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Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Forward lies in defense of St. Richard

At the Forward, Letty Cottin Pogrebin suddenly becomes an expert in Jewish law (she's mistaken) and a blind defender of the odiously ambitious Richard Richard Goldstone.
From the moment the Goldstone Report was released in September 2009, its lead author has been subjected to fierce, well-orchestrated attacks by Israeli and American Jews who purport to be defending the legitimacy of the Jewish state and the safety of the Jewish people. Rather than discuss the contents of the report — which concluded that during the 2008-2009 Gaza war, Israel (as well as Hamas) may have committed war crimes — Israel’s defenders launched an all-points campaign to bury it.
The contents of the Goldstone Report have been discussed at great length on this blog, on many other blogs, and in many other media. Links to much of the published material substantively attacking the Goldstone Report may be found here.
There’s a Hebrew word for what these people did to Richard Goldstone: They put him in cherem, meaning he was not just persona non grata in the eyes of our religious arbiters, he was totally cut off from the Jewish community. From the moment the report was released, he was treated like a leper — shunned, defamed, disowned — and the worst was yet to come.
And that cherem was well-deserved. Goldstone is a mortal danger to Israel and to the six million Jews who live here. His report was so obviously biased that after having it torn to shreds once in public, he has refused to subject it to any meaningful debate. The biased manner in which Goldstone ignored any facts that did not fit with his narrative show that this evil man's true goal was to advance his own career (he aspires to be Secretary General of the United Nations) by endangering the lives of millions of his brethren.

It's ironic that The Forward and Pogrebin similarly choose to ignore any facts that do not fit their narrative.
The most Jewishly observant and educated of Goldstone’s attackers surely knew that speaking ill of another human being (“hate speech” in current parlance) violates one of Judaism’s most sacrosanct laws, the prohibition against lashon hara (the Evil Tongue — i.e., gossip), which Maimonides defined as any utterance (true or not!) that might cause a person physical or monetary damage, or shame, humiliation, an-guish or fear.
I seriously doubt that Pogrebin has ever opened the Chafetz Chaim, the seminal book on the laws of Lashon Hara written by R. Yisrael Meir Kagan about 120 years ago. If she had, she would have discovered that the laws do not prohibit us from responding to the likes of Goldstone, especially where the context of his words could endanger hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives. (I'm oversimplifying, but I am oversimplifying far less than Pogrebin did).
Letty Cottin Pogrebin is a founding editor of Ms. Magazine and the author of nine books. This essay is adapted from her chapter in “The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict,” to be published January 11 by Nation Books.
Given the editors of that book, it's not likely to be an unbiased examination of Goldstone either.

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At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goldstein was Motzee Shem Rah on all of Am Yisrael. He's a global Hilul Hashem. One of the greatest mosrim of our time.

May the earth swallow him up alive.


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