210. Memorandum of Conversation1


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


  • Middle East, Angola; Soviet Grain; SALT; President’s Trip

[There was discussion of the new Israeli lines in Sinai]

Kissinger: We will send Eilts back Saturday.2 This won’t help us with Sadat. It’s not a big concession after all our table-pounding. He could quit his talk and take it, or tell us to go to hell. If he says no, maybe we should go for an overall settlement.

President: I agree.

Kissinger: The only value of this is it gets us a settlement and a year and a half.

President: If Sadat says no, there is no reason to force more concessions from Israel for an interim, is there?

Kissinger: If you give them an ultimatum, they will do it, but you will pay for it in a confrontation.

My assessment of Israel’s situation is that for us to start a showdown for a few changes . . . It’s better to brawl over a failure.

President: Sadat might buy it; he may want something more. He must understand we can’t make a major effort for changes.

Kissinger: We will make an effort, but not a massive one.

President: We will do what we can; if that is not enough we will tell Sadat we will go comprehensive.

Kissinger: That’s my judgment. [To Scowcroft:] What do you think?

Scowcroft: I agree.

[Page 789]

Kissinger: The reason I reluctantly came to an interim agreement is that if you get it, plus a SALT agreement and one or two others, you’ll be in good shape in foreign policy.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the Arab-Israeli dispute.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, CL 282, President’s File, July 1975, Folder 1. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office at the White House. All brackets, with the exception of the ones describing omitted material, are in the original.
  2. July 19.