Bennett Appoints Settler Extremist Rabbi as Chief of “Jewish Identity Administration”
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.
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” This Jewish Identity Administration isn’t that far removed from the vision of racial purity offered by both the Nazis and Meir Kahane.” Well, well, you are a brave man. But Einstein said something like this in 1948,
I had no idea he had written so intensively on this matter. Wow! You don’t find this in the standard biographies: What else is new?
Einstein said something else, in 1975. He (and other people) said Zionism is Racism. It became a United Nations proclamation. But oh, I forgot, Israel pays no attention to the United Nations. Also, Mr. Bennett is recognized in the world outside Israel for what he is, a radical right-wing ultra-nationalist Jewish-supremacist.
Something about this Einstein claim doesn’t sound right. Do you have a source? I’d like to review whatever is the basis for this.
“Rabbi Ronitsky: Collective punishment against residents of Anabta in revenge for Itamar terror attack”
Not only collective punishment but against a village that had absolutely nothing to do with the Itamar killings. The killers came from Awarta, a neighbouring village (Anabta is somewhere else in the Northern West Bank) and the residents of Awarta have been collectively punished: houses were torn apart, windows and furniture broken, many inhabitants were beaten up, and the village was put under curfew.
@Deir Yassin: This one’s my fault I’m afraid. The good rabbi did indeed single out Awarta for his “blessing.” And not Anabta as I wrote. My apologies. Sloppy editing on my part.
No problem. I thought he might not even know the name of the village next door 🙂 And I read that Rabbi Ronsky was ‘fired’ by Barak for handling out leaflets during Cast Lead with quotations from the Torah about war.
Barak did boot him out of the IDF as chief rabbi.
“Jewish Identity Administration,” huh? Well, maybe they will more success with this matter than the myriad of novelists, activists, politicians, including Michael Lerner, Marc Ellis and Gilad Atzmon in this regard. Nobody seems to be able to speak unambiguously about the Jewish ethnicity, religion, nationality, or club, “shared values” or whatever. And yet so many think they still “know” the stuff that makes a Jew Jewish. But even this mystery formula appears essentialist, that there must be some (indescribable?) essential character to being Jewish which is pretty unsavory National Socialist thinking, but this is where I find most Jews identifying themselves as Jews.
Richard is probably right that this new office will pursue the sharp practices of racism. Certainly, no administration is going to try to address “Jewishness” as an identity question for political purposes without stepping on somebody’s special notions on this matter. While this is a critical matter for Israel — political rights are at stake — it is not about to address it forthrightly. After all, ambiguity has served the state well.