When politics trump conscience…

The President/Secretary Kissinger December 8, 1975
Time: 6:05 p.m.

F: Henry.

K: Mr. President, I finally raised Moynihan at your request. He recommends a veto even with the balancing language — it isn’t much of a balance I have to say in fairness. It is not much.

F: Does it do anything to condemn terrorism in general?

K: No, not really. The truth of the matter is the Israelis killed 200 people in Lebanon as a result of three people having been killed in the Golan Heights by terrorists that probably didn’t come from Lebanon […] On balance we should probably veto.


F: The goddamn Israelis.

K: We are being blackmailed by a bunch of pressure groups. I don’t know whether this is the place to try and draw the line. We haven’t set it up properly. Despite the fact that it isn’t the way foreign policy should be made…

F: Have we communicated with Rabin and told him we are mad as hell?

K: They didn’t participate in the debate. No we haven’t expressed any opinion.

F: I agree with you. My conscience tells me we should abstain but my political judgment tells me we should veto. We should write a very strong letter to Rabin to let him know we are upset with the raid on the Lebanese areas and upset about the non-notification on the Kenitra installations.


F: You be sure and tell Pat to be firm in condemning their action. It makes me sick.

They have come out the same way. about ready to vote.

F: 0.K. Henry.

Source: Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, “Veto of UN Resolution”, December 8, 1975, DNSA collection: Kissinger Conversations: Supplement II, 1969-1977.

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