where we have been going wrong.

    We are perhaps known as a soft touch. Palestinian Arabs who commit the most horrendous crimes, are just as likely to find themselves in prison as in a grave. And if imprisoned, some future act of terrorist blackmail may create their release and anyway, in the meantime, the PA provide funds to the family of the imprisoned terrorist…..

    Perhaps there needs to be a minefield, electric fence – there are so many ways to prevent incursions, but all of them hark back to Nazi times and bring memories and associations that will inevitably be used against us.

    Or how about a regiment of UN ‘Peacekeepers’ , to fill the space between Hamas and Israel? That would work, right? Just like in the Lebanon.

  3. Linda

    I am a Christian and agree that we have the right to defend ourselves. I have been several times to Israel an honorable country. I was there when rockets came at me
    In Tel Aviv, imagine living with this threat many times a day. We are blessed to have Israel and her people. They work, love their family well love Life and give good to the world. God bless them.

  4. JohntyD

    An an army is not an instrument of morality. If it doesn’t inspire fear, dread and horror in an enemy it is a waste of time. The current Israeli rules of engagement are absurd and always have been. Fear is the beginning of wisdom. Arabs do not fear Israel or its army. When they do this sort of thing will cease. Only demonstrating a willingness to kill arabs with abandon will put these savages in their place.

  5. valmaijunesmith

    ISRAEL MUST STAND, you cannot take a step backward. Let the hordes see and understand ISRAEL WILL PROTECT her borders. Sometimes regrettably we have to be prepared to fight fire with fire. Everything that needs to be done have the courage to DO IT

  6. Netivotgirl

    Bravo dear Paula for calling a spade a spade!!! Indeed after Elor Azaria I do believe many of our IDF heroes think twice before shooting. Therefore I wholeheartedly agree with your post. Sadly, I doubt that Avigdor Lieberman
    reads the TOI and Bibi is currently in hospital. And while my heart is full of love and pride for the IDF, without clear instructions from both the Minister of Defense and the Ramatcal, the rules of engagement will remain as they are at present. Living in Netivot as I do, with pupils scattered in yishuvim often rocketed I am indeed concerned about the future. Only my belief in G-d keeps me calm. Kudos for telling it like it is…or at least how it should be!


    You wrote: “. Our laws, the Torah, the Ten Commandments, all that Judaism and Christianity are based on, demands that we protect ourselves.”

    Christians are not part of the equation.
    They are taught to turn the other cheek.

    Stop comparing Jews with Christians.

    Israel has enough problems already with evangelical missionaries trying to deceptively converts Jews to their pagan idolatrous dogma.

    Chag Pesach Sameach to all Jews worldwide.

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