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

K: We have asked Sisco to talk to you in a few minutes and you will be getting a call from him. He will give you a reply which in principle is yes but I would like to make the following suggestion. The less you say in reply, the better. Just say you will communicate with your government and then come in and see me. It’s terribly important that we know who says what to whom and I will give you guidelines on that.

R: In the meantime I have instructions too. More detailed.

K: Can you give them to me?

R: The gist after the decision that took place estimates that our military activity to prevent Syrian and Iraqi taking over in Jordan would require activation and operation of a relatively large force on our part. Second, we have to assume that as a result there might be resumption of hostilities even along the Suez Canal. It would be a clear cut Israeli intervention against another intervention in Jordan. As a result even though the attitude is positive as a result of our experience of the last few months I have been instructed to make clear certain points. The first, will the U.S. approach Israel formally in this matter? Second, will the King agree to request our assistance and undertake methods of communication and coordination? Third, a little more clarification— how will U.S. prevent Soviet participation? Fourth, is it understood that the U.S. will side with us in the international political arena including U.N. veto on grounds that Syria threatens Israel and not only Jordan? We might find ourselves in and they will order our withdrawal immediately. The fifth question, is it clear that Israel will not be held responsible for the fate of the hostages? And 6th, I think this on the political side any public statement made by U.S. in regard to this question we hope to know about it beforehand. I know it’s—

K: Is it possible for you to separate these questions in your meeting with Sisco or can you wait until after?

R: I have put them to you. I can get Sisco’s answer and communicate it back and then wait.

K: And then communicate back to Sisco?

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R: No, get Sisco and then in the meantime if I get clarification from you, I will be able to know what to do else.

K: I cannot work—just get Sisco’s answer and we will discuss— make the first point to him. That’s been our great contention here and it’s important they hear it from you.

R: Fine.

K: You will have to follow my recommendations. I may ask you to put them into channels. Receive communications and make the first point. Then call Haig and make an appointment here. You will have to assume what I tell you is in the interest of everybody. The questions will get to the President. On the basis of his answer I may ask you to give the list to Sisco.

R: I have a cable that says if we have positive answers the tendency of the Cabinet is to respond positively.

K: That’s second. What’s the first point?

R: This is not a question. It’s a statement. Any military activity—

K: That’s what I want you to communicate. Just that much, no more.

R: I will do it.

K: Then come in and go back to him. I will decide how to handle it.

R: I will come when you are free.

K: You see Sisco and then come over here.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Box 30, Chronological Files. No classification marking.