Tuesday, November 01, 2011

excommunication is hard to reverse

i have to admit, i feel a little sorry for richard goldstone. the respected jurist was recruited to lead a UN committee to investigate the 2008-2009 gaza war. israel refused to cooperate with the investigation, so the committee issued a report with the information it had, a report that has come to be known as "the goldstone report". goldstone foolishly believed that israel and the leaders of international jewish groups tolerate dissenting opinions about israel, especially views backed by the evidence uncovered in an investigation led by a well-respected zionist jew, who had been repeatedly honored by israel in the past. he was wrong.

the campaign against goldstone was savage and personal. so-called defenders of israel made it their mission to personally retaliate against goldstone, and that included going after him in his personal life.

goldstone has spent much of this year trying to rehabilitate himself among the same people who have trashed him over the past few years. he recanted the goldstone report and today penned an op-ed piece in the NY times rejecting the comparison between israel and apartheid.

is the rehabilitation campaign working? not with the zionist blogisphere. william jacobson calls today's op-ed "a good first step but does not go far enough" (i guess recanting the goldstone report doesn't count as a step?) the elder of ziyon quotes from the piece and notes that even "someone like Goldstone" think the apartheid comparison goes too far, making it clear that he doesn't think goldstone has earned back any ziyon cred. over at israel matzav, carl in jerusalem at least acknowledges that goldstone "is trying to make amends for his pernicious Goldstone Report due to his virtual excommunication from the Jewish community", but concludes that the op-ed piece isn't good enough. carl's beef is that goldstone says israeli oppression of palestinians in the west bank is different from apartheid because israel has at least theoretically recognized the concept of a palestinian state, whereas carl thinks israel should not give up any part of judea and samaria without giving its palestinian residents any political rights and still not be called "apartheid" because, um, well, just because. "Goldstone still has a lot to learn," says carl. indeed he does.

(via memeorandum)