23. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Simcha Dinitz, Ambassador of Israel
  • Mordechai Shalev, Minister, Embassy of Israel
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff

Dinitz: I have some regards indirectly from the Senators who met with you yesterday [on the Jackson Amendment].2

Kissinger: Yeah, but we can’t do what they want.

Dinitz: They said only one sentence is a problem.

Kissinger: The letter is all right, but the Soviets can’t possibly live up to that interpretive statement. We have assurances that the harassment will stop, that Brezhnev will make himself personally responsible. The interpretive statement can be a statement of objectives, but not as a detailed commitment.

Dinitz: I think they came towards you.

Kissinger: How?

Dinitz: They made it a monitoring amendment.

Kissinger: Yes, but it can’t be something they will harass us with a year from now. Would you accept it if you were a sovereign government?

Dinitz: I don’t harass people, that is the first thing. But if it is a new turn in relations . . .

[Page 62]

Kissinger: But if they stop harassment, it will show in the numbers. If they don’t want to do it, you can’t solve it with a document. I am assuming there is a power struggle there, just like here. Look at Schlesinger: one day he is to the right of me, one day he is to the left! We will accept the letter. We will ask for a revision of the interpretive statement or we will use it as guidelines. We will want it for the President to have discretionary power subject to Congressional veto, not to have to ask for it every year.

Dinitz: I know Jackson is anxious to compromise.

Kissinger: Jackson’s press conference was unhelpful.

Dinitz: Unhelpful?

Kissinger: It was helpful in giving the President the credit; that was a good face-saving thing. But it was unhelpful in relations with the Soviet Union.3

[Omitted here is discussion of the Middle East and U.S.-Israeli relations.]

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 91D414, Records of Henry Kissinger, Box 9, Nodis Memcons, Aug. 1974, Folder 4. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Rodman. The meeting was held in the Secretary’s office at the Department of State.
  2. Brackets in the original. Dinitz is referring to the August 15 meeting; see Document 16.
  3. During a meeting in the Oval Office on August 17, Ford and Kissinger discussed the Trade Bill, Soviet emigration, and U.S.-Israeli relations: “President: I’m glad Scoop moved. Kissinger: We called him yesterday and he was conciliatory. You might consider talking to him again next week. I told Dinitz he had to help us here and that Rabin had to come in early September. President: We have to give Scoop his amendment. Kissinger: If you get waiver authority, that Congress would have to veto, it’s okay. President: What he wants is his amendment. The supporters don’t understand the waiver authority. Kissinger: The Soviet Union won’t buy going in every year for legislation. They will complain about this, but will go along with it. A Member of Congress last night said they want a compromise. President: If we can pull it off and get the bill, it is the best thing we can do.” (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, 1973–1977, Box 5)