Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Haldeman Diary Says Nixon `Raged' at Jews Delay of Israeli Arms Was Reprisal, Book Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Haldeman Diary Says Nixon `Raged' at Jews Delay of Israeli Arms Was Reprisal, Book Says

Article excerpt

THE EULOGIES still echo - but the controversies enveloping Richard Nixon were not buried with him. Less than a month after the 37th president's death, his harsher and more manipulative side has been exposed by the aide who was privy to Nixon's private thoughts.

"The Haldeman Diaries" illuminate a president who sought to punish Jews for their nonsupport and who planned on building a new political party in which John Connally could be president.

The 700-page book, published by Putnam, contains the recollections by chief of staff H.R. Haldeman from the beginning of the Nixon presidency until the day in 1973 when the Watergate heat became unbearable and Nixon told Haldeman to resign.

Nixon said "he's prayed hard over this decision and it's the toughest decision he's ever made," Haldeman dictated for his diary on April 29, 1973. "Then he went through his whole pitch about how he's really the guilty one."

The following day, Nixon announced Haldeman's resignation as well as that of domestic adviser John D. Ehrlichman and the firing of counsel John Dean, who was about to blow the lid off the Watergate scandal.

But as it fills in gaps on some well-known episodes, Haldeman's book inevitably spotlights Nixon's shortcomings.

In 1970, the U.S. visit by French President Georges Pompidou was marked by pro-Israel demonstrations, and Nixon felt he had to apologize to the visitor. Haldeman wrote that Nixon was "as mad as he's been since we got here."

"Really raged again today against United States Jews because of their behavior," Haldeman wrote. "Has decided to postpone Jewish arms supply for their `unconscionable conduct.' " The delivery of U.S. jets to Israel was later postponed.

In October 1970, Nixon was heckled by a crowd of 2,000 anti-Vietnam War demonstrators in San Jose, Calif. In his memoirs, he said he could not resist showing them how little respect he had for them and stood on the hood of the car giving the V-sign, getting the predictable reaction.

Haldeman's diary entry gives a different slant.

"We wanted some confrontation, and there were no hecklers in the hall, so we stalled departure a little so they could zero in outside, and they sure did," he wrote. …

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