191. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Kissinger: [showing a map:]2 Peres threatened to resign over even this line. So I don’t see how you can force an interim settlement on them.

[There was much discussion of the map lines.]

You could tell Sadat you forced them back this far and he can probably get two more kilometers. Any more would force Cabinet resignations and there would be no progress at all. If that is not acceptable, there are the two options: An interim settlement or an overall plan. An interim agreement under these circumstances would cause an explosion as big as an overall agreement. If anything goes wrong with an interim, we are in the soup. But an overall is risky because we would have to ride that for a year and a half. They also want $2.5 billion—even for this line.

The President: Not from me.

Kissinger: They don’t want a shuttle before the 13th.

Sadat has three options: To buy the Israeli option, so it would be settled by the middle of August. Or he rejects it and we impose an American interim or overall settlement. If you go to the interim you would have to say they get no aid bill until they accept. We would be stuck with all the consequences. And then the Syrians would demand equal American pressure for them.

I will get all the implications of our interim and overall solutions written up over the weekend. Rabin agreed [almost] to put forward the cosmetic proposal on Golan as a unilateral one. If we could get that [Page 725] with a painless interim solution, you could then get through our elections and go for a settlement after the election. The Golan gesture could be about November. Then next year we could put out an overall proposal in general terms—it wouldn’t be enough, but it would get us by. That is my ideal scenario. The problem with the overall is what do you do next March. It would be popular right now with everyone but the Jews.

The President: But if we put forward an interim and it is turned down, we could then say we did our best.

Kissinger: Let’s think these over over the weekened. I don’t see any sense in putting forward an overall one unless you put on aid restrictions until they accept. Restrict them to previous levels—$700 million. Next year is not a good one for you to be in a brawl with the Jews. What Sadat has to understand is what is doable on any of the three options.

With Khaddam, don’t put forward the overall idea so forcefully. Say we want progress; we don’t want to split the Arabs. On Golan, I would say we won’t agree to Israel keeping all the Golan. I have usually said that the Golan should be worked out in a settlement, and I assume Syria wouldn’t agree to anything unacceptable. There probably, as a practical matter, will have to be a demilitarization arrangement.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 13, June 20, 1975, Ford, Kissinger. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office at the White House. According to the President’s Daily Diary, it began at 9:44 a.m. (Ibid., Staff Secretary’s Office Files) Brackets are in the original.
  2. The map is not attached. For the final agreed map, see Appendix B, map 4. The Israeli proposal and map are attached to a June 20 memorandum of conversation of a meeting between Kissinger and Dinitz, during which Dinitz explained the various issues related to the proposal. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, CL 158, Geopolitical File, Israel, June 1–12, 1975)