Baruch Goldstein
Born Template:Dob
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died February 25, 1994 (aged 37)
Hebron, West Bank
Cause of death Beaten to death
Occupation Physician
Spouse(s) Miriam Goldstein

Baruch Kappel Goldstein (Hebrew: ברוך גולדשטיין‎; December 9, 1956 – February 25, 1994) was an American-born Jewish Israeli physician who perpetrated the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron, killing 29 Muslims at prayer there and wounding another 150.


Goldstein was born in Brooklyn, New York to an Orthodox Jewish family. He attended the Yeshivah of Flatbush religious day school and Yeshiva University.[1] He received his medical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He belonged to the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a militant Jewish organization founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane.[2]

After emigrating to Israel, he served as a physician in the Israeli Defense Force, first as a conscript, then in the reserve forces. Following the end of his active duty, Goldstein worked as a physician and lived in the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron, where he served as an emergency doctor.[3] Israeli press reports stated that Goldstein refused to treat Arabs, even those serving in the IDF; this was also reflected in comments by his acquaintances.[4]

In the autumn of 1993, in recognition of his medical work, Goldstein received two citations from the Israeli Army. In January 1994, Major Dr Yitzchak Ashkenazi, the local medical officer of the district of Judea and Samaria recommended Goldstein for promotion to the rank of Major in the Israeli Army.

Cave of the Patriarchs massacre

On February 25, 1994, that year's Purim day, Goldstein entered a room in the Cave of the Patriarchs serving as a mosque, wearing "his army uniform with the insignia of rank, creating the image of a reserve officer on active duty" (Shamgar report). He then opened fire, killing 29 people and wounding 150 (A Time magazine article reported that Israeli officials counted 39 killed and Palestinians reported 52 killed [5]). Mosque guard Mohammad Suleiman Abu Saleh said he thought that Goldstein was trying to kill as many people as possible and described how there were "bodies and blood everywhere." After being subdued with a fire extinguisher and disarmed, Goldstein was beaten to death.[6] According to Ian Lustick, 'by mowing down Arabs he believed wanted to kill Jews, Goldstein was reenacting part of the Purim story'.[7]

Palestinian riots immediately followed the shooting, leading in the following week to the deaths of 25 Palestinians and five Israelis.[8] According to Aditi Bhaduri, writing in The Hindu, following the massacre, Israel imposed a two-week curfew on the 120,000 Palestinian residents of the city, while the 400 Jewish settlers remained free to move around.[9] Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin telephoned PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and described the attack as a "loathsome, criminal act of murder".[10] The Israeli government condemned the massacre, and responded by arresting followers of Meir Kahane, forbidding certain settlers from entering Arab towns, and demanding that those settlers turn in their army-issued rifles.[11]

Gravesite and shrine

Baruch Goldstein tomb

Goldstein's tomb.

Goldstein is buried across from the Meir Kahane Memorial Park in Kiryat Arba, a Jewish settlement adjacent to Hebron. The park is named in memory of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Israeli far-right political party Kach, a group classified by the United States and Israeli governments as a terrorist organization. Goldstein was a long-time devotee of Kahane.[12]

The gravesite has become a pilgrimage site; a plaque near the grave reads "To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel."[13] In 1996, members of the Labor Party called for the shrine-like landscaped prayer area near the grave to be removed, and Israeli security officials expressed concern that the grave would encourage extremists.[14] In 1999, following passage of a law designed to prohibit monuments to terrorists, and an associated Supreme Court ruling, the Israeli Army bulldozed the shrine and prayer area set up near Goldstein's grave.[15]

See also


  1. Precker, Michael. "Brooklyn's image as extremist hotbed disputed by some Borough defenders say ties to Israel cherished, but radical groups aren't", The Dallas Morning News, March 20, 1994. Accessed August 6, 2007. "'This is not what we are teaching,' said Rabbi David Eliach, principal at the Yeshiva of Flatbush, where Dr. Goldstein attended high school."
  2. BBC NEWS "Goldstein had been a member of the Jewish Defense League."
  3. BBC NEWS "Goldstein had lived in Israel for 11 years and was a doctor in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, just outside Hebron." "As the settlement's main emergency doctor he was involved in treating victims of Arab-Israeli violence."
  4. Mass-mediated Terrorism Brigitte Lebens Nacos, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002
  5. G.J. Church et al., "When Fury Rules", Time, March 7, 1994
  6. Shamgar Commission: Report pp. 15, 47-48.
  7. Ian Lustick, For The Land and The Lord, Council on Foreign Relations (1988) 2nd ed., 1994, Preface
  8. Middle East Journal, Chronology, vol 48, no 3 (Summer 1994) p. 511 ff.
  9. Aditi, Bhaduri (May 21, 2006). "Fabled town, divided and bruised". The Hindu. Retrieved Ocyober 19, 2009. "Still fresh in the memory of almost all the inhabitants was the Goldstein case of 1994, when a two-week curfew was imposed on the 1,20,000 [sic] Palestinian residents of the city, while the 400 Jewish settlers of H2 were free to move around." 
  10. [1]
  11. Haberman, Clyde (March 3, 1994). "WEST BANK MASSACRE; Israel Eases Curfew in Territories; Ensuing Riots Deepen Pessimism". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved October 19, 2009. "But he [Rabin] has imposed tougher measures against a relatively small number of the most militant settlers, which, while far from what the Palestinians want, represents a significant shift for the Government. Several days after ordering the arrest of five people faithful to the anti-Arab preaching of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the army began today to carry out other measures, telling 18 settlers to stay out of Arab towns and to turn in their army-issued rifles." 
  12. Lacayo, Richard; Lisa Beyer, Massimo Calabresi, and Eric Silver (March 07, 1994). "The Making of a Murderous Fanatic". Time.,9171,980282,00.html. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  13. "Graveside party celebrates Hebron massacre". BBC News. March 21, 2000. Retrieved October 19, 2009. 
  14. "Goldstein's grave draws extremists." Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 22, 1996. [2]
  15. "Israel removes shrine to mosque murderer." CNN, 29 December 1999. [3]

External links

ar:باروخ جولدشتاين cs:Baruch Goldsteinfa:باروخ گلدشتاینja:バールーフ・ゴールドシュテイン no:Baruch Goldsteinpt:Baruch Goldstein ro:Baruch Goldstein ru:Гольдштейн, Барух sv:Baruch Goldstein yi:ברוך גאלדשטיין

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