Henry Kissinger to Soviet Jewry: Drop Dead

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Okay, I don't usually blog on the Sabbath day (the Torah says Tweeting is okay, because it's so short), but I can't resist posting what I think might become Henry Kissinger's epitaph. This statement was captured on Richard's Nixon secret White House recording system, and just now released by the Nixon library:

"The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy," Mr. Kissinger said. "And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern."

"I know," Nixon responded. "We can't blow up the world because of it."

Because it is the Sabbath day, I will use a religious expression to characterize this statement: Holy shit.

I particularly love, by the way, the "maybe" in that last sentence fragment.

Nixon is also quoted as saying that Jews share an inferiority complex:

Nixon listed many of his top Jewish advisers -- among them, Mr. Kissinger and William Safire, who went on to become a columnist at The New York Times -- and argued that they shared a common trait, of needing to compensate for an inferiority complex.

"What it is, is it's the insecurity," he said. "It's the latent insecurity. Most Jewish people are insecure. And that's why they have to prove things."

I suppose he's right, at least on the narrow subject of Henry Kissinger.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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