Dateline 2015.10.14—Ynet published an article by Orthodox Tzohar Rav Stav pointing out the immorality of harming Arabs who are not perps (perpetrators) or terrorist perps who are down for the count and no longer a threat. Many commenters flame Rav Stav, venting their rage while advocating “street justice”—lynching. Are Jews no better than KKK or Muslim lynchers? (photos—scroll down to photos of Muslim Arab lynchers in the commentary to Tor•âhꞋ pâ•râsh•atꞋ Ma•sᵊeiꞋ (masei) in the Nᵊtzâr•imꞋ on-line beit kᵊnësꞋët.)
Rav Stav’s initial declaration is unequivocally correct: “people who are not involved in murderous activities and those who no longer pose a danger must not be harmed”. The reciprocal is lynching. Yet, most of the commenters who criticize Rav Stav’s reminder, themselves advocating lynching, were probably the most vociferous critics when Arabs lynched Israelis.
Sâ•tânꞋ is in the details. Rav Stav got off-track in some details of his explanation, exacerbated by some justifiably angry commentators who aren’t seeing clearly. While anger is justified, resulting jaded thinking remains wrong thinking.
Commenters are correct that Israeli law lacks the TzëdꞋëq of requiting murder with capital punishment adjudicated by the courts (and designating to victims’ families, if they wish, to administer the execution). But that is something society must address, not the the decision of an individual or mob on scene—vigilante lynching. That’s no better than the KKK or Muslim Arabs! Didn’t even the Nazis have at least kangaroo trials?
Where Rav Stav went off-track is by saying, “They deserve to die, but that is not our way.” There are 2 logical errors in this statement. 1. They don’t “deserve” to die until they are convicted by a beit din (i.e., in court). Until then defense is the only justification for shooting (notice: I DIDN’T write “killing”; which should only be incidental, never deliberate). And what Rav Stav was pointing out is that when a terrorist perp is down and stays down, defense can no longer stand in court; ergo, (s)he is no longer a “shootable” threat. The sand in the gears here is that responders can’t always contain their rage like robots. They are human and courts must also recognize their human frailties. 2. Capital punishment most certainly is the Tor•âhꞋ Way! Ergo, if it’s not “our” way, then “we” have diverged from the Tor•âhꞋ Way—and that is a critical realization.
Many commenters need to educate themselves to the law, and get a grip. Your irresponsible rants may mislead someone to misunderstand the law and commit a terrible deed they cannot undo–because of your irresponsible angry rant. The blood will be on you, the irresponsible ranter, as well.