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

R: First, [omission in the original] leaving immediately to have reconnaissance over the area whenever possible in daylight.

K: That should be in a few hours.

R: Transfer the results of these to Washington. According to what she had from Israel the situation is quite unpleasant to put it mildly.

K: What do you mean?

R: There’s a massive Syrian force in the area.

K: So you agree with us.

R: When it comes to the facts and implications, we don’t agree. The people there are not sure if air alone will be sufficient at the present. Anyhow, she has instructed to look into the matter favorably your point of view but no decision before we know exactly what’s going on.

K: Will you be in touch with me?

R: Yes. I have no air communication back to Washington. If Gen. Haig could help me.

K: We will get you back. Let’s get through our business and he will take it up.

R: She has exchanged views with the Defense Minister and she is sending a cable detailing everything we talked about but we cannot promise you anything now. In the morning perhaps. Now it’s 5:35 a.m. and after more light—

K: Our time or your time?

R: It’s morning there. As soon as possible air reconnaissance will be carried out.

K: Stay in your hotel room. Or do you have to see her off?

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R: It’s not a question—it doesn’t matter. The sooner back to Washington—

K: Stay there and we will tell you where to go and how to get back. Now I will sum it up. Reconnaissance is ordered. You will transfer results to us immediately. Your information is that there are massive forces in the Irbid area and therefore you confirm information from the other side. Your people are not convinced air alone is sufficient. They have been ordered to look into our proposition favorably but cannot give final views until they have studied what they have. You will be back in touch. We will get you back to Washington.

  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.