Powerful rebuke of SA Chief Rabbi over Goldstone

The great, strongly anti-Apartheid South African journo Allister Sparks has penned a powerful rebuke of his country’s Chief Rabbi, Warren Goldstein, over the latter’s strongly expressed criticism of Constitutional Court member Richard Goldstone, and Goldstone’s role in heading the UN’s fact-finding mission for Gaza.
(HT: Dominic.)
Sparks starts by noting that three of the major IDF war crimes reported by the Goldstone commission in Gaza were in fact recently confirmed to have been such by a military investigation undertaken by the IDF high command itself.
He comments, “the real importance of this military investigation is that it vindicates the Goldstone commission,” adding:

    For Judge Richard Goldstone, particularly, this is a personal vindication, for he was excoriated by leading members of the local Jewish community for chairing the commission. He was told his commission’s findings were lies; that he was naive and gullible for accepting the version of events given by terrorists; and that, since he is a Jew, he was a traitor to his people.
    His critics were given support by Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, who chastised Goldstone for “doing great damage to the state of Israel”. He should have recused himself instead, Goldstein said, and taken no part in the investigating mission.

He then issues this important reproach to Goldstein:

    We secularists need to know what a religious leader in our community means when he seeks to impose such an ethical dictum on a prominent member of his faith — someone who was a founding father of our Constitutional Court and an interpreter of our infinitely important national constitution in this new democracy.
    I am reminded here of the conflict between the Dutch Reformed Church and Beyers Naude over the issue of apartheid.
    I attended the Dutch Reformed Church service in Linden, Johannesburg, at which Naude had to respond to the church leaders’ demand that he choose between the church’s doctrine of support for apartheid and his commitment to the nonracial Christian Institute he had founded.
    In other words, Naude was forced to choose between his moral principles and his loyalty to his own people and their church.
    I heard Naude announce his decision that memorable day before the glitterati of Afrikaner nationalism in the packed pews before him. Smilingly, boldly, he told them simply: “I choose God before man.”
    In other words, principles, truth and justice before ethnic or group loyalty. It was the defining moment of that great man’s life.
    So I ask the chief rabbi that same question today: what is your choice? Then, at the level of plain human decency, don’t you think, Chief Rabbi Goldstein and those members of the Orthodox Jewish community and the South African Zionist Federation whom you lead, that you owe Judge Goldstone an apology? A public, abject apology.
    Leaders of the federation went to the extremes of cruelty when they took their religious war against Judge Goldstone (dare I call it a fatwa?) into the heart of his family by trying to ban him from his grandson’s bar mitzvah. Eventually, but it seemed to me somewhat reluctantly, negotiations enabled the family to celebrate this important event together.
    But I’m sorry, that wasn’t enough. In this land of ubuntu, this land of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, you must stand up, Chief Rabbi Goldstein, and on behalf of the co-religionists you supported in this calumny, bow your head, apologise and, like the man of God I’m sure you are, beg forgiveness of Judge Richard Goldstone.

5 thoughts on “Powerful rebuke of SA Chief Rabbi over Goldstone”

  1. Fortunately, the only people to try to discredit the Goldstone report were those who perpetrated the alleged war crimes and those ministers who authorized them.
    Everyone else within the international community recognized the factual truth as reported by the Goldstone headed UNHR fact finding commission.
    What is now still outstanding is for the UNSC to insist that those alleged responsible be apprehended if travelling to Europe and to be brought before the ICC to determine their guilt or innocence.

  2. UNITED NATIONS, July 21 – When the Security Council condemned the killings by Israeli military forces of nine Turkish civilians on a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza last May, it also released a presidential statement “taking note” of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s proposal for an international investigation of the incident. But nearly two months later there are no signs of the proposed “prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation.”
    After an earlier devastating three-week Israeli military offensive against Gaza in late 2008 – which left more than 1,400 people dead and over 5,000 injured – the Human Rights Council in Geneva appointed a three member fact- finding mission, led by Judge Richard Goldstone. That panel submitted a blistering report accusing both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes.
    “Unfortunately, Ban Ki-moon did not implement the recommendations of the Goldstone report [to pursue war crimes charges], but instead has prolonged the proceedings,” he added. “Now he is procrastinating on the formation of a committee to investigate Israeli crimes on the Mavi Marmara [the Turkish ship attacked by Israeli military forces].”
    That shocks me — you mean Ban ki-Moon is simply a lackey of the US/Israel? Who knew?

  3. UN rights body names team to probe Gaza flotilla raid

    The United Nations Human Rights Council appointed a team of international experts on Friday to investigate Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla and called on all parties to cooperate.
    The fact-finding team comprises three independent experts –Sir Desmond de Silva (Britain), Karl Hudson-Phillips (Trinidad and Tobago) and Mary Shanthi Dairiam (Malaysia), a U.N. statement said.
    In response to the UN’s decision, a foreign ministry official said that the UN Human Rights Council’s made its decision in haste, and that it was “part of the Rights Council’s obsession against Israel.”
    “The Israeli probe, conducted with transparency, makes the organization’s probe completely unnecessary,” the official added.”

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