168. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Israeli Ambassador (Dinitz)1
D: My military attaché is just standing next to me. He just came into my office and said that General Sumner called him and General Sumner told him that because we cannot . The Golan Heights tonight or tomorrow he has an order to send some ammunition immediately that we need badly just now.
K: That’s what you wanted isn’t it?
D: Yeh, we wanted ammunition but we want Sumner to . So what is exactly—you have any idea how many planes or anything?
K: We are going to do three separate things. We are going to give you the ten C–130’s immediately.[Page 472]
D: Ten C–130. Directly.
K: Immediately. Now you have to work out with Defense—we would prefer it if you place Israeli pilots in the Azores.
D: We understand.
K: If at all possible.
D: I would like to find out.
K: Well you find that out. Second we are going to force some charters out of the airlines. And thirdly, we are going to use the Azores with your El Al so you have three different operational—
D: Just to be sure I understand. The ten C–130 which will approach either directly to Israel or through the Azores depends on the availability of the Israeli pilots to continue to take—
K: Yeh, but make a big effort to put Israeli pilots.
D: Of course we will, we will need Israeli pilots for—the charter will go all the way to Israel?
D: You have any idea how many?
K: No, but we are going to force them out—we will try to force 20 of them.
D: I see. And now we’ll have to fly from the Azores. So what we have to see is—
K: You will have all three of them going simultaneously.
D: We’ll have to try and see whether we have enough pilots for El Al and for the ten C–130—we’ll check on it and will tell Defense. We have to deal with Defense, right?
K: Right, because—but if there’s any problem call General Scowcroft.
D: Okay, at this point I’ll call Scowcroft. All right, thank you Doctor.
K: Now, wait a minute, since I’m interested in the diplomacy of this, I can’t tell you how to conduct military operations but I think it would be a disaster for you just to stop tomorrow.
D: Right. I will pass this information immediately to the Prime Minister including these items you just told me.
K: Because if you are seen to be weak, there’s no telling what will happen.
D: Hm huh. I know. I know. That is why I was a bit concerned that [omission in the original] Sumner of this weakness.
K: I’m dealing with a bunch of idiots.
D: Yeh. Yeh. From Sumner, God knows where it will go.
K: Okay, let me get Schlesinger again.[Page 473]
D: To tell his aides to set up—
D: All right. And I will pass the information on as soon as my military attaché will get timetable. Because that is crucial.
K: That’s right.
D: I don’t want to mislead the government again. So I’ll get the timetable first before I cable the Prime Minister.
K: This time if you don’t get action I’ll quit.
D: Well, it will be a double ring ceremony.
K: You know it is an unbelievable situation.
D: I know. I will put them to work right away and I will inform Scowcroft of the details.
K: Good. Thank you.2
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 23. No classification marking. The blank underscores indicate omissions in the original.↩
- In a 1:06 a.m. telephone call with Schlesinger, Kissinger reported that Dinitz had called him “saying Sumner was yelling at his [Dinitz’s] military attaché that they were stopped because they’re out of ammunition and he said their whole security depends on that fact not getting out.” Kissinger then asked Schlesinger, who was on his way to the Pentagon, to “make sure that they don’t blab around the Pentagon with this because that really would kill everything.” Schlesinger agreed. (Ibid.)↩