Former IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier General (Res.) Avichai Ronsky
Photo: AP
Photo: Haim Zach
Chief rabbis: Welcome the deal
Photo: Haim Zach

Ronsky: Shalit should have been declared dead

Former IDF chief rabbi says exchanging captive soldier for terrorists is 'crazy', believes only way to obtain release is through military action. Chief rabbis, on other hand, welcome deal

The former IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier General (Res.) Avichai Ronsky on Tuesday said that Israel should not have strived towards a prisoner swap that included freeing terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit. He believes the captive soldier should have been declared a dead soldier that cannot be reclaimed.


Speaking to Ynet, Ronsky claimed that the only right way to release Shalit was through military action and if that was impossible – to sadly accept the fact that the soldier would remain in Hamas captivity though he added it was "tough to say that".


Rabbi Ronsky explained his position: "You can't bring an entire country to its knees, that's just crazy. It's complete surrender."


According to Ronsky, the Palestinians' strength does not lie with a strong army or a magnificent country but mainly in spirit and a move like this is a great motivator to battle against Israel and carry out major terror attacks. "We know who the people being released are", the rabbi said of the prisoners.


"They are artists at these kinds of things, a second after their release they will be untraceable."


The former IDF chief rabbi claimed that Palestinian terrorists released since the 90's have, over the years murdered over a thousand Israelis in a long line of terror attacks and the defense establishment is aware of the possibility that "within just a few months the Shalit deal might blow up in our face in certain terror attacks, there is no 'maybe' about it.


He added that this wasn't his stance; rather it was the opinion of professionals in the field – including some with a left-wing outlook that is "very far from his own"


As to the question of whether there would not be a huge blow to morale among the troops on the Israeli side when soldiers know that the IDF won't necessarily do everything to rescue them from captivity, Ronsky said: "Just the opposite. They don't want to be exchanged for terrorists; they want to be rescued through a military operation."


'Pray for Gilad'

In contrast to Rabbi Ronsky, Israel's chief rabbis welcomed the deal and expressed hope that through the redemption of prisoners which is considered "the greatest mitzvah", God will hear the prayers of the Israeli people and bring forth our redemption.


"Together with the entire Israeli nation, the chief rabbis are excited and happy over the major news, of redemption and salvation", a message issued on behalf of the rabbis said.


"We call on the entire nation to pray for Gilad son of Aviva Shalit and for all our brothers in the nation of Israel held in sorrow and captivity, may the joy be complete and unaccompanied by any sorrow or loss from the deal and its consequences."



פרסום ראשון: 10.12.11, 07:53
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