More Goldstone

September 26th, 2011

In the July/August issue, Sheldon Siegel '56 speculates that I might have written a different letter from the one that appeared in the May/June BAM had I known of Judge Goldstone's mild retreat from the Goldstone Report in a Washington Post essay that appeared in April ("Goldstone Retreats," Mail Room). (Judge Goldstone subsequently modified this modification, moving back toward the defense of the report).

I would have not written a different letter. The report is too stunning to be much diminished by these adjustments. Like all honest men, Judge Goldstone is not afflicted with the self-certainty that is a symptom of psychotic fanaticism; in fact, these waverings make me love him all the more. In the course of his letter, Sheldon Siegel implies that I harbor anti-Israeli views. This is a matter of definition, and cannot be argued, but in my opinion I do not harbor anti-Israeli views. I am disappointed with Israel, yes. I am alarmed at the possible tragedy unfolding, as Israel follows the pipers of nationalist expansion into criminality, with the dustbin of history yawning just beyond. But these sentiments do not (in my opinion) make me anti-Israeli ,any more than my disgust with torture, rendition, and the murder of civilians makes me anti-American.

Peter Johnson '67
Auburn, Ala.

What do you think?
See what other readers are saying about this article and add your voice. 
Related Issue
September/October 2011