287. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Israeli Ambassador (Rabin)1

K: We have had another message2 and another conversation with the President.3 I will first give you the essence of the message and then the request of the President. Sisco and Haig are on the line. This is the message from our Ambassador who says he had a phone call from the King at 3:00 a.m. local time pointing out that the situation was [Page 796] deteriorating dangerously. A massive invasion. The northern forces were disbanded. Irbid occupied. That is the information we have from the King. This was having a disastrous effect on the troops in the capital. He therefore requests immediate physical intervention, both air and land. Especially he wants immediate air strikes on invading forces from any quarters. In light of your information we have discussed with the Secretary of State4 and the President and we can now assure you under these circumstances we would look favorably on your actions and the President has asked me to tell you if you undertake such action we would of course make good any materiel problems that might arise as a result of these actions and we are cognizant of the fact we would have to hold the situation under control vis-à-vis the Soviets.

R: I would like to make it clear that the President looks at it favorably.

K: That is correct.

R: Second, if there would be a question of materiel you would find ways to compensate what would be the outcome.

K: We promise that.

R: Third, if there would be certain problems with the Soviets we can rely on you.

K: That is exactly correct and we are taking some immediate precautionary measures to put ourselves into this position.

R: Give me two or three minutes and I will bring it to Prime Minister Meir and I will discuss it with her and be in a position to tell you.

K: And you will call me at the White House board. Just a second— I would like to talk to my associates who are on the phone to make sure I don’t leave anything out, but this has been discussed with the Secretary of State and has the personal endorsement of the President. Hold on. (Discusses with people in room.) We will call the British and inform them also, Mr. Ambassador. We will inform the British of this conversation.

R: If you find it necessary to inform the British it is up to you, but once the decision will be taken by us I think it is only between you and us.

K: We will not tell them of your decision, we will tell them of our discussions with you.

R: Since the last I had an opportunity to talk to the Prime Minister— when it comes to the reconnaissance there is no problem. I can’t say for the time being anything about the second part.

K: You will call us back about that?

R: Yes.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Box 30, Chronological Files. No classification marking. Kissinger was in Washington and Rabin was in New York.
  2. Document 284.
  3. See Document 286.
  4. See Document 285.