A people gone mad

May 19, 2010

In News The Israel-Palestine Conflict

Ex-Justice Department official cites judge’s rulings under apartheid.

Ex-Justice Department official cites judge’s rulings under apartheid.

NEW YORK – A well-known American Jewish attorney who worked to deport former Nazis from the US is urging American officials to bar former judge Richard Goldstone from entering the country over his rulings during South Africa’s apartheid regime.

In a letter sent to US officials, Neal Sher, a former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said that recently disclosed information about Goldstone’s apartheid-era rulings raised questions about whether he was eligible to enter the United States. The letter was sent to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Attorney-General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Individuals who admit to acts that constitute a crime of moral turpitude¨are ineligible to enter the US, Sher charged. The recent public revelations, to which Goldstone has reportedly admitted, would appear to fit within this provision. At a minimum, there is ample basis for federal authorities to initiate an investigation into this matter, Sher said.

Goldstone, the author of a report accusing Israel of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, sat as a judge in South Africa during the apartheid regime. He has faced recent charges that he sent 28 black South Africans to their deaths. Goldstone has defended his rulings, saying he was part of the system and had to respect the laws of the land at the time, including enforcing laws he opposed.

In his judicial position, according to Sher, Goldstone was instrumental in effectuating and legitimizing a regime universally known for its widespread human rights abuses.

Sher, formerly director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, was instrumental in deporting dozens of Nazi war criminals. He played a major role in placing Austrian president Kurt Waldheim on a watch list of people ineligible to enter the US.

Sher had his own brush with trouble later, when he was investigated for misappropriating funds from the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims.