103. Aide-Mémoire From President Nixon to the Government of Israel1

Reaffirming the discussion of September 26, 1969 with Prime Minister Golda Meir,2 I hereby confirm that the United States Government will continue its commitment to the military security of Israel by the provision of hardware required to maintain the military balance in the Middle East. We would construe any significant introduction of Soviet [Page 341] or other arms into the Middle East as endangering the military balance. In these circumstances my Government would provide a substantial majority of the military assistance requested by your Government. At the same time, I want to reaffirm our intention to pursue a policy of seeking a negotiated settlement of the situation in the Middle East. As I stated on September 26, 1969, we expect the Government of Israel to adopt an understanding attitude with respect to our efforts. Finally, I would like to request that the Government of Israel terminate for a period of 60 days its air and other attacks against the UAR providing a complete cease-fire is observed by the other side and recognizing that there would be no official statements to this effect by either side. Any relative disadvantage suffered by Israel as a result of these restraints—for example, through the unimpeded building up of SAM sites—will be taken into account in replacement decisions for 1971.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 652, Country Files, Middle East, Middle East, Vol. I. No classification marking. The aide-mémoire, originally prepared by Nixon, was re-written by Kissinger at 5 p.m. on March 17 after a meeting with Rabin that morning (see Document 104). Rabin saw a draft of the aide-mémoire on March 12. See Document 99.
  2. Nixon and Meir discussed arms for Israel on September 25. See footnote 2, Document 52.