182. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Gerald R. Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft

The President: The papers on Rabin and the arms requests are very well done. Really well done. It was an eye opener to me. With all they have gotten, they can never say we are not concerned with their security.

Kissinger: If we ever put these figures out, we could carry the country. If the Kennedy appraisal is correct—and I think he is—you are in good shape. He thinks you will be tough to beat—because you have the center.

I told Rabin you leaned toward an overall agreement.2 On an interim deal, he is more flexible on giving access to the oil; he is willing to give up the warning station, but he is not ready to move out of the passes. This is a new argument—he says the next line is near the ’67 borders.

The President: If he is worried about security, won’t those warning stations do it?

Kissinger: He has a point. Their infrastructure is right behind the passes, but why didn’t he say that nine months ago? The other point is if he makes an interim deal, what understanding will there be about the next steps? He wants a promise there’ll be no more moves. I didn’t answer. But you can’t commit yourself to anything more than to work in close consultation with them.

Scowcroft: We can’t do it. You have consistently warned them that a Syrian move was essential.

Kissinger: He says he can move only a few hundred yards there. We would need at least three kilometers—and that would hit the settlements. He says he can’t do it, even for ten years of no movement—only for peace. But if he talks peace with Syria, he can’t avoid talking peace with Egypt, and then we would be talking borders.

[Page 671]

The President: Will he push for free access to the Canal?

Kissinger: He didn’t raise it—nor aid, but he will. You might begin by raising the point about domestic interference here, and the leaks, and then let him go. It is hard work, but if it doesn’t work, I think you should put out an overall plan.

The President: What are the elements of an overall proposal?

Kissinger: Borders, Arab peace commitments, the Palestinians, guarantees.

The President: I thought I would start with him saying how disappointed I was at the failure in March, and the problem of leaking my letter,3 their interference in our domestic affairs, why I announced the reassessment. I would say I was committed to peace which would guarantee Israel’s survival, and I was leaning toward an overall settlement and ask him how he sees it.

Kissinger: I would be tough on leaking—not just the letter, but the Schmidt leak also.

[Describes the Israeli leak to Schmidt about him setting up Israel-Soviet contacts.]

The President: If we talk about the leaking of the letter, that is a gross example.

Kissinger: Yes, but it is not the only thing; it is a pattern.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 12, June 11, 1975, Ford, Kissinger. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office at the White House. Brackets are in the original.
  2. Kissinger and Rabin met on the morning of June 11 from 8 until 9:25 a.m. at Blair House. (Memorandum of conversation, June 11; National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 11, Nodis Memcons, June 1975, Folder 2)
  3. Document 156.