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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Barak forces out IDF chief rabbi

This isn't too surprising. Defense Minister Ehud Barak is forcing IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Ronsky out of the IDF by taking the unusual step of not renewing his appointment. Rabbi Ronsky came under fire from Barak's Leftist constituents by handing out brochures to IDF soldiers who fought in Operation Cast Lead that quoted what the Torah says about fighting wars in Israel.
Refusing to renew the appointment of a Chief Rabbi or Chief of Staff is rare but not unprecedented. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon four years ago refused to renew the term of IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon because of his doubts over the policy of destroying Jewish communities in the Gaza area and withdrawing the military.

Rabbi Ronksy will have served in his position for four years when he leaves office in the summer. Previous chief rabbis of the IDF served their terms for several years before stepping down voluntarily. Chief Rabbi Ronsky succeeded Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, who served for six years. Former IDF Chief Rabbi Mordechai Piron served for more than a decade.

Defense Minister Barak, who also heads the Labor party, has been at odds with Rabbi Ronsky several times and recently prevented him from speaking at several forums, including at a meeting of Knesset Members and rabbis on the anniversary of the first Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in Gaza.

Rabbi Ronsky also was prohibited from being interviewed by media during the recent controversy concerning Barak’s ouster of the Har Brachah yeshiva from the Hesder program that combines service in the army with Torah study.

Former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, an avowed secular Jew, appointed Rabbi Ronsky as chief rabbi because of his trust that he would re-instill soldiers’ faith in the IDF after the expulsions of Jews in 2005. One IDF officer told Arutz 7, "Rabbi Ronsky brought about a revolution in the military rabbinate, involved Torah students with their brigades and went into the field with combat soldiers."
Here's some of what was in those brochures.
"[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it." This is an excerpt from a publication entitled "Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead," issued by the IDF rabbinate. The text is from "Books of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner," who heads the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. [Deuteronomy 7:2 and the Rabbis' gloss on it says "you shall not give them a place in the land. CiJ]

The following questions are posed in one publication: "Is it possible to compare today's Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David?" Rabbi Aviner is again quoted as saying: "A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land ... They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country ... Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence." [That's a statement of historical fact. CiJ]

The IDF rabbinate, also quoting Rabbi Aviner, describes the appropriate code of conduct in the field: "When you show mercy to a cruel enemy, you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. This is terribly immoral. These are not games at the amusement park where sportsmanship teaches one to make concessions. This is a war on murderers. 'A la guerre comme a la guerre.'" [Deuteronomy 20:13. CiJ]
I guess we can't have God or His Torah be too involved in the IDF with Ehud "secular revolution" Barak in charge, can we?


At 5:25 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its not too surprising Barak and the leftists in the IDF are waging war on national religious Zionists. By the time they are through, they may not have much of an army left to fight with. Its safe to say many of the rank and file soldiers won't take up arms against their fellow Jews. If that's Barak is preparing the IDF for, good luck with it.


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