Monday, December 27, 2010

On Kissinger's "Apology"

From Glenn Richter, former director of SSSJ, who has tried posting
responses to Kissinger's excusing himself (Kippa tip: JTobin) based simply on emigration figures. This to show that Kissinger lied both in his initial response a couple of weeks ago and again in today's Washington Post op-ed. Here's his retort, posted online on the Washington Post site of the op-ed, and I hope, on the Jerusalem Post webpage of the article on the op-ed:

I think history disagrees with Secretary Kissinger. Whatever White House quiet diplomacy worked to free Soviet Jews, it was against an increasing background of public pressure on both the Kremlin and White House, not despite it. As an activist for Soviet Jewry since 1964, I well recall these years.

Secretary Kissinger also misstates the facts. He asserts that in Nixon's first administration, over 100,000 Soviet Jews emigrated. The fact speak otherwise. Emigration in 1969 was 2979, 1027 in 1970, 13,022 in 1971 and 31,681 in 1972, for a total of 48,709. The international public campaign for Soviet Jewry took off in 1971 after the sensational first Leningrad Trial of Jews seeking to flee the USSR. In 1972, the Soviets wanted an arms control treaty and reacted to the introduction into Congress of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which linked trade credits to the Kremlin with Jewish emigration.

Dr. Kissinger also stated in his initial response and in this op-ed that Jewish exit didn't exceed the 1972 total (which he claimed was 40,000) until the USSR collapsed. Simply untrue. In 1979, 51,320 Jews were let out, as the Kremlin attempted to reverse the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, by then law; then 71,196 in 1989, 213,437 in 1990, and 178,026 in 1991 as the Soviets tried desperately and unsuccessfully to gain US economic assistance.
And he adds:

Meanwhile, reading today the new and fascinating book, "The Student Struggle Against the Holocaust" (yes, title deliberately chosen) by Dr. Rafael Medoff and Rabbi David Golinkin, I found an eerie parallel.

The notorious Ass't Secretary of State under FDR Breckinridge Long testified on Nov. 26, 1943 before a Congressional committee re a proposed resolution calling on the White House to establish a rescue committee for European Jewry. Long declared that "we have taken into this country since the beginning of Hitler's regime and the persecution of the Jews, until today, approximately 580,000 refugees." The authors state that "a few days later his figures were exposed as false. The actual number of refugees admitted was not more than 250,000, and many of them were not Jews."


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