Ha’aretz has a good article about the 1973 murder of American diplomats in Khartoum that gives a lot of background:
On the eve of UN recognition of Palestine, 18 years after the Oslo Accords carried Arafat to the White House and from there to the Nobel Peace Prize, and seven years after his death, the U.S. government now confirms that Arafat was responsible for the 1973 murder of its ambassador and his deputy in Khartoum, Sudan. The two were taken hostage and killed “with the full knowledge and by the personal authorization” of Arafat, according to a study released last month by the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Historian, entitled “Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976, Volume XXV, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1973.”
The incident began on March 1, 1973, when eight members of Black September stormed the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum during a reception, and captured the Saudi ambassador and four of his guests: American ambassador Cleo Noel, U.S. deputy chief of mission George Curtis Moore, and the Belgian and Jordanian charge d’affaires in Sudan. Black September was a transparent front for Fatah, and Arafat was the commander of both, as well as head of the PLO. When the kidnappers understood that Jordan, Israel and the United States would not be releasing prisoners in exchange for the captives, Fatah headquarters in Beirut ordered them to shoot the two Americans and the Belgian, Guy Eid.
Two months later – and one month after the so-called Spring of Youth raid on Beirut by an elite Israel Defense Forces unit, paratroopers and the Mossad, which killed three senior Palestinian leaders – Foreign Minister Abba Eban visited U.S. President Richard Nixon’s National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger.
Here is how the State Department describes the incident in the document:
In the early evening of March 1, eight Black September Organization terrorists seized the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum during a diplomatic reception. The terrorists took U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission George C. Moore, the Belgian Charge´, the Saudi Ambassador, and the Jordanian Charge´ hostage. In return for the hostages’ freedom, the terrorists demanded the release of various individuals, mostly Palestinian guerrillas, imprisioned in Jordan, Israel, and the United States. The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the head of Fatah. When the terrorists became convinced that their demands would not be met and after they reportedly had received orders from Fatah headquarters in Beirut, they killed the two U.S. officials and the Belgian Charge´. Thirty-four hours later, upon receipt of orders from Arafat in Beirut, the terrorists released the other hostages unharmed and surrendered to Sudanese authorities.
Already a month after the incident, Secretary of State Rogers showed that the US knew the orders for the murders came from Beirut:
Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon
Washington, April 11, 1973.
Actions to Encourage Lebanon to Move Against Black September and Other Terrorist Groups
As you know, the Black September Organization’s operation in Khartoum was planned and directed from headquarters which that group has in Lebanon.
Abba Eban and Henry Kissinger spoke in May:
Kissinger: During the Khartoum incident, someone suggested we ask you for help. You would have blown up Beirut.
Eban: You know that it was from Beirut that the phone call went to finish them off.
Kissinger: We know that.
In November, there was an initial backchannel communication between the CIA’s Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Walters and PLO leaders in Morocco, including Khalid al Hassan, at the time Arafat’s number two man. Even then, there are appearances that the US was willing to downplay the murders of the diplomats in order to strengthen relations with the PLO, although Khalid put out an opaque denial:
He then with visible embarrassment asked me whether the U.S. had anything to do with the murder of their leaders in Beirut. I replied quite firmly that we had nothing to do with these murders. I gave him my word of honor as a soldier this was so. I replied that we did not resort to murder because it was morally wrong, dishonorable and did not produce results. Bullets killed only men, not ideas. I said I would ask him no questions about Khartoum but we did not resort to murder. He replied with some embarrassment that in all large groups where there has been much suffering, there are some who undertake violence on their own. I understood him to be telling me that the Khartoum murders were not sanctioned by the Fatah leadership.
As Ha’aretz writes, the NSA knew about Arafat’s orders to murder the men ahead of time:
At the end of the 1990s, a former navy officer named James Welsh launched a campaign to denounce the intelligence, security and diplomacy establishments’ failure to warn about the Khartoum attack. In letters to Congress and interviews with the media, Welsh said that between 1970 and 1974, he had worked in the NSA and secretly monitored the Palestinians’ actions.
A day or two before the attack, the NSA recorded conversations about the terror plans, Welsh said, adding that he recognized the voice of Arafat telling his aides, Abu Jihad and Abu Iyad, to carry out the attack. The U.S. State Department was warned immediately, so it could pass on the message to the diplomats in Khartoum.
When he heard about the attack in the media, Welsh was astounded to discover that the person on duty had decided on her own that the warning was not urgent, and thus had delayed disseminating it. It arrived in Khartoum after the murders.
Welsh claimed that when he demanded that the State Department’s failure be investigated, his superiors at the NSA told him such a campaign would cost him his security clearance and result in his transfer from Washington’s quiet corridors to the rigors of a navy fueling ship. Welsh backed down.
If you think that the information here still allows for the possibility that the State Department believed that Black September was not under the complete control of Yasser Arafat, this State Dept. summary of a June 1973 intelligence memo should dispel all doubt:
The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasir Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and the head of Fatah. Fatah representatives based in Khartoum participated in the attack, using a Fatah vehicle to transport the terrorists to the Saudi Arabian Embassy.
Initially, the main objective of the attack appeared to be to secure the release of Fatah/BSO leader Muhammed Awadh (Abu Da’ud) from Jordanian captivity. Information acquired subsequently reveals that the Fatah/BSO leaders did not expect Awadh to be freed, and indicates that one of the primary goals of the operation was to strike at the United States because of its efforts to achieve a Middle East peace settlement which many Arabs believe would be inimical to Palestinian interests….
The Khartoum operation again demonstrated the ability of the BSO to strike where least expected. The open participation of Fatah representatives in Khartoum in the attack provides further evidence of the Fatah/BSO relationship. The emergence of the United States as a primary fedayeen target indicates a serious threat of further incidents similar to that which occurred in Khartoum.
The picture that emerges is that the US seemed to be willing to overlook the PLO participation in the murders of its diplomats for what it perceived was the greater good of engaging the PLO in the nascent “peace process.”
Only a year later, murderer Yasser Arafat was greeted by a standing ovation at the United Nations.
(h/t Yoel for original Ha’aretz article)
You can’t say Kissinger was just another Jew with loyalty to Jews
This might be very hard for much of the Jewish community to understand, but Kissinger was doing his job and attempting to protect American Interests first. In some ways he did us a favor. He proved that a Jew could be in a top position in a Christian nation and not have loyalties to Israel and the Jewish community. These are the kind of decisions that a Secretary of State must make… and I have tremendous respect for Kissinger. While I admit I was upset when these tapes first came out, the more I think of it… the more I realize that in the long run because the truth came out (and Kissinger is integral to Israel’s early history)… that Kissinger proves there was no Zionist fifth column undermining Christian American interests. Thank you for your service Henry.
As the calls for clemency for Jonathan Pollard continue to intensify, Henry A. Kissinger, an elder statesman, well-respected diplomat, and experienced member of the United States intelligence community, has become the latest American governmental leader to issue a public call for Pollard’s release. Pollard has spent more than 25 years languishing in a federal prison for passing classified information to Israel, an ally of the United States.
The following is the text of Henry Kissinger’s letter to President Obama:
I would have written this letter sooner but for a long trip abroad, from which I have just returned. While I was gone, I gave much thought to the question of clemency for Jonathan Pollard. At first I felt I did not have enough information to render a reasoned and just opinion. But having talked with George Shultz and read the statements of former CIA Director Woolsey, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman DeConcini, former Defense Secretary Weinberger, former Attorney General Mukasey and others whose judgments and first-hand knowledge I respect, I find their unanimous support for clemency compelling. I believe justice would be served by commuting the remainder of Pollard’s sentence of life imprisonmen
In 1974 an outrageous Yom Kippur War rumor.Thirty-six years later,in 2010, the rumor was confirmed.Kissinger was always a heartbreak for me learning about growing up. Such a smart guy… too bad he was a self hater. Sometimes I like things he says on T.V., but the elder Kissinger is obviously not the Kissinger of 1974 the year I was born. I’m sure he was more complicated then any of us understand, but there is no doubt in my mind that his Judaism did not come till after he was out of power. I had always hoped that as time went on that good stuff would be revealed about him and Nixon… and there is some things that shed a positive light on him, but his view of his own people is not one of those things.
Recently declassified White House transcripts (featured in an editorial in the Israeli daily Haaretz) show former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger blaming Israel for the problems in the region, accusing Israel of being “deliberately provocative” and attempting “to create maximum commotion in the Middle East. In the newly released documents Kissinger refers to the Golan Heights as “Syrian territory” and the Syrians as “my friends.” He confides to an Algerian diplomat that “a (new Arab-Israeli) war wouldn’t be so bad for us. … We could show (Israel) we are tough.” Us? This strongly suggests Kissinger identified with the Arab side in the Arab-Israel conflict.
While these documents do not cover the period of the 1973 war (they cover the end of the Nixon administration and eighteen months of the subsequent Ford administration), they bear out Shmuel Katz’s devastating assessment of Kissinger’s role during the war as crucial in turning Israel’s military victory into a bitter strategic defeat. Just a year after the Yom Kippur War, in his 1974 pamphlet, “The Crisis of Israel and the West” Katz described Kissinger’s actions and their repercussions.
When Israel had recovered from her initial, nearly disastrous setback, the resourcefulness, and courage and qualitative superiority of her solders so succeeded that – in view of all the responsible military analysts – she was on the brink of achieving the greatest victory in her history. … [T]he Israel army had created an excellent bargaining position for whatever negotiations might ensue after the Cease Fire had been formalized in a resolution by the UN Security Council. It held firmly a wide salient deep into Egyptian territory proper with the road to Cairo open. The Egyptian Third Army, one of the two Egyptian forces that had crossed over the east bank of the Suez Canal, was encircled and its supplies completely cut off. …
But in two further decisive steps the U.S. Secretary of State dictated the conversion of Israel’s advantageous position into a posture of defeat. He insisted on the unconditional lifting of the siege of the Third Army. Brief Israeli resistance (by the Minister of Defense in a telephone conversation) was brusquely rejected….By February 1974 Israel had by diplomatic negotiation lost the Yom Kippur War, and the aggressor had been awarded the beginnings of a retrospective victory in the Six Day War. The Egyptians moreover made no secret of their confidence that this was only the first step to Israel’s being forced out of all of Sinai. The Egyptian President in particular repeatedly gave expression to this confidence, indicating without inhibition that this is what he had been promised by the U.S. Secretary of State whom he trusted absolutely in view of what he had already done for the Arab cause.
Twenty seven years later, in 2001, in a column “In Politics: No Friendships, Only Interests” Shmuel Katz returned to the theme of Kissinger’s 1973 game plan, this time with Kissinger’s own memoirs as evidence. Kissinger was determined, Katz wrote “on a diplomacy that would result in Egypt’s moving over from the Soviet orbit to the American. The price, as became evident, was to be a sacrifice of Israel….That is why the Egyptians to this day celebrate what they claim was a military victory over Israel. That is why, in Israel, the Yom Kippur War is remembered and felt as a bitter defeat. The harm done to Israel was and remains incalculable, not least in that sense of having been defeated.”
Moreover, Kissinger accomplished his goals through deception. As Katz details in “The Man with A Plan” (Oct. 23, 2003), with Israel facing a “dangerous shortage of materiel” Kissinger held up the arms shipments to Israel, claiming falsely it was Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger’s doing. Kissinger then used Israel’s predicament to pressure American Jewish leaders to abandon their efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewry in return for his support in expediting the delivery of the sorely needed materiel – arms and supplies which he was responsible for holding up in the first place.
Kissinger also hinted to Defense Minister Moshe Dayan of a Soviet atomic threat if Israel didn’t comply with his demands. Katz says this was a bald-faced lie. The Soviets had made no such threat. Katz writes: “Dayan later realized that he had been hoodwinked, and indeed, on examination of Kissinger’s blow-by-blow negotiations with the Russians, there is not a smidgen of a hint of an atomic threat by the Russians. In a public lecture in May 1974, Dayan declared:
‘The Americans denied us the fruits of victory. It was an ultimatum. Had the US not pressed us, the Third Army and Suez City would have had to surrender. We would have captured 30,000 to 40,000 soldiers and Sadat would have had to admit it to his people. We might have held them only for a day and let them walk out without their arms, but it would have changed the whole Egyptian attitude about whether they won the war or not.’”
It is painful to think that someone who fled Nazi persecution as a young boy in 1938 should do so much damage to the Jewish State. Yet, a closer look shows that Kissinger has, at best, a tenuous connection with his Judaism. Rabbi Norman Lamm, former chancellor of Yeshiva University, spotted this early. In his article “Kissinger and the Jews” (Dec. 20, 1975), a devastating critique, he writes, “Dr. Kissinger is an illustration of how high an assimilated Jew can rise in the United States, and how low he can fall in the esteem of his fellow Jews.”
Lamm referred to a recent visit by Henry Kissinger and his parents to Furth, their hometown in Bavaria which they escaped before the war. They had only kind words for their native city, “but nary a word about the Holocaust, not a word about the Nazis who drove them out of that city!” On top of this, Lamm reveals that Kissinger didn’t want to visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial, during his first trip to Israel, and had to be “persuaded.” He “accepted only when he was told that every other foreign minister visiting Israel had done so.”
This hasn’t stopped Kissinger from portraying himself as one with the Jewish community, accepting awards from the Anti-Defamation League and bestowing awards on behalf of Jewish organizations like the United Jewish Appeal.
Kissinger’s guilt runs deep. Whether or not he feels it is another matter. Zionist writer William Mehlman offers a remarkable footnote involving Kissinger and Katz sometime after the Yom Kippur War. Kissinger got wind of a rumor – unfounded – that Shmuel had taken out a contract on his life (a fantasy Kissinger apparently believed based on the allegations about his role in delaying the resupply of munitions to Israel during the war).
“Shmuel, informed of what had transpired and anxious to put the rumor to rest, arranged a face-to-face meeting with Kissinger at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. ‘From the moment I entered his suite until I left three minutes later,’ Katz related to a small circle of friends in Tel Aviv, ‘he did not stop shouting at me. He never gave me a chance to refute the rumor. In fact I never got a chance to say a word. Finally, I just turned around and walked out.’”
Mehlman writes, “Whatever debt Henry Kissinger may or may not have felt he owed his conscience, he must surely have learned by now that it wasn’t Shmuel Katz who had come to collect.”
Kissinger is 87. It doesn’t look as if he will make amends in this world. Perhaps in the next.
This entry was posted on Friday, July 30th, 2010 at 1:37 am and is filed under Shmuel Katz.
the truth is the Republican party has had some Conservative Jews in there that have to make amends with G-d.
New tapes show Kissinger and Nixon opposed helping Soviet Jews escape Communist repression because it did not affect “US interests.”
Henry Kissinger is heard saying the genocide of Soviet Jews would not be an American problem on newly released tapes chronicling President Nixon’s obsession with disparaging Jews and other minorities.
Kissinger’s remarks come after a meeting between the two men and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on March 1 1973, in which Meir pleads for US pressure on the Soviet Union to release its Jews.
Precise details of what transpired in Washington during the first week of the Yom Kippur War, launched by Egypt and Syria on October 6, 1973, are hard to come by, in no small measure owing to conflicting accounts given by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger regarding their respective roles.
What is clear, from the preponderance of information provided by those directly involved in the unfolding events, is that President Richard Nixon — overriding inter-administration objections and bureaucratic inertia — implemented a breathtaking transfer of arms, code-named Operation Nickel Grass, that over a four-week period involved hundreds of jumbo U.S. military aircraft delivering more than 22,000 tons of armaments.
This was accomplished, noted Walter J. Boyne in an article in the December 1998 issue of Air Force Magazine, while “Washington was in the throes of not only post-Vietnam moralizing on Capitol Hill but also the agony of Watergate. . . . Four days into the war, Washington was blindsided again by another political disaster — the forced resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew.”
“Both Kissinger and Nixon wanted to do [the airlift],” said former CIA deputy director Vernon Walters, “but Nixon gave it the greater sense of urgency. He said, ‘You get the stuff to Israel. Now. Now.’”
Boyne, in his book The Two O’Clock War, described a high-level White House meeting on October 9:As preoccupied as he was with Watergate, Nixon came straight to the point, announcing that Israel must not lose the war. He ordered that the deliveries of supplies, including aircraft, be sped up and that Israel be told that it could freely expend all of its consumables — ammunition, spare parts, fuel, and so forth — in the certain knowledge that these would be completely replenished by the United States without any delay.
White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig concurred:As soon as the scope and pattern of Israeli battle losses emerged, Nixon ordered that all destroyed equipment be made up out of U.S. stockpiles, using the very best weapons America possessed. . . . Whatever it takes, he told Kissinger . . . save Israel.
“It was Nixon who did it,” recalled Nixon’s acting special counsel, Leonard Garment. “I was there. As [bureaucratic bickering between the State and Defense departments] was going back and forth, Nixon said, this is insane. . . . He just ordered Kissinger, “Get your ass out of here and tell those people to move.”
When Schlesinger initially wanted to send just three transports to Israel because he feared anything more would alarm the Arabs and the Soviets, Nixon snapped: “We are going to get blamed just as much for three as for 300. . . . Get them in the air, now.”
Haig, in his memoir Inner Circles, wrote that Nixon, frustrated with the initial delays in implementing the airlift and aware that the Soviets had begun airlifting supplies to Egypt and Syria, summoned Kissinger and Schlesinger to the Oval Office on October 12 and “banished all excuses.”
The president asked Kissinger for a precise accounting of Israel’s military needs, and Kissinger proceeded to read aloud from an itemized list.
“Double it,” Nixon ordered. “Now get the hell out of here and get the job done.”
Later, informed of yet another delay — this one because of disagreements in the Pentagon over the type of planes to be used for the airlift — an incensed Nixon shouted at Kissinger, “[Expletive] it, use every one we have. Tell them to send everything that can fly.”
Nixon acted despite threats of reprisal by Arab oil producers — indeed, the day after Nixon asked Congress for an emergency appropriation of $2.2 billion for Israel, Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal announced an embargo of oil to the U.S. — not to mention Europe’s overwhelming opposition to aiding Israel.
Some revisionists have taken to claiming Nixon’s actions on behalf of Israel were prompted by Golda Meir, who supposedly threatened to go public with all manner of juicy political and personal information she had on the president. Another commonly cited blackmail scenario, popularized by the play Golda’s Balcony, has Meir putting the squeeze on Nixon by threatening to use nuclear weapons.
But Mordechai Gazit, who at the time of the Yom Kippur War was director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, told authors Gerald Strober and Deborah Hart Strober in Nixon: An Oral History of His Presidency: “The airlift was decided not because we asked for it. Our relations with the United States were not at a point where we could have asked for an airlift; this was beyond our imagination.”
As for Meir herself, to the end of her life she referred to Nixon as “my president” and told a group of Jewish leaders in Washington shortly after the war: “For generations to come, all will be told of the miracle of the immense planes from the United States bringing in the materiel that meant life to our people.”
Wrote Nixon biographer Stephen E. Ambrose:
Those were momentous events in world history. Had Nixon not acted so decisively, who can say what would have happened? The Arabs probably would have recovered at least some of the territory they had lost in 1967, perhaps all of it. They might have even destroyed Israel. But whatever the might-have-beens, there is no doubt that Nixon . . . made it possible for Israel to win, at some risk to his own reputation and at great risk to the American economy.
He knew that his enemies . . . would never give him credit for saving Israel. He did it anyway.