141. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Ambassador Simcha Dinitz of Israel
  • Minister Mordechai Shalev of Israel
  • Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State
  • General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff

Secretary Kissinger: On your special requests, the President has approved the entire list of consumables, that is, ordnance, electronic equipment—everything on the list except laser bombs. The President has agreed—and let me repeat this formally—that all your aircraft and tank losses will be replaced. Of the tanks you will be getting, a substantial number will be M–60’s, our newest. As for the planes, for immediate delivery; you will be getting 5 F–4’s, 2 plus 3. For the rest, you will work out a schedule.

Ambassador Dinitz: It’s a question of days, Dr. Kissinger.

Secretary Kissinger: It will be a matter of days. On the anti-tank ammunition and anti-tank weapons, Schlesinger is all set. You know whom to get in touch with at Defense. If there is any trouble, contact Scowcroft. This is everything else on the list, except the laser bombs and aircraft. On tanks, you will have to work out a schedule.

At the end of the week we can see what is urgent.

Ambassador Dinitz: We will take it all by plane.

Secretary Kissinger: That’s agreed. But you have to paint El Al out. This is for maximum security.

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Ambassador Dinitz: Our people who I just spoke to said General Sumner said you wouldn’t accept our planes even with El Al painted out.

Secretary Kissinger: Oh baloney. You will see a rapid change.

If the need is acute, you’ll see a speedup of tanks.

Dinitz: Can you get some through from Europe?

Secretary Kissinger: There is some possibility. We have some at Leghorn. At the end of the week we can see where we stand. The problem of tanks isn’t what you need in this battle, but the situation after this battle. You have assurances that you will have replacements. You have the additional assurance that if it should go very badly and there is an emergency, we will get the tanks in even if we have to do it with American planes.2

It is absolutely essential also that Senators and Congressmen don’t go around attacking the President. Ribicoff called me to say there is a story going around that I kept you from preempting.

Ambassador Dinitz: That’s ridiculous.

Secretary Kissinger: That is the story that is going around. They say I kept you from preempting.

Ambassador Dinitz: I know the source. I’ll handle it.

Secretary Kissinger: You don’t need to say that something is going on—we don’t need that—but just keep people from going around attacking us.

Now what is the military situation?

Ambassador Dinitz: The military situation is more encouraging. On the Golan Heights, we have pushed the Syrian forces almost off all the Heights, except at the very edge of the ceasefire line. There are some forces that are not destroyed. Today we destroyed hundreds of Syrian tanks. The missile setup of the Syrians was quiet today, most probably a result of airstrikes yesterday. Also it is possible that they don’t want to reveal themselves.

Secretary Kissinger: From the strike on Damascus?

Ambassador Dinitz: That was strategically important because of direct hits on the targets I listed to you. About the other casualties, I don’t know.

On the Suez front, we are at five to eight kilometers all along the Canal. Compared to yesterday, this is two to three kilometers nearer.

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Today we operated carefully and contact was limited. We took out the tanks but suffered hits.

In the afternoon, 50 Egyptian tanks began to move south to Abu Rudeis. Our Air Force liquidated thirty and the rest were finished off by our armor.

So this is encouraging news, and with the new equipment we’ll be able to strike.

Secretary Kissinger: OK. You get in touch with our military people. They shouldn’t talk all over the Pentagon.

Ambassador Dinitz: We’ll deal with General Sumner, not Noyes.

Secretary Kissinger: Scowcroft is here in my office to coordinate.3

Ambassador Dinitz: He was very helpful to us last night.

Secretary Kissinger: I’m glad he’s helpful to somebody! [Laughter]

Ambassador Dinitz: I shouldn’t tell tales out of school but I tell people that you only yell at people you trust.

Secretary Kissinger: Only at people I know can do better work. I never yell at Scowcroft. [Laughter]

OK, can I speak to you alone for five minutes?

[Secretary Kissinger and Ambassador Dinitz spoke alone from 6:25 to 6:35 p.m.]

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL ISR–US. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Map Room of the White House. Brackets are in the original.
  2. In an October 10 backchannel message to Keating, Kissinger informed the Ambassador of the decision to supply arms and that he had told Dinitz, who would inform Meir. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 136, Country Files, Dinitz, June 4–October 31, 1973)
  3. At 7:25 p.m., Kissinger called Dinitz and told him that he had talked with Schlesinger and that Dinitz could go ahead with resupply. He added that a situation was developing in which it would be very hard for the United States to resist a cease-fire in place proposal at the United Nations. Therefore, they needed to be aware in Jerusalem of how the tactical situation was developing. The United States could drag it out, but there was a limit to what could be done. (Ibid., Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 22) Printed in Kissinger, Crisis, pp. 154–155.