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126. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Israeli Ambassador (Dinitz)1

K: How are you?

D: Fine. How are you? Is this call from me to you?

K: It is from me to you.

D: With your permission I will give you the latest information I have and the special thing from the Prime Minister. The situation on the front looks considerably better. We have gone over from the containment to attack both on the Sinai and Golan Heights. Our military people think that a good possibility we will push the Syrians all the way across the ceasefire line and we are also moving out the Egyptian forces in the Sinai.

K: I have seen a report that you have crossed the canal.

D: I have seen this too and I talked to the Prime Minister’s office an hour ago and I could not get any confirmation. I was waiting confirmation on that. I will read to you this subsequent message. Continuing with the military review. It is all the more important for us to gain time to complete the job. We will not only reject—I am waiting instructions from the Prime Minister—we not only reject that which freezes the cease fire but which calls for return which is unrealistic because there is no guarantee they will withdraw their forces. I want to tell you we suffered very heavy casualties both in human and equipment. From the SAM–6s which were very effective against our planes. I don’t have an additional figure against the 35 planes I told you about yesterday. The human casualties I think are over 100 or maybe hundreds. We have no confirmation.

K: Hundreds?

D: Yes. Hundreds. It is quite possible that we will take some military positions on the other side of the canal. I am saying this without confirmation. The earlier message from the Prime Minister is that it is possible that we will take military positions on the other side of the canal and on the former ceasefire line of the Golan Heights in hot pursuit and to insure ourselves against new attacks and to have some new political cards to play as we talked yesterday. I don’t have confirmation of any action such as this because the fighting is still to the best of my knowledge still on our side of the ceasefire line. Now I have a special [Page 371]message from the Prime Minister to you which I will read and when we see each other I will take it to Peter so he can take it. “The Prime Minister wishes to convey to you her profound appreciation not only for your help but for your wise counsel. She says in the cable that you understand exactly the situation that goes on in our minds as if you were sitting with us here. The aims of our fighting are absolutely clear to you. It is our objective that the heavy blows we will strike at the invaders will deprive them of any appetite they will have for any future assault. Our extraordinary military efforts extolled a heavy price, especially planes. We are faced with a tremendous gap in quantity. Our planes are hit and being worn out. The Prime Minister urgently appeals to you that there is an immediate start of delivery of at least some of the new Phantom planes. End of message.”

K: I will do my best and tell her for her information I have talked to the President this morning and to General Haig about the replacing of aircraft losses which as you know met some opposition yesterday and he has agreed in principle.2

D: I see. How do we proceed. Shall I wait to hear from you.

K: You had better wait to hear from me. It might affect your own calculations.

D: That is very important. I will send a message right away.

K: I don’t want to mislead you. We will maintain our position on the ceasefire line. We discussed this yesterday without prejudice to the immediate military operations. That is the position we will take at the Security Council. We will not introduce a resolution just a philosophical talk.

D: Of course.

K: One other thing. We have had a much more conciliatory Soviet message3 this morning urging us to urge restraint but we have answered that we are urging restraint. At any rate we are warning them against any action and I am giving a speech tonight in the Pacem in Terris conference and I am making two pointed references that détente cannot survive irresponsible actions. In one context I mention specifically the Middle East. I am going also in this speech to mention our MFN position and I hope to God this is not a week when the Jewish League will start attacking me on this position.

D: To a degree I can speak in the name, that I don’t think that it will happen this week in any way.

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K: I don’t think it would be very wise. That is not my major problem. The final question I have, Mr. Ambassador, is the Lebanese have asked us to appeal to you that you should not violate their sovereignty4 and rather than send you a message through the ambassadorial channel I thought it easier to tell you directly and not have too much paper work.

D: I am sure we have no designs to violate their sovereignty.

K: If you have no such designs and you could pass such a message to me that I could pass to them and to the British it would help establish the climate we all need.

D: I will confirm it to you. We will keep the British out.

K: Confirm it to me and if you could do it soon it would be helpful.

D: I have one item for you—an additional item. I have received many calls during the morning from senators of all sorts. All with sympathy and request for help. I assured them all that American Government is urging peace, stability and seeing things eye to eye and that we have no problem. Some wanted to sponsor a resolution and instead of this I think what they are doing at this stage is coming out with a statement. Scott will be contacting you shortly.

K: He has done so and I have told him that I have no objection to the sort of resolution5 and I discussed it yesterday with him. I am not pushing it.

D: I am not either by the way. Sen. Bayh and Senator from Calif. and Kennedy6 came out with a statement. They are all lining up. I am not asking any initiative on their part. Just briefing them and many are asking whether they can help materially. I say to them I am in close touch with the Government and we have no outstanding problems.

K: Right.

D: Yesterday I gave you information from our intelligence re the Russians and the Syrians.7 I have a correction. They are not sure about it and ask me to tell you not to use it unless we have further confirmation.

K: O.K.

D: Whatever can be done on the planes and other equipment we would be grateful and it would be helpful.

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K: The other equipment I will do something about today.

D: I will wait to hear from you and I will tell the Prime Minister what you have told me.

K: I will try to get the anti-tank and electronic stuff today.

D: Perhaps we should schedule to see each other—you are going to . . .

K: We might be able to do it later this afternoon.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 22. No classification marking.
  2. Kissinger met with Nixon and Haig from 9:55 to 10:18 a.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary)
  3. See Document 123.
  4. Buffum reported the Lebanese démarche in telegram 11884 from Beirut, October 7. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)
  5. Kissinger spoke with Senator Hugh Scott (R–Pennsylvania) about the resolution at 11:35 a.m. and again at 1:15 p.m. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 22)
  6. Senators Birch Bayh (D–Indiana) and Edward M. Kennedy (D–Massachusetts).
  7. See footnote 3, Document 124.