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

D: Food and Water . . .2

K: It is my strong advice to enable us to say something, we can say we have achieved . . . enable us to pay less later.

D: You recommend food and water.

K: You offered to let food and water through . . . could cause very serious consequences with Russians.

D: I want to ask you about something that has been on my mind, not my Government’s mind. Suppose we offer to return all the people free without equipment, wouldn’t take prisoners, let them have food [Page 758]and water and let them return home safely if they wanted, open the road.

K: In my view the best thing to offer food and water, non-military supplies.

D: OK, I will pass that on. That also will not solve the problem, though. Will delay confrontation we are going to have with Egypt.

K: You will wind up in my judgment, we will end up on the wrong side of the confrontation. It would be a whole hell of a lot better to establish the principle of limited supply now.

D: I’m not negating this.

K: In addition, and to offer that anybody who wants to leave will be permitted to leave, the Egyptians will consider that insulting.

D: We don’t want to insult Egypt, but there must be a solution to the problem, we don’t want to allow them to become fighting forces again.

K: I understand, eventual solution will be to open the road to non-military supplies.

D: Yes, I understand.

K: You will get under irresistible pressure if you keep it up.

D: Not keeping it up, we started with nonmilitary, humanitarian things, and I think the possibility . . .

K: My personal advice, you understand it’s not an official position yet, but it is my usual tactic of anticipating in order to gain time.

D: As I said last night.

K: You will not be permitted to capture that army. I am certain.

D: It’s not first priority. We would rather have them go home.

K: I don’t think that will be possible either. Unless you withdraw your forces.

D: Well. That comes back to your suggestion, that we suggested to you that [last] night.

K: You won’t _________ [withdraw?] in the North.

D: Don’t want both sides of the canal in the North.

K: I frankly think you will make a mistake if you push into a total confrontation.

D: We’re not trying for a confrontation, just want to find the best way to solve it.

K: Well, I have given you my views, it would be helpful if we could get an answer in the early part of the afternoon. Oh, something I have meant to tell you earlier and have neglected to twice, what I talked with Dobrynin about the conference was very minor, whether the site would be in New York or Geneva. that the site would not be in New York, but [Page 759]Geneva which is what the Foreign Minister told me. Why he wanted that I don’t know.

D: I will find out.

K: I think it has some remoteness from here and from the UN and that American and Soviet person of appropriate rank would sit in on the first few sessions and that’s as much as we discussed.

D: OK, I will pass it on.

K: No substantive discussion whatever.

D: Fine.

K: Do tell them because the President has been bugging me to do it.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 23. No classification marking. The blank underscore indicates an omission in the original. Also printed in Kissinger, Crisis, pp. 374–376.
  2. For the Egyptian Third Army.