LBJ's Secret Israel TapesBreaking News
On March 24, 1968, President Johnson telephoned his ambassador to the United Nations, Arthur Goldberg. The previous few weeks had been among the most difficult of Johnson's presidency. In late January, the Tet offensive undermined public support for the Vietnam War. In early March, Johnson barely edged longshot Eugene McCarthy in the New Hampshire primary. Four days later, the senator of New York, Robert Kennedy, announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination.
Johnson told Goldberg that he had grown more sympathetic to Israel's plight as his own political fortunes had declined. "They haven't got many friends in the world," the president said, and "they're in about the same shape I am. And the closer I got — I face adversity, the closer I get to them ... Because I got a bunch of Arabs after me — about a hundred million of 'em, and there's just two million of us. So I can understand them a little bit."
The exchange with Goldberg is included in around 13 hours of recorded conversations from January through April 1968, which the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library released publicly on May 1. In the call, Johnson expressed his understanding of Israel's plight in unusually stark terms, but his remarks typified the support for Israel that characterized his presidency.
comments powered by Disqus
- Marine Corps investigating photo of iconic flag-raising on Iwo Jima
- Scholars Blast New Study Tracing Ashkenazi Jews to Khazars of Ancient Turkey
- Legendary Explorer’s Long-Lost Ship May Have Been Found Off Rhode Island
- More Doubts, Opposition To Sale Of Unique, Hartford Collection Of Political History
- How the Curse of Sykes-Picot Still Haunts the Middle East
- The Historian Whitewashing Ukraine’s Past
- Andrew Roberts wins $250,000 prize from the conservative Bradley Foundation
- Daniel Aaron, Critic and Historian Who Pioneered American Studies, Dies at 103
- Liz Covart's amazingly popular podcast helps her audience understand early American history
- Justus Rosenberg is still teaching at age 95