Kissinger Missed on Plight of Soviet Jews

Kissinger Missed on Plight of Soviet Jews

In his op-ed on Sunday, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger apologized for "undoubtedly offensive" comments he made 37 years ago about the fate of Soviet Jews, remarks that recently came to light with the release of tapes by the Nixon presidential library. But in trying to explain the historical context of his words, Kissinger presented a dismissive view of the Soviet Jewry movement as an ineffective irritant. This distorts the important role it played in the Cold War. The movement was a 25-year struggle to force the Soviet Union to allow the free emigration of Jews who were being discriminated against and robbed of their cultural and religious rights. It ultimately made the issue an inextricable part of the U.S.-Soviet relationship and contributed to the demise of the Soviet Union.

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