Goldstone: ‘I would dearly love to attend my grandson’s bar mitzvah’

US Politics
on 93 Comments

Wrenching letter from Judge Goldstone to Business Day, a Johannesburg publication, on the dustup over his grandson’s bar mitzvah. (For background on Rabbi Warren Goldstein’s stiffnecked position, to which Goldstone refers, read this):

I read with dismay Chief Rabbi Goldstein’s article in yesterday’s Business Day. I was dismayed that the chief rabbi would so brazenly politicise the occasion of my 13-year-old grandson’s bar mitzvah to engage in further personal attacks on me.

I am prepared to respond fully to those attacks, but not in the run-up to my grandson’s bar mitzvah.

He and his family have been working for close to a year preparing for the once-in-a-lifetime rite of passage into the Jewish community. Of all people, the chief rabbi should be aware of the importance of this. Yet, for whatever reasons, Chief Rabbi Goldstein would rather focus on me.

I was further dismayed when I read his article because his rhetoric about “open synagogues” simply does not coincide with how my family and I have been treated. The chief rabbi has been well aware of the situation, and instead of using his position of leadership in the South African Jewish community to promote the “open synagogues” principle that he purports to profess, he would rather write articles and threaten others with lawsuits. I must state that at no time whatsoever has the chief rabbi reached out to my family. Acting on information that we received from the synagogue, and the recent threat by the leader of the South African Zionist Federation of demonstrations if I attend the synagogue service, it was decided that it would be better if I did not attend the bar mitzvah. We have taken that decision in the best interests of my grandson and my family.

My only concern at the present time is that my grandson’s bar mitzvah should be the joyous occasion that he deserves it to be. I would dearly love to attend my grandson’s bar mitzvah. The questionable and unfortunate approach of the chief rabbi, in all the circumstances, makes it less, and not more, possible for me to do so.

Judge Richard Goldstone

93 Responses

  1. Susie Kneedler
    April 22, 2010, 10:18 am

    Heart-rending. How sad that telling truths meets such malice or–in the case of Palestinians–such violence from those who defend the Israeli government at all costs.

  2. eee
    April 22, 2010, 10:31 am

    Goldstone is learning that not only “liberal” Jews may speak truth to power. Goldstone is not banned from the synagogue. Rabbi Goldstein has made it clear he may go. At the same time, the Jewish groups have every right to picket that synagogue. If he doesn’t want the picketing he shouldn’t go. I am surprised that Phil would deny people the right to picket.

    • potsherd
      April 22, 2010, 10:46 am

      Congratulations, eee, you are now in the company of Fred Phelps.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 1:23 pm

        It is eee’s sacred duty to warn others of G-d’s anger, including the young bar mitzvah boy.

    • Avi
      April 22, 2010, 10:56 am

      picket that synagogue

      Do you realize how that sounds?

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 11:00 am

        It sounds excellent. Goldstone needs to understand how many Jews feel about what he did. Since when does lawful picketing sound bad?

      • DICKERSON3870
        April 22, 2010, 11:11 am

        RE: “Since when does lawful picketing sound bad?” – eee
        DORON ISAACS (a Jewish South African): …“There is a belief amongst right-wing Zionist organisations that defaming and humiliating Jewish critics of Israeli policy, will set an example that would intimidate others into silence.”
        SOURCE – link to

      • marc b.
        April 22, 2010, 11:11 am

        And no doubt it won’t bother you if the police lob a few tear gas grenades and fire rubber bullets into the picketing crowd if they get unruly.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 11:19 am

        No it won’t bother me. Everyone must obey the law.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 11:20 am

        “There is a belief amongst right-wing Zionist organisations that defaming and humiliating Jewish critics of Israeli policy, will set an example that would intimidate others into silence.”

        That is what Mr. Issacs believes and he may believe what he wants. As long as the picketing is legal, this argument you bring is irrelevant. Each side has the right to believe what it wants and to take any legal action it wants.

      • David Samel
        April 22, 2010, 11:30 am

        eee, the issue here is not one of legality. Of course, peacefully picketing the shul, or picketing Goldstone’s home, is perfectly lawful. The question is one of decency. It is obscene to use the occasion of this boy’s bar mitzvah as a political event.

        You say that “Goldstone needs to understand how many Jews feel about what he did.” You can’t be serious. Do you think he’s been deaf, dumb and blind for the past six months? There are plenty of more appropriate opportunities to smear this good man, and they have all been used ad nauseum. What if one of Goldstone’s close relatives died, and he “dared” to attend the funeral for his loved one. Should they picket that too? It would be legal.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 11:40 am


        The synagogue, where Jews congregate, is a place that symbolizes the unity of the Jewish people. The bar-mitzvah is the ceremony that enables a young man to be part of a minyan, to be counted as part of the congregation. Decency demands that this is EXACTLY the place and occasion on which Goldstone should be picketed to make him understand how hurtful his actions have been to the Jewish community.

      • syvanen
        April 22, 2010, 12:18 pm

        I agree with eee to a certain extent. He realizes that the synagogue symbolizes the unity of the Jewish people. In fact, the successful alliance of the secular Zionists with the religious Jews has been central in using that unity of the Jewish people towards unquestioning support of the state of Israel. A religious schism will go a long way, in my opinion, towards breaking unity of opinion in support of Israel.

      • David Samel
        April 22, 2010, 12:31 pm

        eee, I cannot begin to describe how differently we view the concept of decency. But I will say that your phrase “the unity of the Jewish people” is absurd. It implies that Jews should take a unified position on issues. No doubt your position would suit you just fine. Jews are famous for disagreeing with each other – the old joke is ask two Jews, get three opinions. Even more importantly, your callousness toward the boy is quite conspicuous and shameful. It’s his day, and presumably he wants Grandpa to attend. Why should he be denied this once-in-a-lifetime event, even if Goldstone is a snake (I shudder even to type such words). Even picketing the shul on the high holy days would make far more sense than to punish the grandson.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 1:01 pm

        The “unity of the Jewish people” means that even though we may differ in our views about the issues, we care about each other and help each other, like an extended family. So don’t put words in my mouth.

        Callousness toward the boy? Goldstone has been callous to the Jewish people. Yes, the picketing is a wrong towards Goldestone’s grandson, but it is for the greater good of many more people and therefore justified.

      • Shmuel
        April 22, 2010, 1:09 pm


        I would add that Jewish history and mythology is full of cases of violence against perceived “traitors” (beginning perhaps with Gedaliah ben Ahikam), with disastrous consequences for the people as a whole. Ironically, the entire concept of “bar-mitzvah” pertains to the individual moral and religious responsability that is a sine qua non for becoming a part of a specific community and the mystical body of “Catholic Israel” (Klal Yisrael).

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:15 pm

        Goldstone has been callous to the Jewish people.

        By investigating Israeli war crimes? Why should South African Jews feel beholden and complicit in Israeli actions? Or any Jew outside of Israel for that matter? You did it, not them.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 1:25 pm

        Das hast der Fuhrer gesagt!

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 1:26 pm

        Jewish history is also full of many more cases where traitors were actually traitors and they brought great suffering to the Jewish people.

        And who is preaching violence against Goldstone?

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 1:27 pm

        That’s in response to eee’s: “No it won’t bother me. Everyone must obey the law.”

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:29 pm

        Not to be pedantic, Citizen, but you that isn’t quite the right tense on the word haben. :) (Sadly, my skills at the German language are rusty and I have forgotten the proper conjugation.)

        Otherwise? Indeed. This is why I like having eee around. He exposes how closely militarized ethnocentric nationalism resembles itself, in all its forms.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:30 pm

        And who is preaching violence against Goldstone?

        Oh, so what is the punishment for being a traitor in the laws of the Jewish nation? I’m only familiar with the laws with respect to the nation of the United States, you understand.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 1:31 pm

        Actually, eee, Goldstone’s actions have been of great benefit to the Jewish community–Goldstone’s actions convince many non-Jewish doubters that some Jews actually recognize basic universal rights. Your comments do exactly the contrary.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 1:35 pm

        Zionist Israel uber alles, uber alles, uber all goyische leute in das Welt.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:38 pm

        It’s frightening to think about, isn’t it? For centuries Jews have had to endure false accusations of a global Jewish conspiracy to undermine other nations by placing their people therein who have less loyalty for their host country than they do to “the Jewish nation.”

        And now eee wants to insist that that’s actually true.

      • David Samel
        April 22, 2010, 2:08 pm

        “Goldstone’s actions have been of great benefit to the Jewish community–Goldstone’s actions convince many non-Jewish doubters that some Jews actually recognize basic universal rights. Your comments do exactly the contrary.” Amen, Citizen. I not only agree, but think it’s a terribly important point.

        Shmuel, you are a treasure trove of relevant historical facts. Thanks for the input.

        eee, there are plenty of commenters on the site who would continue to engage in more and more acrimonious exchanges with you. With due respect to them, I don’t have the stomach or the time, and do not consider your position even worthy of debate.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 2:55 pm

        You’re right, Chaos, I once could write original poety in the German language, and now I can’t even write a simple sentence.
        I figured readers would get my drift anyway. Das tut mir leid. (That’s probably wrong too, but my Bissels fell apart decades ago.)

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 2:59 pm

        I also noticed that, Chaos; I’m sure many readers have. Eee is such a bright bulb he doesn’t even see it. He needs to get some hasbara instructions from our resident bookeeper “Vermonter.”

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 3:05 pm

        DS, Shmuel, in a nutshell (I know Shmuel’s already covered this in many way, but I want to hear more–I live surrounded by people
        who never heard of the Nakba, but they all know NASCAR), please
        elaborate on this subject “terribly important point.” Thanks. Who knows, maybe eee will even get it–hope springs eternal.

      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 4:45 pm

        “Goldstone needs to understand how many Jews feel about what he did.”

        In other words, he shoudl heed their calls to be dishonest and hide the truth?


      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 4:47 pm

        “Goldstone has been callous to the Jewish people. ”

        Yes, he told the truth and that is a crime against the Jewish people. He should have put Israel before the law right eee?

        Wow, you Zionazis just open your mouth sto change feet.

      • RoHa
        April 22, 2010, 7:25 pm

        This is off topic, but I want to keep you up to date with the IDF’s heroic struggle against the evil Palestinian shape shifters.

        link to

        We just don’t get enough information on this menace to the world.

      • Avi
        April 23, 2010, 1:59 am


        It is times like these that I wish you and I and everyone else on this website, and just in general around the world, could be the bearer of good news on a regular basis regarding this region. It’s sad and outrageous enough that Palestinian babies and children are murdered with complete impunity, but to see that even animals – creatures that have no ethnic, religious or political affiliation – are not spared the barbarity of hatred is utterly depressing. I don’t know what else to say. But, thank you for bringing this up. It’s important to know the extent of destruction of an entire nation, even if the details seem repetitive or marginal. It’s important for the historical record, at the very least.

    • Citizen
      April 22, 2010, 1:18 pm

      I doubt Phil or Judge Goldstone would shoot rubber bullets and gas canisters at the heads of any protest pickets, nor would they picket a bar mitzvah.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 1:27 pm

        but of course all Israelis would.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:31 pm

        Of course not, eee. Some do the sensible thing and leave so that they are no longer party to crimes against humanity. People like Shmuel and (I believe) Danaa.

  3. marc b.
    April 22, 2010, 10:36 am

    Sad, sad, indeed. Goldstone is a much better man than I am for his patience and grace. Yet another example of the Rabbinic enforcers at work, out busting knee caps. Bureaucratic authority devoid of principle.

  4. potsherd
    April 22, 2010, 10:45 am

    Goldstone’s family should have the bar mitzvah abroad, where he can attend without the ceremony being ruined.

    • eee
      April 22, 2010, 10:59 am

      Anywhere he has his bar-mitzvah Jews will picket the synagogue if they are allowed to do so. Maybe they should have the bar-mitzvah in Iran.

      • potsherd
        April 22, 2010, 11:55 am

        All this suggests is that everywhere in the world there are Jews without a sense of decency.

      • marc b.
        April 22, 2010, 12:04 pm

        it’s the mindset, potsherd. you see all ‘real’ Jews agree with eee’s ideology, hence anywhere the Goldstone bar-mitzvah could be held, and ‘real’ Jews are free to express their opinion, the event would be picketed. yet if someone suggests that all ‘real’ Jews, as defined by eee, possess a singular ideology, then they are an anti-semite. it’s a juvenile construct that permits one to be right all the time, or at least gives one the right to insult anyone who might challenge you. my pre-teen children have matured beyond that world view, but not eee.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 12:08 pm

        Not all Jews agree with me. But in every free Jewish community there are a majority of Jews that agree with me. And they would picket. Don’t create strawmen to argue against.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 12:33 pm

        Isn’t it ironic that you use the phrase “free Jewish community” in the next breath after you’ve demanded that Goldstone should have abandoned his oath to the concept of universal human justice because fulfilling it was not politically expedient for your country?

      • marc b.
        April 22, 2010, 12:59 pm

        ‘A majority of Jews’ agree with what? That a grandfather should not attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah? That Goldstone, the international jurist, is a ‘traitor’ for investigating Israeli and Palestinian conduct in the Gaza war? That such an unseemly task, if carried out at all, should have been delegated to a pliant goy, who presumably could be dismissed as an anti-semite if s/he found a whiff of Israeli misconduct?

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 1:40 pm

        “There’s always an exception to the general rule,” but my portrait in Mein Kampf of the Jews” most people would agree with.”
        –Adolph Hitler

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:44 pm

        You might want to give us a little bit of context for that one, Citizen. I’m not exactly clear how I should read that, as far as why you’re posting it.

      • potsherd
        April 22, 2010, 1:53 pm

        The problem isn’t a strawman, it’s the slippery slope where eee is standing.

        He asserts the right to picket religious ceremonies, regardless of the distress it might cause the participants. He thus defends the likes of Fred Phelps. At eee’s funeral, the picketers yelling that God wanted him to die because Israel has fags will have his total approval. On the High Holy Days, the protestors picketing the synagogue where he is praying will have his permission to wave their signs declaring that Jews are committing genocide.

        Because, of course, if there are rights, they are not limited to Jews. Not anywhere but Israel.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:56 pm

        Ironically? He’s also by extension defending the right of genuine anti-Semites to harass Jewish homes and synagogues with hate speech. But then again, he would — Zionists need Jews around the world to feel like they’re in danger, so that they feel compelled to feed the Israeli empire.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 3:10 pm

        Then again, we witness Phil, Adam, Shmuel, DS (above), and more on this blog, Jewish individuals with a true sense of decency, a respect for all humans, and so advocates they are for the basic universal rights of all humans. Thanks to them, pogroms don’t stand a chance.
        Not to mention the assimilation rate in the USA (despite the “silent holocaust” vision).

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 3:13 pm

        I mean eee echoed Hitler’s POV: “But in every free Jewish community there are a majority of Jews that agree with me.”
        Eee speaks in behalf of most Jews, and Hitler spoke in behalf most
        Germans. That’s what they each said.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 3:18 pm

        Yes, Chaos, irony is lost on the ignorant, whether they are so by hateful choice, incessant propaganda and herd mentality, youth, or stupidity.

      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 4:50 pm

        “But in every free Jewish community there are a majority of Jews that agree with me.”

        Inside Israel right?

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 1:37 pm

        Maybe Japan would be preferable, given the nature of the Japanese community in Japan.

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 22, 2010, 11:03 am

      RE: “Goldstone’s family should have the bar mitzvah abroad…” – potsherd
      MY COMMENT: What about Goldstone appearing by video link? Would not that highlight the absurdity of this perverse tactic on the part of these vengeful fanatics? I would be happy to make a modest donation towards the cost of something like that.

      FROM AL JAZEERA: (excerpts)…”A very ugly feature of the response to the Goldstone report has been personal attacks like this on him and his family over a sustained period,” Doron Isaacs, a Jewish South African, told Al Jazeera on Thursday.
      “This should not be seen as an isolated incident.”…
      “There is a belief amongst right-wing Zionist organisations that defaming and humiliating Jewish critics of Israeli policy, will set an example that would intimidate others into silence,” Isaacs, co-ordinator of a community-based education NGO, said.
      Isaacs led a Jewish youth movement that campaigned for a just resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict…
      SOURCE – link to

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 11:23 am

        Yes, a video link on the Sabbath in a Jewish synagogue. Why don’t you take time to learn a little about the people you hate?

      • Avi
        April 22, 2010, 11:27 am

        Why do you label everyone who disagrees with you as a racist anti-Semite?

        Has that always been your defense?

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 11:46 am

        The Dick has called a majority of Jews “vengeful fanatics”. Would you characterize him as a Jew lover?

      • marc b.
        April 22, 2010, 11:48 am

        So there is universal agreement that the use of a video link is prohibited activity on the Sabbath? And even if it is according to certain interpretations, isn’t the use of typically prohibited technologies permitted in order for an observant Jew to fulfill his obligations on the Sabbath?

        Really, save the bullshit. You and your ilk want to ostracize Goldstone because he is a ‘race’ traitor in your view. As you earlier remarked, he should have had the good sense to let some unwashed goy go through the motions of investigating Gaza.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 12:06 pm

        You are just ignorant about Jews and are jumping to biased conclusions. The Jews are not a race. We are a nation with a unique religion. Goldstone is a traitor to the Jewish nation. And yes, Goldstone should have let some other qualified non-Jew head the committee. He knew that his report would be used to unfairly bludgeon Israel.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 12:30 pm

        So let me get this straight. Jews are not a race, except that you’ve tried to label me a racist for criticizing Israel (which you tried to facetiously frame as me criticizing the entirety of Jewish people, which I don’t). Jews all also belong to the same religion, and yet are not of a religion, because of course there are atheist Jews like you who reject the religion of Judaism but wish to retain all of the political and economic benefits of being Jewish. You are a nation, which is apparently in your mind supposed to preempt the loyalty of Jews living in America, Europe, Iran, etc. to their actual nationality in the interest of what’s best for “the Jewish people,” (only Israel, really, but see the above parenthetical). And that loyalty to the Jewish nation not only supersedes a Jew’s loyalty to the land he was born in, it also supersedes his commitment to international law and jurisprudence.

        Anyway, not to rehash an old topic, but by declaring the entirety of the Jewish people a nation unto themselves, haven’t you not only confirmed that AIPAC is, in fact, a foreign power interfering in the domestic affairs of the United States, but all Jewish organizations are essentially foreign agents?

        I, of course, reject your absurd, contradictory definition because A) I accept that Jews are Americans, and aren’t beholden to some foreign military ethno-religious plutocracy, and B) I’m Roman Catholic, so as a matter of historical perspective I understand what it’s like to be persecuted because people perceive you have pledged fealty to a foreign influence that calls into question your commitment to the nation you live in.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 1:07 pm

        One person can belong to more than one nation, just like a person with both Canadian and American passports or British and American passports. To be part of the Jewish nation you do not need a passport. What you need to do is to agree to tie your fate to that of the Jews.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:13 pm

        To be part of the Jewish nation you do not need a passport. What you need to do is to agree to tie your fate to that of the Jews.

        Which is basically a fancy way of saying you believe that all Jews worldwide are supposed to be undocumented agents of Israel. Isn’t it?

        Do you honestly think American Jews will accept that? European Jews? Iranian Jews? I think highly respected people like Goldstone are reconsidering the nature and moral integrity of Zionism at this point, certainly.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 1:29 pm

        So all Brits that live in the US and have US passports are also agents of the UK?
        Your arguments just do not make any sense.

      • marc b.
        April 22, 2010, 1:30 pm

        I like that: “unfairly bludgeon Israel”. You have used that same phrase several times. Must be a prescribed talking point.

        And I am ignorant about many things, but the history of Judaism and political science are not any of those things. I am also familiar with the flexibility with which Zionists define ‘the Jews’, Judaism, and the nation of Israel, depending upon the audience and argument. You fling the anti-semite card about, and now whinge on that Jewishness is defined by religion, not race or ethnicity, when there is no universal standard for the Jewish ‘religion’. And are you suggesting that an atheist, or even an agnostic, who is of Jewish parentage, would be denied the right of return? No, of course not, because being Jewish is not simply a matter of independent religious preference. It’s much deeper than that, according to those who define such matters. And you might want to revisit the definition of a ‘nation’ given your blatherings. Are you suggesting that part of the ‘Jewish’ nation resides outside of Israel? I mean that comes awfully close to the anti-semitic dual loyalty argument? Right at this very moment my dear old mother resides in a town with a Chabad House next to her favorite restaurant. Should she be worried about some subversive, anti-American activities going on there on behalf of the ‘Jewish nation’?

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:32 pm

        So all Brits that live in the US and have US passports are also agents of the UK?

        Do any of those Brits not have documentation of their British citizenship?

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 1:51 pm

        He knew, given his past high positions in ascertaining state criminality
        regarding non-Jewish states and groups, the whole world would expect him to be as objective regarding the activities of both sides
        during the Gaza Turkey Shoot.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 1:59 pm

        Last time I looked, there was no British equivalent of AIPAC in the USA. JFK wanted AIPAC’s parent zionist organization to be registered as the agent of a foreign government. There is a renewed effort to do so sitting in the appropriate federal agency right now. The A should be stripped off AIPAC.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 2:01 pm

        For that matter, is there any organization in the United States that occupies the same privileged niche as AIPAC, but for some country other than Israel? And that’s actually a serious question that I’d like an answer to. Might as well clean house while we’re at it.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 3:23 pm

        Chaos, the answer is there is no other such organization. If there were, you can be sure AIPAC supporters would tell us all. See M & W regarding how the Israel Lobby is not like any other lobby, including the ones closest in power, e.g., the gun lobby or ARRP.
        But you already can see the obvious distinction.

      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 4:53 pm

        “The Jews are not a race. We are a nation with a unique religion. ”

        I thought you were a people? You’d bettert explain your theory to Witty.

        UNIX thinks Jews are a race.

        How’s that? 3 Zionist moonbats with 3 different definitinos abotu what a Jew is..

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 5:10 pm

        Try asking them again when the winds change. You’ll get three altogether different answers again.

      • kapok
        April 23, 2010, 2:04 am

        Jew and me against the world…

  5. DICKERSON3870
    April 22, 2010, 10:46 am

    RE: “Goldstone: ‘I would dearly love to attend my grandson’s bar mitzvah’” – Weiss

    Richard J. Goldstone: Integrity Personified
    Category: Common Interest – Beliefs & Causes
    Description: A group for individuals who respect Justice Goldstone and admire his integrity.
    Open: All content is public.
    LINK – link to

  6. Richard Witty
    April 22, 2010, 12:54 pm

    The Jewish groups should help him get to his grandson’s bar mitzvah, rather than hinder.

    If there is any experience that encourages a feeling and application of kinship, its invitation and unconditional acceptance.

    • Chaos4700
      April 22, 2010, 1:02 pm

      And now that this has been rejected outright and made impossible by some number of Jews (I would say a minority, eee would claim a majority).

      So what does that mean now, Witty, for Judaism as an international organ of human culture? What does that mean when Zionist Jews are willing to set fire to the sanctity of Jewish rite and culture itself, for political gain?

      How does that really make you feel?

    • Citizen
      April 22, 2010, 2:03 pm

      Witty, there are many groups throughout history which you despise
      who also encouraged a feeling of kinship by invitation and unconditional acceptance. But you know that, so what’s your point?

  7. pabelmont
    April 22, 2010, 1:02 pm

    Lotta learning here. Good thing. Goldstone (grandfather) has re-learned some important lessons about Zionists and Jewish communities. The grandson has learned a lot about these things for the first time–I would not be surprised if he were to ripen as an anti-Zionist in 8 year’s time. This whole story is so Biblical! and so fundamentalist, these people being unable to make room for alternate opinions, law, or bar mitzvahs.

    As to protests and demonstrations being “perfectly legal”, well, maybe they would be and maybe not. Are the entirely peaceful demonstrations in West Bank villages and East Jerusalem “legal”? Doesn’t “legal” depend on who writes the laws? And don’t we (in the automatic assumption of legality of peaceful demonstrations) see an automatic (and incorrect, but surely hopeful) attitude that universal “rights” should be universally enjoyed? Maybe, in other words, universal law (international law anybody?) has a place, in South Africa and in Israel/Palestine.

    • eee
      April 22, 2010, 1:10 pm

      The only people acting in an undemocratic and certainly un-liberal way are those that deny the right of South African Jews to obtain a license and picket. If the shoe were on the other foot, you would have no problem with Jews picketing a bar-mitzvah of a relative of a “war criminal” that would be in attendance.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:24 pm

        Oh no, by all means, eee. I for one would love to see Zionist Jews be free to picket outside intimate family events and bring shame and humiliation on other Jews collectively to punish an action that was actually rather noble by the standards of Judaism.

        It demonstrates to the Jewish people what people like you are really all about.

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 2:10 pm

        World Jewry and the state of Israel are not the same. If they are, are you ready for the full consequences of that? Your philosphy mirrors Uncle Dorf’s, aka “Uncle Wolfie.” You have absorbed his last political will and testament and made it your own. Your Berlin bunker time will come.

  8. Richard Witty
    April 22, 2010, 1:16 pm

    Its the worst of the consequences of the Walt/Mearsheimer publications. Its the David Duke application of their work.

    From Phil Weiss’ pen.

    • Richard Witty
      April 22, 2010, 1:16 pm

      That was intended to posted in another thread.

    • Chaos4700
      April 22, 2010, 1:21 pm

      Excuse me? Walt and Mearsheimer are to blame for this? You’re telling me that two people documenting the overwhelming and subversive influence of Israel on the Jews who belong to our nation lead directly the overwhelming and subversive influence of Israel on Jews who belong to another nation?

      You really don’t blame Israel for anything do you? In your fanatical view, any action taken by a Zionist that results in injustice can be blamed on the very people who condemn Zionism because of those injustices, huh?

    • Chaos4700
      April 22, 2010, 1:22 pm

      Incidentally? You sound exactly almost exactly like eee, only more verbose. That hasn’t gone under anyone’s notice.

    • Citizen
      April 22, 2010, 2:12 pm

      The moving hand writes, David Duke’s united in principle with Dicky Witty’s.

  9. hamdan
    April 22, 2010, 3:59 pm

    Dear Mr. Goldstone, your courage and honnesty is costing you a heavy price. If knowing that the whole Palestinian camp is with you can be of any solace, please accept our support.
    I am sure there are quite a few fair minded and longing for justice Jews who are on your side too.

    • Chaos4700
      April 22, 2010, 4:38 pm

      You know what’s sad? There are a lot of us who saw this coming a mile away and were already pitying Goldstone when the decision was made that he would investigate.

  10. rachel
    April 22, 2010, 8:49 pm

    I don’t know about his courage and honesty but I think it is awful to take it out on his family. I think it is the wrong way to express anger at him. It is stupid, vindictive , petty and counterproductive. Why make a martyr out of him by depriving him of attending a family event?
    If the South African Zionist Federation wants to picket him, they can do it at his house, club, or office if he still lives and work in SA.

  11. Richard Parker
    April 22, 2010, 10:16 pm

    Perhaps someone could enlighten me. I have only been following this blog for about three years, and commenting for much less time.

    – Dec 09-Jan 10 – Israel carries out a scorched earth campaign in Gaza, destroying crops, farms, factories, etc, after terrorising the population, and killing about 1400 innocent civilians, on the flimsiest of pretexts.

    – Summer 2009 – Judge Goldstone, at the behest of the UN, and with his own condition that Hamas is treated on an equivalent basis by his Commission, starts his investigation.

    – Autumn 2009 – Goldstone’s report is published, and meets with a storm of condemnation in Israel, and amongst other Jewish groups. Most remark, or hint, that Goldstone is a traitor to Jews because, as a Jew himself, he should somehow have slanted his impartial investigation and report towards the Israeli point of view. That would have been difficult for him, since the terrible facts he unearthed wouldn’t allow it.

    – Spring 2010 – It is suggested to Goldstone that if he attends his grandson’s bar mitzvah in South Africa, there will be demonstrations outside, probably organised by the local rabbinate.

    Don’t shoot the messenger!

  12. Nevada Ned
    April 23, 2010, 12:16 am

    Amid all the discussion of the bar mitzvah of Goldstone’s grandson, an important question has been overlooked. What about the bar mitzvah boy himself? What does he think?
    I’ve never been to South Africa, so my experience is based on that of my Jewish friends in the US. Typically the bar mitzvah is not about the boy at all. It’s an occasion for the parents to throw a big bash to show off their financial and professional success. They invite an army of relatives and business associates to the party. The bar mitzvah boy himself may have a few friends to keep him company, but that’s a very minor factor.
    In a couple of cases that I know, the bar mitzvah boy (or bot mitzvah girl) didn’t care about religion at all, and didn’t want to go through the ceremony in the first place, but was forced to go through it by the parents. The bar mitzvah is for the parents (or grandparents), and the boy is just the excuse for a big bash.
    (For details, see the 1969 movie Goodbye Columbus, based on the Philip Roth novel).

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