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Rabin Denies He Told Kissinger He Could Win Cabinet Support for Golan Pullback

September 22, 1975
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Premier Yitzhak Rabin denied today that he told Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger he felt he could win Cabinet and Knesset support for a three-kilometer pullback on the Golan Heights in another interim accord with Syria.

Rabin told the ministers at the weekly Cabinet meeting that there was “no basis” to the statement to this effect attributed by newspapers to Kissinger. Several Israeli correspondents reported from Washington that Kissinger said in a briefing last week that Israel-Syria talks would hopefully begin towards the end of next month and that Premier Rabin had indicated that such an agreement–involving a three km, pullback–would be feasible. Rabin told the Cabinet that he has asked Ambassador Simcha Dinitz to check whether Kissinger had indeed made the statement as reported in the press.

Meanwhile, the future of the Golan Heights and Israeli settlements there were the subject of public and faction meetings in Tel Aviv over the weekend. Likud leader Menachem Beigin demanded that even the phrase “cosmetic changes” be dropped from discussions of the matter because it only invited more pressure for further Israeli withdrawals. He claimed there was a national consensus that Israel must permanently retain the Golan. Health Minister Victor Shemtov of the Mapam wing of the Labor Alignment charged that political leaders have failed to tell the public the facts about possible future negotiations over the Golan Heights. He said that, on the other hand, the government has never concealed the fact that following the conclusion of the new interim agreement with Egypt, political activities would focus on the Israel-Syrian front.

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