Baruch Goldstein

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Baruch Kopel Goldstein (Hebrew: ברוך קופל 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.[2] 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 his boyhood acquaintance Rabbi Meir Kahane.[3]

After emigrating to Israel in 1983,[1] 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.[4] 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[5] although there was one account of him treating a wounded Palestinian. Goldstein was active in Kahane's Kach party and was third on the party list for the Knesset's 1984 election. [6]

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 more than 125.[7] 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." Goldstein was attacked and killed by the worshippers.[8] According to Ian Lustick, 'by mowing down Arabs he believed wanted to kill Jews, Goldstein was reenacting part of the Purim story'.[9]

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