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

D: Now we have got everybody so excited we will not be able to have a rational discussion. But, let’s do it in two parts tonight which we hope will facilitate things.2 First what you can live with. You can give us your professional assessment of where that leaves us, then see how [Page 881]much we can take—see what we can do. We shouldn’t have it in a Wagnerian atmosphere as you mentioned because the President said he asked her to go back to her cabinet, or rather Haig did . . .

K: That would be nice, but I’m not sure Egypt would accept my proposition. In fact, I rather doubt it, as long as it’s an unacceptable proposition I wonder if it makes a hell of a lot of difference what . . .

D: I will try to put it to her, what we think we can live with, start with this.

K: And don’t tell me you almost have to have Israel on the road on top of withdrawal. . . . As we discussed yesterday, Israel holds both sides of the roads, the UN does the inspecting, you would therefore see if weapons or . . . I mean, what can they hide in the back of a two ton truck?

D: Well, our military experts say they can do that, their anti-tank missiles, for instance which they have used so effectively . . .

K: I’m telling you this suicidal impulse of the Israelis must be stopped. If you are not willing to open the roads, you will drive us into more . . . if you can turn over the roads, then other things can be discussed, no chance—you are not imposing unconditional surrender, your government is the only one . . .

D: Well, this thing should be discussed between you and the Prime Minister.

K: The proposal of October 22 lines. I think you’re wrong but that I can get into my head. OK. I just wanted to tell you the issues.

D: There is no misunderstanding about you are alone.

K: I understand that, this is not between you and me personally. If it were between you and me, somebody else could settle it.

D: It’s not between you and her, either.

K: No, not with me, the issue isn’t with me. I am clear about that, don’t worry.

D: Fine.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 23. No classification marking.
  2. Kissinger and Meir and their parties met again at 10:45 p.m. on November 3. Meir reiterated the Israeli position: non-military resupply of the Third Army, exchange of POWs, and lifting of the Bab el-Mandeb blockade. The meeting lasted until 1:10 a.m. on November 4. A memorandum of this conversation is ibid., RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–1977, Box 3.