The revelation of anti-Semitic sniping by the Rev. Billy Graham during a private taped conversation with President Richard Nixon in 1972 has stung Jewish and non-Jewish interfaith leaders, who say they feel betrayed by one of America’s most respected religious leaders.
And despite the ailing 83-year-old Rev. Graham’s speedy apology, critics said the tape is still disturbing because it apparently sheds light on his true feelings about Jews, even as he was acting like their friend and supporting the Soviet Jewry movement and Israel.
With his first brief apology falling short with the Jewish community, Rev. Billy Graham issued a longer one, this time acknowledging and repudiating the anti-Semitic comments he made during a taped conversation with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office in February 1972.
“My remarks did not reflect my love for the Jewish people,” the ailing 83-year-old preacher said in a statement about the conversation with Nixon that was secretly taped 30 years ago and made public two weeks ago by the National Archives.
Will Jews be condemned to hell under President George W. Bush?
The question of what the Texas governor and front-running Republican presidential candidate believes about where Jewish souls will wind up in the afterlife is a concern for political pundit Michael Kinsley, editor of Slate, the on-line magazine.