Baruch Korff, Richard Nixon’s Rabbi

Born in what is now Ukraine, Rabbi Baruch Korff, who died twenty years ago, spent most of his life in America. During World War II, he served as the director of the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People, an organization dedicated to rescuing Jews from Nazi-controlled Europe. He also became a confidant of President Nixon, whom he defended to the bitter end. Robert Philpot writes:

Not for nothing had Nixon introduced Korff to Chicago’s mayor as “my rabbi” earlier that spring. For, during the dying months of his presidency, Korff had emerged as Nixon’s most full-throated supporter. The previous autumn he had launched the National Committee for Fairness to the Presidency, which was committed to reaffirming “our faith in God and country, in constitutional government, in the presidency, and in our beloved president.” Its full-page newspaper advertisements were no less effusive, charging that Nixon’s media enemies had “scandalized him, brutalized him, [and] savaged him day after day, night after night.” . . .

[U]nlike many of the Jews who voted to re-elect him in 1972—when Nixon captured the second-highest share of the traditionally Democratic Jewish vote in the previous 60 years—Korff seemed prepared to give the president a pass. After [Korff’s] death, his daughter said her father “felt a kinship to Nixon in no small part because of his aid to Israel.” That sentiment was justified. In October 1973, when Israel faced an existential threat, Nixon was consumed by Watergate. With the Soviets flying arms into Egypt and Syria, Nixon’s aides debated how they could aid their ally without antagonizing the Arab states who had already imposed an oil embargo. Nixon took charge and, with the command “do it now,” ordered the Pentagon to start resupplying Israel’s depleted forces.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: American Jewry, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Richard Nixon, Watergate

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy