Nixon’s general dislike of Jews is no secret, but with each new batch of tapes released by the Nixon Presidential Library, the depth of his disdain becomes more evident. Fortunately, then, the final set of tapes has been released—though they’re just as disturbing as the rest.
The Atlantic Wire’s Elspeth Reeve helpfully went through the tapes, finding, yet again, an abundance of negative, often inflammatory remarks about Jews and African Americans. An April 1973 discussion with advisor Henry Kissinger about an upcoming U.S.-Soviet summit, in which Nixon expressed concern that Jews would “torpedo” the summit, yielded this pleasantry:
“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 May, 1973, Nixon reveals unhappiness with something said by trusted legal advisor Leonard Garment, a longtime friend of the president’s who served as White House Counsel during the Watergate scandal:
On the tape, Nixon said he wants to fire Garment for what he felt was an undermining comment, yelling, “Goddamn his Jewish soul!”
Garment went on to play an active role in fighting the UN’s Zionism is Racism campaign, Gil Troy noted in his remembrance of the lawyer, who died in July at 89.
You can read Reeve’s full piece here, and listen to the final set of tapes here. I suppose we can all take solace, or something, in the knowledge that these are the last of the tapes. As they say, dayenu.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.