New political powerhouse, Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, a “moderate” settler leader, has appointed former IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Ronsky to be chief of a little outfit he’s calling the Jewish Identity Administration. Currently, the rabbi is rosh yeshiva in the Itamar settlement. It is one of the most virulent and violent of all the settlements in promoting mayhem against Palestinians. A number of local villagers have been murdered by Itamar residents. So much so that it was the target of a heinous terror attack a year ago in which the Fogel family was murdered.
Though Bennett’s goal is to strengthen Jewish identity, I can’t help thinking it’s an Israeli political-religious correctness regime. Ostensibly, the minister says the new body’s goal is to model and promote Jewish values. But I can’t help thinking of previous regimes in world history who promoted their own vision of national purity.
I believe strongly in Jewish values. They are what led me to create this blog. My Jewish values are compassion for the sick and downtrodden; justice for the weak and oppressed; making the world a better place. And not just for Jews, but for everyone. Including Israel’s ostensible enemies, the Arabs. Naftali Bennett’s version of Jewish values is something altogether different. This Jewish Identity Administration isn’t that far removed from the vision of racial purity offered by both the Nazis and Meir Kahane.
Here are a few of the “greatest hits” that Amir Schiby has dug up from the sainted rabbi’s “vaults” which he features under the heading “Jewish Strength:”
“I hate the State of Tel Aviv.”
“Rabbi Ronitsky: Collective punishment against residents of Awarta in revenge for Itamar terror attack”
Former IDF Chief Rabbi: Fire on terror suspects in their beds.”
“IDF military rabbinate against the homo-lesbo community”
These are Naftali Bennet’s “Jewish values.” Not mine. These are values of hate and racism. These are values of racial supremacy and purity.
It appears Ronsky bestows his blessings and beatings liberally on his own ideological camp as well. When a young man whom the Shabak had forbidden from entering the West Bank under administrative order told Ronsky he would disrupt a memorial service for the Fogel family murdered at Itamar because an IDF commander would be speaking, Ronsky threatened that he would have the boy’s “arms and legs broken” if he showed up.
This is definitely the sort of saintly figure I want teaching Jews how to be better Jews.