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"They Don't Care About Syria, They Won't Care About Us"

Rabbi Avihai Ronsky, former IDF Chief Rabbi, says world inaction over Syria could be a harbinger of things to come for Israel.
By David Lev
First Publish: 8/22/2013, 4:01 PM

Rabbi Ronsky (left), during his time as IDF Chief Rabbi
Rabbi Ronsky (left), during his time as IDF Chief Rabbi
Flash 90

Rabbi Avihai Ronsky, former IDF Chief Rabbi and current head of the Itamar Yeshiva (religious academy), said Thursday that Israelis needed to be especially concerned about the events in Syria – because they portend a possible future scenario for Israelis.

On his Facebook page, Rabbi Ronsky wrote that the hundreds killed by the Syrian army in a chemical weapons attack Wednesday sent a grim message to Israelis. Hundreds die, he said, “and the world remains silent. Hundreds of people – supposedly born in the image of G-d – die before us from chemical poisoning, and the world remains silent.”

One day soon, he said, those chemical weapons could be aimed at Israel, too. “And the world will remain silent – very silent – when those weapons are aimed at us,” he wrote.

Rabbi Ronsky quoted Rabbi Yosef Soloveitchik, who wrote that “we cannot rely on the sense of justice of the liberal world. They live abroad, far away from us,” Rabbi Rontzky wrote.

“They will not lose even one night's sleep if they witnessed such things happening to us. They will act exactly as they did when Jews were slaughtered in Europe.”

The only solution, he said, was to “prepare ourselves, our families, our communities, and our nation for an ongoing struggle against our enemies, without expecting any help from the international community. They will 'investigate' the tragedy, but inside they will be happy over what befalls us.”

Preparations, he said, need to be taken militarily, of course, but also on a personal basis.

“We must understand the situation and accept it, dealing with it without the visual bribery of mirages of 'peace talks' to distract us.” Such talks, he said, “make our leaders 'sleepy,' blinding them to what is really happening.”

And although Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems to be attacking his opponents, said Rabbi Ronsky, the use of chemical weapons “may just be a 'war exercise' that Assad is undertaking” to see how well the weapons work, in preparation for their use against Israel. “That's something for us to think about,” he added.