357. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Simcha Dinitz, Ambassador of Israel
  • Minister Mordechai Shalev
  • Major General Brent Scowcroft
  • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff

Scowcroft: We want to let you know we have had contact with representatives of the PLO. They asked us urgently for contact. We sent one of our intelligence people, and a meeting took place in Morocco.2 He was instructed to listen to what they had to say. There were no proposals. He made clear that there were two fundamental foundations to our policy: The existence and security of Israel, and our strong friendship for Jordan and King Hussein. These were the bedrock of our policy.

They mostly talked about the background and history of the PLO, and were upset that we have never had contact with them, as other governments have had. They feel they are discriminated against. They said they were the valid representatives of the Palestinian people, and that they would never be willing to live in the Hashemite Kingdom. And that they would have to participate in any peace negotiations.

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Dinitz: They specifically said they would take part in the peace conference?

Scowcroft: This all took place before that. In the first part of November.

Dinitz: The participation of the Palestinians in the peace conference, if it ever gets to that, would be a very complex issue for us.

Scowcroft: For us, too, and the Arabs, too.

Dinitz: This is one of the questions I had to raise with the Secretary, I hope today. Because of the decisions we will have to take. I hope to be able to see him today.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 139, Country Files, Middle East, Palestinians, [July 1973–July 1974]. Top Secret; Sensitive; Nodis; Exclusively Eyes Only. The conversation took place in the Map Room at the White House.
  2. See Document 318.
  3. Before the meeting began, Dinitz handed Scowcroft a detailed list of military equipment needed by Israel. The paper stated that these items were “of the utmost priority for the Israeli Defense Forces especially in view of the possibility of the resumption of warfare by Egypt and Syria. We therefore ask that these items be shipped immediately, by air.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 136, Country Files, Middle East, Dinitz, November 1–30, 1973)