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NIF Grantees Demand Israeli Defense Force Chief Rabbi Be Fired for Preaching Politics to Soldiers

NIF grantees Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights and Breaking the Silence, which monitor human rights violations in the territories, have written to Minister of Defense Ehud Barak and Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Gabi Ashkenazi demanding that IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier General Avi Ronsky be dismissed from his position.

The organizations protested that during the conflict in Gaza earlier this month, Brigadier General Ronsky repeatedly used political statements in newsletters sent to inspire soldiers in combat such as "The Torah prohibits relinquishing even one millimeter of the Land of Israel to non-Jews."

Representing both organizations, Attorney Michael Sfard wrote: "Rabbi Brigadier General Ronsky exploited his position and felt free to preach nationalist ideology and convert people to his political world outlook. The IDF should not be involved in questions which are in political dispute. The Chief Rabbi has blatantly violated this principle and his behavior leaves a stain on the IDF. There is no choice but to remove him from his post."

For more on this story, see the article in Haaretz.

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$250 million to Israeli social change groups since 1979.