Group warns of Goldstone protest at bar mitzvah

A Jewish group in South Africa still plans to protest if Richard Goldstone attends his grandson’s bar mitzvah.

South African Zionist Federation Chairman Avrom Krengel told the daily Cape Times Monday that his organization would still protest should Judge Richard Goldstone change his mind and decide to attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah in Johannesburg next month.

Following negotiations between the federation and the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue in Sandton acting on behalf of the family, Goldstone told JTA last week that “In the interests of my grandson, I’ve decided not to attend the ceremony at the synagogue.”

Goldstone was the head of a United Nations-appointed commission that investigated the Gaza war in the winter of 2008-09. The commission’s final report accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Krengel stressed that Goldstone had “definitely not” been barred from the bar mitzvah, but that he would not receive a welcome reception should he choose to attend.

“We’ll exercise our constitutional right to protest,” he said.