Against the backdrop of an Israeli strike against terrorists in Gaza whose comrades had targeted a missile against a school bus across the border carrying Jewish kids, Israel’s President Shimon Peres is urging U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to void the libelous Goldstone Report.( Please see Simon Wiesenthal Center U.N. campaign).
Penned after the 2009 War in Gaza, it accuses the Jewish State of war crimes and crimes against humanity for trying to thwart Hamas’ deadly terrorist campaigns against Israeli civilians.
President Peres’ unprecedented request comes on heels of South African Judge Richard Goldstone’s recent public admission that he erred in signing off on the U.N. Report bearing his name which falsely accused Israel of purposely targeting civilians in Gaza.
Meanwhile, terrorist group Hamas, whose officials openly boasted of using their civilian population and infrastructure as shields for their missile launchers and booby-traps, weren’t even mentioned in the United Nations Human Rights Council vote that has unleashed a continuing anti-Israel=Nazi propaganda blitz that poisons the minds and hearts of people around the world, including politicians, opinion-makers, church leaders and campus activists.
Judge Goldstone must go beyond his carefully crafted op-ed in The Washington Post. As a Jew he should be aware that our religion was the first to present the concept of "Teshuva," repentance to civilization.
Exactly how Mr. Goldstone should proceed is informed by the following story involving a saintly Rabbi, Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838-1933). Lovingly referred to as the “Chafetz Chaim”(Seeker of Life), this spiritual giant set an incredibly high bar for personal conduct by urging people never to repeat a juicy rumor -- even if true -- let alone a slander, or lie:
One day, one of his parishioners came to the Rabbi’s study, distraught: “Rebbe-master. I have sinned. Yesterday, I heard a rumor about my neighbor, which, I just knew to be true and I repeated around town. This morning, just as you warned us, I learned the rumor was false. How can I repent?” Rabbi Kagan replied: “Here’s how. Go home, pluck the feathers from a chicken and use them to make a trail from your home to the door of the person you slandered and then to my study”. Three hours later the man returned and announced, “Rebbe I have done as you asked, am I now absolved of this terrible sin?” “Yes”, came the answer, “there’s just one more thing you need to do”—collect the feathers.
So where does Judge Goldstone go to start picking up those feathers?
First, the judge should write an apology to the people of Israel who stood accused and convicted-- in the jury-rigged docket of the United Nations—of Nazi-like crimes they never committed and whose political leaders and soldiers face arrest if they try to enter the United Kingdom because of the libels legitimized by his report!
Goldstone should then jet to the Geneva headquarters of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council( UNHRC) to demand that his fatally-flawed report be voided. We are urging the United States to take the lead in burying the libel. Mr. Goldstone may also want to notify the UNHRC’s bloated human rights bureaucracy, which is kept so busy bashing Israel, it never found the time to deal with wrongs perpetrated against innocents in Cuba, Tibet, Syria, Iran, or Libya.
Next, he should go to the Gaza-adjacent Israeli town of Sderot-a place with no military infrastructure, whose families have been subjected to constant rocket attacks from Hamastan over the last ten years. Just yesterday, a yellow school bus was hit by a missile near Sderot, leaving a young teen and bus driver seriously wounded. No wonder three quarters of the community’s population is reported to suffer from Post-Traumatic Syndrome. The judge should apologize to the people of Sderot, especially the kids, none of whom can remember a day when they didn’t have to be prepared to scurry into shelters with 90-seconds notice.
Finally, Judge Goldstone owes an apology to the innocent residents of Gaza and Southern Lebanon. It is they that who are already pre-positioned as human shields in the inevitable next rounds of missile attack on Southern and Northern Israel. Israel has recently published a map of Southern Lebanon showing 1000 locations where Hezbollah has placed many of its 60,000 Iranian-supplied rockets and military hardware aimed at the Galilee, right under the nose of the so-called U.N. Peacekeeper’s force.
And why not place more civilians in harms way? If you are a terrorist group like Hezbollah or Hamas, you’ve witnessed an international community that cast Israel, not the terrorists, as the villain by The Goldstone Report for the Jewish State’s efforts to protect its citizens from non-state players. There is zero incentive to stop intertwining military and civilian infrastructures. To the contrary. Such a strategy guarantees an unending flow of images of civilian casualties and provides powerful moral ammunition for the immoral goals of Israel’s enemies—the demonization, de-legitimization, and ultimate demise of the Jewish State.
Times a’ wasting Judge Goldstone. If you want to make a real contribution to peace and maybe save some innocent Israeli and Arab lives-- start picking up those feathers!
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.