Former Chief IDF Rabbi Avichai Ronski has accused Israeli politicians and the media of contributing to the atmosphere of incitement in Israel, following an eye-opening trip to the Jewish mission in India.
"I am filled with nostalgia and reality that was there, a reality and a dream, and we hope it will be realized in this country," Ronski stated to Arutz Sheva Friday. "In India I met with representatives from Israeli kibbutzim and (the secular) Hashomer Hatzair, and there was a good atmosphere there and the ability to accept each other."
"The atmosphere there was more clean than what the media portrays; [the divisiveness] that has become part of the atmosphere that exists today in Israel," he continued. "Unfortunately, at least some politicians are trying to make political capital on a complex reality as well."
"When we returned to Israel with Israeli tourists, we asked ourselves how well the country can adopt similar thought patterns to what we saw in India," he added, noting that the trip added to his understanding of why so many Israelis leave Israel.
One week after the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade stabbing and an arson attack on an Arab family in Duma village in Samaria by as yet unidentified culprits, Ronski said that he cannot understand why the media and others have blamed the entire religious community for the attacks.
"What happened at the parade in Jerusalem and the village seems obvious: the result of people with garbled opinions – even if, God forbid, they are Jews, these are people on the fringes of the religious camp," he stressed. He noted as well that much of the religious community has become well-integrated into society, serving in the IDF and contributing to Israeli society and economy.
Ronski also noted that recent media reports have only made Israel's enemies more certain of their anti-Semitic views.
"A very senior defense official recently said that terrorist organizations collect the articles, radio and television materials about hatred between Jews and use it for their own propaganda," he warned, adding that this "significantly eats away at the strength and security of Israel."