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March 05, 1982 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-03-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

44,

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

,Margh 5, 1982

Kissinger, Nixon and the Jews

JO °

GOLDENBERG

PHOTOGRAPHY

646-8484

Southfield Rd. at 13 Mile

(Editor's note: The fol-
lowing article is re-
printed from the March 1
Time magazine. It forms
part of former Secretary
of State Henry Kissing-
er's autobiography
which is currently ap-,
pealing in Time.)

By HENRY KISSINGER

My relationship with Ni-
xon, never easy, was par-
ticularly complex with re-
spect to the Middle East.
Nixon was convinced that
he owed nothing to Jewish
votes and that he could not
increase his Jewish support
regardless of what he did.
Deep down, he wanted to
impose a comprehensive
Middle East settlement.
In October 1972, - 1 for-
warded to Nixon a
memorandum from Secre-
tary of Defense Melvin
Laird urging secret contacts
with Egypt to take advan-
tage of Sadat's expulsion of
the Soviets and to move
closer to the Arab position.
Nixon sent me the memo
with a note: "K — I Jean to
Laird's view. The conduct of
the American Jewish com-
munity on the Soviet fivsa
problem clearly indicateds
they put Jewish interests

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HENRY KISSINGER

above U.S. concerns. This
we cannot do."
Such comments illustrate
our strange relationship.
Nixon shared many of the
prejudices of the uprooted
California lower middle
class from which he came.
He believed that Jews
formed a powerful cohesive
group; that they were pre-
dominantly liberal; that
they put • Israel's interests
above all else; that they
were more sympathetic to
the Soviet Union than other
ethnic groups were; that
their control of the media
made them dangerous ad-
versaries; that Israel had to
be forced into a peace set-
tlement and could not be
allowed to jeopardize our
Arab relations.
None of this kept him
from having. cordial rela-
tions with many Jews or
from elevating them to ke'y
positions. His prejudices
would break forth in com-
mands reflecting the emo-
tionof the moment.
I did not keep track of how
often I was told to cut off all
aid to Israel in retaliation
for the actions of some way-
ward Jewish members of
Cong'ress; Senator Jacob
Javits seemed to have a spe-
cial ability to get under Ni-
xon's skin.
Yet in every crisis Nixon
stood by Israel more firmly
than almost any other
President save Harry Tru-
man. He admired Israeli
guts. Though convinced
that Israel's occupation of
Arab territories
strengthened anti-Western
radical forces, he under-
stood that the reverse was
not true; pressuring Israel
in concert with .radical
forces was more likely to
further Soviet than West-
ern interests.
By a different route,
Nixon came to the same
conclusion as I: the Ameri-
can national interest re-
quired a demonstration of
Soviet and radical inability
to achieve Arab objectives,
and no progress could be
made until at least moder-
ate Arabs were willing to
make a peace of genuine
compromise.
I started at the other end
of the emotional spectrum.
Though not practicing my
religion, I could never forget
that 13 members of my fam-
ily had died in Nazi concen-
tration camps. I had no
stomach for encouraging
another Holocaust by well-

.

The disappointment of
manhood succeeds the de-
lusion of youth.
—Disraeli

intentioned policies .that
might get out of control.
Yet, like Nixon, I had to
subordinate my emotional
preferences to my percep-
tion of the national interest.
Given the historical suspi-
cions toward my religion, I
had a special obligation to
do so.
Occasionally it proved
painful. But Israel's secu-
rity could be preserved only
by anchoring it to .a
strategic interest of the
U.S., not to the sentiments
of individuals. On this basis
the Communist-baiter from
Southern California and the
refugee from Nazi Germany
joined to break the deadlock
of Middle East diplomacy.

WJC Names
Frieda Lewis

got

FRIEDA LEWIS

NEW YORK — The
World Jewish Congress has
named Frieda Lewis as
North American chairman
of its International Com-
mission on Anti-Semitism.
Mrs. Lewis is national
president of Hadassah.

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