Thursday, April 15, 2010 | return to: news & features, international


U.N. investigator of Gaza war barred from grandson’s bar mitzvah

by jta & jerusalem post

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Group warns of Goldstone protest at bar mitzvah


cape town, south africa  |  A Jewish group in South Africa still plans to protest if Richard Goldstone attends his grandson's bar mitzvah.

South African Zionist Federation Chairman Avrom Krengel told the daily Cape Times Monday that his organization would still protest should Judge Richard Goldstone change his mind and decide to attend his grandson's bar mitzvah in Johannesburg next month.

Following negotiations between the federation and the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue in Sandton acting on behalf of the family, Goldstone told JTA last week that "In the interests of my grandson, I've decided not to attend the ceremony at the synagogue."

Goldstone was the head of a United Nations-appointed commission that investigated the Gaza war in the winter of 2008-09. The commission's final report accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Krengel stressed that Goldstone had "definitely not" been barred from the bar mitzvah, but that he would not receive a welcome reception should he choose to attend.

"We'll exercise our constitutional right to protest," he said.



U.N. investigator of Gaza War barred from grandson's bar mitzvah

jerusalem post

The Jewish official who headed a U.N. war crimes probe that infuriated Israel and Jewish communities worldwide has been asked by Jewish community organizations not to attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah in Johannesburg next month, according to a South African newspaper.

The South African Jewish Report said Judge Richard Goldstone will not be in attendance because of objections by the South African Zionist Organization (SAZF) and members of the Beith Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue, where the ceremony will be held.

Goldstone angered Israeli officials and mainstream Jews across the world when his U.N.-sanctioned investigation of last year’s armed conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza found Israel guilty of war crimes.

Avrom Krengel, chairman of the SAZF, told the Jewish Report, “We understand there’s a bar mitzvah boy involved — we’re very sensitive to the issues.”

While Krengel said the SAZF had “interacted” on the matter with the chief rabbi, the Beth Din and others, his organization was “coming across most forcefully because we represent Israel,” the Jewish Report said.
The SAZF reportedly planned to organize a protest outside the synagogue the morning of the bar mitzvah if Goldstone was in attendance.

Meanwhile, Goldstone, who is currently in Washington, D.C., was quoted by The Forward as saying  that “In the interests of my grandson, I’ve decided not to attend the ceremony at the synagogue.”


Posted by i-care
04/15/2010  at  04:57 PM
I strongly oppose the one-sided

I strongly oppose the one-sided report that blamed Israel despite its long restraint and the many efforts to save the civilians in Gaza in face of the Hamas policy to hide amongst them.
That being said, if the article is based on facts, I think it is disgusting that Mr. Goldstone is prevented from attending his grandson’s bar-mitzvah.

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Posted by grf
04/15/2010  at  05:18 PM
Petty retaliation

Petty retaliation in exchange for honest work. Once again, Zionism shows its ugly face.

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Posted by Paul Hoffman
04/15/2010  at  06:11 PM
Justice for Justice Goldstone

A Justice may have many duties, but principled judges do not base their conclusions on feelings, nor on unsupported statements from protagonists without the benefit of cross-examination. 
Justice Goldstone did just that.  He looked at some destroyed buildings and concluded that a) the Israeli army did it, and b) they shouldn’t have damaged them so much! Those judgments are at the heart of his report.  Those judgments have served to dishonor Mr. Goldstone before his peers, and to dishonor the practice of law for all time.

Is the world justified in threatening to stage a protest at the site of his grandson’s bar-mitzvah, should Mr. Goldstone arrive there?  Many devout Jews might say ‘NO’ on the grounds that such behavior is offensive.  But the law which Mr. Goldstone has sworn to uphold clearly says “YES”. 
To come down on one side or another on this issue, one does need to weigh ethical issues:

1) the magnitude of the deed that Mr. Goldstone performed in creating and defending a document that contributes to a savage undoing of a nation and certainly to the misery of its 6 million surviving Jews—

2) the forelorn hope that so many of us hold, that justice be done not only to the multitude of the weak, but to the few who are powerful, yet unconscionable in their official duties.

Which is the greater crime?  To find a way to give this Justice his due?  Or to honor his grandson’s bar-mitzvah? 

Paul Hoffman

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