Rabbi Ronsky
Rabbi RonskyYoni Kempinski

Former Chief IDF Rabbi, Rav Avichai Ronsky, thinks the State of Israel places its soldiers in an impossible situation when it allows anarchists to enter its territory, then demands that the soldiers be measured in their response to them.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Rav Ronsky recalled that when the authorities wanted to prevent a protest – in the case of the 2005 Gaza Disengagement – they even blocked buses from leaving their points of departure.

The rabbi said the government's policy was like that of a person who transgresses against the commandment "You shall not place an obstacle before a blind man" (Leviticus 19:14) – by placing another person in a situation that is bound to trip him up.

Rav Ronsky spoke to Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner after he was embroiled in a firestorm of criticism because of a video by anarchists showing him hitting one of their activists. Eisner does not feel guilt over what took place and "does not understand the attack upon him by the press and public," he said.

The rabbi said that the video takes events out of context because the event lasted two hours, during which the anarchists attacked a small force under Eisner's command.

"In the course of the event, the same rioter hit him with a stick that broke his hand," Rav Ronsky said. "His response, when he hit him in the face, was basically self-defense."

The rabbi does not understand why the heads of the army and the state were so quick to denounce Lt. Col. Eisner. Such behavior by the top echelons creates a real operational problem, he explained, causing senior officers to prefer not to stand at the helm of their forces but rather stay behind, in the operations rooms or command room. He sees the establishment's reaction to the event as a "loss of control."