Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Rare Appearance at Amos Oz Commemoration in Washington

Acclaimed author's daughter, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, J Street founder Jeremy Ben Ami among speakers at event in Reform synagogue

File photo: Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks with Chief Justice John Roberts as they attend a ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S. November 16, 2018.
REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

WASHINGTON — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended on Sunday an event commemorating Israeli author Amos Oz, who died in December, at a Washington, D.C. synagogue. Ginsburg told Oz’s daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger that she chose to attend the event because she is a fan of his writing. 

Oz, one of Israel’s most acclaimed authors, died of cancer at the age of 79. Ginsburg, who is 86, suffered from health problems recently, and her presence at the event marked a rare public appearance.

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Ginsburg did not make any comments or speak to the media at the event at the Reform Temple Sinai synagogue. She listened to speeches by Oz-Salzberger, as well as by New York Times columnist Roger Cohen and Jeremy Ben Ami, the founder of the left-wing Jewish group J Street.

Oz was a supporter of J Street, and the organization helped put together the commemoration event.

Cohen called Oz in his speech “a Zionist to his core”, adding that he “was proud of his country, belonged to his country. Fought for it. Excavated it. Loved it, as one loves an unruly child.”

Actress Natalie Portman, who directed a film based on Oz’s masterpiece “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” sent a speech by video, in which she described Oz’s optimism and belief in peace. She said that Oz was “always looking forward” to the possibility of peace between Israel and its neighbors, including the Palestinians. Portman also promoted the event on her official website, with a picture of her and Oz.

On Sunday, hours after Ginsburg attended the event to commemorate Oz, the website Axios reported that President Donald Trump has told his confidants that he was already making plans to fill her Supreme Court seat.

The report stated that Trump was “saving” the seat for conservative Judge Amy Barrett, who according to the report, has “an openness to overturning Roe v. Wade,” the landmark ruling that protects the right to have an abortion in the United States.