172. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Amb. Daniel P. Moynihan, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Kissinger: One major problem you will have is on Israel. We must dissociate ourselves a bit from Israel—not to destroy them but to prevent them from becoming a Sparta, with only military solutions to every problem. They are desperately looking for a spokesman—and [Page 634] they will work on you. What Israel did in the last negotiation was unconscionable. We may come out with our own ideas of the elements of a stable peace in the Middle East. We can’t afford a crisis in the context of blind support of Israel.

I don’t want Israel to get the idea that our UN mission is an extension of theirs. Treat them in a very friendly way, but as a foreign government. On expulsion, give them total support. On UNESCO, I am inclined to think the same. On the PLO, give them total support, at least until they recognize the existence of Israel.

We have to show Israel they don’t run us and we can’t support massive acquisition of territory. You can’t maintain that selling out Vietnam has no impact on Israel—as the Jewish community thinks. It can’t be.

We triggered the debacle in Vietnam. [They discussed what happened.] We shouldn’t kid ourselves that what we have done does not have catastrophic results. When the Japanese Foreign Minister visits here and demands to put out a statement reaffirming the Security Treaty. You know that in Japan you preserve it by never mentioning it. The President and I are going out in a Churchillian way. The UN is very important in this campaign. You have got to show that we are staying the course.

Moynihan: The American Jews have got to be Americans.

Kissinger: We will probably aim for security essentially within their borders, in total security and for total peace.

This ruthless using of a Communist threat at one moment, and Jewish immigration at another has got to stop. On expulsion we will fight to the death; on UNESCO I am inclined to agree. But Israel must be treated like Great Britain, not like the Department of Treasury.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, CL 273, Chronological File, April 1975. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Secretary’s office in the White House. Brackets are in the original.