Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rabbi's to Goldstone: 'we want to offer you our deepest thanks for upholding the principles of justice'

Dear Judge Goldstone,
As rabbis from diverse traditions and locations, we want to extend our warmest mazel tov to you as an elder in our community upon the bar mitzvah of your grandson. Bar and Bat Mitzvah is a call to conscience, a call to be responsible for the welfare of others, a call to fulfill the covenant of peace and justice articulated in our tradition.
As rabbis, we note the religious implications of the report you authored. We are reminded of Shimon Ben Gamliel's quote, "The world stands on three things: justice, truth, and peace as it says ‘Execute the judgment of truth, and justice and peace will be established in your gates’ (Zekharya 8:16)." We affirm the truth of the report that bears your name.
We are deeply saddened by the controversy that has grown up around the issuing of the report. We affirm your findings and believe you set up an impeccable standard that provides strong evidence that Israel engaged in war crimes during the assault on Gaza that reveal a pattern of continuous and systematic assault against Palestinian people and land that has very little to do with Israel's claim of security. Your report made clear the intentional targeting of civilian infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, agricultural properties, water and sewage treatment centers and civilians themselves with deadly weapons that are illegal when used in civilian
This is the ugly truth that is so hard for many Jewish people to face. Anyone who spends a day in Palestinian territories sees this truth immediately.
Judge Goldstone, we want to offer you our deepest thanks for upholding the principles of justice, compassion and truth that are the heart of Jewish religion and without which our claims to Jewishness are empty of meaning. We regret that your findings have led to controversy and caused you not to feel welcome at your own grandson's Bar Mitzvah. We believe your report is a clarion call to Israel and the Jewish people to awaken from the slumber of denial and return to

Rabbi Everett Gendler
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Rabbi Brant Rosen
Rabbi Brian Walt
Rabbi Haim Beliak
Rabbi Michael Lerner
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Rabbi Michael Feinberg
Rabbi Shai Gluskin
Rabbi David Shneyer
Rabbi David Mivassair
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman
Rabbi Douglas Krantz
Rabbi Margaret Holub
Rabbi Rebecca Alpert
Rabbi Mordecai Liebling
Rabbi Phyllis Berman
Rabbi Zev-Hayyim Feyer
Rabbi Eyal Levinson
Rabbi Doron Isaacs

More names added:
Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill
Rabbi Erin Hirsh
Rabbi Michael Rothbaum
Rabbi Benjamin Barnett
Rabbi Julie Greenberg
Rabbi Linda Holtzman
Rabbi Ayelet S.Cohen
Rabbi Jeffrey Marker
Rabbi Nina H.Mandel
Rabbi Victor Reinstein

This comes from the Mondoweisss  and Tikun Olam sites:The letter is supported by Taanit Tzedek- Jewish Fast for Gaza , Shomer Shalom Institute for Jewish Nonviolence, Tikkun and the Shalom Center. Whoever is a rabbi and would like to add his/her name to this statement, send an e-mail to Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb (rabbilynn at earthlink dot net. I would think  there's room for more rabbi's).

Update 22/4:  In a letter to the South-African newspaper BusinessDay, Goldstone accused chief rabbi Warren Goldstein of South-Africa that he made it 'less, and not more' possible for him to attend his grandson's bar mitzva.

Goldstein one day earlier wrote in the same paper that he empathised with Goldstone’s “anguish as a grandfather”, but called on him to understand the pain his report had caused. “Under difficult circumstances and amid heated emotions I, together with the rabbi and executive of the Sandton shul, ensured that he would be free to attend the bar mitzvah; and we did our utmost best to persuade those who wished to protest not to.

But people did not need his permission to protest in a “free democracy”, he said.

Goldstone is his letter condemned the chief rabbi’s “questionable and unfortunate approach”, saying Goldstein had “brazenly politicis e(d)” a family occasion.“His rhetoric about ‘open synagogues’ simply does not coincide with how my family and I have been treated,” he said.The chief rabbi had at no stage “reached out” to his family.

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