So why Goldstone’s recantation? Did the progressive Berkeley rabbi and the people with whom he surrounds himself unnerve Goldstone? Hardly. Goldstone was right at home in a community that feted Jimmy Carter at UC Berkeley without anyone asking him a single question about his alleged plagiarism of Dennis Ross’ maps, or how much Saudi money has gone into the peanut farm, or about the factual errors in his Apartheid book.
No, Goldstone is what he always was, a judge who served the Apartheid regime of South Africa and who sent black men to prison and death knowing they never had anything resembling due process, let alone a jury of their peers. He is an opportunist who probably exchanged tales of adventures in narcissism and self promotion with the radical rabbi. Not to be outdone, Rabbi Lerner had his own magazine celebrate him for being a “courageous progressive,” willing to bring Goldstone into that harshly anti-progressive environment of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Goldstone thought he could promote himself to a position on the International Court of Justice by becoming the “house Jew,” only to learn that he had been used.
Goldstone’s recantation in the pages of the Washington Post is only a threat, not a real recantation. Goldstone has not gone to the UN to ask that his report be expurgated. Why not? Because he still holds out hope that if he says nothing more then a seat on the International Court of Justice still awaits him.
Jews do not issue fatwas against those who betray them. As a community, Jews believe in the due process of law — and that truth will ultimately triumph in a free market of ideas. Goldstone need not fear that he will become the Jewish Salman Rushdie.
Goldstone is a modern-day Haman, the Persian royal adviser who sought to murder the Jews of his time. Each Purim holiday, Jews denounce Haman, with fanfare and noise, during the public reading of the Book of Esther.
The best way for Jews to deal with Goldstone is to have his name added after Haman’s in the Purim reading. Let his shame like his blood libel take on a life of its own, from generation to generation.