WASHINGTON (May. 18)
Just-published diaries of H.R. Haldeman, the late President Richard Nixon’s chief of staff, reveal new information about Nixon’s reputed anti-Semitism.
At one point, Haldeman wrote that Nixon believed there was “total Jewish domination of the media.”
The question of Nixon’s views about Jews came to the fore following the former president’s death last month.
The American Jewish community was split over whether Nixon was in fact an anti-Semite.
“The Haldeman Diaries,” which was published this week by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, provides new fodder for those who believe Nixon was anti-Semitic. Haldeman, who died last year, was Nixon’s chief of staff until the Watergate scandal prompted the president to dismiss him.
His book draws from tape recordings and Haldeman’s daily diary entries.
One entry reveals evidence of Nixon’s penchant for conspiracy theories, and his dislike of both Jews and the media.
“There was considerable discussion of the terrible problem arising from the total Jewish domination of the media and agreement that this is something that would have to be dealt with,” Haldeman wrote.
And in an entry dated Feb. 26, 1970, Haldeman said that Nixon had “really raged against United States Jews,” and had ordered Haldeman “not to let any Jews see him about the Middle East.”
NIXON MADE REMARKS IN FRONT OF KISSINGER
The conversation took place in the presence of Nixon’s then-national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, who is Jewish.
The Anti-Defamation League was quick to respond to the new revelations this week.
“What Haldeman wrote about Nixon shows something that many of us felt for a long time,” said Ken Jacobson, ADL’s director of international affairs.
Jacobson said that Nixon was a “great man in history” who was helpful to Israel, but that he had a “singular flaw — his anti-Semitism and his bigotry beyond anti-Semitism.”
The diaries also cited several racist remarks by Nixon, including a remark that “the whole problem is really the blacks.”
The remarks revealed in Haldeman’s diary represent the “dark side of Nixon,” and are a “reconfirmation of something we’ve seen” before, Jacobson said. He called the remarks “extremely distressing.”
Nixon’s views about Jews have always proved paradoxical.
On the one hand, he hired a number of Jews as key advisers, including Kissinger, who served as secretary of state after his stint as national security adviser.
And Nixon was viewed by most as a strong supporter of Israel.
But it was well-known in the American Jewish community that Nixon voiced derogatory attitudes about Jews during his now-infamous White House taping sessions.