Last week, Warren Goldstein, the chief rabbi of South Africa and a persistent critic of the report, wrote in the newspaper Business Day that the judge should be allowed to attend the bar mitzvah because every synagogue “should welcome in a tolerant and nonjudgmental way all who seek to enter and join in our service and pray to God.”
But Rabbi Goldstein also renewed his criticism of the judge, saying his report “has unfairly done enormous damage to the reputation and safety of the State of Israel and her citizens.”
He [Goldstone] added that Rabbi Goldstein’s “rhetoric” about tolerance “simply does not coincide with how my family and I have been treated.”
That just about covers it. It takes a pretty despicable lowlife to uninvite someone from their grandson’s Bar Mitzvah because of political differences. Rabbi Goldstein does not deserve to be a community leader.
One more thing. They didn’t just invite him back. They effectively “reached an agreement.”
A day earlier, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, which represents most of the country’s synagogues, issued a statement that outlined something like a quid pro quo: a promise of no protests on the bar mitzvah boy’s big day, in exchange for a meeting between the judge and leaders of the South African Zionist Federation and other Jewish organizations.
Disgusting. They actually felt the need to make political deals to preserve their image. Couldn’t have their constituents believing they were bighearted people willing to put aside political differences to celebrate together, or anything radical like that.
Last note: I can’t wait to see what comes out of that meeting. If Goldstone’s past encounters with his detractors are any measure, the SA Zionist Federation is going to be subject to a pretty thorough in-person fisking.