Former Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Rabbi Avichai Ronski, expressed frustration Thursday over recent statements made by Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon regarding the connection between Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority and terrorism.
“I’ve known the Defense Minister, Moshe Yaalon, who everyone calls ‘Bogie,’ for many years, since I was a soldier,” Rabbi Ronski wrote on Facebook. “He is a very serious man, who is very much worthy to head our country’s defense apparatus.”
“Last week I heard him at a lecture to students in Tel Aviv University,” Rabbi Ronski continued. “There, he said that those people who were murdered by terrorists in recent months were victims of the diplomatic process that is currently taking place.”
“Pay attention to that,” he told his readers. “The Defense Minister was saying that when there are no negotiations – Jews are not murdered in terrorist attacks, and when there are – there are immediately many victims on our side.”
According to Rabbi Ronski, Yaalon said it was important to “seriously look into” the matter – a response that he found disappointing.
“I found it very hard to hear that. Was that simple conclusion not known to many for many years already? It’s as if the Defense Minister just got here from another planet, and wasn’t with us in the difficult times after the Oslo Accords, and what came after that,” he charged.
“Whoever read Bogie’s important book has seen how he clearly analyzes the awful reality that we ourselves created, and he concludes that we must not engage in a diplomatic process that involves Israeli victims,” he added.
Since Yaalon has expressed understanding of that before, he said, “Why are we continuing like this, like a dog returning to its vomit? Why leave things with ‘it needs to be looked into,’ why not stop [talks] until it is clear that the Palestinian Authority really wants real peace?”
The United States and Europe remain eager to push Israel-PA talks forward despite recent attacks and ongoing concerns over the PA’s very legitimacy, given its deep unpopularity among most Arabs in Judea and Samaria, and the absence of democratic elections for many years since the official expiry of current PA "President" Mahmoud Abbas.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently warned of “chaos” and a “third intifada” if the talks were to fail, drawing the ire of many Israelis, who accused him of contributing to the stoking of tensions on the ground.