Kissinger Satisfies Few With Apology for Comment on Jews in Soviet Gas Chambers

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President Camacho

By Sharon Kehnemui
Published December 29, 2010

Jewish historians are dismissing an apology by Henry Kissinger , offered over the weekend in response to a 1973 recording of him saying that sending Jews to a Soviet gas chamber "is not an American concern." The 37-year-old comment by the former secretary of state followed immediately after a conversation Kissinger and President Richard Nixon had with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

In the meeting, Meir asked the U.S. to pressure the Soviet Union to release its Jews. Nixon and Kissinger declined.

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

"I know. We can't blow up the world because of it," Nixon reportedly replied. Writing an op-ed that appeared Sunday in The Washington Post, Kissinger said it was unfortunate that his words were taken out of context.

"The conversation at issue arose not as a policy statement by me but in response to a request by the president," Kissinger said, explaining that Nixon had wanted two senators to withdraw an amendment to trade negotiations that would have tied Jewish emigration to most-favored nation status. The amendment, known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment, passed into law anyway, chilling the detente that Nixon had pursued with the USSR.

"My answer tried to sum up that context in a kind of shorthand that, when read 37 years later, is undoubtedly offensive," Kissinger wrote. But Jewish historians claim Kissinger's attempt to rebrand history not only is inaccurate, it undermines his stature.

"Henry Kissinger can apologize but he cannot erase the historic horror of his comment. He can explain it away, but he cannot make his new legacy go away," said Edwin Black, author of the newly released " The Farhud ," a book that details the history of Arab violence against Jews and eventual Arab-Nazi collaboration.

Black said Kissinger, whose relatives were killed in the Holocaust, has now defined himself as "the archetypal assimilationist Jew" who could never help his people because he hid behind immoral platitudes.

"What he failed to understand is that you cannot distance yourself from your heritage because that distance will not be determined by you but by others," Black said.


Niccolo and Donkey

Hilarious. This is basically a clear call to put his Jewishness ahead of his American citizenship. Now he's going to be forced to engage in some self-criticism in typical Bolshevik fashion.


"Edwin Black, author of the newly released "The Farhud," a book that details the history of Arab violence against Jews and eventual Arab-Nazi collaboration."

Nevermind the Arab and Muslim soldiers that fought, were maimed, and killed in the ranks of the allies.

Rival power-Jews disparage each other by citing their words and deeds against their fellow Jews. But what they're inadvertantly doing is reminding the little jews that the big jews don't care about them... thereby making the snake's tail bitter and unresponsive to the snake's head, in this case , just because it didn't mind shedding some old skin in the USSR.