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Newly Released Nixon Tapes Reveal More Anti-Semitism, Threat of ‘Worst Thing That Happened to Jews in American History’

August 22, 2013 12:08 pm 29 comments

Nixon said of his senior Jewish advisers including Henry Kissinger, pictured above right, that they shared a common Jewish inferiority complex and worked hard to compensate.

New tape recordings released Wednesday by the Nixon Presidential Library revealed more deeply rooted anti-Semitism from the disgraced president, the UK Daily Mail and The Atlantic, reported, after reviewing the recordings.

The anti-Semitic remarks made in conversations and phone calls from 1973 were captured on a secret recording system that President Richard M. Nixon used, which, ultimately, provided evidence in the Watergate scandal, in which his operatives broke into a political competitor’s office in the Watergate Hotel to spy during a campaign.

The final installment of those tapes — 340 hours — was made public by the National Archives and Records Administration, along with more than 140,000 pages of text documents. Seven hundred hours remain sealed for national security reasons, The Daily Mail said.

The Atlantic highlighted a phone call with Jewish Assistant for National Security Affairs and head of the National Security Council at the time, Henry Kissinger, made on April 19, 1973, about an upcoming U.S.-Soviet summit, to which Nixon thought Jewish groups might object.

On the tapes, Nixon said, “Let me say, Henry, it’s gonna be the worst thing that happened to Jews in American history. If they torpedo this summit — and it might go down for other reasons — I’m gonna put the blame on them, and I’m going to do it publicly at 9 o’clock at night before 80 million people.” (“I agree completely,” Kissinger responded. “They brought it on themselves.”) Nixon continued: “I won’t mind one goddamn but to have a little anti-Semitism if it’s on that issue. They put the Jewish interest above America’s interest and it’s about goddamn time that the Jew in America realizes he’s an American first and a Jew second.”

In another instance, Nixon and press secretary Ronald Ziegler were talking about a comment made by Nixon aide and lawyer Leonard Garment, and Nixon yelled, “Goddamn his Jewish soul!”

In a June 13, 1973 conversation with secretary Rose Mary Woods, Nixon discussed the entertainment at an upcoming event, listing entertainers Johnny Mann and Debbie Reynolds, then Nixon asks about Danny Kaye, “and not because of his ideology.” Woods replies, “Well they were going to try to get him but…” Nixon interrupts, asking “He’s Jewish?” Woods ignores him, continuing, “I don’t know what happened whether—” Nixon interjects again: “He’s Jewish.” Woods explains, “They had to check him out with the Russians.”

In an April 18, 1973 phone call with Spiro Agnew, Nixon claimed that Jews were holding American foreign policy “hostage to Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union.”

“Some of the Jews picket can raise hell, but the American people are not going to let them destroy our foreign policy — never!” he added.

In a June 14, 1973 Oval Office meeting with Anne Armstrong, counselor to the president, he gave some guidance on his preference for appointees: “No Jews. We are adamant when I say no Jews. … But I mean don’t say anything don’t let anybody know we didn’t [audio unclear] Jewish. But Mexicans are important. Italians, Eastern Europeans. That sort of thing.”

Faced with impeachment and a possible criminal indictment, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974 — a year after the tapes end — and returned to his native California, where he was pardoned a month later by his successor, President Gerald Ford.


  • Lloyd J. Bloom

    No. It’s your immoderate article that’s waiting moderation.

  • Lloyd J. Bloom

    I would judge a man in public office by his deeds and not his private remarks. When Kissinger withheld arms from the Israelis during the Yom Kippur War Admiral Zumwaldt went over his head straight to Nixon,told him what they needed and the airlift he could arrange. Nixon,without hesitation, okayed it. By focusing your attention as you do in this article on nasty remarks a man made you don’t just diminish him you diminish all who listen to such tripe and you diminish your paper which is filled with indiscreet and indiscriminate tidbits. It’s petty and pitiful but it isn’t journalism.

  • I think our definition of anti-Semitism needs to be informed by the context of periods when it was fashionable to demean Jews. As Michael Oren has written in “Power Faith and Fantasy”, our founding fathers saw the founding of America as the Exodus story, were in favor of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and some studied Hebrew, but most also treated Jews badly as was the custom of the time.
    Nixon may or may not have saved Israel for strategic purposes but his anti-Semitism didn’t extend to Israelis, according to the New York Times report on 12/10/2010 by Adam Nagourny: “He and his aides seem to make a distinction between Israeli Jews, whom Nixon admired, and American Jews.” The bottom line is that he saved Israel and apparently overruling Kissinger who wanted Israel to bleed more (ie. more Jewish deaths)
    At least Nixon appeared to be acting on what he believed was America’s foreign policy interests. Kissinger was acting out his personal self hatred, for which he needs to held accountable,

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    Nixon did save Israel because he saw the 1973 war in US-Soviet terms with Egypt being a Soviet ally. Of course the bottom line is what he did not what were his motives. That he was an anti-semite is undeniable of course-his Jewish defenders, such as Ben Stein who worked for him now acknowledge this but hold his actions are what count. Nixon was a person of profound character flaws and personality disorders, brilliant, unscrupulous. He loved politics but was clueless about his own unsuitability for public office by reason of his flaws for which he should have been receiving treatment from a psychiatrist-much longer than the very brief time that he did prior to his election. A man who clearly distrusted and disliked Jews and yet formed very close relationships with Leonard Garment, Kissinger, Chotiner, Arthur Burns is a man we will never fully understand. None of which excuses his deplorable enmity toward us.

  • That is dreadful. Reading his comments. Didn’t they say recently that Kennedy (JFK) was an anti-Semetic too.

  • Well.GOD has judged that Nixon bastard and he died in IGNOMINY,and was forced out of the presidency in disgrace and dishonor and went to hide in shame.He died and was buried without fanfare and Americans were releived to close that chapter of shame and disgust.I say to that clown “ADIOS AND GOOD RIDDANCE!”

    • I have no respect for your comment. As Jews, we need to stop getting hysterical on anyone who has made an anti semitic comment in their life.

      I read someone who said something very similar about Harry S Truman for what he wrote about Jews in his private diary. Never mind that he is probably the reason Israel exists today.

      You need to recognize that your attitude is not good for the Jewish people. You are causing more anti semitism with your abhorrent disrespect for anyone who doesn’t wear kid gloves to protect your precious little feelings. I’m disgusted.

  • Only after letting Israel face huge losses. And do not forget that Spiro Agnew, acting for oil interests, refused to sell oil to the US military when Nixon finally approved the aid.

  • One would think that being an antisemite leads one to do antisemitic things. Nevertheless, Truman, an antisemite, was the president who got the UN to vote for the creation of a Jewish state in 1947.
    I don’t know what Eisenhower’s views of Jews were. I have never heard of antisemitic remarks attributed to him. But Eisenhower was the president who joined with the USSR in 1956 to undo Israel’s victory in the Sinai Campaign. Furthermore, the embargo on arms to the Middle East, which by Eisenhower’s day had simply become an embargo against Israel since the USSR had started arming the Arabs, lasted all through his administration.

    • Jonathan Marchant

      Eisenhower toured the liberated concentration camps in Germany as Supreme Allied Commander with Patton, commander of the 3rd Army, in tow. Even Patton was disturbed. Unofficial reports of US soldiers shooting down SS guards were met with, “So?” No soldiers were faulted for their actions. Truman recognized Israeli independence, declared at 6:00pm, at 6:12pm. At a time when American school children routinely hid under their school desks to protect themselves from Russian nukes and Strategic Air Command bombers carrying an aggregate of thousands of megatons were in the air 24 hours a day might have precluded other newsworthy stories. It was a time of monstrous paranoia, allowing no one to escape unscathed. Today the fear is not of the incineration of cities, but of numerous smaller conflagrations that may take place in shopping malls and public schools. There will always be difficult choices.

    • George writes that ‘One would think that being an antisemite leads one to do antisemitic things.’ and that Truman, an antisemite, was the president without whom there would be no UN resolution.

      George then goes on to muse about Eisenhower and the Suez campaign.

      This is a good example of muddle headedness. Of course anti-Semites wanted to see a Jewish state. Historically most anti-Semites, including the Nazi Party supported Zionism as a means of being rid of the Jews in their midst. It is hardly necessary to quote them there are no many examples, Lord Balfour of the Balfour Declaration who introducted the first immmigration act aimed at Russian refugees from pogroms. Eduord Drumont, the leader of the anti-Dreyfusards. Heinrich Class, ‘If I was the kaiser’, made an honorary member of the senate by Hitler. The list is really endless.

      Unfortunately most Zionists today are ignorant. the Nazis followed in this tradition. They were overtly pro-Zionist and also anti-Semitic, hence why anti-Zionist or non-Zionist Jewish papers were banned at the Zionist rag, Judische Rundschau was allowed to print. Beforehowling, try reading the right-wing Zionist Lucy Dawidowicz’s book, War Against the Jews. I can even give you the page (118) where Heydrich, whom Reitlinger describes as the ‘engineer of the holocaust’ is explicit in this regard.

      The first head of the Jewish Desk of the Gestapo, Baron von Mildenstein spent 6 months in Jewish Palestine as a guest of Kurt Tuchler and the kibbutzim before writing a series of favourable articles in Der Angriff, Goebbel’s papers.

      Nixon was in fact one more pro–Zionist than any of his predecssors. US politicians support and finance Israel because it is in their interest to do so. It was not in the interest of the US for Britain and France to secretly conspire with Israel to conquer the Suez Canal. Eisenhower wanted Britain and France out of the Middle East and being very early into Israel’s life, US foreign policy had yet to decide whether Israel could perform the functions the US required.

    • Elliot J. Stamler

      Truman emphatically was NOT an anti-semite…in fact he was a religious Zionist. Read any good book about Truman and Israel and you will find that out. He was put under such tremendous pressure by Zionists in the run-up to Israeli independence that in exasperation and ill-temper he once exploded in critical comments about Jews–which in no way marked him as an anti-semite. We all lose our tempers. After Israel was recognized, when Truman was greatly honored by Jewish organizations and received a Torah from Chaim Weizmann, Truman, a Baptist who had read the entire Bible, broke into near tears and declared responding to a laudatory comment, “yes, I am Cyrus..I am Cyrus.” The memory of Harry Truman is a blessing to all of us as Jews and Americans.

      • Good for you for making such an eloquent point. It saddens me that the reaction of most Jews is “well f**k him!” Gentiles notice this kind of stuff, and it makes us look bad. Truman was a great president and a great man.

  • I used to work with Al Haig, Nixon’s chief of staff. Haig played a MAJOR role in US assistance to Israel in 73. He authorized many things independently. Al Hsig was a great man.

  • Had JFK not been assasinated in 1963, Barry Morris Goldwater, 1/2 Jewish and a staunch suppoter of Israel along with his Democrat counterpart Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, would have alomost defintely been elected President of the USA in 1968 instead of “Tricky Dick” Nixon. and the entire course of modern history as we know it would have been changed forever.

    No “Great Society”, No “Affirmative Action” quota systems, No 58,000 dead and countless hundreds
    injured infantry sodiers in a hopeless ground war in Vietnam. Just some food for thought, my lantzman.

  • Do you really think that Nixon was any more of an anti-Semite than Bush 41?, Ford?, Clinton?, Obama?, How about Jimmy (the Jew hater) Carter? – Tricky Dick was just foolish enough to make his comments “on the record”.
    Sorry for this wake-up-call, but even in America we are outsiders, scapegoats, and “the greedy 1%”.
    Most Republicans figure, “F— the Jews, they WON’T vote for us, no matter what we do”.
    Most Democrats figure, “F— the Jews, they WILL vote for us, no matter what we do”.
    Unfortunately, they are both right. That is our own fault.

  • Never forget: Nixon saved Israel in 1973.

    • xynnek-

      He don’t think he did it to save Israel- he probably didn’t care much one way or other about Israel’s fate. He did it because he thought it was in the best interests of the United States.

    • I agree, who cares what he said in private or what he thought about Jews. Obama says lovely things about Israel but his policies are anti-Israel. Nixon mattered where and when it counted. His airlift was critical to Israel’s turnaround of the Yom Kippur War. I’d take him over Obama and Clinton any day of the week.

    • Nixon also stopped Israel making a preempted strike like in ’67 by threatening to withhold US aid if Israel acted!! That cost Israel thousands of Israeli lives and lengthened the war!!!

    • kissinger withheld the arms to make the jews sweat, my understanding is that Israel threatened to use atomic weapons if arms weren’t sent.

    • Not quite.

      Kissinger twisted Golda Meir’s arm to make her allow the Egyptian Third Army to retreat instead of surrender unconditionally. In exchange, Kissinger got Egypt to drop their Soviet benefactors and sign on with the US instead.

      Nixon and Kissinger were playing their own interests.

    • Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D.

      It would be fascinating to listen to his deliberations when he decided to help Israel [via the Azores, if memory serves]; was this to absolve the anti-Semitism or was it for strategic [anti-USSR] purposes….

    • Nixon almost destroyed the United States. He was paranoid, vindictive, and dishonest. If he saved Israel, it was for reasons that would have compelled any other president to do the same.

    • Anthony Abela

      ..but don’t forget the Jewish contribution, scientific, economically, medical improvements and other things which were as beneficial to the American people as to other nations. When America helped Israel it was ALWAYS with strings attached and it was to placate the American Jews for their votes. Nixon was another MORON like most of the American Presidents with egos bigger then their heads. No there is not one good President in the last 150 years. They were all “what’s in it for me” especially the Texas rangers, faceless men who decide who to run for presidents. A very good example were the Bush father and idiotic son. This example can be perfectly described as “DUMB AND DUMBER”..God bless Israel.

    • Well, well; xynnek should be pleased with Eichmann’s visit to Palestine as well, an invited guest of some Zionists.

    • He wnas drunk at the time?

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