Daily Israel Report

Former IDF Rabbi Slams Unclear Military, Political Leadership

Rabbi Avichai Ronski takes to Facebook to protest IDF 'losing sight of the goal' as frustration over six-week Gaza op. continues.
By Shlomo Pitrikovsky, Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 8/24/2014, 11:25 AM

Rabbi Avihai Ronski (file)
Rabbi Avihai Ronski (file)
Flash90

Former IDF Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Avichai Ronski, levied criticism at IDF officials on Sunday, taking to Facebook to protest what military leaders say are the new goals of Operation Protective Edge. 

"I really did not understand the words of our military leaders, who said the goal now is to bring negotiations," Rabbi Ronski said, noting that there is "mutual silence" on the negotiating table.

"The military objective should be only one - Hamas's dissolution - or, alternatively, to beat it down until it's begging for a ceasefire," he continued. "The only way we can demand strict conditions, including the demilitarization of Gaza and the return of our deterrent power, it to hit Hamas hard in this campaign." 

Currently, however, the political leadership so far has only pushed off yet another conflict in Gaza, according to the former IDF rabbi. 

"It seems that the political leadership would rather mortgage the future in achieving short-term solutions for fear of casualties among our soldiers and the impact it will have in future elections," he fired. "We must remember that the role of our soldiers is to protect our country's citizens." 

"That is the first value in the IDF: devotion to duty in light of the goal and striving for victory," he added. "The value of saving soldiers' lives are far behind and is used as a condition for the realization of achieving the goal." 

Frustration is mounting over Operation Protective Edge, which reached its forty-eighth day on Sunday amidst a series of broken ceasefires. 

A senior IDF official claimed Saturday night that over 70% of Hamas's rocket arsenal had been destroyed, and that Hamas is suffering from heavy blows exacted by the IAF - including the deaths of three top terror commanders. Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, meanwhile, noted Saturday night that an unprecedented ground incursion is closer than ever before.

Despite both developments, however, the future of the IAF operation remains unclear. Frustration has grown so high that Gaza Belt residents have begun picketing outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, demanding a permanent solution after over 14 years of constant rocket fire. More than 3,500 rockets have been fired on Israeli civilians in the past six weeks alone.