Since the founding of Israel there has been a consensus between the Diaspora and the Jewish state. The role of the Diaspora has been to support Israel through Aliyah, donations and political backing against Israel’s detractors. Yet Henry Kissinger’s recently published chilling remarks proved that “self-hating Jews” was a wrong expression. The right term is Jewish anti-Semitism.
According to new documents released by the State Department, back in 1972 Henry Kissinger, who served as Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, called American Jewish groups lobbying the White House self-serving “bastards.”
One of Nixon’s advisors, Leonard Garment, received lots of requests from Jews about the “Prisoners of Zion,” Jewish refuseniks and dissidents, men and women who spent years languishing in Soviet prisons and labor camps. Garment asked for Kissinger’s advice on the matter and according to the transcripts, Kissinger replied: “Is there a more self-serving group of people than the Jewish community?”.In response, Garment, who is also Jewish, said: “None in the world.” Kissinger responded: “What the hell do they think they are accomplishing? You can’t even tell bastards anything in confidence because they’ll leak it.”
“If they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern,” Kissinger declared in another tape released last year by the Nixon Library.
Kissinger’s tirades against Israel and the Jews are particularly shocking, as his family lost 13 members in Nazi concentration camps and as a youth, Heinz Kissinger, as Henry was then called, faced anti-Semitism himself.
The former secretary of state pronounced his tirade on the gas chambers six months before the apocalyptic dread of 1973, when the Jewish State risked another Holocaust, the Arab oil boycott turned Israel into a pariah, fewer countries had relations with Israel than with the PLO and the UN General Assembly gave a standing ovation to Yasser Arafat.
According to historian Robert Dallek, reports that Israel had been attacked during Yom Kippur reached Washington at 6 am that same day, but Kissinger waited three-and-a-half hours before informing Nixon in order to keep the president from “interfering.” Kissinger once remarked that even those who are paranoid sometimes have real enemies. His paranoia resembles that of the “Court Jews” who strove to ingratiate themselves with authorities.
In recent years, some of the most unremitting criticism of Israel in the Anglosphere has come from Jewish intellectuals such as George Steiner, Eric Hobsbawm, Harold Pinter, Stephane Hessel and Noam Chomsky. According to H.R. Haldeman’ diaries, which were published posthumously, when a Nixon furious over NY demonstrations against France selling more than 100 Mirage jets to Libya informed his aides “not to let any Jews see him about the Middle East,” and even decided to postpone what Nixon referred to as the “Jewish arms supply,” Kissinger remained silent.
In 1969, the Nixon Administration was concerned about Israel’s alleged possession of nuclear weapons. “This is one program on which the Israelis have persistently deceived us,” Kissinger said, “and may even have stolen from us. Israel will not take us seriously on the nuclear issue unless they believe we are prepared to withhold something they very much need.”
The former secretary of state worked hard to compensate his Jewish complex by prostrating himself before various Arab dictators. The old ghetto walls have fallen and emancipation and equality have arrived. But even if you can take the Jew out of the Diaspora, you apparently cannot take the Diaspora out of some Jews.
They are the self-professed “better Jews” who like to depict Israel as “the new ghetto,” setting themselves apart from the Israeli masses and posturing as the possessors of greater cosmopolitan wisdom. The more they attack other Jews, the more they prove that they are not defined by being Jewish.
Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism