Leaders of Jewish Group Support Goldstone Report
Posted by rabbibrian on October 15, 2009
Today is the fourth monthly fast day of Taanit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for Gaza. I am pleased to share the press release below that describes the statements that Rabbi Brant Rosen and I have made in support of the Goldstone Report and of the upcoming conference call for rabbis with Judge Goldstone that we have organized. I find that fasting reminds me throughout the day of the reality in Gaza. Please consider doing something today to alleviate that suffering. On our website you will find some suggestions. We would also appreciate you sending the press release below to friends, colleagues and members of your community.
May we all do whatever we can to end the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
LEADERS OF JEWISH GROUP SUPPORT GOLDSTONE REPORT;
RABBIS TO TALK WITH JUDGE GOLDSTONE
ABOUT UNITED NATIONS REPORT ON GAZA WAR
On Sunday October 18, Rabbis from across the country will participate in a conference call with Judge Richard Goldstone, the chair of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. The Report, which found that both Hamas and Israel had committed “war crimes” and possibly “crimes against humanity,” has generated a great deal of controversy in the American Jewish community and in Israel.
The Rabbinic conference call has been organized by Taanit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for Gaza, a monthly fast launched in July by a group of rabbis to protest Israel’s blockade of goods and services into Gaza. The conference call is co-sponsored by The Rabbinic Cabinet of Brit Tzedek, and Rabbis for Human Rights –North America.
Rabbi Brant Rosen and Rabbi Brian Walt, co-founders of Jewish Fast for Gaza, have both publicly supported the recommendations of the Goldstone Report calling on Hamas and Israel to launch a credible public investigation into the findings of the Report.
In an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune “A Call to Moral Accounting,” Rabbi Rosen wrote, “Israel’s behavior in Gaza has consistently betrayed our shared Jewish ethical legacy. This was true before the war, when the Israeli blockade denied Palestinians basic necessities; it was true during the war, when Israel responded with disproportionate force to Hamas rockets; and it has been true since the war, as Israel has deepened the blockade, preventing Gazans from rebuilding their homes.”
Rabbi Rosen further called on America’s Jews, “to examine the Goldstone findings, and consider their implications. We must consider the painful truth of Israel’s behavior in Gaza, and understand that we must work, together, to discover the truth — and then urge on all relevant parties in the search for peace.”
Rabbi Brian Walt, who grew up in South Africa, organized the upcoming call with Judge Goldstone. Rabbi Walt said, “Goldstone has been long known for his work in the field of human rights law, as a judge on the Constitutional Court of the newly democratic South Africa and chief prosecutor in the International Criminal Tribunals on Yugoslavia and Rwanda. I have always seen this work, and the judge’s commitment to the impartial application of the rule of law, as a reflection of the Jewish heritage, in which our people rightfully takes great pride.”
Rabbi Walt acknowledged that it is very painful for Jews who care deeply about Israel to read the Goldstone Report and it was undoubtedly painful for Judge Goldstone to conduct this investigation. “I am confident that making these recommendation wasn’t easy for Judge Goldstone, as it cannot be easy for any person who cares deeply about Israel. But if we uphold human rights, we cannot expect the State of Israel to be exempt from international law. A true moral hero is one who follows the principles he believes in, even when it is uncomfortable or painful. Judge Goldstone has done just that, and as a South African-born Jew and rabbi, I am proud and grateful.”
The organizers of the call with Goldstone hope that it will server to stimulate new discussion among rabbis and in the Jewish community about the ethical issues discussed in the Report.
The Jewish Fast for Gaza was founded in July 2009 to break the silence in the Jewish community over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, to end the Israel’s ongoing blockade, and to call for direct negotiations between Israel and all Palestinian parties, including Hamas, towards a negotiated peace settlement.
For more information: Send an email to Rabbi Brian Walt at firstname.lastname@example.org