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Recently I had a conversation about ISIS with a friend who is Catholic by faith, he said that ISIS should be stopped but that we (The US or any other foreign power) should not kill them, whereas I said that things have come to the point of using combat in order to stop them from murdering thousands of innocent people. He backed his claim by saying that both Jews and Christians believe that the use of violence disregards the idea of appreciating the sanctity of life.

I am not a warmonger nor am I anti-Islamic or someone who believes that combat is the always the answer and that as per the Torah, Tanakh, Talmud, and basic moral logic that life is in fact sacred and should be highly valued and in this case to protect innocent lives, killing ISIS soldiers may be necessary in order to stop them from their "conquest".

Also given that a strong majority of Muslims do not believe ISIS actually conforms to Islam and that their actions are plainly barbaric and wrong, is it permissible by Biblical law and reason to use violence against ISIS in order to stop them?

My rebuttal to his claim would be from the Jewish viewpoint so is there any scripture or ruling that I could use to support my view?

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    Also given that a strong majority of Muslims do not believe ISIS actually conforms to Islam and that their actions are plainly barbaric and wrong -- I am not sure why this is relevant for the question. Whether Jewish law sanctions the use of lethal force to stop ISIS does not depend on whether ISIS conforms to Islam or not, or how they are perceived by other Muslims. – mweiss Mar 5 '15 at 4:54
  • How exactly does your friend propose we "stop" them without waging war against them? Hold up a "Stop" sign? It sounds like your friend is a Pacifist ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacifism ) which the overwhelming majority of Christians do not ascribe to and which most people find morally reprehensible. Pacifism is not a core belief of Catholicism although some fringe sects ascribe to it. – Desert Star Mar 5 '15 at 20:01
  • ...actions can be "plainly barbaric" and right: "And Shmuel hewed Agag in pieces before HaShem"etc... – Gary Mar 6 '15 at 0:46
  • Your friend claims that "both Jews and Christians believe that the use of violence disregards the idea of appreciating the sanctity of life." Jews unequivocally believe in the use of calculated violence when necessary to stop evil. – LN6595 Mar 6 '15 at 19:01
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אם בא להרגך - השכם להרגו - literally: If someone is coming to kill you, rise early and kill him (במדבר רבה פרשה כא פסקה ד; מדרש תנחומא, פנחס, פרק ג‏. - Medrash) Also, scripture is replete with references to commands from G-d to go to war, e.g. the source text for the above ruling (Numbers 25):

טז וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר. 16 And the L-RD spoke unto Moses, saying: יז צָרוֹר, אֶת-הַמִּדְיָנִים; וְהִכִּיתֶם, אוֹתָם. 17 'Harass the Midianites, and smite them; יח כִּי צֹרְרִים הֵם לָכֶם, בְּנִכְלֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר-נִכְּלוּ לָכֶם עַל-דְּבַר-פְּעוֹר; וְעַל-דְּבַר כָּזְבִּי בַת-נְשִׂיא מִדְיָן, אֲחֹתָם, הַמֻּכָּה בְיוֹם-הַמַּגֵּפָה, עַל-דְּבַר-פְּעוֹר. 18 for they harass you, by their wiles wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague in the matter of Peor.'

See also: http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%94%D7%91%D7%90_%D7%9C%D7%94%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%92%D7%9A_%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%9B%D7%9D_%D7%9C%D7%94%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%92%D7%95

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 73a) also discusses the laws of rodef (a pursuer) who is killed to prevent him committing murder.

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    Does the same principle apply when the rodef is not a threat to you directly, but to others far away? In general I understand that the rodef law allows for extra-judicial killing precisely because the danger is imminent and there is no time to go through proper legal procedures. That does not seem to apply here. – mweiss Mar 5 '15 at 4:41
  • @mweiss Rodef applies whether to yourself or others. What proper legal procedure would there be to try ISIS before they kill another person? It's also worth adding that it's very clear from scripture and Jewish tradition that moral principles including extrajudicial killing are not the same as in peacetime. – Loewian Mar 5 '15 at 4:44
  • I don't see the relevance of various commands to go to war, like the one you quote. Each such was a one-time command for that time only and thus not about ISIS. Afaict, anyway. – msh210 Mar 5 '15 at 14:35
  • @msh210 It's a counter-example to the claim that "both Jews and Christians believe that the use of violence disregards the idea of appreciating the sanctity of life." – Daniel Mar 5 '15 at 17:16
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We know that ISIS wants to kill people, and they are actively working toward that end. That would seem to make an ISIS person a rodef (pursuer). It is permitted to kill a rodef in order to prevent him from killing another person. Here is a link to an English version of the tractate of Talmud that discusses this. You can find the discussion on folios 73 and 74.

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