March 29, 2016 12:37 am at 12:37 am #617478
I find it hard to criticize the soldier because he killed a murderer. But at the same time, assuming that there was no fear that there was a concealed weapon of some sort, did this soldier commit murder according to halacha? The Rambam says ?? ????? ????? ???? ??????, ??? ??? ???, ??? ???? ????? ?? ????, ?????–??? ?? ???? ????, ????? ????… anyone who uses lethal force that was unnecessary to kill an attacker has committed murder and is chayav misah. Should we really be defending the soldier? Is he a murderer for using unnecessary deadly force?March 29, 2016 12:39 am at 12:39 am #1144379
Is there any guarantee (or even close to it) that this terrorist wouldn’t end up being released for political reasons?
Also, I think you are working under a flawed premise, v’ein kahn makom l’ha’arich.March 29, 2016 12:49 am at 12:49 am #1144381
What if the soldier wasn’t worried about the possibility of a concealed weapon or the potential of his future freedom? What if when this soldier looked at this terrorist lying on the floor, his one motivation was (in his words) “he deserves to die.” If his sole motivation in killing this terrorist was hatred or justice but not fear, does that make the act an act of murder?March 29, 2016 12:54 am at 12:54 am #1144382
What if a terrorist was about to kill someone and a soldier killed the terrorist first, but out of impure motivations – is that murder?March 29, 2016 12:56 am at 12:56 am #1144383
1. I do not think the Rambam is dealing with an ‘Eino Yehudi’. The rules of engagement are very different.
2. And there really is no way of knowing if he is reaching for a suicide vest trigger, or grenade.March 29, 2016 12:59 am at 12:59 am #1144384
Just a heads up that if I have to start worrying about what will be posted here I will close the thread. There is a yid being investigated in this case, it is not some hypothetical news story. Please keep that in mind.March 29, 2016 1:04 am at 1:04 am #1144385
And in answer to the question, “Should we be defending this soldier?”, try reading the posts from the KJ residents when there was a raid. Is he a Jew? Then you defend him.
If you are on the fence about following protocol with terrorists, there is an article circulating about a soldier with no legs who was told not to pull the trigger on an arab while he took off his shirt at a checkpoint to be searched. Apperently the arab activated the vest before the soldier could verify it existed. He lost his legs, and his commander.March 29, 2016 1:06 am at 1:06 am #1144386
Fair point, 29, but I also want to mention that once the “what ifs” started, it did reach the realm of hypothetical.
As a disclaimer and clarification, I personally do not know details of the story and am talking strictly hypothetically.March 29, 2016 1:14 am at 1:14 am #1144387
I think my line “should we be defending this soldier” was too strong. I have an enormous amount of respect for him and all of the soldiers that stand on the line between life and death to defend us from murderous scum. And I do believe that the only neutralized terrorist is a dead one (as you illustrated with your story). My question was, that if his motivation was hatred and justice (which I don’t blame him for… I feel the same way), does that change how halacha views this act of killing? If I could ask DY’s question differently… if Reuven intended to kill Johnny because he hated Johnny, and it just so happens that Reuven killed Johnny while Johnny was trying to kill someone else, saving the life of an innocent victim, did Reuven commit murder if he had no idea that was happening and that was not his motivation? How much does motivation play a role in determining murder?March 29, 2016 1:37 am at 1:37 am #1144388
Simcha, read emeslaamito’s point #1.March 29, 2016 1:58 am at 1:58 am #1144390
The standard is very different. Different halachas apply. And even in a case where it is assur, the penalty is very different.March 29, 2016 2:04 am at 2:04 am #1144392
Your hypothetical “if Reuven intended to kill Johnny because he hated Johnny, and it just so happens that Reuven killed Johnny while Johnny was trying to kill someone else, saving the life of an innocent victim, did Reuven commit murder if he had no idea that was happening and that was not his motivation?” does not seem very related to your OP, in which it’s hard to argue that he had no idea that this was a dangerous person.
Are you asking a general question about a muttar act where the one committing thought it was assur? Or are you asking whether hatred of a murderer is actually good as a manifestation of love for the victim, in this case, ahavas Yisroel?March 29, 2016 4:25 am at 4:25 am #1144393
“Is he a Jew? Then you defend him. “
I will wait for the investigation to determine what the facts are here, but if the allegations are correct, then what happened is murder and there is no defense. Numerous poskim have been speaking out on this, that it is asur to harm a terrorist who has been neutralized.
You wouldn’t defend Bugsy Siegel or Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, would you?
“If you are on the fence about following protocol with terrorists”
If you are on the fence about following protocol if you are in the military you should not be in the military and if you violate protocol you should expect a court-martial. The IDF is the most moral army in the world — anti-Semites have even blasted it for refusing to rape anyone — and we should support efforts to keep it that way.March 29, 2016 4:28 am at 4:28 am #1144394
charlie, if he is a Jew then you defend him until you personally have enough knowledge to know otherwise. And as most court cases go, that may never be your priviledge. It may be murder, but it also may not be for me to make that call.
regarding the rest of your post, you missed the boat big time. You are correct in theory but if you are going to withhold gunfire until you can see their vest and get a good read on the upc sticker, experience has proved time and again that you will be endangering lives.March 29, 2016 4:46 am at 4:46 am #1144395
“if he is a Jew then you defend him until you personally have enough knowledge to know otherwise”
I don’t make comments on things like that when I don’t know the facts.
“if you are going to withhold gunfire”
I will let the IDF decide what the rules of engagement are and not anonymous internet commenters. If you disagree on that it is YOU who are missing the boat.March 29, 2016 4:52 am at 4:52 am #1144396
you have a halachik obligation to judge him favorably whether you know the details or not.
you are the one who commented on not belonging in the army and deserving court marshalling. why not let the IDF decide that too. My comment wasn’t my own, it came from a soldier. if you don’t think we should have opinoins, so be it. but why state an opinion and then tell me it isn’t my place to state one?March 29, 2016 5:02 am at 5:02 am #1144397
Emeslaamito, please cite your source for your contention that the rules of engagement are different?
mild editMarch 29, 2016 5:12 am at 5:12 am #1144398
Charlie, murder or not you need to judge this soldier l’kaf z’chus. The court may decide what to call his behavior but only a Rav can tell you how to treat him.
Would I defend Bugsy Seigel? Here’s my answer:
“I don’t make comments on things like that when I don’t know the facts.”
And I don’t consider reading up on it the same as knowing.March 29, 2016 5:40 am at 5:40 am #1144399
Avi, the halachas apply to Jews dealing with Jews. Dealing with others have a different set of halachas.March 29, 2016 8:21 am at 8:21 am #1144400
Hello, the paramedics were yelling, “Look out! He may have a bomb belt! Someone do something!” The terrorist (who had just moments earlier stabbed a soldier and thereby proven himself to be an armed and dangerous terrorist who had come with intent to kill and maim) was wearing a thick leather jacket on a warm day. It was EMINENTLY reasonable to assume he might pose a lethal threat to all present. No, it was not confirmed that he had a suicide belt on him, but it was also not confirmed that he didn’t. The idea that anyone can even begin to think of calling this soldier a murderer makes me sick.March 29, 2016 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #1144401
I don’t know… I saw the video and from that perspective it did seem a bit disturbing. Before the soldier shot the terrorist, the terrorist was on the ground not moving, soldiers were walking past him as if no one was there, one actually went down on one knee to tie his shoes mere feet from the downed terrorist. There was an ambulance nearby doing nothing, no bomb squad was called, no sense of urgency at all. It didn’t seem like there was any fear that this terrorist was armed. Maybe no one realized and the soldier had a sudden epiphany that this terrorist could blow himself up at any moment… but that didn’t seem to be what was happening on the video.March 29, 2016 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #1144402
Simcha613, apparently you saw the B’Tselem video that had the sound removed. When you see the video with the sound (it has been on Arutz Sheva and other places), you hear the paramedic’s alarmed yelling and the call not to touch the terrorist because he is suspected of having a bomb on him. MDA’s internal investigation also confirmed this. Why are Jews buying into the Arab propaganda narrative? And by the way, why is no one looking into how the B’Tselem camerawoman just happened to be on scene?March 29, 2016 3:28 pm at 3:28 pm #1144403
Jerusalem Reader- I didn’t see that version. I heard about it, but I never saw it. I hope it’s true but from the soundless video I heard, no one seemed to react in an alarming fashion to a paramedic’s alarm. If I am wrong, then I happily stand corrected. Is that version on Youtube? I would love to see it.March 29, 2016 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #1144404
Let me repeat, the soundless video you saw was filmed and publicized by B’Tselem, a left-wing organization that supports terrorists. I don’t think I can post a link here but google “Watch: Video backs claims by soldier who killed terrorist” and check it out on Arutz Sheva (Israel National News). When you hear the voices of the paramedics you get a completely different picture of what happened. And that is specifically WHY B’Tselem removed the sound, as a propaganda tool!March 29, 2016 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #1144405
jerusalem reader – thank you for that “link”. arutz sheva has the images blurred enough to be watchable and you clearly hear the medics yelling “don’t touch him” several times. you also hear him say “hu chai”- he is alive. And i didn’t see anyone tie their shoe but you do see everyone around busy with helping the wounded soldier get into the ambulance. worth listening to , not just to clarify what REALLY happened, but to witness the lengths that people go to to destroy the morale and support of the soldiers facing death daily.March 29, 2016 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #1144406
Joseph, you have not cited one source, only a generalized contention. This is not always correct. For example, it is equally prohibited to rob or oppress a gentile (Choshen Mishpat 359:2) or to deceive him (ibid 228:6).March 29, 2016 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #1144407
We should absolutely defend the soldier. Innocent until proven guilty. He will be tried in a court and the evidence will come out.
Part of the problem is the “rules of engagement”. With all of the modern technology available, the soldier (and everyone else) should not have been allowed near the attacker (in case he had a suicide belt) until it was certain (via drones, for example) that he was no longer a threat.
Hypothetically, if someone is not an immediate threat, there is no justification (Halachicly or otherwise) to hurt them.March 29, 2016 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #1144408
Thank you, Syag. My own son is out there serving in a combat unit right now. I hope he will never have to encounter a terrorist, but our boys in uniform are automatically targets, and if G-d forbid he is ever in such a situation, I am sickened to think the army would prefer he risk his own life and those of his fellow soldiers to protect a known terrorist just in case the terrorist turns out after the fact not to have been an immediate danger. I hope this soldier will be fully cleared and that our combat soldiers will not be given the message that engaging in combat might get them charged with murder. In my eyes this is not only despicable treatment of our soldiers (they work SO hard!!!), but endangers ALL of us because it empowers terrorists.March 29, 2016 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm #1144409
Syag and 29: Being Dan L’kaf Zechus does not mean inventing facts and guessing what happens. I mean, it does. It means assuming a theoretical that is most favorable. But it doesn’t mean being dishonest. I am perfectly happy to not comment when I don’t know.
Joseph: You are making that up. The rules in this scenario are no different between a Jew or non-Jew.March 29, 2016 7:01 pm at 7:01 pm #1144410
Sam: If it is impermissible in both cases, the penalty for a Jew who did this is unarguably different.March 29, 2016 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #1144411
Sam, how do you draw the line between being dishonest and assuming favorable facts?
Did you see the video? (I didn’t.)
Is it reasonable to assume that the soldier did not know that the terrorist wasn’t dangerous?
Also, did anyone answer my question? How is there not a din rodef on any known terrorist when we know that unfortunately the Israeli government has been known to release known terrorists?March 29, 2016 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #1144412
How is there not a din rodef on any known terrorist when we know that unfortunately the Israeli government has been known to release known terrorists?
The same reason why there is no din Rodef after the Ba’ah B’Machteres leaves the home?March 29, 2016 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #1144413
sam2 – i didn’t think i was advocating for dishonesty. i agree that you assume a most favorable scenerio, but really it is probably best to just keep your mouth shut with a big, “I really don’t know enough to think anything” hanging over your head. I dont mean you have to pretend you werent robbed, or that the soldier didn’t pull the trigger, but there are so many missing pieces and unknowns (here and elsewhere) that it upsets me to hear conclusions drawn as if they were there when it happened.
unless you were referring to something else?March 29, 2016 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #1144414
If you see the video (with sound, not the falsified edited B’Tselem version), you will know it is NOT reasonable to assume the soldier knew the terrorist did not pose an immediate danger. (As DaasYochid points out, if he had lived, chances are extremely high that the terrorist would eventually have become a danger once again sooner rather than later.) I don’t really understand commenting on this whole issue without having seen the full video.March 29, 2016 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #1144415
DY: That is an excellent question. I don’t really know how to answer it, but there is a distinction to be made. I think Halacha intentionally wants a little cognitive dissonance here. We have to assume L;chaf Zechus, but that doesn’t mean we have to believe it and it doesn’t make it true.
Joseph: Differing punishments doesn’t make it Muttar. Just because it’s not a Chiyuv Misah doesn’t make it not Shfichus Damim. If you think it is, I expect to see you open an abortion clinic any day now.March 29, 2016 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #1144416
Sam: I didn’t say it was muttar. I said the standards to determine whether it is muttar or assur are different than if it is a yehudi.March 29, 2016 9:57 pm at 9:57 pm #1144417
Gavra, there’s a huge, obvious difference here; don’t you see it?
The ba bamachteres does not want to kill out of hate, but he’s prepared to kill (we assume) on the spur of the moment to not get caught, so once he’s out, he’s not a rodef. OTOH, there’s no difference between a terrorist’s intentions and motivations before he’s captured and after he’s released.March 29, 2016 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #1144418
We have to assume L;chaf Zechus, but that doesn’t mean we have to believe it
I think there’s dissonance in that sentence.March 29, 2016 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #1144419March 29, 2016 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #1144420
DY- I would guess Gavra’s point is that since he was ba bamacteres once, he will possibly do it again. He may not be a rodef once he’s out, but should we kill him now to prevent him from repeating his actions and becoming a rodef again in the future? So too, assuming the terrorist has no concealed weapons, he is incapacitated and no longer a rodef. Should we kill him now because he may repeat his actions and become a rodef in the future?March 29, 2016 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm #1144421
I don’t think our assumption about future actions of a terrorist are even remotely comparable to that of a ba bamachteres.March 29, 2016 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #1144422
Simcha, I think the standards of shfichus damim and determining what is necessary or unnecessary lethal force differs between the two.March 29, 2016 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm #1144423
DY – Rodef is not “Nidon Al Shem Sofo”.March 30, 2016 1:09 am at 1:09 am #1144424
DY: Incorrect. As soon as one is not actively being Rodef, they are no longer a Rodef. End of discussion.
Joseph: Incorrect. Shfichus Damim is Shfichus Damim. The Hagdaros are the same.March 30, 2016 1:53 am at 1:53 am #1144425
Gavra, Sam, so if someone is planning to kill someone and will likely have an opportunity to do so, and the only way to stop him is to kill him, you can’t kill him if he’s not currently holding a gun?March 30, 2016 4:57 am at 4:57 am #1144426
DY: I would think that that is correct. Planning is not part of actively being a Rodef. However, even if you say that it is (and I could definitely hear the point), he has to be planning to attack a definite Nirdaf. A general “I’ll kill someone if I get a chance” is not a plan that makes one a Rodef.March 30, 2016 5:17 am at 5:17 am #1144427
A person who c”v murders a gentile is only exempt in a din Torah. The secular authorities may execute him along with all others who are exempt in bet din (Rambam, Hilchot Rotzeach 2:4). I heard that the bet din does not kill him because the chillul Hashem is so enormous that even this does not bring atonement, which is the function oft he bet din. The secular authorities, on the other hand, have the duty to maintain public order (see Iggerot Moshe Choshen Mispat 2:68 – Rabbi Aharon Soloveichik opposed capital punishment but it is not clear if his reason was that there is no power today or if he felt that the system in force was not sufficiently careful).March 30, 2016 10:33 am at 10:33 am #1144428
I don’t know why it wouldn’t be if he’s proven to be willing and able to do so. I also certainly wonder if such subtle chilukim would apply to einom yehudim.March 30, 2016 11:22 am at 11:22 am #1144429
Sam, you’re correctly describing rodef/nirdaf as applicable between yehudim. Only. If an aino yehudi is planning to kill a yehudi he has a different status than a yehudi who is planning (but not actively running after) to kill another yehudi.
The sources you’re utilizing for rodef/nirdaf is specifically discussing between yehudim.March 30, 2016 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm #1144430
Joe – Source?
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