251. Memorandum of Conversation1


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


  • SALT Negotiation Procedures; Middle East

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

Kissinger: We also have a Moynihan problem. The basic problem is we are afraid to impose discipline on anyone because of the leaks. It [Page 874] is now being said that I prevented a veto in the Security Council of the UNDOF resolution. It is a total lie. You know that whole story.

Now we have a new problem. The Israelis have killed 200 people in a raid in Lebanon2 and the resolution is coming up. If they put something in the resolution condemning terrorist acts, I don’t see how we can veto under these circumstances. This wasn’t retaliation. But I am afraid to put it on paper.

There is another horror. If we don’t protest the four new settlements they are building on the Golan,3 we will be blamed for acquiescing. But if we do protest, there will be an outburst.

The President: The question is do we let Israel run our foreign policy?

Kissinger: We got UNDOF extended with virtually no price. Anyone can get a Security Council debate. The Israeli strategy is to defeat you and destroy our foreign policy and credibility, or at least to isolate us and kill our relations with the Arabs.

The President: I think we should protest the four settlements.

Kissinger: It should be done while I’m in the country so I can share the blame.

Your foreign policy is going well. Sadat’s visit went very well and this trip is being reported well now.

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

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, CL 283, President’s File, December 1975, Folder 1. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place during Ford’s Asian trip. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Ford was in Jakarta until 11:25 a.m. and in Manila from 4 p.m. (Ford Library, Staff Secretary’s Office Files) It is likely the meeting occurred while in transit between the two cities.
  2. On December 2, Israeli fighter jets bombed Palestinian refugee camps and guerrilla bases in northern and southern Lebanon in retaliation for a November 13 Palestinian bombing in Jerusalem that killed 6 and wounded 46 others. According to the Washington Post, Lebanese police officials reported the death toll from the Israeli bombing at 91 killed and 150 wounded. (Washington Post, December 3, 1975, p. A1)
  3. Apparently a reference to new Israeli settlements constructed on the Golan Heights.