Apologists for Henry Kissinger — and there are many in the upper echelons of the organized Jewish community — argue that his egregious comments ought to be weighed against the good he did for Israel and the Jewish people. Curiously, these are the same people who pounce on any hint of anti-Semitism in others, and too often conflate valid criticism of current Israeli policies with crude anti-Zionism.
The year was 1973, and Henry Kissinger, a Jewish refugee from German Nazism and President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser, made a staggeringly distasteful comment about Soviet Jews: If the Soviets “put Jews into gas chambers,” Kissinger said, it’s “not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.” Maybe.
Among the many enigmas that have surrounded Henry Kissinger over the years is the question of how he, a German Jew, managed to survive in the Nixon White House, a place where he was called “Jew boy” to his face.