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Goldstone Continues Public Psychodrama

South African judge, of notorious Goldstone Report, rejects ‘apartheid’ charge

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Judge Richard Goldstone in 2009.(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images))

If Saul Bellow were alive, his next novel would be about Richard Goldstone. Bellow would have loved this lonely, somber, classically diasporic Jewish man of the law who, with noble but deluded intentions, undertook an investigation of the Jewish state’s policy as part of a skewed probe and published a report—Bellow’s book about it might be called Eponymous, although that’s more of a Roth-type title—accusing Israel of committing war crimes; who then realized the error of his ways and undertook to correct his reputation by means of attention-grabbing op-eds (the cousins of Moses Herzog’s letters to dead people). Maybe just call the thing Goldstone: You couldn’t even make up a better name.

In April, Goldstone essentially disowned the so-called Goldstone Report, which was the result of the U.N. Human Rights Council investigation into the 2008-9 Israel-Hamas conflict, and its finding that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza. Today, in the New York Times, he rejects the allegation, prominent in “assaults that aim to isolate, demonize and delegitimize” Israel, that there is apartheid either in Israel proper or the Palestinian territories.

Goldstone in fact is an eminent South African jurist who would be considered an authority on what is and isn’t “apartheid,” and in that sense his essay isn’t unimportant. It clears Israel of apartheid in Israel, where Arab citizens vote and for the most part participate equally with Jews in civil society. And even in the territories, Goldstone argues, quoting an international treaty, “there is no intent to maintain ‘an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group’” (a conclusion he reaches partly under the assumption that Israel eagerly wants a Palestinian state, and soon, which one could quibble with). If the distinction seems semantic, the reason it’s not, Goldstone implicitly argues, is that “apartheid” is an unusually inflammatory term, and is therefore especially dangerous when inaccurately deployed. He concludes: “The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.”

The ostensible occasion for the op-ed is an NGO “hearing” in Cape Town, South Africa, next weekend over whether Israel is “apartheid.” But Goldstone’s not fooling anyone. The man whom many would finger as most responsible for the international campaign to “isolate, demonize and delegitimize” Israel now fights that campaign. The latest in a line of Jewish outcasts that stretches back to Spinoza (or to Moses?), he wants back in to the fold. And here is where the psychodrama goes mass-scale: Can we forgive him?

Israel and the Apartheid Slander [NYT]
Earlier: Goldstone Retracts Israeli War Crimes Claim

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No. He should shut up.

We now have both President Clinton and Secretary of State Rice attesting to two separate offers of an independent state to the Palestinians.

We also have Saeb Erekat boasting about rejecting both offers.

There is nothing ambiguous, nothing at all. Few historic events can be as well documented as the Palestinian refusal to accept Israeli offers of land for peace in the last decade.

And as for the old saw about the Palestinians never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity, it is indeed inapt.

They have taken the ultimate opportunity to capitalize on their decades-long campaign for a state and contemptuously swatted it away, twice.

Suggesting otherwise, or glossing over this ineradicable fact does a disservice to everyone, the average Palestinian above all.

seth grodofsky says:

goldstone views actually hold weight on the growing campaign to label Israel Apartheid. Its a good campaign for the anti Israel activists and therefore Goldstone is right that the effort will be an obstacle to reconciliation in the conflict.

To dismiss Goldstone as a “herzog” type character is to minimize his determined effort to be a responsible plyer in the conflict. He decided to get himself involved in the inquiry in 2009 and a lesser person would have faded away. Even in defense of his report he made an articulate argument. When he back tracked , it showed that he was engaging his critics and maybe listening to some of them. He got himself invovled in the muck over here and to his credit didnt run to wash it off.

Dani ben Leb says:

read Goldstone’s op-ed.

Having actually read the article in question, it is clear that the main thrust of Goldstone’s article was refuting the charge of Apartheid directed against Israel; not justifying Palestinian actions.

And since when were Jews supposed to be no worse than anyone else? Traditionally, we have held ourselves to a higher standard than ‘ha goyim': the (other) nations.

We either want him to be taken seriously on this issue, or we don’t. If we do, then let’s stop questioning his intentions. It only helps the other side.

Kol ha kavod. Few men are big enough to admit that they were wrong.

Very fascinating theme , thankyou with regard to posting.


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Goldstone Continues Public Psychodrama

South African judge, of notorious Goldstone Report, rejects ‘apartheid’ charge

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