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116. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the White House Chief of Staff (Haig)1

K. Where are you?

H. In my room, about to go to see the boss.

K. We haven’t heard from the Soviets. I think around noon Ziegler ought to say we are going to the Security Council. Before it’s done check again. We have next to no support. On the other hand the Arabs are doing better than anyone thought possible. I have just talked to the Israelis.2 They will need until Wednesday or Thursday.3 They are not all that eager for a Security Council mtg. In fact, nobody is—the Israelis, the Soviets, the Egyptians, the British. On the other hand I think we can have a low-key meeting. For the Security Council to do nothing while fighting goes on is absolutely intolerable and I think we have to go ahead. We should seek return to the status quo ante.

H. Yes—

K. If we go we must ask for return—the Israelis will never forgive us for a straight ceasefire and they’d never observe it anyway.

H. It’s going to be tough if we are all alone.

K. On the other hand, a simple ceasefire request would make it seem that we have turned against the Israelis and this would have incalcuable domestic consequences . . . and international ones too, and we would have changed our position of yesterday.

H. Are the Israelis panicking?

K. They are almost . . . they are anxious to get some equipment which has been approved and which some SOB in Defense held up which I didn’t know about. I think myself we should release some of it.

H. I think so, too.

K. I think if the Arabs win they will be impossible and there will be no negotiations. A change would be ascribed to our own domestic crisis.

H. Right, I agree. I think we have got to stand by principle.

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We’ll have to provide the stuff we have been committed to unless they can stabilize this thing quickly—two or three days.

K. That’s what they think. If we don’t move today somebody will move with a simple ceasefire resolution.

H. On our return—I though we should go back normally tonight.

K. I think you should come back tonight. That’s when you were coming back anyway?4

H. We had planned to come back tomorrow night.

K. I think it would have ginned (?) things up too much if you had come back last night.

H. If you need anything . . .

K. If Ziegler makes the statement, that’s enough. They have been in touch with me and . . . check with me again because I might have heard from the Soviets.

H. Anything else the boss should know, Henry?

K. No, those are the main things.

H. Interesting report. The Israelis are shocked by the confidence of the Arabs.

K. Yes, that’s right.

H. This might make easier negotiations.

K. Depends on how we conduct ourselves. We must be on their side now so that they have something to lose afterwards. Therefore I think we have to give the equipment.

H. What are we talking about, ammunition and spares?

K. Let me see, I have it here. (reads from list) What we can do is send those which have already been approved.

H. Do we airlift them.

K. We don’t have to do anything. They are sending a plane over and we could do it on the ground that they were picking up things they had already ordered. My profound conviction is that if we play this the hard way, it’s the last time they’re going to listen. If we kick them in the teeth they have nothing to lose. Later if we support them they would be willing to help with Jewish emigration or MFN or other stuff.

H. Will be in touch before noon.

K. Have Ziegler read the announcement to me.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 22. No classification marking. Haig was in Key Biscayne with the President; Kissinger was in Washington.
  2. See Document 115.
  3. October 10 or 11.
  4. The President returned to Washington at 10 p.m. on October 7.