CL Sulzberger, who died in 1993, was a legendary insider, a longtime foreign affairs reporter and then columnist for the New York Times, whose publisher during his time was his uncle and then his cousin. Sulzberger lived in Paris and was the intimate of many leaders, and was accused of working for the CIA (and received the Stern Gang’s warning ahead of Bernadotte’s murder).
Last night I was reading his book, An Age of Mediocrity (1973), journals from the 60s and 70s. Sulzberger went frequently to Israel.
Herzliya, May 22, 1971
Stayed up late with Wally Barbour [US Ambassador to Israel from 1961-1973], as able a diplomat as he is devoted, and a balanced, wise man…
Wally feels it is a plain statement of fact that the U.S.A. couldn’t sell Israel down the river or blackmail it, even if it wanted to (which it doesn’t) because of the influence and wealth of its Jewish minority of about 6 million. Nor is there anything shameful in this. Our system has always been based upon minorities and heeding their wishes on major issues.
Last time Barbour saw President Nixon, Wally said to him: “You know Israel may be a small horse but it’s the only horse we are riding that has four sound legs.”
Will you ever see this idea, espoused by two eminent insiders, reflected directly in the New York Times? The newspaper derided Walt and Mearsheimer’s paper and book on the Israel lobby when they came out in 2006 and 2007. Insider Leslie Gelb did the honors. “Why have two such serious students of United States foreign policy written so weak a book and added fuel, inadvertently, to the fires of anti-Semitism?” But influence and wealth surely played a role in Obama’s collapse on settlements and Alice Walker’s disinvitation from the University of Michigan, and myriad other accommodations of the garrison state.
PS. I wonder whether Barbour said, And there’s nothing shameful in that because he worried about the fact that his guest was Jewish. Also, there’s an American school in Israel connected to our State Department named after Barbour.
More gems from Sulzberger to follow.