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Sunday, May 28, 2006
Widlanski commenting on Kissinger document

Widlanski commenting on Kissinger document

Dear Dr. Lerner,

You recently published notification to your readers of archival documents
showing promises to Iraqi officials in 1975,
www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=29418 and I wanted to add something for the
benefit of IMRA'S subscribers.

Henry Kissinger's promises to Iraqi officials to reduce Israel's size
and power to "historical proportions" were made in December 1975--only a
few months (September 1, 1975) after then-Secretary of State Kissinger and
then-President Gerald Ford had signed several secret documents promising
just the opposite to Israel.

Ford sent a secret letter to Yitzhak Rabin (then Israel's prime
minister)[IMRA: text below], while Kissinger signed at least one memorandum
of understanding, both promising additional military aid to Israel as well
as positive treatment of Israel's retaining the Golan Heights.

The Ford letter and Kissinger memorandum (made to Israeli Foreign
Minister Yigal Allon) can be found in my book "Can Israel Survive A
Palestinian State?", IASPS, 1990. They were given as a way of getting
Israel to agree to staged withdrawals in Sinai and next door to Damascus in

The newly found Kissinger-Iraqi document raises once again the issue of
just how valid is a promise of support from an American president or
American secretary of state.

In the Kissinger-Ford-Rabin-Allon correspondence of September 1975 there
was also a promise that the US would not make general proposals for a Middle
East settlement without getting Israel's approval. Exactly seven years
later, Ronald Reagan issued his famous Reagan Plan on September
1,1982--without consulting Israel in advance.


(Dr.) Michael Widlanski

Letter from President Ford to Prime Minister Rabin September 1, 1975
His Excellency
Yitzhak Rabin
Prime Minister of Israel

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I wish to inform you that the U.S. recognizes that the Israeli-Egyptian
Interim Agreement entailing withdrawal from vital areas in the Sinai
constitutes an act of great significance on Israel's part in the pursuit of
final peace and imposes additional heavy military and economic burdens on

I want to assure you that the U.S. will make every effort to be fully
responsive within the limits of its resources and Congressional
authorization and appropriation on an ongoing and long-term basis to
Israel's military equipment and other defense requirements as well as to
Israel's economic aid needs, all of this based on the requests submitted by
Israel, joint studies and previous U.S. Presidential undertakings.

Further to those undertakings, it is my resolve to continue to maintain
Israel's defensive strength through the supply of advanced types of
equipment, such as the F-16 aircraft. The United States Government agrees to
an early meeting to undertake a joint study of high technology and
sophisticated items, including the Pershing ground-to-ground missiles with
conventional warheads, with the view to giving a positive response. The U.S.
Administration will submit annually for approval by the U.S. Congress a
request for military and economic assistance in order to help meet Israel's
economic and military needs. Realizing as I do the importance of the Interim
Agreement to the Middle Eastern situation as a whole, the U.S. will make
every possible effort to assist in the establishment of conditions in which
the Agreement will be observed without being subjected to pressures or

In the spirit of the special relationship existing between the United States
and Israel and in light of the determination of both sides to avoid a
situation in which the U.S. and Israel would pursue divergent courses in
peace negotiations, the U.S. will take the position that these are
negotiations between the parties. As I indicated to you in our conversation
on 12 June 1975, the situation in the aftermath of the Israeli-Egyptian
Interim Agreement will be one in which the overall settlement can be pursued
in a systematic and deliberate way and does not require the U.S. to put
forward an overall proposal of its own in such circumstances. Should the
U.S. desire in the future to put forward proposals of its own, it will make
every effort to coordinate with Israel its proposals with a view to
refraining from putting forth proposals that Israel would consider

The U.S. will support the position that an overall settlement with Syria in
the framework of a peace agreement must assure Israel's security from attack
from the Golan Heights. The U.S. further supports the position that a just
and lasting peace, which remains our objective, must be acceptable to both
sides. The U.S. has not developed a final position on the borders. Should it
do so it will give great weight to Israel's position that any peace
agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan
Heights. My view in this regard was stated in our conversation of September
13, 1974.

Sincerely, Gerald R. Ford

The text comes from Michael Widlanski, ed., Can Israel Survive a
Palestinian State? (Jerusalem: Institute for Advanced Strategic Political
Studies, 1990), pp. 120-21.


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