web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Thoughts On Richard Goldstone, Samantha Power, And Israel


The subject of Judge Richard Goldstone came up quite frequently during my recent lecture tour in South Africa – at a dinner in Johannesburg at the home of Chabad head Rabbi David Masinter, where acquaintances of the judge were in attendance; at Sea Point Synagogue, South Africa’s largest, where I lectured and whose rabbi, Dovid Weinberg, had officiated at Goldstone’s grandson’s bar mitzvah; at my speech for Chabad of Cape Town and later in Pretoria.
 
The man the media describe as a “respected international jurist” and who had falsely accused Israel of war crimes was never far from anyone’s lips.
 
South Africans are among the world’s proudest Jews and most ardent Zionists. So it was understandable that they would detest Goldstone, viewing him a traitor to his people, a man who engaged in a blood libel against the Jewish state in order to enhance his standing at the United Nations.
 
I have never agreed with this assessment of Goldstone, seeing him instead as yet another useful idiot – a man so full of his own pomposity and self-righteousness as to be utterly blind to simple notions of right and wrong. Like Jimmy Carter, Goldstone is one of those well-meaning ignoramuses and nobly-motivated buffoons whose view of morality is that the party without tanks and an air force must of necessity be the party of justice.
 
This knee-jerk urge to champion the underdog, notwithstanding how evil the underdog may be, explains the shockingly obvious statement in Goldstone’s Washington Post op-ed mea culpa last week, in which he wrote, “In the end, asking Hamas to investigate [its own crimes] may have been a mistaken enterprise.”
 
It took a famous judge three years to come to the conclusion that asking a terrorist organization hell-bent on exterminating Israel to impartially report its own atrocities was, with hindsight, not the brightest idea.
 
In repudiating his earlier contention that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians in Gaza, Goldstone offers a classic lesson in how not to apologize. It turns out that however grave the damage inflicted on Israel’s global reputation by his false report, the slander was Israel’s fault:
 
“Israel’s lack of cooperation with our investigation meant that we were not able to corroborate how many Gazans killed were civilians and how many were combatants our recommendations did not include any evidence provided by the Israeli government.”
 
So Goldstone condemned Israel as a nation that directs its missiles intentionally at children because he did not have enough information from Israel to establish otherwise. And yet, just a few lines later in his op-ed, Goldstone writes that the UN Human Rights Council, which commissioned his report, has a “history of bias against Israel [that] cannot be doubted.”
 
So even Goldstone admits that Israel was being asked to cooperate with an investigation commissioned by an authority inherently prejudiced against it, which explains why Israel rightly refused to participate.
 
It’s clear that with his most recent ramblings the description “respected international jurist” will never again be appended to Goldstone.
 
Even more troubling are the comments attributed to Samantha Power, the rising star of the Obama administration who is being openly discussed as a replacement for Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
 
I am a huge fan of Power’s 2002 book A Problem from Hell, whichdetails how America refused to intervene to stop various genocides in the 20th century. I have repeatedly extolled the Pulitzer-prize winning book in lectures and columns and believe it should be required reading for every American high school student. I was also not surprised to read that it was Power who was instrumental in persuading an always reluctant President Obama to intervene in Libya before Khaddafi slaughtered all his people.
 
It was therefore with considerable sadness that I learned of Power’s troubling statements on Israel, comments that require clarification lest she compromise her own moral credibility. Is Powers accurately quoted as having said the United States should use military force to protect the Palestinians from Israel? Is Power really an advocate of greatly reducing or eliminating American military aid to Israel, channeling it instead to the Palestinians – who have repeatedly used foreign aid to foster hatred of Israel in schools, line the pockets of corrupt officials, and promote terrorism?
 
There is more, with Power having seemingly criticized The New York Times for being insufficiently critical of Israel after it attacked terrorist-saturated Jenin in 2002. And Power wrote in her book Chasing the Flame that what sparked Israel’s invasion of Lebanon was “dispossessed Palestinians and Israeli insecurity,” when in truth Israel invaded Lebanon to stop the incessant stream of rocket attacks that terrorized its northern cities. The phrase “Israeli insecurity” implies Israel is paranoid rather than reflecting the reality of a Lebanon dominated by Hizbullah, whose genocidal aim is the destruction of Israel.
 
I spent the last day of my African trip in Dakar, Senegal, where I visited Goree Island, the point of no return from which 14 million African slaves were sent to a life of hell in servitude. Both Presidents Clinton and Bush visited the island to acknowledge the American sin of slavery. Unsurprisingly, President Obama, with his strange reluctance to denounce great evils, has not.
 

Samantha Power is one of the few people with the president’s ear who can be relied on to influence him to overcome his inexplicable recalcitrance to broadcast American resolve abroad to stop the slaughter of innocents. It behooves her to immediately explain her issues with Israel, a nation whose principal purpose in having an army is to prevent yet another genocide of a people who suffered through an unparalleled one just a few decades ago.

 

 

 

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the bestselling author of 25 books, most recently Honoring the Child Spirit” and Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Thoughts On Richard Goldstone, Samantha Power, And Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS in Quneitra
Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

TorahScroll AoT17

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

Troodler-082914

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

Eisenstock-082914

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

More Articles from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin, Nov. 20, 2013.

On the one hand, Putin has been a friend to Chabad and to Israel. On the other hand, Putin is a brutal dictator.

The gradual trickle of self-hatred into the Jewish soul is evidencing itself in the American Jewish public.

Rabbi Schochet wrote the Johannesburg Beis Din: It is totally prohibited and unacceptable to hear someone like Boteach.

If you’re feeling down, stop reading right now. You’re only going to be more depressed.

The world and the United State continue to give Rouhani a pass.

American Jews – especially those working on campus – don’t accept that we have a battle on our hands.

But the most painful part of an otherwise illuminating and extraordinary Forum was Iranian President Rouhani’s speech.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/thoughts-on-richard-goldstone-samantha-power-and-israel/2011/04/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: