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Army rabbi exhorted “God’s army” before they massacred Palestinians in Shujaiya

Rontzki

Army rabbi exhorted “God’s army” before they massacred Palestinians in Shujaiya

By Ben White (Electronic Intifada)

Prominent settler and former Israeli army chief rabbi Avichai Rontzki delivered a “messianic, fiery speech” to Israeli forces prior to the devastating massacre of the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya, it was revealed today.

An account of the speech appears in a new piece by Nahum Barnea, a prominent journalist at Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, and is based on remarks made by a soldier present at the time.

The soldier related that before their invasion of Shujaiya, troops were gathered to “listen to the words” of Rontzki, who “praised the miracle of God’s army.” According to an article last week in Kipa, a religious-Zionist oriented news site, Rontzki has been performing reserve duty and “encouraging the combatants on the ground.”

The Electronic Intifada has already reported on the phenomenon of groups of Jewish mystics offering support to the Israeli forces currently shelling Gaza, as well as the Israeli army commander who declared “holy war” on Palestinians.

“Damned”

The anonymous soldier in Barnea’s article also recounts a similar event prior to the Shujaiya massacre:

We got close to Kibbutz Nahal Oz and then they gathered us together. You know how it is in the army – when told to gather, you gather. Waiting for us was a bunch of Breslev Hasidic Jews singing “Messiah, Messiah,” dancing and bouncing around. We formed a circle around them, and a bunch of fighters danced with them in ecstasy

Israel’s ground assault on the Gaza Strip began late on Thursday 17 July, with tanks receiving orders “to open fire at anything that moved.”  Over the next few days, the Shujaiya district of Gaza City was subjected to intense and indiscriminate bombardment, including 600 shells fired by an artillery battalion and 100 one-ton bombs dropped from the air.

Rontzki’s speech to Israeli soldiers recalls his time as Israeli army chief rabbi, when, in 2009, he told religious students that troops who “show mercy” towards the enemy in wartime will be “damned.” During Israel’s so-called “Operation Cast Lead” massacre in 2008-09, the army rabbinate under his leadership distributed inflammatory publications that referred to the massacre as “a war on murderers.”

Rontzki was one of the founding members of Itamar, a fanatical Israeli settlement colony near Nablus, where has also led a yeshiva, or religious seminary.

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  • YOU REBEL SCUM

    Theres something deeply unsettling about clergy in uniform, like knights templar warrior monks they revel in the supernatural when dealing with something very real!

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Serb Orthodox priests blessed the executioners of Srebrenica.
    So what else is new?

  • Mehdi

    Agreed, reynardine, please stay

  • Reynardine

    We are supposed to be. I have left the forum; owing to Disqus, I nonetheless find myself pursued by abuse and low colloquy. At this point, I ask not to be spoken to at all.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    Reynardine, you’re always welcome here. I don’t take your telling me “screw you” personally. This whole thing appears to have been set off by a misunderstanding that devolved. Your shots at Ilisha were out of character to me and unwarranted.

    You’ve made valuable comments here and have been around for quite some time, it would be sad to see you leave the discussion! I hope we all can just agree to disagree, there’s been enough heat and enough light shed on the subject.

    I personally think both points of view have solid arguments. It’s strange that we agree on 99% of things but something like this can drive us apart. We’re all supposed to be fighting bigotry here.

  • Reynardine

    I tried to. Screw you.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    This is uncalled for Reynardine. Really? Why not just agree to disagree on this topic.

  • Reynardine

    After a while, maybe.

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    I honestly am really confused by how quickly this all escalated.

    If you have to leave, perhaps you’ll consider coming back in the future?

  • Reynardine

    Hskol has it, too.

  • Reynardine

    Sorry, young blood, I must.

    I took my account private, but sometimes you can find me on Hatewatch. That Bosnian guy also has my Facebook email. Ask him to give it to you.

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    Ah yes, so it was. As a Brit, I always think 9/11 means 9th November….

    Anyway, a halal and non alcoholic toast to destroying bigots everywhere!

  • Mehdi

    That’s because it was just after 911 and I remember how fun it was and how rejoicing it feels when you destroy a bigot.

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    I do remember wiping the floor with an idiot in October 2001,
    It must have been quite a glorious incident if you can still remember the month and year 13 years on. XD

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    Please don’t leave, Reynardine.

  • Mehdi

    One good way of handling this is to ask for specific examples and debunk them one by one.
    I do remember wiping the floor with an idiot in October 2001, he started coming to me about the fact that Islam had blood written all over its history, and as I debunked each of his examples the debate shifted, I’m happy not to have first reacted out of anger. So think about that approach, it seems to me that your friends don’t want to annoy you per se, they either don’t really know or have limited views, if they are honest, you should be able to talk this through.

  • Mehdi

    In that case you should be able to debate while disagreeing on some issues, you are a smart guy and I’m sure you wil be able to discuss with your friends and advance, as long as there is mutual respect.
    What a dull world we would live in if we all saw things the same way.

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    I just want to point out that I don’t believe that my friends (or the rest of my classmates for that matter) say these things out of spite, I think they honestly do believe what they say. That doesn’t change the fact that I think it’s self righteous and deluded tosh but it also doesn’t change the fact that they are all, in general, decent human beings who I get along well with.

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