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Job is to defend Isarael

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By Dr Firoz Osman

(source: BusinessDay,Published: 23/07/2010 Pg 10)

If Allister Sparks expects Rabbi Warren Goldstein to apologise to Judge Richard Goldstone for his damning report castigating Israel for committing atrocities against the Palestinians in its Gaza invasion, it will be a long wait indeed. (The chief rabbi owes Judge Goldstone an abject apology, July 21).

The rabbi’s primary function is to defend Israel, right or wrong. He does not see the Palestinians as a people who are occupied, oppressed, and dispossessed.

In a report in the in 2003, “the selection committee, which included a diverse range of Jewish groups, recommended Rabbi Warren Goldstein from a short list of five. The decision by the Union of Orthodox Synagogues selected him over four other older and more experienced rabbi s”.

One criterion was that the appointee be South African-born or someone who had lived in SA during the transition from apartheid to democracy and who understood SA’s politics. Previous chief rabbis have all been born abroad.

A critical factor in the appointment was that the candidate also had to be a Zionist, which means defending Israel even when it commits war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Other appointments elected around the same time included Yehuda Kay, 28, national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies; Zev Krengel, 31, chairman of the board’s council in the Johannesburg area, where most South African Jews live; Mr Krengel’s brother, Avrom, 35, chairman of the South African Zionist Federation; all of whom joined Rabbi Goldstein in condemning Judge Goldstone.

One of Rabbi Goldstein’s main stated goals was “advocating for Israel in a country where most sympathies lie with the Palestinians”. This would include defending Israel for the … starvation of one-and-half million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and the massacre of nine civilians on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in international waters, delivering humanitarian aid to the indigent.

The rabbi has long jettisoned “principles, truth and justice” when it comes to Israel, together with his integrity.