Thursday, April 29, 2010

It is Goldstone Who Is Politicizing Grandson's Bar Mitzvah

Alan M. Dershowitz
Hudson New York
28 April '10

So now it turn out to be Richard Goldstone--author of the notorious Goldstone report--who is politicizing his grandson's bar mitzvah. Jewish authorities in South Africa didn't "ban" Goldstone from the synagogue at which his grandson was being bar mitzvahed, as Goldstone and his supporters had alleged. A small group of protestors had said they would exercise their right of expression to picket Goldstone. Though they clearly had the right to do so, most Jews in South Africa and elsewhere--including me--were uncomfortable with the idea of picketing a grandfather attending his grandson's bar mitzvah. It was Goldstone who decided not to attend and instead to publicize the matter.

The South Africa Board of Deputies have now persuaded the protestors to pick a different time and place to show their disdain for Goldstein. The matter should have been put to rest, with Goldstone quietly attending the bar mitzvah. But Goldstone won't let it go. He has attacked the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, who was instrumental in working out a compromise where the protests would be called off and Goldstone would agree to meet with Jewish leaders. Goldstone escalated the dispute by writing a letter to the local newspaper complaining that,

"the Chief Rabbi would so brazenly politicize the occasion of my 13 year-old grandson's bar mitzvah to engage in further personal attacks on me."

But it was Goldstone who brazenly politicized the bar mitzvah by mischaracterizing the Chief Rabbi's statement and using it as an excuse to continue the controversy about the bar mitzvah. The alleged "personal attack" by the Chief Rabbi consisted of a statement that every synagogue:

"should welcome in a tolerant and nonjudgmental way all who seek to enter and join in our service and pray to God."

The Chief Rabbi also exercised his own freedom of speech to express his opinion--an entirely accurate one--that the Goldstone report:

"has unfairly done enormous damage to the reputation and safety of the State of Israel and her citizens."

(Read full article)

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