Sunday, November 6, 2011

J.Post November 6: Judging Goldstone

Sir, – How are we to relate to Judge Richard Goldstone (“In NYT op-ed, Goldstone defends Israel against ‘apartheid’ claims,” November 2)? It is indisputable that the Goldstone Report was a most injudicious document that was used to vilify the State of Israel and cause it irreversible damage. Yet today, a wiser Goldstone has transformed himself into a proactive defender of the Jewish state’s legitimacy and the justice of its behavior.

But is this enough to warrant our forgiveness? I suggest that the Torah’s way of relating to a person who killed another without intent can help guide us in our search for direction.

The Torah repeatedly labels such a person a murderer and requires that he remove himself to a designated city of refuge in order to be safe from one who seeks revenge, and concurrently undergo a process of atonement.

Even though the person’s act might not have been intentional, the Torah regards it most gravely.

It must be acknowledged, however, that the Goldstone Report was quite intentional in its malicious judgment of Israel.

It accused us of the deliberate mass murder of innocents and other crimes against humanity. It was the product of an enormous ego and a totally biased panel member, and was morally flawed because it listened to only one side of the story.

There remain many who, like the blood avenger, are unable to forgive Goldstone. Minimally, he must persevere in his quest for atonement by continuing to dedicate his legal skills and talents toward the defense of the State of Israel and its citizens.

Petah Tikva