212. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Ford
  • 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

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

Kissinger: I met with Dinitz yesterday.2 It was very unpleasant. I think they want to turn the Arabs against us. They liked it between ’67 and ’73 when we were isolated from the Arabs.

Rabin said publicly that there could be no agreement without direct negotiations. Then he sent a letter saying he didn’t mean it.

I turned off having a meeting with you and Rabin on the trip. The only real possibility would be Bonn. To do it in Bucharest would be bad and Helsinki provocative.

President: I would meet only if he would accept the line and settlement we would propose. Under no other conditions.

Kissinger: How about the six stations?

President: Drop them.

Kissinger: I will tell Dinitz. That is a good idea. I think the six stations would be an albatross. The Lavon affair in the ’50s was about Israelis blowing up American installations in Cairo and blaming it on the

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Arabs.3 They could do the same with one of these stations and blame it on the PLO.

The outline of a deal is there, if we can get inclusion of the six stations. We can do it in August if the Israelis play ball.

President: The American public won’t buy the six stations.

Kissinger: I agree, especially since we have offered to man the other four. Though we may end up with the UN then.

President: But keep offering an American role there. I will meet Rabin if necessary, but it must be predicated on his accepting our best judgment. We must do it in August.

Kissinger: If the negotiations fail, we don’t have to blame Israel, but we can say it failed for lack of a common concept.

[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 2. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office at the White House.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 211.
  3. The Lavon affair refers to an Israeli covert operation in 1954. Israeli Defense Minister Pinchas Lavon organized a plan to use Egyptian Jews and undercover Israeli agents to bomb American, British, and Egyptian buildings in Cairo. Lavon’s goal was to blame the bombings on Arabs, creating the impression of an anti-Western atmosphere and helping convince the British and Americans of the need to have the British stay in the Suez Canal zone.