Nixon Asks For Jewish Support; Cites Cases of Jewish Import (Vol. 38, Issue 2)
The article is in response to a letter send by The Commentator to Nixon headquarters.
President Nixon's record in all areas of Jewish concern is unimpeachable. Under his administration we have witnessed a tremendous improvement in the condition of Jews around the world. The Israelis hail President Nixon as “the best friend Israel ever had.” This is reflected both by public opinion polls which show that over 70% of all Israelis favor President Nixon as well as by statements of Israeli leaders urging Jews to support the President. The Israeli sentiment is well-founded. In the last four years Israel has received more economic and military aid than from all previous administrations. In addition, Israel has received aid for resettlement of Soviet refugees. Even more significant is the fact that while in all previous administrations only $135,900,00 of that aid was granted as military credits, in President Nixon's’ administration’ $825,000,000 in military credits were consigned to Israel.
There are additional factors at play in the Israeli support for President Nixon. It is clear that the major danger to the continued existence of the state of Israel is not the Arab states per se but the Soviet Union which backs them. It is in this area that the continued administration of President Nixon is crucial to the security of Israel. The President-has made a commitment to Israel to prevent any Soviet action against her in the Suez Canal area or elsewhere. This special commitment is something that no American President has ever made and is a direct result of the Nixon Administration's policy of dealing with the Soviet Union from a position of strength. The presence of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and American troops in Western Europe is an indication of the importance of this area in U.S. strategic thinking and is definite political commitment by the United States toward Israel. Any weakening of that presence will merely encourage the Soviet Union and the Arab states. Such a decrease in American forces cannot but tempt the foes of Israel to make another attempt to destroy her. The political commitment of the United States in this area is far more essential than the actual political commitment, extensive as that alone is. Another point of interest to Jews in the United States today is the fate of Soviet Jewry. It is important to note that whereas protests against the treatment of Soviet Jews has been proceeding for the last ten years, it is only in President Nixon's administration that a definite improvement in the situation has been noticed. Whereas the emigration rate has been less than 2,000 persons a- year before President Nixon's administration, in 1971 this rate rose to over 30,000 Jews a year, a 1500% increase. In 1972, despite the imposition of exit taxes, Jewish Agency officials estimate an inflow of at least 30,000 Soviet Jews in Israel. Although there are many reasons for this rapid rise in the rate of emigration, the influence of American pressure on the Soviet Union cannot be discounted. As President Nixon's policy of detente with the Soviet Union has proceeded, Soviet leaders became more conscious of the embarrassing implications of the Jewish problem in the Soviet Union and the urgent necessity to find a solution. This need was especially prevalent due to the Nixon administration's insistence on the maintenance of a strong defense posture. A decrease in American military power would have noticeably diminished the eagerness of Soviet leaders to please American public opinion. It is a sad fact of human nature that people respect and try to satisfy only the strong, not the weak. The most obvious technique of the Soviet leadership in its drive to eliminate the unfavorable public image presented by its treatment of the Jews within its borders was a rapid rise in the number of permits granted to the Jewish activists. The emigration of these individuals would dull the edge of American criticism and therefore remove one more stumbling block to increased Soviet-American amity. However, the proportion of highly killer individuals among the emigrants shocked the Soviet leadership and the fear of the totally loss of such a notable pool of talent led to the demand for payment of exorbitant taxes. President Nixon decided to deal with this problem in a direct but nonpublic manner. An open confrontation on this issue would have immediately frozen the positions on both sides and allowed no room for compromises. Compromise is only possible when the issue does not become public. Once it becomes a public confrontation neither side can afford even the slightest retreat. An open confrontation would have forced the Soviet leaders to declare that this issue was an internal Soviet affair in which the American leaders have as little right to meddle as do the Soviets in the Black problem in the United States. Instead, a process of quiet diplomacy has been engaged in, on every possible level including Rogers and Kissinger. This procedure permits compromise on the issue. Indeed, there have been reports that Soviet leaders have decided, in response to American pressure, either to quietly eliminate the exit tax altogether or to convert it to a merely nominal fee.
In addition, President Nixon policies toward the Jews in the United States have been very beneficial. The Nixon Administration has taken a strong stand against the imposition of any types of quotas in the United States. Although there have been some unfortunate lapses in this regard, the main thrust of the Nixon Administration is best expressed in the following statement:
With respect to these affirmative action programs, I agree that numerical goals, although an important and useful tool to measure progress which remedies the effect of past discrimination, must not be alowed to be applied in such a fashion as to, in factm result in the imposition of quotas, nor should they be predicateed upon or directed towards a concept of proportional representation.
It is significant in this regard that many women’s and civil rights groups have condemned President Nicon precisely because he does not subscribe to the principle of quotas. In this issue to compare the President with his opponent would be doing President Nixon a grave injustice. It has not been the President who has stated that he would impose the quota principle on all aspects of American life. His opponent has openly advocated the principle of quotas for all positions from offices in government to places in universities. This policy, directly supported by the President’s opponent, would be disastrous not only to the Jews, numberical minority that they are, but also to the United States in general for it would impose a reign of mediocrity upon this nation.
Federal aid to non-public and religion-affiliated schools remain a difficult problem, for such aid must be in a manner that is not ruled by the Supreme Court to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
President Nixon has provided over $18 million in U.S. man-power funds to jewish agencies to provide training and jobs for poor and disadvantaged Jews. Among them: Yeshiva of Nitna, Satmar Consortium, Rabbinical College of New Jersey, Hebrey Institute of Rockland County, Tov Consortium, Kehilath Yakhov, Hebrew Institute of Long Island, and Beth Jacobs Schools. The Council of Jewish Manpower Associations has expressed to President Nicon its “appreciation, gratitude and indebtedness” for his Jewish community manpower programs.
A free kosher summer lunch program for an estimated 10,000 Jewish youngsters in the metropolitan area has been made possible by President Nixon. Said to the first such kosher lunch program ever, it involved approximately $200,000 in federal funds and prescribed that all yeshivot and Hebrew schools with summer study programs be eligible to participate.
President Nixon has signed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Act of 1972 which provides (Sec. 701-J) an employment safeguard for Sabbath observers.
It is for these reasons that it is incumbent upon the Jews to fully support the re-election of President Nixon. The President represents the moderate, middle-of-the-road group under which the Jews in the United States have flourished. His opponent is backed by a notably left-of-center group, a group with a well-known predilection for anti-Zionism (which is merely a euphemism for anti-semitism).