Henry Kissinger to Soviet Jewry: Drop Dead

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/12/henry-kissinger-to-soviet-jewry-drop-dead/67864/