South Africa: Warren Goldstein Misses Opportunity to Bring Light and Healing to Fraught Issue of Israel, Palestine


Justice Edwin Cameron replies to an opinion piece in Daily Maverick by Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein.

In his opinion piece in Daily Maverick on 1 July 2020, Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein missed an opportunity to bring light and healing to the fraught issues arising from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's live interview with The Jerusalem Post, in which he criticised government policy on Palestine, calling instead for support for Israel.

Instead, with inflammatory language and misguided parallels, Goldstein draws me into his defence of Mogoeng's support for the government of Israel.

Perhaps some facts will help.

First, I have twice offered criticism, grounded in law, of the Israeli government's human rights violations and gross breaches of international law. They were delivered on scholarly occasions, to which I was invited by Jewish hosts, and at which discussion of the government of Israel's abuses and infractions of law were pertinent.

The first occasion was when I helped launch a book about Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris, a conciliating and unifying figure. Goldstein and his colleagues in the current rabbinate sat in the audience as I pointed out the contrast.

My address received respectful engagement and appreciation from members of the Great Parks Synagogue congregation,...

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