Friday, May 21, 2021

Know Comment: In defense of Kissinger

 Two weeks ago, this newspaper published an unbridled attack on Dr. Henry Kissinger and on a Jewish organization in New York for inviting him to speak. The op-ed claimed that Kissinger “has a long record of undermining Israel” and that he “caused grave damage to Israel.”

The 96-year-old former US secretary of state does not deserve such opprobrium. On the contrary, he has earned our appreciation.
Kissinger remains one of the greatest practitioners of modern foreign policy and strategic affairs; a towering intellectual thinker; an architect of global stability and Mideast peacemaking; and yes – he was friend of Israel when in office and he is today, too.
 The most serious allegation hurled at Kissinger over the years by some Israelis is that he held up the American resupply of Israel with weapons during the first week of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. As the story goes, Israel requested an emergency airlift of arms as soon as the war broke out. But Kissinger didn’t want Israel’s eventual victory to be too lopsided, thinking it would easier to get a stable ceasefire if Egypt and Israel fought to a draw, so he supposedly stalled the airlift and bled Israel.Except that this isn’t true. President Richard Nixon and Kissinger clearly wanted to lead post-war peace talks based on an Israeli victory, not on a draw with the Arabs who were backed by Soviet arms. Israeli victory was the American interest.

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