93. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel
  • Simcha Dinitz, Ambassador to the United States
  • Ephraim Evron, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Mordechai Shalev, Minister, Embassy of Israel
  • Moshe Raviv, Counselor, Embassy of Israel
  • Eliyahu Chasin, Adviser to Allon
  • Eytan Ben-Tsur, Aide to Allon
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Ambassador Robert S. Ingersoll, Deputy Secretary of State
  • Joseph J. Sisco, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
  • Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, Ambassador at Large and Chief of U.S. Delegation to Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East
  • Alfred L. Atherton, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
  • Harold H. Saunders, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
  • Walter B. Smith, II, Director, Israel and Arab-Israel Affairs
  • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff

[Sisco hands Secretary Kissinger a paper.]2

Dr. Kissinger: If you will just sign this. [Laughter]

Well, Mr. Foreign Minister, it is a great pleasure to welcome you here. We have worked together for so long so many years, that this is not a negotiation between two governments but a discussion among friends. We all recognize that we have an extremely complicated situation. As I see it, the purpose of your visit is not to see if we can come to any agreements, but to have a common strategy. So we don’t keep asking who’s doing what to whom, but so we understand what we’re doing. This is the spirit of my colleagues and myself here. And this is the spirit of what we are doing.

[Page 383]

Minister Allon: Well, I consider it a privilege to open the pilgrimage month of Foreign Ministers from the Middle East to Washington. The very fact that Washington has become the world center where one can seek help, help to come to agreement, is itself a major development. Thanks to the President of the United States, and thanks to the gifted Secretary of State.

Dr. Kissinger: You will give my junior colleagues some time to rebut that last remark. [Laughter]

Minister Allon: I consider it more a consultation among friends rather than a negotiation, because it’s not with the United States we have to sign a peace agreement. Sometimes the choice isn’t between the best and the worst, but to find the least evil.

Of course no one regrets the signing of the disengagement agreements.3 Those agreements served the interests of both sides, and only agreements that serve the interests of both sides have a chance to survive. But we all know it is only the first step. We remember the last article of those agreements—that they were “only the first step to a final, just and lasting peace.” We have to think what now to do to achieve peace.

This is now the proper time to thank you, you and your colleagues, for your help to Israel in the last year. It was a difficult year, with the war. We are glad, too, that our neighbors think you helped them to achieve some of their targets.

We now have to consider the next steps.

We now have to consider that our neighbors are now building up their military option, a very powerful one. Whether they are using it to back up the political option, or, when the moment comes, to use it as a military force—we don’t know.

There were times when we thought your intelligence services played it down too much and you thought we played it up too much for our own purposes. I’m glad in the last week there is now agreement.

Dr. Kissinger: I’m not on the distribution for that.

Minister Allon: It was yesterday’s development.

Dr. Kissinger: I am not aware there is a fundamental disagreement, but I frankly haven’t seen this.

Mr. Saunders: It has not been put on paper yet. We’re doing it for you.

[Page 384]

Amb. Dinitz: We checked the figures, and there is no real disagreement. On projections, there was some disagreement, but not fundamental.

Dr. Kissinger: [to Saunders and Atherton]: I would like to see the old differences, too, and the reconciled [assessments].

Minister Allon: Whether we are right or not, we take into account the possibility that if and when—and in certain circumstances the Jordanians will join, and the Iraqis—when they decide to go to war, they will be capable as far as armament is concerned. Our job is to see that it doesn’t happen, by two means—politically, and by trying to maintain the balance of military strength. I’m not certain a strong Israel will deter them from attacking; if not, it will insure our survival. You all know from Peres what the ratio is. One to three.

I know that by overstressing the military aspect I may damage the political argument.

Dr. Kissinger: So far you haven’t.

Minister Allon: Because if war is a threat, then we’d better make more concessions. I am representing a government that is very keen on making peace. It would be a great achievement for this government if we could achieve a peace agreement with our neighbors. This is the desire of all our people, though we may differ on the terms.

The problem now is all our neighbors now believe they can get anything they want. They all believe—I hope wrongly—that America will give them what they want.

Dr. Kissinger: I don’t know how anyone who has dealt with you can think they will get everything they want. They’ll be happy to get anything they want.

Minister Allon: Hm, that’s true. When I left for the airport, they—journalists—asked me if our requests for future aid were an ultimatum to the United States. I said our relations were so good that there could be no ultimatums. I will add a sentence—I’ll make an ultimatum to myself: I shall not go to Geneva, and I shall not budge one inch, until the bilateral understandings with America are beginning to be implemented.

We are watching the Soviet airlift to our neighbors. We are lagging a bit behind. And, as Foreign Minister, I don’t feel I can go to Geneva until the understandings we arrived at when we negotiated the Syrian thing and when the President spoke to the Prime Minister, and when Peres was here, and we had very good talks when Simon was in Israel,4 [Page 385] [are fulfilled]. Something has got to show. Bureaucracy is heavy and slow, maybe on both sides.

I don’t have to tell you we don’t see the present arrangements as a new status quo. We are prepared to go ahead—not run amok, but to contribute our share. Because everybody wants to use the momentum. So do we.

So we have to agree among ourselves on what kind of Geneva Conference, how to hold it, which Arab country should come first, and what generally to expect from it.

So I will be very brief.

I am very unhappy that every six months the two UN emergency forces have to renew their mandate on what we call the north and south. I am very afraid that the Egyptians and the Syrians will use these as pressure either to concede faster or more than practical politics allow. So I don’t know if it is possible to see if it can be more than a year.

You are in a better position to judge. I won’t make it as an ultimative statement.

Dr. Kissinger: Not even to yourself? [Laughter]

The Foreign Minister will be a nervous wreck if he keeps making ultimatums to himself. Unless he is more schizophrenic a personality than I am.

Minister Allon: If possible, not to convene the Conference until it’s renewed.

Amb. Dinitz: The Egyptian one comes up the 25th of October. The Syrian one, the 31st of November. [Laughter]

Dr. Kissinger: Notice how Atherton spotted it? The best Foreign Service in the world. [Laughter] There won’t be a 31st of November.

Mr. Evron: America can do anything! You’re a superpower.

Minister Allon: Incidentally, this will help the Arabs postpone their summit. I know Hussein, and Hassan, are very anxious to postpone it. For their own reasons. So they also could postpone it, November, December.

This is a very serious matter. I don’t want to labor under the threat of a date: “Unless there is progress before the 24th of October, Egypt will walk out.”

If you can work on your friends, the Soviets, the Arabs, not to have debates in the UN on the Middle East. We need a relaxed atmosphere. Nothing good comes out of these debates. It is, how do you say, counterproductive. We managed this last year.

[Page 386]

Now you probably read the latest resolution of the Cabinet on Jordan and the Palestinians. [Tab A]5 I should explain. I disregard what the papers said, that State Department was unhappy. Even Simcha does.

Amb. Dinitz: We weren’t informed either.

Dr. Kissinger: That isn’t something I am informed about.

Mr. Atherton [to Dinitz] I gave you the text of what we would say if asked. It certainly did not show unhappiness.

Dr. Kissinger: The Office of the Secretary of State certainly didn’t express unhappiness.

Minister Allon: It was a very good resolution, in two ways. First, if there was the impression in the world or America that the Government of Israel thought only Egypt should be subject of the negotiations and Jordan should be left to last, they see now this is not so. Those of us who thought that Egypt should be first, it was because we thought it made things easier for Jordan. We thought it helped the King if Egypt were going ahead first. Second, there is more space in Egypt, between the lines; Jordan is more complicated. We thought it would give Jordan more time. It had also a negative effect. Jordan thought we were punishing them for not opening the third front in the war.

Now the Government decided that we, if I may translate the exact decision, the Government, will do its best to open negotiations with Jordan on a peace agreement. It coincides with our decision on the Palestinians. The Palestinian question is not taboo. You can see already in the program of the Labour Alignment, mention of the Palestinian identity which can find expression in a Jordanian-Palestinian State. Of course, Jerusalem should remain the capital of Israel, but the border between the two states can be negotiated. So if we approach the next steps we can think about Jordan as about Egypt. We just have to think about how best to serve the common cause, what can be done. We’re not saying Jordan should come first; we should discuss it.

When we say the Palestinians, we refer to those Palestinians who will be represented by the delegation of the Kingdom of Jordan. This isn’t very different from the Hussein-Sadat agreement, when Hussein got the concession from Egypt that Hussein should be the representative of the Palestinians within Jordan,6 and the implication that this includes those on the West Bank.

[Page 387]

According to the statistics, most Jordanian citizens are Palestinians, and most Palestinians have Jordanian citizenship. This is important if we’re discussing who should represent the Palestinians. Of course, not the PLO. The PLO is doing its best to stay out. If you read their 1963 platform, Israel doesn’t have the right of existence. So this is for left-wing romantics to think about, not a practical thing.

So you see we’ve left it open. I don’t want any negotiations, either with Egypt or Jordan, before Geneva. Any negotiations should be the result of Geneva.

We thought from the Secretary of State that the reopening of the Suez Canal would be done by the end of this year. But now we see it won’t be done until next March, April, maybe May. The resettling is slow. We won’t say anything; it’s their domestic affair. But it is not yet normalized, and we both attached importance to it. In Syria, nothing is being done yet—neither your estate [in Kuneitra], nor anything else. I won’t say anything publicly, to invite an answer: “It’s none of your business.”

But since you played the major role, I thought you should know it is slow. Maybe he will use the opening of the Canal to ask for more.

So, no negotiations before Geneva. Maybe it’s a good idea to give the Geneva Conference something to decide about. So maybe the Conference could decide the next step is with Egypt, or with Jordan.

Finally, the Geneva Conference should be more a framework than a sitting. Maybe ceremonial. I am inclined to prefer at the ambassadorial level. I am not a keen traveler. I will do it if you want. But the real negotiation should be elsewhere. Have a nice ceremonial opening session, a cordial one, and go back to the talks.

Whether the next negotiation should be by shuttle diplomacy on the Kissinger level, it depends on your burdens, your work.

We would like to have movement but cautiously, carefully, because movement should be in a careful way.

Dr. Kissinger: My nerves aren’t up to it. If I gave ultimatums to myself, I couldn’t stand it.

Let me make a few observations.

First, on the necessity of a strong Israel. There is no debate between us, and on any thing of our motives—friendship, self-interest, or Machiavellian maneuvering—there always has to be a strong Israel. Because our ability to act between parties presupposes a strong Israel. Otherwise the Arabs will attack it and will have no need to ask for our assistance.

[Page 388]

So there is no need to give ultimatums to yourself. You can. It’s entirely a domestic affair. [Laughter]

Minister Allon: There is a kibbutz saying, self-labor.

Dr. Kissinger: So within our domestic possibilities, we need a strong Israel. Since Dinitz controls our domestic possibilities, you have a check. [Laughter]

Let me discuss another aspect. Don’t think you’re doing us a favor going to Geneva. If you don’t want to go, don’t. I’m no particular fan of Geneva. I assume you’re negotiating for your own reasons, not as a favor to us.

I don’t think the Arabs think they’re going to get everything they want. In fact, I think the Arabs think they may not get anything, and this is a more realistic sense, no matter what they tell their publics. The moderates are under increased pressure from the others, and fear they’re getting nothing.

Second, there is the anomaly that it requires strength on both sides. It is necessary to create the impression that their demands, while not being met, may not be foreclosed. So you think—I’ll be frank—that it’s salami tactics and that sooner or later you’ll be met with unacceptable demands. The only way is to discuss what we’re doing. It is not so wise to make statements on what you will never do. Because that will only accelerate the pressures you fear. Not to want to go down from Golan is one thing; but to announce it now only accelerates diplomatic pressures we’re trying to avoid. So a measure of ambiguity in the public stance is essential. This is important for the Jewish Community here as well as for Israel.

The problem as I see it is this. Dinitz will give me hell for saying this later but I must give my honest conviction. I have said many times that I consider the position of Israel is precarious. A coalescence of all Arabs must be avoided. If there is another war, coupled with an oil boycott, it may lead to an economic collapse all over the West in the present precarious situation, and it will be a combination of the whole world—the Europeans, the Soviets. I don’t know what Portugal’s attitude on Lajes will be the next time.7

If your nightmare is being forced back to ’67, my conviction is that this will bring it about. This is my conviction. Therefore, it is necessary to have a process to deal with the problems piecemeal, and one at a time. It means one Arab country should be making some progress and no Arab country should be foreclosed. It doesn’t mean there should be progress, just that it is not foreclosed.

[Page 389]

Since you say you will talk with Egypt and Jordan, that is substantially met.

The procedure you outline is suicidal. Under these conditions.

Minister Allon: Under these conditions?

Dr. Kissinger: Where the [Geneva] Conference meets when no country has an incentive to keep it on. With nothing prepared in advance, the next time it won’t be so easy. The last time we got away with it because the Russians didn’t know what was happening; the next time it’s convened, they won’t let it be closed so fast. I have less interest than you in it, but that’s incompatible with your other proposition that you can’t do anything until then. Without a timetable for at least one Arab country, you will get the Russians leading an abstract discussion of Jerusalem, the frontiers, everything. Tactically, the procedure you outlined is the worst possible way. Either work out something beforehand, or have Geneva as early as possible.

No one is pressing now because they are all waiting to see what happens in August.

Often I have said it won’t happen and it does. But our position now in the Arab world is much more precarious than in May. There is a malaise there.

Second, will they repopulate the Canal Zone? I think they will. You know why they haven’t: the area is devastated, no money has been appropriated here. I don’t consider it a substantive argument. You can’t hinge it all on that. If you want to make implementation of the next stage dependent on the opening, that is reasonable.

You could tell that to Senator Jackson this evening on the Suez Canal, so he would get off my back.

You have to give the Egyptians the same vista in December. I don’t think it will work otherwise at Geneva. It is much too dangerous to have an unstructured Geneva. If there is some progress with Egypt beforehand, then they have incentive to abort Geneva.

But we have to talk about what the second phase is, because I and probably you have trouble coming up with a good package.

Minister Allon: May I interrupt? Since we think it’s good to start with Egypt . . .

Dr. Kissinger: It should start by September.

Minister Allon: So you tell Fahmy that we are ready to start negotiating, and he will agree to stop Geneva.

Dr. Kissinger: We don’t want the Geneva Conference; we start with that. If you start at the ambassadorial level, that makes it easy for the immediate problems, but then they will make it a permanent organ. The Egyptians don’t want it to be a permanent organ.

[Page 390]

Minister Allon: Nor do I.

Dr. Kissinger: If you start it low key, at the ambassadorial level, it will go fairly well for a month, then they will escalate it to the Foreign Minister level and it will be difficult to refuse. The Soviets won’t be pushed out so easily and will maneuver so as to make it extremely difficult to settle separately. Particularly because the Syrians will back them.

Minister Allon: Why have Geneva?

Dr. Kissinger: Because we are committed to it. [To Sisco:] You want to go to Geneva? You look wounded.

Mr. Sisco: Without negotiations already, it is very dangerous to have Geneva and nothing else.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes. It will lead to immediate pressure by the Arabs to start Geneva as rapidly as possible; it will make Geneva unmanageable. Thirdly, we should use the other negotiations to delay Geneva. If you do it with more than one, you will have allies in delaying it. So I strongly disagree with your strategy.

On tactics, I strongly disagree with shuttle diplomacy. It should be some other way. This too will delay it. It doesn’t mean I may not go in at some point, but the basic pattern can’t be shuttle.

We can’t long delay some talks with Egypt or Jordan.

As to the content of these talks, it is very hard to see.

I am attracted to the idea of not opening Geneva until UNEF and UNDOF is renewed. If Geneva is never opened, you won’t hear any complaint from me. It is manageable only if we agree on what to talk about with Egypt.

The Egyptian is coming here with his economic ministers,8 so he will not only be discussing Israel.

On the problems Israel faces, there is one other point, our domestic situation. There is no question that in our domestic situation as it is, systematic pressure on Israel is less likely. I might as well state it, because you know it anyway. We haven’t engaged in systematic pressure anyway. But it also makes it much less likely that in a crisis situation we can act with the ruthlessness and decisiveness that we have done in the past.

I don’t think Geneva can be delayed until December; but I am not sure. Syria in any case will be a massive problem.

Geneva was going to be in July; we’ve pushed it back to September and October. But that doesn’t avoid the problem of how to handle it.

[Page 391]

On UN debate on the Middle East, it won’t be encouraged by us and you.

So the questions we have to face are: What would be the package one wants to discuss with Egypt and Jordan? Second, what is the timing? And third, how do we get it started?

[Sisco goes out to release a statement on Cyprus.]

Minister Allon: Let me start with the self-inflicted ultimatum. I am very pleased with what you had to say about America’s position vis-à-vis Israel’s strength.

Dr. Kissinger: All of this is on the assumption that this new Government is immune to leaks.

Minister Allon: This is a responsible group.

But we know you mean it, and the President repeated it in June. But we are now trying to translate it into deliveries, concrete things. And we want you, as a friend, to mobilize your great influence on the other agencies, so the difficulties will be removed.

I don’t want to go into the details of the long list, but I must convince you if you are not already convinced: We are bound to lose too many people. America should consider Israel’s defense forces as really a most reliable army, which by its very existence and ability and efficiency serves a common interest. This wasn’t the reason for its founding, but I am glad it serves a common interest and we couldn’t have found a more reliable partner.

Since Peres was here . . . but time is a very crucial factor.9 We are in a hurry because we would like to avert a possible war or at least win it safely if it happens.

So I would like to see that, when our military mission comes in a few weeks, it will have your assistance.

Dr. Kissinger: I have a list of deliveries you want to have speeded up. I don’t know definitely, but I will certainly take it up in a favorable way with the Defense Department.

Minister Allon: Thank you.

Amb. Dinitz: There are two categories.

Dr. Kissinger: There are two categories: one is speeding up of the old items, and the second is the seven items that are new.

Amb. Dinitz: Or problematical.

Minister Allon: These seven items are really crucial.

Dr. Kissinger: We have the decision to make whether to do it or not do it. You will have to use it responsibly.

[Page 392]

Minister Allon: This will be good news when I go back and tell the Prime Minister and my colleagues.

Dr. Kissinger: I haven’t said . . . I told your Ambassador I would look into it.

Minister Allon: If you put your weight into it. You’ve put some weight on, so . . .

Amb. Dinitz: If I may, Mr. Secretary. It is difficult for every army to part with equipment, particularly when it’s in short supply. But it takes a decision on a very high level to send it. It is not a question that the Secretary of Defense says he’s for it; he has to be impressed that this is part and parcel of our ability to carry on the political dialogue.

Dr. Kissinger: I understand the point. It’s not the first time I have heard it. I’ve told you what I can do. I can only repeat that you’re not doing us a favor by continuing the political dialogue.

Minister Allon: About financing, we have already discussed with Secretary Simon. There are no problems of principle but, again, we feel the urgency is not felt.

Dr. Kissinger: I’m seeing Simon again today and I’ll discuss it with him. I have also had discussions with Burns about it.

Minister Allon: The figures—

Dr. Kissinger: The figures I know. $4.5 billion.

Amb. Dinitz: I checked on that, Mr. Secretary: If the process of legislation is passed in both Houses, it automatically continues [in a new Congress]. If it is passed only in one House, it has to start over again in the new Congress.

Minister Allon: I don’t have to tell you about the relationship between politics and economics.

Amb. Dinitz: Your lesson is coming back to haunt you!

Minister Allon: We placed before Simon a number of ideas, and if you can help . . .

Dr. Kissinger: Is there one Cabinet member who doesn’t blame me for his troubles?

Minister Allon: But we need your help.

Dr. Kissinger: No, I understand. I agree with you. After I see the Secretary of Defense, on Friday, I can give you some idea of how influence from the White House can accelerate your deliveries. I am certain some acceleration is possible. On the other list, I will look it over. I’ll take it up with the Secretary of Defense on Friday.

On the economics, I discussed it with the Appropriations Committee today. But they are obsessed with cutting expenditures across the board.

Amb. Dinitz: The State Department budget.

[Page 393]

Dr. Kissinger: Thank God they didn’t ask about that; I didn’t know anything about it. They’re looking for substantial cuts to make, for example, in the Defense budget, which affects a lot of things, including SALT. So one would really have to consider when the best time is to submit an authorization request. The first I heard of this scheme was yesterday.

In principle, I understand your concern. I have already indicated to some of your lobbyists that if they can get Congress to increase it we won’t veto it.

Amb. Dinitz: That’s on Supporting Assistance.

Minister Allon: It’s amazing: my economists tell me the same money last year would have tripled the amount.

Amb. Dinitz: In agricultural products.

Dr. Kissinger: PL–480.

Amb. Dinitz: The same amount, just the price has gone up so.

Dr. Kissinger: You are seeing Simon?

Minister Allon: Thursday.

The idea on authorization was a substitute for the idea we discussed with the President in Jerusalem. The President thought it too difficult—long-term appropriation.

Dr. Kissinger: A long-term appropriation is impossible.

Minister Allon: But a White House request, and long-term authorization . . .

Dr. Kissinger: Joe Sisco and I for five years have always favored getting it out of the way once and for all so we don’t have to go through it every year. If we can wrap it up in one negotiation, it’s easier.

You can’t look at it in conditional terms. You don’t want the Arabs to coalesce. We can face these questions without blackmailing each other.

Minister Allon: Of course.

I can’t help hearing what you say about if another war breaks out. We hope it won’t. Militarily, we’re confident. I have to say: if there is another war that is imposed upon us, we shall win it. And therefore those who will have to deal with the political aspect of it will face a more stubborn people. With Europe, without Europe. Because the people think that after every war we concede too much.

I learned my military lessons too well. I know what would have happened to the great President Sadat if the war had gone on two or three more days. Unless the Russians invaded, which is another problem.

So we want to avoid it by political movement—not gimmicks, but real movement—and strengthening Israel.

[Page 394]

What movement is, I would like to discuss.

Dr. Kissinger: I’d like to hear your ideas because we don’t have concrete ideas.

Why don’t I give you ideas after Rifai is here.10 On Jordan, we’re not doctrinaire. On Jordan, the pressure isn’t from other Arabs. The question is how long we can keep him in it before all the others commit themselves to the PLO.

Minister Allon: On negotiations with the Arabs, it’s our problem but it’s not only ours; it’s a world problem. You’re a super power, with interests in the Middle East. Therefore, we’re consulting each other about the future. When I say we’re not going to Geneva, it’s just on the bilateral relationship between us. But you’ve given us an answer.

On Geneva, I don’t need Geneva. We all understand it’s part of the proceedings. We know we’ll have to go at some point. But if the Arabs don’t want it, we won’t want it.

Thirdly, at the ambassadorial level: I meant only that someone would go just to watch the situation. With all due respect to the Ambassadors here, I meant it to give less importance to Geneva.

Dr. Kissinger: When Gromyko first suggested it, I was attracted to it. And I told him I was attracted to it. Fahmy saw it more clearly than I did. We can’t make it an issue or principle. But with them, it’s harder to end it because . . .

Ambassador Dinitz: Because of less busy people!

Dr. Kissinger: And it’s worse if it escalates into the Foreign Minister level than if it started with the Foreign Ministers.

Ambassador Dinitz: Fahmy said he didn’t have anybody he could trust.

Minister Allon: My problem is I have so many people I trust that I’d have a hard time choosing.

Dr. Kissinger: We’re having lunch tomorrow? And a meeting? Make it longer.

Minister Allon: About the Geneva thing, dates: frankly speaking I’d like a little time.

Dr. Kissinger: I understand your problem. Rabin explained it to me when we met. We’ve cooperated with you.

Minister Allon: I remember in the first Geneva Conference, what was the practical outcome? There was a decision to go into negotiations with Egypt.

Dr. Kissinger: The reason it worked was we had started disengagement negotiations with the Egyptians. While there was no final pos[Page 395]ition, we had told the Egyptians that if they left you alone until the elections, we’d get a disengagement.

You could send someone here, if you want a procedure. And we could tell the Egyptians the nature of the package. If they tell us it must be done by a certain date . . .

Minister Allon: Why are they in a hurry?

Dr. Kissinger: I don’t know if they’re in a hurry. They don’t want Geneva to get out of hand. I don’t know how great a hurry they are in. I think they are in more of a hurry than your schedule indicates. If we agree to go at as slow a pace sufficient to keep the Egyptians on a moderate course, it is no problem.

You should come back, or Rabin should come.

Minister Allon: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: Or you and Rabin. We don’t need to decide now for December 1. We won’t force you at all. We won’t go faster than we think the minimum requirements are for the Egyptians, and maybe the Jordanians. We’ll put it before you. Fahmy suggested he wanted the whole process completed by October; I said it was out of the question. I didn’t have to consult with you. We’ll give you the deadlines they give us.

And I want to talk to you privately for a minute.

Minister Allon: What should we tell the press?

Dr. Kissinger: What we should tell the press is we reviewed the whole process of the negotiation and agreed on the necessity of a negotiation. There was complete agreement.

Ambassador Dinitz: And we reviewed bilateral relations.

Minister Allon: Yes, we reviewed bilateral relations. And we discussed future steps.

Dr. Kissinger: I think it helps with the Arabs if we give a positive impression. A positive meeting.

[The Secretary escorted the Minister downstairs to the lobby where they both spoke briefly to the press. Text at Tab B.]11

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 9, Nodis Memcons, July 1974, Folder 2. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Seventh Floor Conference Room at the Department of State. Brackets are in the original. A second meeting took place between Allon and Kissinger the next day from 1:20 until 3:40 p.m. in the Madison Room at the Department of State. (Memorandum of conversation, July 30; ibid., Folder 1) Their discussion focused on military supplies for Israel, the next negotiating phase, Soviet Jewry, Syrian Jewry, missing bodies in Egypt, Law of the Sea, an Egyptian nuclear reactor, and the European Community’s dialogue with Arab countries.
  2. Not further identified, but the paper was apparently used as a prop for a joke between Kissinger and Allon.
  3. A reference to the first Egyptian-Israeli disengagement agreement of January 18 (Documents 1013) and the Syrian-Israeli disengagement agreement signed on May 31 (Document 88).
  4. Secretary of the Treasury William Simon visited Israel July 16–18. He met with several Israeli officials, including Rabin on July 17; telegram 4080 from Tel Aviv, July 19, transmitted a report of that meeting. The joint communiqué issued at the end of Simon’s visit is in telegram 4044 from Tel Aviv, July 18. (Both in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)
  5. Tab A, telegram 4109 from Tel Aviv, is attached but not printed. The July 21 Israeli Cabinet statement expressed Israeli readiness to work toward peace negotiations with Jordan.
  6. On July 18, after two days of meetings, King Hussein and President Sadat issued a communiqué that recognized King Hussein as the representative of Palestinians inside Jordan and the Palestine Liberation Organization as their representative outside of Jordan and expressed agreement that the Palestinians should have a separate delegation at the Geneva Conference. (New York Times, July 19, 1974)
  7. A reference to Lajes airbase in the Azores, which the U.S. Government received permission from Portugal to use to resupply Israel during the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
  8. Foreign Minister Fahmy and a team of Egyptian economic officials visited Washington August 12–19.
  9. Shimon Peres arrived in Washington on June 24 and met with Schlesinger on June 25 to discuss arms purchases. (New York Times, June 24, 1974, p. 1)
  10. Prime Minister Rifai visited Washington August 5–8.
  11. Tab B, entitled “Remarks by Foreign Minister Yigal Allon and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger following their meeting in the Department of State, July 30, 1974,” is attached but not printed.