David Abitbol is jealous. If he drank, you’d call him “a mean drunk.” And like a mean drunk, he’s even meaner when he’s jealous than when he’s not. And of course it goes without saying that he can’t write a word about me without lying. How does he lie? Let me count the ways.
The background: when I first read about the South African Jewish community making Judge Goldstone unwelcome at his own grandson’s bar mitzvah, I wrote a post (April 14th) denouncing the viciousness and un-Jewishness of their behavior. I introduced my post with this:
Every so often events like this happen which make me ashamed to be a Jew. Or I should say, ashamed to share a religion with biryonim (“hooligans”) like the ones I’m about to portray.
I wrote three other posts on this subject. On April 21st, I posted a rabbinic letter supporting Goldstone and criticizing the South African leadership’s “freeze-out.” and finally, on April 23rd I wrote a post celebrating the agreement between Goldstone and the community, by which he would attend the ceremony without hectoring from the local pro-Israel right.
In those posts I noted my role in initiating the rabbinic letter, while commending the rabbi who wrote it and those who signed it. I noted that other bloggers, progressive South African Jews, and the N.Y. Times South African correspondent played a role in the change of heart. Further, I mentioned an e mail sent to me by a South African Jew who said there was an internal communal split in which the Capetown Jews were unhappy with the belligerent position taken by the Johannesberg community.
Given all this, listen to David Abitbol’s lies and distortions, not to mention his disgusting ad hominem insults:
It seems cooler heads prevailed [in announcing that Goldstone would attend the bar mitzvah], especially after the scathing attack from the self-styled eminence grise of the Jewish blogosphere, Richard Silverstein, and his little gang. After noting that he was ashamed to be a Jew, Silverstein joyously followed up with a declaration of victory for the Jewish blogosphere! Apparently thanks to his post, a letter written by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb signed by 37 other Rabbis and supported by Taanit Tzedek- Jewish Fast for Gaza , Shomer Shalom Institute for Jewish Nonviolence, Tikkun and the Shalom Center, an article in the New York Times and commentary on a South African pro-Palestinian Web site, the “bullies” backed down and decided that Goldstone could attend his grandson’s Bar Mitzvah.
Of course, I’m not ashamed to be a Jew. It’s one of the many lies in his post. I’m only ashamed that I have to share my religion with scoundrels like Abitbol and vicious people like Zev Krengel and Rabbi Warren Goldstein.
After noting the facts of my involvement in the Goldstone campaign, he continues:
One decrepit old man in Seattle and his online pals won the day! Huzzah!
It’s embarrassing that I should feel compelled to do something like this, but the difference in my age to Abitbol’s is 11 years. I am 56, he is 45. Why in heaven’s name would any decent person write the things he has? Is his purpose to show how cruel and vicious he can be? Does this type of ad hominem attack “get him off?” Are his readers the kind who enjoy such brutalism? What does this say about them and their leader?
Besides, I have no problem with aging. Some of the people I’ve loved most in this world were in their 70s, 80s and even 90s. Why would Abitbol feel the need for this?
We’re not done with him yet. He attempts to diminish any role I may’ve played by noting that Jewish leaders also criticized South African Jewry including Alan Dershowitz and Gary Ackerman. What he doesn’t note is that their intervention occurred many days after Jewish blogs initially raised the issue. Then finally he completely misconstrues this statement of the South African chief rabbi (as quoted in the N.Y. Times):
Chief Rabbi of South Africa, another harsh critic of the Goldstone Report, stated that “It is simply a question of decency and compassion to the bar mitzvah boy not to ruin his day.”
Unfortunately for him, Abitbol didn’t read the post I wrote in which I too quoted this passage. If he had, he wouldn’t have made the mistake he did in interpreting the rabbi’s statement. The decency and compassion he refers to for the bar mitzvah boy isn’t having his grandfather at the ceremony. On the contrary, it is the relief of not having the grandfather there so there will be no unpleasant protests to mar the poor boy’s bar mitzvah. All you had to do was read the quotation in context to know that the rabbi didn’t mean what Abitbol said he did. Further, nowhere else in the article does the rabbi say Goldstone should attend the bar mitzvah.
Unfortunately for Abitbol, we’re not done yet:
And never mind that TM wrote a post here critical of the decision to bar Goldstone from the Bar Mitzvah (before Silverstein wrote his!).
At first, I thought: “I guess it’s possible.” But then I checked the dates of the Jewlicious post (April 15th) and my first post (April 14th). So what’s wrong with Abitbol? Did he make a mistake? Did he lie? Does it matter?
And now we’ll blessedly let Abitbol off to go lick his wounds. But not before noting his final falsehood:
The credit for this decision belongs to Silverstein alone. Goldstone should totally fly Silverstein to South Africa so that the man who saved the day can join in the simcha!
I never took sole credit for this victory. I noted everyone who contributed. I shared credit and even noted that developments within the community itself may’ve played a decisive role. But here’s what’s really going on. David Abitbol has an acute case of jealousy. I’ve broken or helped break some big stories in the past month or so and it’s just eating him alive, poor boy. He missed the interview with Judith Miller and the mention in the N.Y. Times and the Israeli papers. That’s glory he feels should’ve been his. Or maybe not his, but just not mine. Maybe the solution would be to get off his ass and do some research and reporting of his own and break some stories instead of demeaning someone for doing the job he should’ve done. But until he does, I’ll just go on eating his lunch.