February 25, 2020

Former Nixon V.P. Asked Saudis for Financial Support to Fight ‘Zionists’

Photo from Flickr.

A new report from MSNBC discovered that former Vice President Spiro Agnew asked the Saudis for money to combat “Zionists” in America in 1980.

Agnew wrote in a telegram to then-Saudi Crown Prince Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, “the Zionists have orchestrated a well-organized attack on me to use lawsuits to bleed me of my resources to continue my effort to inform the American people of their control of the media and other influential sectors of American society… I’ve taken every opportunity to speak out against the catastrophic U.S. Policies regarding Israel.”

“This has spurred my Zionists enemies on to greater efforts,” Agnew continued. “I need desperately your financial support so that I can continue to fight.”

Agnew also accused Zionists of knowing that he “would never agree to the continuance of the unfair and disastrous favoring of Israel and they had to get me out of office there so that I would not succeed [President Richard] Nixon.”

The former vice president reportedly received at least $100,000 from the Saudis.

Agnew, who died in 1996, resigned from his position as vice president in 1973 when the Department of Justice alleged that he had a history of political corruption, including accepting bribes. Agnew plead no contest to allegations of tax evasion.

Columnist William Safire wrote in a 1976 New York Times op-ed that Agnew was initially a supporter of Israel, but that changed when he became engulfed in the corruption scandal.

“Former Agnew staffers tell me his anti‐Semitic cracks first began when the Jewish businessmen he had known in Baltimore County sought immunity by turning state’s evidence against him,” Safire wrote. “He became embittered at a handful of Jews, which might well have turned him against Jews in general.”

He added later in his column, “Hating individual Jews does not make you a bigot. Being anti‐Israel does not make you a bigot. But undertaking a crusade to persuade the American people that they are being brainwashed and manipulated by a cabal of Jews who sit astride most of the channels of communication, and thereby encouraging an irrational hatred of Jews—that makes you a bigot.”