Expressing his affection and admiration for the Israeli people, Richard Nixon stated:
Americans admire a people who can scratch a desert and produce a garden. The Israelis have shown qualities that Americans identify with: guts, patriotism, idealism, a passion for freedom. I have seen it. I know. I believe that.
Against all odds, this resolve was real. The small country has consistently repelled its Arab aggressors all while establishing a thriving national culture. And in honoring in these moments of truth, Bill Kristol –in his column this morning – not only pays tribute to Israeli leadership, but a series of US Presidents, among those Richard Nixon:
I meant to pay tribute to the Zionists — men like Weizmann and Jabotinsky, Ben-Gurion and Begin — who made possible the almost miraculous redemption of the Jewish people in 1948. And I also intended to recognize the defenders of Israel at moments of crisis — men like Harry Truman and Richard Nixon and George W. Bush.
Kristol is right. In a 2005 article in Front Page Magazine, Jason Maoz wrote that Nixon overrode political and administrative objections to assist Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War:
What is clear, from the preponderance of information provided by those who witnessed or were involved with the unfolding events, is that Nixon – overriding inter-administration objections and bureaucratic inertia – implemented a breathtaking transfer of arms. During a 32-day period beginning October 14, jumbo U.S. military aircraft touched down in Israel 567 times, delivering some 22,300 tons of material. This enabled Israel to reverse its earlier setbacks, surround the Egyptians in the Sinai, and advance deep into Syrian territory.