Rabbi Ronsky
Rabbi RonskyYoni Kempinski

The former Chief IDF Rabbi, Rabbi Avichai Ronsky, said this week that he was not surprised when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered, and added that religious ideology drives some people out of their minds.

Rabbi Ronsky spoke at an evening memorializing Rabin, which was held by the Ne'emanei Torah Ve'avoda movement. Quotes from his speech were brought by Ishay Fridman in the newspaper Makor Rishon.

Rabbi Ronsky said that when he heard on the radio that Rabin had been murdered, he said one word: "I knew it." There were two reasons for this, he explained.

"I, myself, found it hard to hear Rabin talking on the radio," the chief rabbi of Itamar said. "He called us, the settlers, 'propellers' and all sorts of other names that were not very nice. When he came to visit – and when other government leaders, ministers, came to our region – the representatives of the communities asked to meet him but there was a complete ban on this… and so forth, and because of all the huge demonstrations that were held against him… I had a feeling, and not just me, that the writing was on the wall."

Rabbi Ronsky revealed that before the murder, he met with then-Shin Bet Head Yuval Diskin and told him "Something has to be done. We can't go on like this because one of the heads of government will be hurt."

Rabbi Ronsky went on to say that the religious Zionists need to do some soul searching regarding the murder. "I live in Itamar more than 30 years and I have grandchildren in the community," he said. "I think that the religious ideology – and in our world view, we are very ideological regarding the parts of the Land of Israel and national pride etcetera – but sometimes I think it drives some members of our public out of their minds."