NEW YORK (Nov. 4)
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger last night blamed the worsening economic conditions in the West caused by the “oil problem” as partly responsible for the upsurge in anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism.
In the public mind, certain problems, such as the West Bank, have “become a copout and surrogate for everything else,” he told a standing room audience of more than 1500 persons at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. He said this is expressed in the belief by some that, “If only not for Israel and the Jews there would not be an oil problem.”
Kissinger was responding to questions from Rabbi William Berkowitz of B’nai Jeshurun in one of the special Presidential Election “Dialogue 80″ series at the Manhattan congregation. Berkowitz stressed that the special dialogues were held “not to endorse but to educate.”
Noting that independent candidate John Anderson had appeared in a “Dialogue” session Oct. 12, Berkowitz said President Carter and Republican candidate Ronald Reagan would have appeared but for the change in their schedule caused by the nationally-televised debate last week. He said Kissinger appeared at the election eve session at Reagan’s request.
In addition to the oil problem, Kissinger blamed the rise of anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism also on the growing use of violence in the world and on organizations like the Palestine Liberation Organization “that have a vested interest in organizing distrust of the Jewish community.”
But Kissinger warned that to allow anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activities to succeed would endanger all of the world because it would show approval of the strong oppressing the weak. “It is no accident that Jews have been in the forefront of the struggle for justice and equality,” Kissinger stressed. He said Jews “know from experience” that when minorities are endangered they become one of the first victims.
As for the PLO itself, Kissinger stressed that since 1973 he has opposed any U.S. negotiations with the PLO and does not believe that the U.S. should deal with it “even if it accepts (United Nations Security Council) Resolution 242. The last thing we need in the Middle East from an American view is another radical state, armed by the Soviet Union, with leaders trained in the Soviet Union, wedged between Jordan and Israel and a menace to both.”
He added that for this reason he opposes a Palestinian state and believes the future of the West Bank should be decided in negotiations between Israel and Jordan.
Kissinger said the U.S. must support the moderate states in the region. He charged the Carter Administration with trying to appease the radical states in the hope that they would become moderate. He said the collapse of Iran benefited the radical states and has caused the moderate states that counted on the U.S. to back away from Washington. Jordan went to Baghdad to offer it support at the beginning of the Iranian-Iraqi war, Kissinger noted.
“Five years ago they would have gone to Washington. “The former Secretary of State added the quip that “my only regret in the war between Iraq and Iran is that only one of them can lose it.”
A BOOST FOR REAGAN
Kissinger said he supports Reagan because he believes he will provide the U.S. with a “predictable” foreign policy that will be understood by friends and foes, adding, “even though Governor Reagan has not expressed himself about me with the same admiration as my father does.”
Rejecting charges that Reagan would be trigger-happy or a war monger, Kissinger said he finds Reagan to be a “prudent man” who makes “deliberate and thoughtful decisions.” Kissinger added that the risk of war is not caused by rash acts but by allowing situations to develop which make war inevitable.
Noting that Carter claims that there have been many crises in his Administration which he prevented from becoming wars, Kissinger said the “obligation of a President is to avert crises from happening.”
SUPPORTS CARTER’S MOVES TO FREE HOSTAGES
Kissinger said he supported President Carter in the current diplomatic moves to free the 52 hostages in Iran through means that were not in conflict with American honor and laws. “I agree with the Israeli method not to negotiate” with terrorists, Kissinger said. He said the U.S. should have stressed from the first that the hostages are not for sole. He said by this principle, the U.S. must not provide funds to Iran and especially not provide them with weapons.