Goldstone to attend grandson's bar mitzvah as Zionist groups end feud
South African Jewish organizations step down campaign against author of UN's Gaza war report.
Richard Goldstone is to attend his grandson's bar mitzvah ceremony after South African Zionists withdrew efforts to ban him from the event over his role in a controversial report on Israel's invasion of Gaza.
The retired judge, who authored a highly UN critical report on last year's three-week offensive, on Friday wrote to U.S. Jewish magazine Tikkun to say that Jewish groups had approached him to end the row.
"I need hardly say how happy our family is that I will be attending the synagogue services," Goldstone wrote.
The UN report, published in September 2009, accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes, provoking condemnation from many Jewish organizations.
In his letter, Goldstone quoted a statement from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, which read:
"Following consultation between all the parties involved, an agreement has been reached confirming Judge Richard Goldstone attending his grandson's forthcoming barmitzvah ceremony.
There would also be no more protests associated with the bar mitzvah, the staement said.
Goldstone's correspondence with Tikkun followed the magazine's decision to award him its annual prize for work to uphold Jewish values.
In a statement released on Friday, editor Rabbi Michael Lerner said Goldstone had been chosen as this year's recipient of the Tikkun Award because "the peace community both in Israel and around the world see Justice Goldstone as upholding the best ethical values of the Jewish community".
Lerner also voiced "outrage" over reported attmepts to bar Goldstone from his grandson's bar mitzvah.
"The banning of him from his own grandson's bar mitzvah in South Africa, led us at Tikkun to invite him to do his grandson's bar mitzvah here in the United States, where many Jews would honor him," Lerner said, adding that Goldstone "was delighted with the invite, but said it was too late".
In response to the award, Goldstone told Tikkun: "Thank you again for your tremendous and much appreciated support. I am moved beyond words by the honor that you have announced."