antisemitism,  History

“A hero and a Jew”

From the latest release of Nixon-era White House tape recordings, as reported by The New York Times.

Nixon… strongly hinted that his reluctance to even consider amnesty for young Americans who went to Canada to avoid being drafted during the Vietnam War was because, he told Mr. Colson, so many of them were Jewish.

“I didn’t notice many Jewish names coming back from Vietnam on any of those lists; I don’t know how the hell they avoid it,” he said, adding: “If you look at the Canadian-Swedish contingent, they were very disproportionately Jewish. The deserters.”

A letter to editor of The New York Times published December 14, 2010:

The contents of the just released Nixon tapes are appalling and further expose the dark side of our disgraced 37th president. In them, President Nixon says he “didn’t notice many Jewish names coming back from Vietnam … I don’t know how the hell they avoid it.”

Those tapes highlight the hypocrisy that characterizes both the man and his presidency. The first living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam were presented their awards by Nixon in October 1969. Among those four brave men was my brother, Jack Jacobs, a hero and a Jew.

Elissa Jacobs
Demarest, N.J., Dec. 11, 2010

This, by the way, is an old antisemitic trope. In December 1944 George Orwell wrote in his “As I Please column” in Tribune that a friend had received the following leaflet in a pub:


The first American soldier to kill a Jap was Mike Murphy.
The first American pilot to sink a Jap battleship was Colin Kelly.
The first American family to lose five sons in one action and have a naval vessel named after them were the Sullivans.
The first American to shoot a Jap plane was Dutch O’Hara.
The first coastguardsman to spot a German spy was John Conlan.
The first American soldier to be decorated by the President was Pat Powers.
The first American admiral to be killed leading his ship into battle was Dan Callahan.
The first American son-of-a-bitch to get four new tyres from the Ration Board was Abie Goldstein.

Orwell noted that the leaflet was probably of American origin.

For the record.

Update: Omri writes in the comments:

The leaflets came from the Christian Defense League. They were printed in Boston and came on board troop ships. Orwell wasn’t able to trace them, but Nat Hentoff and John Roy Carlson did.