Thursday, April 15, 2010

The CHUTZPAH of Denying Humanity

Reflecting on the post I just completed, I realize that we need to recognize that humanity needs to provide a foundation for not only the elevated world of statecraft but also our day-to-day personal interactions. To deny humanity from either of these worlds is as reprehensible as confusing one with the other. This is the context in which we should regard the recent action of the South African Zionist Foundation towards Richard Goldstone, just reported on Al Jazeera English:

Richard Goldstone, a former South African judge, has been effectively banned from attending his grandson's bar mitzvah which is to be held in Johannesburg next month.

Goldstone, who authored a UN report on the war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip, has been barred by the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) from attending the event, South African and Israeli newspapers reported on Thursday.

The very idea that the SAZF can so interfere with one of the most important of Jewish rites is an act of chutzpah with the most negative possible connotation. Having just written about the delicacy of statecraft, this is an action that extends beyond Goldstone's personal affairs to the ongoing difficulties of any constructive conversations taking place over the problems in the Middle East. Given the consequences that may ensue from this act, SAZF clearly has a strong right to claim the Chutzpah of the Week award.

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