nit picking definitions to help fit your agenda does not impress.
Whatever... it's an accurate and legitimate definition from Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Here is a little further information concerning genocide:
Some scholars identify 4 types of genocide (Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn, cited by Helen Fein, in Encarta s.v. "Genocide"):
--where social homogeneity is sought, through 'ethnic cleansing' of internal 'pollutants'. This would include examples of the Nazi Holocaust, Armenian massacres, and the Cambodian purges. The Amalekite battle has no similarities to this, since these people were not internal 'dirt' that needed cleaning from within Israel. [In fact, the internal Amalekites were not affected at all, apparently. They are certainly not mentioned/singled out, like a genocidal propagandistic document would do.]
--is "undertaken to eliminate a real or potential threat", but again, these are "most likely to occur when one group dominates another group and fears its rebellion or when the other group actually rebels." The example given is that of the Hutu/Tutsi conflict in Rwanda. Again, this would not fit our case, since the Amalekites are NOT a part of Israel, or even under its control--for a 'rebellion' to be feared. The Amalekites had always been the aggressors against Israel, and Israel finally responded to this history.
is where genocide is undertaken for economic gain. The case in Paraguay in the 60's-70's where they deported/killed an estimated half of the native Indian population, to allow for the expansion of logging and cattle-raising enterprises in the nation's interior, would be an example. This doesn't fit our case either--the desert was not a lucrative resource at all, the puny belongings of the nomadic Amalekites (apart from their plunder of other peoples, of course) would not justify such a military action, and the Israelites were forbidden to prosper off the 'booty' anyway!
-- is intended to "spread terror among real or potential enemies". Examples of this are Ugandan presidents Idi Amin and Milton Obote, who killed hundreds of thousands of (internal) Ugandans who opposed their power. Again, this is internal power abuse, and not at all similar to our case.
What this means--although it would not bear on the main ethical sensitivity here--is that it is historically inaccurate to label this military action as 'genocidal'
. (This is still the case, EVEN IF one ONLY is talking about the killing of the families of the warriors. There are none of the defining elements of genocide--as the term is used by experts--present in the accounts of this initiative.) Let's be clear on this--I am not exploring how to "justify a genocide", because in the first place, it is NOT genocide
. [Interestingly, the only case we have in the bible of something approaching genocide is in the book of Esther. Haman, a prominent official, develops a plot in which the internal people will be allowed to attack, kill, and plunder the internal Jews in the nation. This is very close to genocide, and it is quite ironic that Haman is called an Agagite, and said to be an Amalekite by Josephus in Ant.
shouldn't the butchering of the Amalekite children be