NEW YORK (Apr. 21)
Declaring that she believes “in the importance of remembering the Holocaust,” outgoing United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick, appears to have criticized the remark by President Reagan last Thursday to a group of regional editors and publishers that most of the 2,000 German soldiers buried in Bitburg cemetery “were victims just as surely as the victims of the concentration camps.”
“We are not all equally victims,” Kirkpatrick declared in her remarks at a farewell luncheon in her honor last Friday given by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. She declined, however, to mention the President by name or to refer to his upcoming visit to a military cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany, where SS Nazi soldiers are buried.
Kirkpatrick said there is a need to remember and honor the victims of the Holocaust. “We can never remember and learn enough of the horrors of the Holocaust,” she said. The envoy stated that the “victimization” of the Jewish people continues to this day and expressed her belief that the American Jewish community has a vital role in reminding the world of the genocide that took place against the Jews.
‘REVOLTING’ ANTI-SEMITISM AT THE UN
Kirkpatrick, addressing about 400 Jewish leaders who attended the luncheon in her honor, said that the anti-Semitism at the United Nations “is bold, unashamed and revolting.” She said that the attacks against Israel in the world organization are “incredibly vitriolic attacks, bitter hateful attacks, violent attacks.” She said that the speeches against the Jewish State are “so extreme, so violent, it is a breach of good taste to quote from them.”
She said that what is rejected at the United Nations is not Israeli policies but “Israel itself, its existence.” She charged that Israel is often accused of genocide at the United Nations. “We are in the center of double-speak,” she said, referring to the anti-Israeli accusations. The former UN Ambassador criticized the silence and passivity “of almost everyone” at the UN over the unfair treatment that Israel receives at the world organization.
Kirkpatrick, the first woman to serve as the chief U.S. delegate to the UN, retired from the post as of April 1. She was appointed by President Reagan in January, 1981.
She was presented at the luncheon Friday with a 13-volume Encyclopedia Judaica by Kenneth Bialkin, chairman of the president’s conference. Her support of Israel at the United Nations was praised by Bialkin, by Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, and by Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine.
Bialkin and Podhoretz took issue with Reagan’s visit to the Bitburg military cemetery and his remark on Thursday that Nazi soldiers and the victims of the Holocaust were both victims of Nazism.