When Presidents Curse (At The Jews)

by Jeff Dunetz at lidblog.com

President Joe Biden is reported to have used profanity in two recent outbursts against Israel’s prime minister. Sadly, such eruptions are nothing new. Going all the way back to the 1940s, presidents or other senior U.S. officials occasionally have said some ugly things about Israel or Jews. 

    In 1943, Samuel Rosenman, the chief speechwriter for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, confided to a colleague that the president was “much displeased” to learn that four hundred rabbis were planning to march to the White House to plead for the rescue of Jewish refugees. Rosenman said FDR was so upset that he “used language that morning while breakfasting which would have pleased Hitler himself.” 

    Syndicated newspaper columnist Drew Pearson reported in early 1948 that President Harry Truman privately railed against American Jews who were urging him to support the creation of a Jewish state: “Pounding his desk, [Truman] used words that can’t be repeated about ‘the (blank) New York Jews.’ ‘They’re disloyal to their country. Disloyal!’ he cried.” Truman denied the story, but Pearson’s source,  New York Post publisher Ted Thackery, did not back down.

The White House tapes released by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library revealed some ugly remarks in the Oval Office in the early 1970s. In one, the president could be heard becoming angry at his attorney, Leonard Garment, and shouting, “Goddamn his Jewish soul!”

In another, Nixon angrily complained to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger about American Jews urging him to press the Soviet Union on Jewish emigration. Referring to the possibility of Jewish demonstrations outside a forthcoming U.S.-Soviet summit, Nixon thundered: “Let me say, Henry, it’s gonna be the worst thing that happened to Jews in American history. If they torpedo this summit–and it might go down for other reasons–I’m gonna put the blame on them, and I’m going to do it publicly at 9 o’clock at night before 80 million people. They put the Jewish interest above America’s interest, and it’s about goddamn time that the Jew in America realizes he’s an American first and a Jew second!”