Instant (Self-) Revisionism: The Goldstone Affair

A Comment
Published: 2011-07-01
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According to what we hear about how apostasy is dealt with in Islam, a Muslim who renounces his religion is made the object of a fatwa—that is, he is marked for death, fair game for any Muslim who might have the means and opportunity to kill for Allah.

Vigilantes of Zionism have a less-direct, hence less-just, but more-effective approach: they target . . . your grandson, and/or other innocent members of your family who had no involvement in the original offense. And they don’t kill him—they just bar his grandfather from attending his bar mitzvah, and threaten pickets and demonstrations in the event his grandfather tries to be present upon the occasion of his entering into that elite-of-the-chosen, Jewish manhood.

This is but the most-visible of the many and devious retributions visited upon South African jurist Richard Goldstone for the crime he committed against Israel, the redoubt of pugnacious Judaism, in producing for the United Nations a report on war crimes committed in the attack on Gaza of 2008—a report for the making of which Israel denied its cooperation. Like violating the code of omerta among Mafiosi, the crime has a name in Hebrew: mesirah—“ratting” to “the authorities” (world opinion in this case) as to something fellow Jews may have done that might arouse negative feelings toward the perpetrators.

Richard Goldstone was chosen by the United Nations to head its fact-finding commission into the Gaza attack by Israel of 2008 because he was renowned as: (a) a fair-minded jurist who fearlessly pronounced verdicts in strict accordance with the evidence available; and (b) a devout Jew who had palpably demonstrated an affection for Israel. He and his three committee members produced the famous Goldstone Report, in which human-rights abuses of the most terrible kind were adduced against both Israel and the Hamas Party that is identified by most observers as Israel’s opponent (or target) in the staggeringly unequal “contest.”


Is Richard Goldstone a modern day Spinoza?.

Baruch Spinoza who by 1655 had so long and so grievously offended the Jewish community of Amsterdam into which he had been born that its leaders issued a cherem, by which they permanently banished him from their number, their company, and their faith. Portrait, ca. 1665 (Gemäldesammlung der Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany) Source: This image is in the Public Domain.

In the conclusions reached by the committee that he chaired, Goldstone naively overlooked two critical factors from the standpoint of his personal welfare: (a) he was, and wished to remain, a member of the Jewish community; and (b) the faction that controlled that Jewish community emerged from the altercation not just intact, but even victorious, at least in the military sense. This was his undoing, or the undoing to date at least, of the position he undertook with courage that ultimately failed, to assume.

On April 1, the Washington Post published an op ed by him in which, it is widely perceived, he recanted or retracted some of the key accusations against Israel that were implied in the report that bears his name (as yet, no retractions of charges against Hamas have been made). This recantation follows two occurrences that may have affected its timing, if not its content: (a) his being called before the Jewish Council of the city he lives in, Johannesburg, South Africa; and (b) the publication of a follow-up report by a committee empanelled by the United Nations for the purpose, which essentially confirmed the findings and accusations made in the initial “Goldstone Report,” which has, it cannot be denied, found potent utilization in the hands of those wishing to expose to world opinion information about the crimes against humanity committed by Israel from even before the moment of its inception.

A key passage in Goldstone’s “recantation” is this: “If I had known then what I know now, the report would be a very different document,” which is truly Delphic in the interpretations to which it lends itself, especially in the light of Goldstone’s refusal since the article to comment on anything relating to the matter. His silence, it might be said, is deafening, leaving little more than words like “omerta” and “mesirah” to resound in the minds of the inquisitive. Having spoken in the report that bears his name, he will speak no more beyond what he wrote, or unwrote, in his notorious op ed in the Post. For whatever it means, he was allowed to attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah in their hometown without molestation by persons animated by geopolitical considerations, a blessing that most of the rest of us (who may not have offended the sensitivities of the bastion of Zionism) may take for granted. Among the most-potent objections to Goldstone’s treatment were those from prominent members of the South African and global Jewish communities.

The other three members of the “Goldstone Commission” have emphatically repudiated Goldstone’s repudiation, relegating him, evidently, to a condition not unlike that experienced by many other victims of Zionist retribution such as Rudolf Höss, former commandant of Auschwitz who, in a Polish prison, is said to have penned a “confession” in which he detailed the measures by which Jews were “exterminated” in large numbers in the vast facility over which he had cognizance. Höss was well aware, and had presumably been reminded of, the ability and willingness of his interrogators to affect the welfare of Höss’s wife and son. Goldstone, having been “gotten to” by members of what at least previously he had regarded as “his own” community, must now be written off as a source of information on which the judicious (among whom we might hope to count the Security Council of the United Nations) might base their own judgments of horrific events in Gaza that occurred back in ’08.

In all the brouhaha about who says what under the influence of whom else, a towering irony looms in the eyes of those aware of the history that bears on the nascence of the Jewish State and the ethnic cleansing it conducts in the territory putatively deeded to it by passages in the Old Testament. The main crime of which the Goldstone Report accuses Israel and its IDF (Israeli Defense Force) is deliberate targeting of civilians for death.

What is the difference between “deliberate targeting of civilians,” and genocide, the killing of people because of “who” they are? The Germans in World War II are accused by many, including the people running Israel and its IDF today, of “targeting civilians”—Jews primarily—for death. Today, a global network of “Holocaust Memorials” commemorates this very accusation, along with its verdict and sentence of irredeemable guilt upon the German people.

Then, here comes Goldstone and his Commission, issuing their Report presenting tangible evidence that the IDF was at least to cull the herd of restive inmates in Gaza to manageable numbers, and what does the accused—but triumphant—Israel do in the face of such charges?

Goldstone’s fate at the hands of his coreligionists brings to mind that of Baruch Spinoza who by 1655 had so long and so grievously offended the Jewish community of Amsterdam into which he had been born that its leaders issued a cherem, by which they permanently banished him from their number, their company, and their faith.

Like Goldstone, Spinoza had published impermissible things about Jews or Judaism. Like Goldstone, Spinoza had been informed in no uncertain terms of the displeasure of his elders, and warned of consequences if he should persist in his evil ways.

Unlike Goldstone, Spinoza, to the everlasting benefit of philosophy and mankind, stayed his course, and bore the punishment threatened against him, living thereafter the greater part of his life as an “excommunicated” Jew.

Why didn’t he cave, like Goldstone? Part of the answer may lie in the fact that Spinoza never had a grandson. Or a child. Or even a wife. No “civilians” to target, one might say.

Goldstone’s valiant efforts in behalf of the families trying to survive in Gaza indeed may have been stifled by threats against his own family. We need another Spinoza today worse than ever.

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Author(s) Jett Rucker
Title Instant (Self-) Revisionism: The Goldstone Affair, A Comment
Sources Inconvenient History, 3(2) (2011)
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Dates published: 2011-07-01, first posted on CODOH: Feb. 15, 2014, 6 p.m., last revision: n/a
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