Larry Derfner on Goldstone, Barred Mizvas, Apartheid and memory holes...
Larry Derfner - J'Post, H/T Antony Loewenstein
Judge Richard Goldstone, talking last October with a group of liberal North American rabbis, explained why he agreed to head the UN’s investigation of the war in
“I knew,” he said, “there would be strong and negative opposition to my doing it on the part of members of the Jewish community and particularly with the government of
I don’t think there is a single Israeli or Diaspora Jew in a high position of leadership today who understands what Goldstone was talking about. What he was talking about, plainly and simply, was moral courage.
It’s not here. It’s not what Israel is about, not what Diaspora Jewry is about, certainly not the leadership, and not the followers, either, who want to stay inside the warmth of the consensus. To be a good, patriotic Zionist Jew today, you have to pour out your wrath on Goldstone. A “small man,” was how President Shimon Peres described him. An “evil” man, a “traitor,” was Alan Dershowitz’s description.
As far as I’m concerned, neither Peres nor Dershowitz nor any of the legions of other proud, patriotic Zionist Jews who’ve ganged up on Goldstone are worthy of carrying his briefcase.
He is the absolute best of the Jewish tradition. He stands up for justice, he stands up for the oppressed and he speaks truth to power – no matter who holds the power and no matter what it costs him. This is one of the great Jews of our time. Goldstone is the secular equivalent of a Jewish prophet, and by trying so hard to dishonor him,
LAST WEEK the Zionist and Orthodox Jewish establishment in
The machers of the South African Jewish community were pleased. Avrom Krengel, chairman of the Zionist Federation, said his organization had been duly “sensitive” to the bar mitzva boy and his family. Rabbi Moshe Kurtsag, head of the South African beit din, or religious court, pronounced the outcome “quite a sensible thing to avert all this unpleasantness.” No religious or communal leader of South African Jewry said a word against this abomination. Neither did any Jewish leader outside
There were, however, some prominent, independent South African Jews who still knew the difference between right and wrong. “If it is correct that this has the blessing of the leadership of the Jewish community in
By the end of last week, the ostracism of Goldstone had backfired. The story ran in The New York Times, the British papers, all around the world. The leaders of organized South African Jewry had brought shame on the community, so this week they’re in damage control mode, suggesting that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea, after all, to destroy a kid’s bar mitzva to get at his grandfather.
I’m sure that by the end of this week, the South African Jewish machers will have shoved the whole episode down the memory hole. They’re very good at this. So is
In his book Rivonia’s Children, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Glenn Frankel writes that as Afrikaners began to identify with
None of this is mentioned anymore in polite Jewish company in
No, as everyone recalls, we all stood up against apartheid; as Jews, we had no choice.
One day, if