250. Telegram From Secretary of State Kissinger to the Department of State1

Secto 23015. Subject: Message to Rabin. For Eagleburger from Secretary.

1. Please arrange to have following message from the President to Rabin conveyed to Israeli Chargé in Washington. Please also have it checked with Buffum and Atherton before delivery to assure consistency with what they know of SC proceedings.

2. Begin text of message to Rabin.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I have been following the proceedings on the UNDOF extension in the Security Council,2 and the results in my judgement are mutually satisfactory. Secretary Kissinger’s letter to Foreign Minister Allon 3 detailed the successful efforts of the U.S. in this regard based on close and continuous consultations with the Israeli Government. I authorized an affirmative vote on the resolution in the conviction that the U.S. to have vetoed the six month UNDOF extension would have carried with it the greater risk of beginning a chain reaction which would seriously heighten tensions in the area and could lead to a resumption of hostilities.

In the broader context, I want to make a few added observations in the spirit of the close and intimate relationship which exists between Israel and the United States.

We share your view that there is a substantial effort being made to shift the focus of negotiations on the Arab-Israeli dispute from the Geneva Conference to the Security Council. In part, this arises from the fact that it has not been possible to get a serious negotiating process started in the aftermath of the Egyptian-Israeli Agreement, the implementation of which seems to be proceeding well.

I am keenly aware that the position of the other side and conditions in the area have not been conducive to negotiations and reconcili[Page 873]ation. At the same time, Mr. Prime Minister, I must say in all candor and friendship our task has not been made any easier by the fact that Israel has taken no new initiative to stimulate the negotiating process nor have you taken the kind of unilateral step before the UNDOF renewal which you and I discussed during your last visit to Washington.4

The position of those who are seeking to make the Council more predominant has been strengthened because of the diplomatic void which presently exists. We will stick to the agreed strategy despite this. An overall review of where we are and where to go has assumed greater urgency. I look forward to my talks with you at the end of January. In the meantime, if Foreign Minister Allon could find it convenient to come to Washington in early January to concert positions on the Security Council debate this would be desirable.

Sincerely,

Gerald R. Ford

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, CL 160, Geopolitical File, Israel, Dec. 1–12, 1975. Secret; Cherokee; Nodis; Flash. Sent from the aircraft taking President Ford and Secretary Kissinger to Beijing.
  2. The UN Security Council voted to renew the UNDOF for an additional six months on November 30, but Syria and the Soviet Union insisted that the renewal be linked with PLO participation in the UN debate on the Middle East to commence on January 12, 1976. Despite Israeli opposition to the linkage, the United States agreed, resulting in PLO inclusion at the January debate. (Washington Post, November 30, 1975, p. A16)
  3. The letter is contained in telegram Secto 23012. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Policy Files, P840084–024)
  4. See Documents 183185.