The Sidra starts by saying: כִּי־תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל־אֹיְבֶיךָ, “When you will go out to war against your enemies…”. (Deut. 21,10) The words עַל־אֹיְבֶיךָ, “against your enemies” is superfluous. Against whom would you go to war if not your enemy? One does not go to war against a friend.
This Biblical passage comes to emphasize that the Jewish people do not hate and do not go to war against some nation they consider an enemy. The Jews go to war to defend themselves. They go to war against those people who act as an enemy against them; against a hostile nation that attacks or disrupts the peace; against an enemy that wants to destroy us.
When a soldier goes to war it should not be because of hate but rather to protect himself and his people. He must remember that he is fighting, not because he detests the opponent, but because the opponent has made himself an enemy.
Israel today would be at peace with all its neighbors if they were not out to destroy us. They have voluntarily made themselves enemies and have forced us to defend ourselves. We could live in peace but they do not wish it so.