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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Johnson Administration > Volume XX
Foreign Relations 1964-1968, Volume XX, Arab-Israeli Dispute 1967-1968   -Return to This Volume Home Page
Released by the Office of the Historian


Documents 276 through 302

276. Memorandum From Harold H. Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)/1/

Washington, October 11, 1968.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, SIG, Vol. 8, 45th Meeting, 10/10/68. Secret.

SUBJECT
SIG Meeting Yesterday/2/

/2/A record of the discussions and decisions taken at the 45th meeting of the Senior Interdepartmental Group on October 10 is ibid.

[Here follow two paragraphs unrelated to the Middle East.]

The meeting then turned to the Arab-Israel problem with Joe Sisco outlining the positions of the parties as follows:

--Israel believes that the UAR is not interested in peace but that Britain [Jordan] is. Eban realizes there is a relationship between the UAR and Jordan in that the UAR must be brought along if Jordan is to make a deal with Israel. Eban's speech/3/ had two purposes--to improve Israel's image by creating an impression of greater flexibility and willingness to withdraw and its commitment to keeping the Jarring mission live. Eban intends to follow up his speech with a written statement on specific proposals for peace terms to be given to Jarring in the next 24 hours. Israel apparently feels that the failure of the Jarring mission would make life more difficult for Israel.

/3/Reference is to Eban's October 8 speech to the UN General Assembly. (UN doc. A/PV.1686)

--Jordan is serious about peace and sees an opening in Eban's speech-the willingness to explore substance without insisting on direct negotiations at the outset.

--The UAR's position has hardened. The UAR appears to believe that the only answer is to get the problem back into the Security Council. [There's debate in State about Joe's conclusion.]/4/

/4/Brackets in the source text.

Nick Katzenbach said he felt that, if the issue goes back to the Security Council, the best we can hope for would be to have the issue referred back to Jarring or somebody like him, perhaps with a slightly revised mandate. The worst would be a reasonable solution proposed by a majority of the members of the Security Council which would face us with a choice of going along against Israel's wishes or abstaining.

It was generally agreed that the US should prepare itself quickly to inject its views on the substance of peace terms, though there was no decision that the time had actually come for us to do this.

There was also general agreement that perhaps we had worried too much in the past about urging Hussein into direct negotiations. Harry Symmes shared Nick's view that Hussein was probably in a lot better position to go it alone if he had to than we had often given him credit for, though he unquestionably would like to have a UAR umbrella. The meeting concluded with agreement that we should bring out all past solutions on Jerusalem and West Bank demilitarization and put them in the best shape possible.

Hal

 

277. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/

Washington, October 11, 1968, 1610Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 ISR. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Seelye and Paganelli (NEA/ARN); cleared by Davies, Atherton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs David H. Popper, Symmes, Parker T. Hart, and Walt Rostow; and approved by Katzenbach. Repeated to Amman and USUN.

253744. Ref: Amman 6999 (Notal)./2/

/2/In telegram 6999 from Amman, October 10, the Embassy suggested providing as much information as possible to the Jordanian Government concerning the possible sale of Phantom aircraft to Israel  in order to prevent a rash Jordanian response. (Ibid.)

1. Appropriate Senior Embassy Officer should deliver following oral message from the President to King Hussein soonest: "Your Majesty, as you are aware, I have instructed the Secretary of State to open negotiations for the sale of Phantom jet aircraft to Israel. I trust that you will understand the circumstances that led me to take this action, which in no way diminishes our full and unequivocal support for Ambassador Jarring's efforts to bring about a peaceful solution of the Arab-Israel crisis. Please be assured that it continues to be our policy to facilitate in every possible way Ambassador Jarring's important mission. I have been gratified by your cooperation with Ambassador Jarring and remain hopeful that our joint search for peace in the Middle East will come to a successful conclusion.

2. I would also like to assure you that our commitment to and support for your wise leadership, as affirmed in my messages to you of February 11 and June 4,/3/ remain undiminished. I highly value our close relations as being in the joint interests of our two countries. You can rest assured that my government desires to maintain-and strengthen-this relationship and that we are prepared to give full support to Your Majesty's efforts to find an honorable and equitable solution to the problems that beset you. Please accept my most cordial regards."

/3/See Documents 77 and 188.

3. In delivering this message you may wish to elaborate, drawing upon guidance contained in State 252286./4/

/4/Document 275.

4. For Amman: Charge should inform Prime Minister of gist of message after London confirms delivery to King Hussein.

Rusk

 

278. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State/1/

Amman, October 12, 1968, 1325Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 ISR. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to London and USUN.

7024. Subj: President's message to King Hussein. Ref: State 253744/2/ and London 13455./3/

/2/Document 277.

/3/Telegram 13455 from London, October 11, reported King Hussein's appreciation for the message from President Johnson and noted that he had been giving the subject a great deal of thought and would respond to the President. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 ISR)

1. Summary--Gist of President's message to Hussein given to PriMin Talhouni Oct 12 along with further explanations based on Dept's guidance. PriMin expressed appreciation but reviewed US actions on aid, arms, and Near East issues at the UN as demonstrating lack of balance in US position toward Jordan as compared with Israel. Asserted these actions embarrassed friends of US and stimulated heavy pressures from the public against those friends. These pressures had been withstood but it was becoming increasingly difficult.

2. I acknowledged some delays and problems inherent in our system and the complexity of the situation but stressed the great strength of our fundamental policies and determination to carry through on them. I also suggested as a personal observation that clearing away the Phantom issue might make our dialogue with the Israelis on more fundamental problems easier. Meeting was cordial and overall effect of President's message, particularly reaffirmation of intentions continue work for a solution, seemed useful. End Summary.

3. I informed PriMin Talhouni morning Oct 12 of gist message from President to King Hussein as delivered in London, drawing extensively on copy which I excused myself from giving to him. DepPriMin Touqan present. I also drew on State 252286/4/ making particularly points (a) clear expression Congressional views; (b) negotiations may take some time and agreement necessary on range of points before any aircraft would actually be sent to area; (c) Soviet deliveries to Israel's neighbors and fact that so long as source for replacement of high performance aircraft in doubt, this in itself destabilizing; and (d) our reaffirmed intention work for solution basic problem.

/4/Document 275.

4. Touqan commented that they had thought of calling me in yesterday and both he and PriMin expressed appreciation for information and background. Talhouni said that while he did not know what King's reaction message would be, of course, he would give the present views of the King's govt. Talhouni then gave a long and closely reasoned account of events of the past year, culminating in the announcement of the Phantom decision, which he said led him to feel there was a basic and disturbing lack of balance in the relationships of the US with Israel and with Jordan. He cited the suspension of budget support, the protracted ban on arms shipments to Jordan, and various stands taken by the US at the UN as examples of the kind of moves which the Jordan public could not understand and which were an embarrassment and a source of mounting criticism of the King and govt by all walks of life in Jordan. He emphasized he was not asking for a resumption of budget support but was illustrating the kind of things which had been piled one on another and made it hard for Arab friends of the US. During the arms ban Jordan had been under tremendous pressure to accept Soviet arms and the Soviets had indicated willingness to supply. The Jordan Govt, however, had decided that the wisest course was to maintain its ties with the US. He mentioned too the delivery of Skyhawks to Israel while Jordan was still under the ban. Also Jordan had expected a major effort by the US to help clear the way for real progress after last November's SC resolution.

5. With respect to the supersonic aircraft, Talhouni said this opened the way to the Soviets to supply more aircraft which would tend nullify whatever additional security these planes were expected to give Israel. Also there was the fact these would be viewed by the Arabs in the light of the use of the Skyhawks supplied with modern rockets (sic) in the attack on Salt in which innocent civilians had been killed. He said he was distressed by the timing of the announcement and deeply concerned for the cumulative effect of such actions on the US image in the area and the position of the people who continue close ties with the US. Certainly up until now King Hussein had been able to stand off all pressures and attacks on his policy, but this was becoming increasingly difficult.

6. Talhouni said that while it was not for him to suggest what US policy should be he could not escape the conclusion that US interests had suffered from various actions in the past year, mentioning in this connection the entry of additional Soviet ships into the Mediterranean. He also expressed concern for implications of the delay in ratification of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as symptomatic of US problems today.

7. Talhouni said the press had asked him to comment on the aircraft negotiations announcement and he had refused just as he had refused be drawn out on the Eban speech. Touqan said that they had just received a telegram from Farra in New York reporting a decision of the Arab delegates at the UN to ask their governments to express to respective American Ambassadors their concern and displeasure for the Phantoms announcement and to urge trade unions and other institutions in the country to telegraph their protests to the US and the UN. Talhouni said that Jordan obviously was not going to stir up the local organizations and the street against the US in such a way, but this was an example of the kind of pressures they were under. Talhouni also described the latest meeting with Nasser in which Nasser had said that it was only on account of Hussein that he had been persuaded to make a public acceptance of the SC resolution. This decision had, Nasser said, given him countless headaches with his own people and he maintained it because of Hussein.

8. After hearing Talhouni out, as he had me, I said I would report fully his comments. I said I also wish to reaffirm that I knew that the highest levels in the USG admired and appreciated the wisdom and course he as well as the King had followed in this long difficult period. We knew that delays and sometimes our actions resulted in problems for them. These elements were inevitable in our system and the complex situation with which we were dealing. With respect to budget support, the facts of the fiscal situation had made the action inevitable but we had tried to show our support for Jordan in other ways. He should not overlook, however, the great strength of our fundamental policies and our determination to carry through on these. One of these policies was to work for a basic solution which would establish conditions of real peace in the area. This required cooperation of all. I noted the reaffirmation of our intentions in the message to the King and the statements of Amb Wiggins in New York.

9. With respect to the aircraft negotiations decision, I said that speaking apart from instructions and as an observer, I saw real value in having cleared away an issue which had served only to confuse more basic problems in our relations with the Israelis. Again stressing it was my personal view I said that entry into negotiations should make it easier for us to talk with the Israelis about a solution of the broader problems. So long as Israel had no indication of source for replacement of its losses while Soviet planes were being supplied to its neighbors, Israel's preoccupation with its ultimate security prompted it to hang on to every tactical advantage it had and made it unresponsive to our suggestions for moves which it claimed might undermine that security. I stressed I did not know the extent to which this might play a part but said I thought it could be important.

10. I closed with a renewed request for understanding of the complex factors that had entered into the President's decision. I said I believed they should see in our genuine efforts in New York and elsewhere evidences of the real and fundamental support which we had again reaffirmed to Jordan. I again referred to appreciation of the wisdom and understanding Talhouni and his colleagues had shown in their handling of such matters.

11. Comment: The President's message was obviously appreciated. Although Talhouni expressed concern for the effect of the announcement, the meeting was very cordial and Talhouni's and Touqan's presentations relaxed and thoughtful. Comments as to Talhouni's own wise handling of affairs produced a pleased smile.

Duncan

 

279. Memorandum From Harold H. Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)/1/

Washington, October 14, 1968.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Israel, Vol. X, Cables and Memos, 6/68-11/68. Secret. A copy was sent to Spurgeon Keeny.

SUBJECT
Negotiations on Phantoms

After a long meeting with State and Defense Saturday, I believe the staffs will recommend to Secretaries Rusk and Clifford that we should set the following as conditions for the sale of Phantoms: Israeli agreement to sign and ratify the NPT, reaffirmation of past assurances that they will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East and agreement that they will not go further with the manufacture of surface-to-surface missiles./2/

/2/Memoranda with recommendations to this effect were addressed on October 15 by Parker Hart to Rusk and by Paul Warnke to Clifford. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 ISR and Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 91-0017, Israel 452 (Sen), respectively)

The last point is the tough one, but there's strong feeling in the Bureaus that we have to tackle the Israeli missile program now or give up on it. There is serious doubt, however, that the President would be willing to refuse delivery of the Phantoms if the Israelis refused to give all these assurances. In fact, one can even argue persuasively that we have an interest in getting the Phantoms there so Israel can defend itself. At the same time, there's great peril in standing back while Israel goes nuclear. Even the NPT just puts them 90 days away if they are otherwise prepared and give notice of pulling out. I do not know how the Secretary feels about going this far-though it is clear that he'd like a signature on the NPT.

Even if we decide that these should be our conditions, there is still a debate over how to satisfy them. Most of the Bureau officers feel we must have assurance on all points in writing specifically linked to the sale of aircraft. Wally Barbour on the other hand believes it is satisfactory to get Eshkol's oral assurances. He could do this or the President could do it when he sees Eshkol at the end of the year, though this does not cover the probability of Eshkol's eventual replacement.

While I share everyone's uneasiness about Israel's going down the missile road, I personally don't believe we can expect 50 airplanes to buy us this kind of say in Israel's strategy of survival. I do think we might make a case for signature of the NPT and even reaffirmation of Israel's nuclear assurances, but I don't see how we could begin to expect Israel to close the path to missiles. I'm afraid we'll just have to be content with making our opposition known.

No action required. I just thought you'd want this feel for the issue that will have to be discussed with the President before Secretary Rusk begins talking with Rabin.

Hal

 

280. Letter From the Acting Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Denney) to Director of Central Intelligence Helms

Washington, October 15, 1968.

[Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80-R01284A, Box 26, Folder 12. Top Secret; Sensitive. 1 page of source text not declassified.]

 

281. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia/1/

Washington, October 17, 1968, 2343Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 32-6 TIRAN. Secret. Drafted by Michael Sterner, cleared by Atherton and Brewer, and approved by Davies. Repeated to Tel Aviv, Amman, Cairo, and USUN.

257386. Subj: Tiran.

1. During conversation October 17 with Israeli Minister Argov, Davies of NEA said we wished once again to raise problem of continued Israeli occupation of Tiran, particularly as this affected US-Saudi relations. We had noted that in Ambassador Rabin's last conversation with Battle in June,/2/ and again when Allon saw Secretary September 10,/3/ Rabin had justified continued Israeli presence on Tiran as military necessity, saying "even three Fatah with machine guns" on Tiran could close straits to shipping. Secretary had told Allon and Rabin he did not find this argument convincing. Davies said we wished once again to take up this point. Citing distances involved, Davies said it was difficult to see how light weapons could in any way interdict or otherwise harm shipping passing through the main Enterprise Passage which four-and-one-half miles away from Tiran. Only weapon that could do this would be long-range flat-trajectory guns such as Soviet 122 mm. rifle, and we were in position to know Saudis had nothing of this type. Moreover, such weapons obviously could not be installed on island without Israelis knowing about it through air surveillance. Davies said in addition to these factors he wished remind GOI we had King Faisal's assurance that Tiran would not be militarized if Israelis left island. We had no reason believe this was not firm and reliable undertaking on King's part. Argov made no comment except to ask if Israeli withdrawal from Senafir had had beneficial impact in Saudi Arabia. Davies said we had not heard that King had declared public holiday but we believed Israeli action had nevertheless been helpful.

/2/See footnote 7, Document 182.

/3/See Document 250.

2. Davies urged all measures be taken to keep this matter out of press. Argov said there had been leaks in past and he could give no assurances so far as Israeli press concerned.

Rusk

 

282. Telegram From the Department of State to the U.S. Interests Section of the Spanish Embassy in the United Arab Republic/1/

Washington, October 18, 1968, 0020Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Parker and revised by Eugene Rostow, cleared by Davies, and approved by Eugene Rostow.

257501. 1. Rostow/2/ had informal conversation with Hassan Sabry al-Khouli at lunch given by Ghorbal Oct. 16. Hart, Davies, Parker and Atherton also present. Khouli reiterated UAR's interest in peaceful settlement and desire to finish Palestine problem once and for all but was unwilling to be drawn into discussion of details of settlement, or to confirm that UAR was ready to make agreement required by para. 3 of Resolution. Took line that substance of settlement more important than modalities and that meeting requirement of "agreement" could be met in various ways, i.e., accepting Security Council Resolution.

/2/Eugene Rostow.

2. Ghorbal said we should be in no doubt, however, that Mahmoud Riad in New York was anxious to proceed with settlement and would be prepared respond positively to any real gestures made by Israelis. In this connection, luncheon started off with report that Riad had just received from Jarring 12 page document from Israelis./3/ Riad had not had time to read it and Egyptians did not know contents. Davies and Atherton stressed that Egyptians should look not at what was wrong with document but at what was right about it and should remember that Eban was having trouble with the cabinet at home. Khouli replied that Riad was having trouble with his cabinet too.

/3/On October 15 Eban gave Jarring a document to be conveyed to the UAR. The text of the document, which expounded on Israel's determination to "explore further the possibility of promoting agreement between the UAR and Israel on the establishment of a just and lasting peace," was transmitted to the Department in telegram 7165 from USUN, October 17. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR) In an October 19 memorandum to the Secretary, Parker Hart of NEA and David Popper of IO summarized the Israeli document as containing little of substance beyond what Eban had outlined as the principles for a settlement in his October 8 speech to the UN General Assembly. They noted that the tone of the document was moderate and reasonable and at several points invited UAR comments or proposals, but it focused on the Israeli thesis that peace must rest on agreement between the parties involved, which should be in treaty form. Israel took the position that unilateral declarations or assurances by others would not substitute for a direct contractual agreement. (Ibid.)

3. Rostow said that although he did not know contents of Israeli document, delivery was significant in itself and represented fruit of extensive US efforts to get Israelis adopt more accommodating position vis-a-vis Egypt. Egyptians now had historical opportunity and they should respond in the most favorable possible way to Israelis. We understood political problems which Egypt faced but Israel faced parallel problems. We had not supported the Israeli view that negotiations had to be direct, even though that position had seemed logical to us. At same time we did not think it was practical to rule out eventual direct confrontation between Israelis and Egyptians in signing of document which could be called something other than peace treaty but which would in fact establish peace not armistice, as required by Resolution of Nov. 22. If present opportunity was not seized, results would be tragic for all of us. It was not time to rake over past grievances but look to future. We would support any settlement on which parties agreed and President's phrase in his Sept. 10 speech regarding the real possibility of just and dignified peace had been carefully considered and meant what it said in the light of our knowledge of the parties' positions. But the parties themselves would have to take responsibility. They could not simply listen and ask US to do the job for them. We often heard charge that US policy was influenced by domestic political considerations. This was not the case. The need for peace in ME was one of factors in President's mind in making his decision of March 31. US policy was based on US national interests. We had been using all our energy and imagination to fulfill it throughout this period. But we had had many disappointments.

4. Khouli said Egyptians were prepared for peace but past experience made them extremely suspicious. Israelis also had right to be suspicious of Egypt. This highlighted necessity for international role and guarantees particularly from US regarding any settlement reached. Rostow said he would not entirely rule out possibility of US guarantee to support agreement of the parties under Resolution. The question raised far reaching issues which required study. In any event, he could say at this point that we would certainly support Security Council endorsement of agreement reached by the parties to implement the principles of the Resolution.

5. Khouli made frequent reference to Phantoms and to unfortunate effect recent While House statement in this regard had had on Jarring Mission and Arab/American relations in general. Rostow said question of Phantoms had been carefully considered and Egyptians should realize statement represented USG judgment of the best way to deal with tensions surrounding process of reaching peace including the bargaining positions of parties and Soviet policy. Overwhelming preponderance of Soviet aircraft in area was cause of real concern. It could be argued that supplying Israel with more aircraft at this time would make them more flexible in dealing with Arabs. If their security was established through airpower they might be willing to take more risks on the ground. In this connection Rostow mentioned demilitarization of Sinai. Khouli unwilling discuss UAR position but noted that if UAR demilitarized Sinai, Israelis might seize it again, as they had occupied al-Auja.

6. Throughout conversation Khouli kept reverting to question US-UAR relations which he said were essential to both countries. He called attention to statement by Riad in October 10 news conference that UAR was very interested in resumption relations but US would first have to establish its impartiality by agreeing that Israel had committed aggression and by supporting withdrawal of Israel from all occupied territories. Khouli said that in his recent election campaign for ASU he had been struck by fact that fellaheen in all Egyptian villages kept asking why US was enemy of Egypt. He had not been back to Egypt since the White House announcement regarding the Phantoms but he expected an increase in the feeling of the Egyptian populace that the US was against them. Rostow pointed out that Nasser had told McCloy he fully realized responsibility for absence of relations was his, not ours. We believed in having diplomatic relations with UAR and wished to have good relations with that country. Our policy was not pro-Israel, or pro-Arab, but pro-US. We had pursued it steadily, agreeing with Arabs on some points, with Israel on others. On certain issues, like Jerusalem, nobody agreed with us. The problem now was to make peace under the Resolution, which we supported. We understood the UAR position to be that the Resolution required a package deal, linking withdrawal to all other issues. We agreed with that position.

7. Hart commented that he knew many Americans who were unable understand Egyptian actions against US, such as burning of libraries, speeches about drinking sea, etc. If Egyptians interested in good relations, a new leaf would have to be turned over. Khouli took it in good spirit./4/

/4/At USUN on October 18 Al-Khouli gave Buffum assurances that Nasser was personally very eager to have a peace settlement. Khouli said that his mission in New York was to ensure that no opportunity was lost to move toward settlement. (Telegram 7206 from USUN, October 18; ibid., POL 27 ARAB-ISR)

Rusk

 

283. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, October 21, 1968, noon.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Cheslaw and approved in S on October 22. The meeting was held in Rusk's office.

SUBJECT
Arab-Israeli Dispute

PARTICIPANTS

Sir Patrick Dean, British Ambassador
Alan Urwick, First Secretary, British Embassy

The Secretary
Irving Cheslaw, EUR/BMI

The British Ambassador said that he had instructions to talk to the Secretary at this time, particularly as the Secretary was scheduled to receive the Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban tomorrow. The Foreign Office believed that the UAR's reply to the Israeli document,/2/ received through Jarring, was rather discouraging. The British understood that the UAR has asked two questions of the Israelis: (a) would they accept the November Resolution and state their willingness to implement it; (b) what exactly did they mean by "secure boundaries". When conveying this to Lord Caradon (UKUN) on October 20, Jarring said the Israelis would not like the reply and he wondered "where do we go from here."

/2/See footnote 3, Document 282.

Sir Patrick went on to say that the Foreign Office did not know if the Israelis have passed a similar document through Jarring for the Jordanians. The Jordanian Foreign Minister Rifai did not appear to have any new instructions following his visit to London to see King Hussein. Since his return, Rifai told the British in New York that the Jordanians were waiting for acceptance by the Israelis of the Resolution and agreement to implement it, together with a precise definition of what the Israelis meant by "secure boundaries".

Rifai had added that, if by these boundaries the Israelis meant acquisition of territory from Jordan, all bets were off. He also had said that Jordan would wish to have the population of the West Bank free and available for consultation before they could take decisions on an overall settlement with Israel.

The Foreign Office believed the Jarring mission was now in considerable danger. Unless the Israelis were prepared soon to be considerably more forthcoming and to take what they would regard as risks in pursuit of a settlement, the brighter prospects of a fortnight ago would fade. Prime Minister Wilson had sent a message to Mr. Eshkol to this effect.

Sir Patrick said several things were required from the Israelis in the near future: (a) a public commitment, either directly or through Jarring, of their willingness to implement the Security Council Resolution and to use the good offices of Jarring to reach agreement on why this should be done; (b) to give Jarring an indication of their ideas for a settlement with Jordan. In light of Eban's visit, the Foreign Office suggested that the US apply pressures along the foregoing lines. Perhaps the President could send a message to Eshkol. The Ambassador said there was a division in the Israeli Cabinet on these questions. They should be warned of the dangers if the present opportunities were allowed to lapse because of their unwillingness to take any risk.

The Secretary replied that this presented two problems as far as the USG was concerned.

(1) We understood that the Egyptian response to what the Israelis gave Jarring was inadequate. However the Secretary said there was no good in pressing the Israelis if they received a rejection from the Arabs. Who would put pressure on the Arabs or the Egyptians? We could not. It seemed that now the Arabs might even be opposed to indirect talks; this left us in a difficult position as we had something to do with Israel's willingness to talk substantively to Jarring. Our leverage on the Israelis was diminished by the lack of an Arab response to recent Israeli moves.

(2) Regarding implementation, we did not see how any government could agree to implementation as interpreted by another. Any government had a right to say it would implement any particular proposal but that there would be clarification in the course of discussions. This Resolution was not self-executing; every word needed to be clarified. The Arabs were not only trying to define the words, but they were trying to deny to the Israelis the opportunity of clarification.

Sir Patrick said he understood the Secretary's view, but the British wanted the Israelis to say publicly that they were prepared to implement the Resolution and to use the good offices of Jarring to see how it could be done. He believed this was a step forward. Sir Patrick reiterated that it was in the interests of the Israelis not to lose Jarring.

The Secretary said the Israelis were interested in the need to keep Jarring in business. In fact, this was a lever which the US had used on the Israelis. The Secretary said that, in his talks with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Riad, the latter was noncommittal on all points other than withdrawal. He asked Sir Patrick if there was any possibility of anybody applying any influence in Cairo. Sir Patrick replied that they would see what could be done in that regard. The Secretary reiterated that he would keep all this in mind when talking to Eban tomorrow.

 

284. Memorandum of Conversation Between President Johnson and Foreign Minister Eban/1/

Washington, October 22, 1968, 10:30 a.m.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Israel, Vol. X, Cables and Memos, 6/68-11/68. Secret; No Distribution. Prepared by Walt Rostow.

The President reported that he had made his decision on Phantoms in principle last January. He planned to move ahead if the Russians kept on supplying arms to the Arabs; if the Russians proved unwilling to talk with us about regional arms control; if Israel were helpful in seeking peace; and if Israel accepted the NPT.

The President said that he was not making the question of the NPT a formal condition, but Eban should know the very strong feelings in the American government on this matter. He then read to Eban Sec. Clifford's view (Tab A),/2/ transmitted to the President by telephone, and the attached passage from Sec. Rusk's memorandum (Tab B)./3/

/2/Not printed. Clifford expressed the view that the President should show concern over the Israeli program to develop surface-to-surface missiles with the capability of carrying nuclear warheads. Clifford felt that the President's concern could lay the foundation for the Department of State to insist that the missile development be stopped as a condition for Israel receiving 50 Phantom aircraft.

/3/Tab B, not printed, was a quotation from an October 21 memorandum from Rusk to the President, expressing Rusk's concern about the Israeli missile program and the importance of Israeli adherence to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. A copy of the memorandum is in the Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Israel, Vol. X, Cables and Memos, 6/68-11/68.

Eban said that the U.S. Government appeared to have an "exaggerated idea" of Israel's nuclear capability. The President said he should talk about this matter with Sec. Rusk and Sec. Clifford.

Eban held forth to the President for half an hour, emphasizing:

--Israel is cooperating with Jarring;
--Its bilateral efforts with King Hussein;
--UAR intransigence; and
--The ruthlessness of the Soviet Union, as revealed in Czechoslovakia with its implications for the Middle East./4/

/4/Eban provided another version of this conversation in his memoirs. According to Eban, Johnson began by affirming his intention to supply Phantoms to Israel and asked Eban to tell Eshkol that Lyndon Johnson had kept his word. According to Eban, the President said that he had discussed the issue of providing Phantoms with Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey and both candidates had agreed to honor his commitment. He also said that both Nixon and Humphrey could be counted on to keep faith with the commitment to Israel's security and independence. (Abba Eban, An Autobiography, pp. 458-459)

WR

 

285. Letter From President Johnson to Prime Minister Eshkol/1/

Washington, October 23, 1968.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Special Head of State Correspondence File, Israel, 8/1/68-12/12/68. No classification marking. The text of this letter was transmitted to Tel Aviv in telegram 261396, October 24, for delivery to Prime Minister Eshkol. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR)

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I have appreciated your recent letters, and I had a good talk with Foreign Minister Eban yesterday. He will be reporting in detail our strong feelings on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but I wish to write you this personal note to be sure our emphasis on that issue does not obscure a larger point.

I know you face a difficult series of meetings this week and wish to send you this word of encouragement.

I am deeply concerned, as you know, Mr. Prime Minister, about Israel's future, and I understand how strongly some of your colleagues feel that Israel's future can best be guaranteed by military means and expanded borders alone. It is so much easier to argue in terms of military balance and lines on a map than it is to argue the case for political compromise. But our own experience has proved that real peace is not found alone on the walls of a fortress--or under the umbrella of air power--or behind a nuclear shield.

Every American President knows that our most secure borders are the open borders with Mexico and Canada. That day may not be close for Israel with the UAR, but it could be close with Jordan.

I feel so strongly about the irrationality of trying to make peace by force alone that I must urge you to resist those who find it easier to risk Israel's future on today's expanded boundaries than to reach out for real peace. From my own difficult personal decision last March, I can say with feeling that it is not easy to lead a nation toward a necessary peace without jeopardizing hard-won gains and the future those gains have earned. But I can also say that it is worth reasonable risks, measured compromise, and personal pain.

I do not presume to say what your Government should do. But I pray that you and your colleagues will find the courage to seize this moment of opportunity so that peace may be "within thy walls."

I look forward to seeing you later this year.

Sincerely,

Lyndon B. Johnson

 

286. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan/1/

Washington, October 23, 1968, 0049Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL JORDAN-US. Confidential. Drafted by Seelye, Baas, and Paganelli; cleared by Hart and Davies; and approved by Rusk.

259996. Subj: Secretary's Message to PM Talhouni.

1. Following message from Secretary to PM Talhouni should be held for Ambassador to deliver following his return. "Excellency: Ambassador Symmes' visit to Washington has given me an opportunity to review with him in detail the current situation in Jordan. While we remain very concerned about the many complex problems facing your country today, we are impressed by the measures you have taken to deal with them. At the same time we are gratified by the diligent efforts of your government to make a constructive contribution to the search for a lasting and peaceful settlement to the crisis that has been a matter of deep concern to all of us.

I have asked Ambassador Symmes to convey to you upon his return to Amman my warmest personal regards and to reiterate our continuing interest in the well-being of your nation.

With my sincere best wishes."

2. Following on heels of President's special message of October 11 to King Hussein (State 253744),/2/ this letter is designed to reassure Jordanians of our full support at this delicate juncture in Jarring mediation effort.

/2/Document 277.

Rusk

 

287. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/

Washington, October 23, 1968, 2123Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Atherton, cleared by Hart and Rusk's Staff Assistant Jay P. Moffat, and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Amman, Cairo, and USUN.

260399. 1. In course of Eban call on Secretary October 22 (Hart, Atherton, Rabin and Argov also present), Eban summarized present position with respect to negotiations with Jordan and UAR as follows:

(a) Jordan had indicated to Jarring that it would favor joint meetings with Israel under his auspices but first wanted to receive informally more specific idea of how Israel sees future boundaries. There was "mutual feeling" that it desirable to wait week or so in effort come closer on substance before moving forward on procedural problems. Eban said he would see what could be done during forthcoming trip to Israel to overcome obstacles Jordan still faces before entering joint meetings./2/ He expected return New York after one week.

/2/In a separate conversation on October 22 with Eugene Rostow, Sisco, and Hart, Eban said that Israel hoped to reach more substantive agreement with Jordan through informal contacts. He described the informal contacts with the Jordanians as serious and pragmatic, but requiring additional time to achieve agreement. (Telegram 259849 to Tel Aviv, October 22; ibid., POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR/SANDSTORM)

(b) UAR, on other hand had never indicated willingness to have joint meetings with Israel or desire for peace as Jordan had, which made it possible to give GOJ idea of Israeli terms. In response to Israeli memorandum spelling out GOI interpretation of Security Council Resolution and making clear Israel wants formal end to conflict, not absence of war, UAR has provided provocative and propagandistic reply, inter alia demanding Israeli withdrawal from all territories. UAR had not said what it means by peace and wanted Israel to renounce concept of settlement through "agreement." This Israel would not do. "Agreement" was Israel's "safety catch." Other countries agreed with GOI that this represented responsible position.

2. Secretary said he saw merit in this position and had so told Arabs with whom he had spoken. Secretary continued that we had found Israeli memorandum to Jarring constructive so far as it went. It had failed, however, to get into territorial question. It would help if Israel could inject this point into dialogue in ways which made clear it had no designs on UAR territory, while making clear, for example, Israeli view that special arrangements needed for Sharm al Shaykh. Unless there was movement in discussions with UAR, chances for success with Jordan would be slim.

3. Eban agreed on importance of maintaining dialogue with UAR. Israel had considered providing Jarring with map for UAR but preferred deal in concepts--e.g., need for Israeli presence at Sharm al Shaykh. Israel wanted to talk to UAR but it would not provide channel. UAR would have to face this issue at some time, however. If Israel gave its territorial terms to Jarring, Riad would simply reject them. If parties were at same table, Riad would have to explain his objections. Israel would reply to latest UAR memorandum in constructive spirit but, if UAR wanted to discuss lines on maps, it must overcome inhibitions about meeting with Israel.

4. Re Sharm al Shaykh, Secretary asked if Israel had considered idea of four power presence there, including Soviets. Eban said this would "globalize" problem; we should give careful thought to whether it was wise to provide Soviets statutory position in area, particularly in light of their record and their actions in Czechoslovakia. Secretary said Soviets were already in Middle East and would stay there whether we liked it or not; perhaps small Soviet contingent at Sharm al Shaykh with equal US, French and British contingents would not pose serious problem.

5. Re Soviet position in general, Secretary said while he could not speak for USSR, he had impression Soviets considered arguments about procedure "silly," had no objections to use of Suez Canal by Israeli flag vessels and did not care about refugees.

Rusk

 

288. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/

Washington, October 24, 1968, 2205Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL ISR-US. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by Atherton, cleared by Hart, and approved by Walsh.

261146. For the Ambassador. Following based on uncleared memcon FYI and Noforn, subject to revision upon review.

Begin summary: During meeting with Foreign Minister Eban October 22, Secretary pressed Eban hard about Israel's nuclear weapons and missile plans, stressing that this was matter affecting our fundamental relationship. Eban repeated standard Israeli position, emphasizing that Israel had not made decision to become nuclear power and that deployment of strategic missiles by Israel was not imminent. Secretary said USG needed more concrete assurances re GOI nuclear intentions-i.e., Israeli participation in NPT. Eban and Ambassador Rabin pressed for early start on technical negotiations for the sale of F-4 Phantoms. Secretary said we felt initial discussions should be held on political side, that Asst. Sec. Hart would be his representative for those discussions and that he hoped Eban would bring back new word on Israeli position re NPT when he returned from Israel next week. Initial session between Ambassador Rabin and Assistant Secretary has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 30. End summary.

1. Secretary opened meeting with Eban afternoon October 22 by referring to their discussion of NPT question in New York September 30 and asking whether GOI cabinet had completed its review of this matter. (Hart, Atherton, Rabin and Argov also present).

2. Eban replied that he had not been back in Israel since previous conversation. Position in principle which he had stated in UN remained valid, however, as did various bilateral Israeli statements to us (e.g., Israel will not be a first to introduce nuclear weapons in area and Israel is not a military nuclear state). GOI now studying question in light of Geneva Non-Nuclear Conference. This connection Eban noted that other countries in better security position than Israel were also taking time to study problem. Furthermore Israel had additional problem of its lack of position in IAEA.

3. Secretary said we had reason to believe Israel involved in nuclear weapons and missile programs. Such missiles were for use with nuclear weapons not high explosives. These were matters of utmost seriousness affecting our fundamental relationship, and we must have clarification with respect to them. For Israel to develop nuclear weapons would (a) confront us with question of whether we were serious about NPT, which we are and (b) raise questions of what Soviets would do in nuclear field in Arab countries.

4. Secretary said that we could not see how nuclear weapons would solve Israeli strategic problems. Israel's problems with IAEA inspections were something that could be discussed. We wanted something more concrete, however, about Israel's nuclear intentions and could not be reassured unless Israel participated in NPT as matter of fundamental policy.

5. In response Eban's assertion that Israel had not decided to become nuclear power and had not decided not to sign NPT, Secretary said we were concerned about absence of decision to sign. This connection Secretary noted UAR was signatory. If country was part way down road to producing nuclear weapons, we took little comfort from statement that it was not nuclear power.

6. Re missile development, Eban said Secretary exaggerated Israeli position which was as stated to us in 1967--i.e., Israel was far from being in situation of having operative missiles ready for deployment. Given slow down due strains in French-Israeli relations, that stage could not be reached before 1970. Stating that missile development in Middle East arose in non-nuclear context, Eban said Israel could not ignore what was happening in UAR which continued to try even though progress not swift. Israeli missile activity was function of what UAR was doing. It would be difficult for Israel to terminate its program in absence similar action by UAR.

7. Eban continued that in foreseeable future Israel's central preoccupation would be defense and security. For Israel, very existence depended on a few hundred airplanes. GOI has thus welcomed President's October nine statement re Phantom negotiations which had important psychological effect. Given view of some in UAR military that UAR could seek military solution or at least peace through intimidation in 1969-70, President's announcement on Phantoms would not only help Israel's security position but further prospects for peace.

8. Secretary said he remained concerned about arms spiral. Would not Soviets respond by providing additional aircraft to Arabs? Eban said he believed UAR already receiving all military equipment it could absorb. Furthermore no one could say USG responsible for escalating arms spiral since (a) Soviets had been probed without success re arms limitation and (b) President's announcement had come after Soviet re-supply of UAR. This connection, Eban noted that Arab reaction had not been violent. Secretary replied that form of announcement--i.e., President had instructed Secretary to initiate negotiations and report back to him--had helped soften Arab reaction.

9. Eban said he understood President's announcement constituted decision in principle and that it was assumed in area that negotiations would be concerned with technical details. Would it be possible to open negotiations today? If so who would represent Secretary?

10. Secretary replied that negotiations would be handled for USG by Assistant Secretary Hart. Meanwhile he hoped Eban would bring new word on Israeli position re NPT when he returned from Israel next week. In response Eban's comment that it would be bad to link these two questions, Secretary asked how we would assure that Phantoms would not carry nuclear weapons. Amb. Rabin suggested handling this problem as we had in A-4 Skyhawk sale. Secretary said this question could be discussed further with Hart.

11. Secretary asked what time frame Israelis were thinking of for F-4 deliveries. Rabin noted that Israel had preferred mid-1969, but that discussions last January had been in terms of beginning of 1970. Eban said Israel would be pleased if deliveries could be expedited, noting Israel had originally requested Phantoms in addition to Mirages now embargoed by France and that, in January, USG had still thought Mirages might be delivered.

12. Secretary replied affirmatively to Eban query whether he could report negotiations had begun.

13. Rabin noted that in past GOI had conducted technical negotiations with DOD once agreement in principle reached. Secretary said we felt it necessary to have preliminary talks on political side-perhaps by end of week. If GOI felt it needed bring experts to Washington to discuss price, availability, delivery schedule, training and other details, this question could be taken up with Mr. Hart. Eban suggested as first step we should review A-4 Skyhawk agreement.

14. Following meeting with Secretary, Rabin asked Deptoff whether preliminary meeting with Hart could be held Wednesday, October 23 since he was returning to Israel that night and could then begin to make necessary arrangements while there. Hart subsequently called Rabin to say it would be difficult for us to prepare for initial session on such short notice. We would, however, be happy to put Rabin in touch with our disarmament experts in Dept in order discuss Israeli concerns about IAEA problems if Rabin would find this useful before leaving Washington. Rabin declined, asking if NPT and related questions were not separate from F-4 negotiations. Could not preparation for talks with DOD be started now? Noting that Secretary had said political discussions should occur first, Hart said he was at Rabin's disposal but could not see that there was much to say before Eban returned in view Secretary's interest in hearing latest on Israeli NPT position. It was then agreed that first Hart-Rabin session would be held three p.m. Wednesday, October 30 following Rabin's return from Israel.

Rusk

 

289. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/

Washington, October 24, 1968, 2156Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR/SANDSTORM. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Sisco; cleared by Hart, Eugene Rostow, Katzenbach, and Harold Saunders; and approved by Rusk. Repeated to USUN and Amman.

261141. For Ambassador.

1. As you will have seen from our cables reporting conversations with Eban in Washington, we have urged Israelis to be specific as possible, particularly on withdrawal-territorial question, in their next response to UAR document. Our urging is based on several considerations: (a) Jarring believes next Israeli response will be critical and decisive; (b) It may well determine whether Jarring continues or whether matter will revert to Security Council at early date; (c) GOI response will have an important effect and interaction on Jordanian aspect of settlement. If prospects for substantive dialogue with UAR under Jarring's auspices are extinguished, it most unlikely Jordanians would feel free to proceed in their exchanges with Israelis, by whatever means. This latter point particularly important and is one which Israelis seemed to appreciate in our discussions here.

2. As previously reported, Eban has expressed some ideas regarding two questions posed in UAR document (1) acceptance and implementation of SC res; and (2) withdrawal-territorial question. We feel we have reached such critical point in Jarring Mission exercise that we must, unless you see overriding objection, convey to Eban some ideas regarding kind of GOI reply we would consider minimum required by present circumstances. We realize that last UAR reply was very inadequate and that in light strongly held Israeli view UAR not ready to make peace, we may be rebuffed. On other hand, we are sure you appreciate that while present juncture not particularly favorable, atmosphere likely to be even less so in climate of another SC round and its aftermath.

3. Statement below should be given to Eban personally. Eban should be told that these are informal and illustrative thoughts, in large measure based on statements which he and other Israeli officials have made to us in past. It would fully protect Israel since it includes "safety catch" of agreement and "peace." It would turn tables on UAR and not give Nasser opportunity to knife Hussein. This is no blue-print, for we have none. But if Eban finds it helpful with his Cabinet colleagues to identify them as American thoughts, he may do so. We know he understands fully that if GOI response to UAR is inadequate not only could it cripple Jarring Mission, but more important it likely to weaken Hussein's resolve and capacity to pursue discussions with Israelis. We agree with Eban's desire to try to firm up as specific a deal as possible with Jordanians through informal contacts before discussions of substance revert to Rifai and Jarring. Our thoughts therefore deal exclusively with GOI response to UAR through Jarring, though we also agree with Eban's intention to deal at subsequent stage with Jordanian aspect as well.

4. Following would be included in any Israeli response, which we believe should also invite UAR to address itself specifically to substantive points in Israeli document of October 15.

"Israel accepts SC resolution 242 of Nov. 22, 1967 and is prepared to implement it in accordance with paragraph 3.

Israel wishes to make clear that its attitude toward secure and recognized boundaries is governed by considerations of security and a permanent political settlement which binds both sides to peace rather than by considerations of acquisition of territory by war.

Within the context of an agreement implementing SC resolution 242 which would set forth mutually acceptable terms, including establishment of secure and recognized boundaries, guarantee of freedom of navigation for all vessels through the Strait of Tiran and the Suez Canal, and demilitarization of the Sinai, Israel would be prepared to withdraw its forces to the international boundary between Israel and the UAR. An agreement embracing the above must also include special arrangements for Gaza and for the Sharm El Sheik area to assure that Israeli security interests will be fully protected and right of passage through the Strait of Tiran guaranteed.

Our purpose is achievement of the just and lasting peace called for in Security Council Resolution of November 22, 1967. We are prepared to enter into immediate discussions under Jarring's auspices to achieve agreement on ways to implement all of the provisions and principles contained in that Resolution."

Eban should be told we have not discussed the above with Jarring or any foreign government./2/

/2/In an October 24 memorandum to Walt Rostow, Saunders wrote of this telegram: "I think it makes all kinds of sense. It is the first time we have injected ourselves substantively in any concrete way so it is something of a departure from past practice. However, if we don't do it now, we won't have a chance later." (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Israel, Vol. X, Cables and Memos, 6/68-11/68) Acting on instructions, Ambassador Barbour saw Eban on October 26 and reported that his reaction was neither sharp nor adverse. Eban was somewhat concerned not to reveal Israel's entire negotiating position to the UAR before the UAR had revealed any of its own, but he accepted the argument that the Israeli response should be substantive rather than polemical. Eban noted that he did not anticipate returning to New York until after a scheduled Cabinet meeting on October 30. He observed that if Riad was interested in negotiating a settlement, he should be willing to delay his departure from New York until after Eban had returned. (Telegram 5842 from Tel Aviv, October 27; ibid.) The Department informed the Embassy on October 29 that it was attempting to persuade Foreign Ministers Riad and Rifai to remain in New York until Eban returned and instructed Barbour to urge Eban again to be as explicit as possible in outlining a negotiating position with the UAR. (Telegram 263488 to Tel Aviv; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR/SANDSTORM)

Rusk

 

290. Action Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson/1/

Washington, October 25, 1968, 2:20 p.m.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Israel, Vol. X, Cables and Memos, 6/68-11/68. Top Secret; Nodis.

SUBJECT
Strong Israeli Reaction to Eban Talks Here

Abe Feinberg called last night to say the Israelis are up in arms because Parker Hart had apparently linked the Phantoms and the NPT after you and the Secretary had stopped just short of linking them.

I called Secretary Rusk who told me the following: The Secretary had not linked the NPT and the Phantoms but had told Eban that he wished Hart to discuss certain political questions with Rabin before technical discussions on the planes began. Rabin was leaving for Israel the following afternoon. Hart told him the one thing we were prepared to go into with Rabin on that short notice was International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, which Eban had said he had reservations about. Rabin said he wasn't prepared to discuss that; he just wanted to discuss planes. So he and Hart made a date for 3:00 p.m., October 30, the day after Rabin and Eban come back. Rabin's line is: The NPT and the planes are two separate issues; let's get on with the planes.

I told Feinberg that neither you nor the Secretary had made the NPT a condition for the Phantoms but you considered the NPT of great importance.

Feinberg apparently told this to Argov who cabled Rabin that there was "no condition precedent" to the sale of Phantoms. (Argov is Rabin's deputy.)

This morning, Argov called me to ask whether he could today supplement his last night's message with another saying that a date has now been set for actual consultations on the Phantoms. He says that the Israeli press is now saying we have linked the NPT and Phantoms and that this will put Eshkol on the spot in the Cabinet. He'd like to put Eban in a position to knock these critics by saying (a) there's no condition and (b) what's more Rabin is taking technical consultants back with him to begin detailed negotiations.

If we want to wind up the Phantom negotiations promptly, as you indicated, that would make sense. But it would mean working the NPT on a separate track. The Israelis are mounting this reaction deliberately to press us to separate the Phantoms and the NPT. Giving them the kind of answer Argov wants would de-couple the two and take off the heat on the NPT that you and the Secretary generated.

I can respond to Argov in one of two ways, depending on how you and the Secretary wish to play this:

1. We could give Argov a date for the beginning of technical talks--a date several days after Rabin's return so that we can at least hear what he has to say on the NPT before the technical talks even though we'd be committed to begin them.

2. I could tell Argov: We have set no conditions. However, the Israelis themselves have told us the Phantoms would make it easier for them to sign the NPT. Moreover, others in the area have already related the two. This is a problem we have to cope with, so we asked Eban to tell us where the issue stands. Rabin can make all the practical arrangements he needs to while he is in Israel and then Hart will discuss dates with him next Wednesday.

You may wish to discuss this with Secretaries Rusk and Clifford before you reply, or you may wish me to.

Walt

I prefer giving Argov a date
Hold the line, using the line in para. 2 above
Work out with Secretary Rusk/2/

/2/None of the options is checked. A handwritten note at the top of the memorandum, in Jim Jones' hand, apparently conveyed the President's response: "Discuss with Rusk & give me his recommendation."

 

291. Telegram From the Department of State to the U.S. Interests Section of the Spanish Embassy in the United Arab Republic/1/

Washington, October 25, 1968, 1909Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Parker and approved by Davies. Repeated to Amman, Tel Aviv, and USUN.

261568. Subject: Arab-Israel.

1. Ghorbal called on Davies at former's request October 24 to discuss three questions: demilitarization, linkage of refugee and Canal issues, and status UAR talks with Jarring. Regarding demilitarization, he said on instructions Fonmin Riad he wished to clarify UAR position which had come up for discussion during Rostow-Khouly lunch October 16. UAR had agreed to demilitarization on understanding it would be reciprocal. UAR not prepared demilitarize "all of Sinai" but would be prepared demilitarize area along border providing Israel demilitarized same size area on its side. Depth of DZ must be same on each side of border. UAR view was that history showed its security more in danger than Israel's and it could not afford abandon Sinai militarily.

2. With regard linkage of refugees, Cairo had been perplexed by demarche this subject made by Bergus to Sidqi, which raised question whether USG abandoning its position that Nov 22 resolution was package. He handed in piece of paper setting forth UAR position that it accepts resolution as whole and asking whether US adheres to its former position and still considers refugee question an integral part of implementation of resolution./2/

/2/Not found.

3. Finally, he pointed out that in his October 19 memorandum to Jarring, Fonmin Riad had said Israeli declaration of readiness to implement resolution and withdraw its forces "would lead to achievement of peace in Middle East". He said this was response to our urgings that UAR give indication it ready for "peace" and not just "political solution". He could assure us Riad meant what he said and that UAR was sincerely anxious for peace. There had been no progress to date, however. UAR had shown its hand and made specific proposals to Jarring, which Israelis had ignored. He did not know whether Riad could remain in New York under these conditions. He had been there a month, largely as result urgings Ambassador Ball. There had been no progress, and now Eban had gone off to Israel. Were Arabs supposed to sit cooling their heels forever? In separate conversation he said Riad considering leaving for home permanently on October 29. He indicated timing of US-Israeli negotiations on Phantoms was major factor in Riad's current unhappiness.

4. Davies noted clarification regarding demilitarization but did not comment beyond saying hoped settlement would ensure security both Israel and Arab states. Regarding linkage of Canal and refugees, Davies said we hoped Egyptians would not react in such serious fashion each time we made suggestion to them. Bergus had merely been drawing to their attention legal aspects of problem which they should not overlook. We had been just as frank in calling to attention of Israelis certain flaws in their legal position. In so doing we trying to help parties move towards settlement, which all of us wanted. We were not trying separate refugee issue from package. It was Egyptians who seemed to be separating it and Canal issue from rest of package, particularly in Fonmin's Oct 1 conversation with Secretary. We thought that was mistake and that there should be no special linkage of this sort between any of the separate components of resolution.

5. Davies said we pleased to note Riad had spoken of peace in his memorandum to Jarring. He would call this positive note to attention of others. He hoped at same time that Egyptians would concentrate on positive aspects of Israeli position, and would realize that Israelis had domestic political problem which necessitated extreme caution on Eban's part. Eban had gone home for consultations. Hopefully he would return with more flexibility. We hoped Israelis would respond to Egyptian position in positive fashion and that Egyptians would re-ciprocate. All of us should put our shoulders to wheel and push.

6. Regarding Mahmoud Riad's travel plans, Parker told Ghorbal it would be serious tactical error for him to leave on 29th. He should at least wait until Eban returned and find out what latter had to say. Riad had waited 18 months, it would be mistake not to wait few days longer. If Egyptians so convinced we had made blunder on Phantoms,/3/ they should not compound it with one of their own.

/3/Ghorbal also called on Harold Saunders on October 24 to emphasize the strong UAR reaction to the announcement concerning the Phantom aircraft. In the memorandum he prepared of the conversation, Saunders stated that Ghorbal made "as emotional a statement as I have ever heard him make" and that he was "really quite angry" and not disposed to listen to reason. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL UAR-US)

Rusk

 

292. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State/1/

Tel Aviv, October 28, 1968, 1905Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 ISR. Secret; Immediate; Nodis.

5862. NPT-Phantoms.

1. Moshe Bitan, Asst DirGen MFA, called on Amb this evening and gave him oral message from Eshkol as follows: "After having received a report from Foreign Minister Eban on his conversation with the Secretary of State, the Prime Minister wishes to state that it is his understanding that the negotiations between our two governments about the sale of Phantom aircraft are to commence forthwith without being linked to the question of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Prime Minister assumes and hopes that our negotiating team led by Ambassador Rabin will be enabled to start immediately with practical discussions relating to the sale of the aircraft."

2. At same time, Bitan handed Amb paper (text septel)/2/ responding to US request for clarification Israel's position on NPT. Paper notes Eban return US delayed by PM's indisposition and requests PM's views therefore be conveyed to USG by Amb. Paper repeats familiar Israeli position on NPT and offers no firm assurance on signing.

/2/The text of the Israeli paper was transmitted to the Department in telegram 5863 from Tel Aviv, October 28. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Israel, Vol. X, Cables and Memos, 6/68-11/68) Walt Rostow called telegrams 5862 and 5863 to the President's attention in an October 29 memorandum. Rostow summarized the Israeli paper on the Non-Proliferation Treaty by calling Eban's statement that his government was studying the issue "a completely non-committal answer." (Ibid.)

3. Bitan expressed regret US had linked NPT with Phantoms and said strong Israel was in free world and US interest. Amb noted NPT paper was no advance beyond previous GOI positions and cautioned Bitan not to underestimate depth of feeling on NPT at all levels USG. Reviewed importance of NPT to world peace and noted anomaly of Israel sharing distinction of non-signature with Germany.

Barbour

 

293. Memorandum From John W. Foster of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)/1/

Washington, October 28, 1968.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Syria, Vol. I, Cables and Memos, 4/64-10/68. Secret.

SUBJECT
The Situation in Syria

You asked what is going on in Syria. This morning we have a spate of reports/2/ on a showdown that seems to have taken place about October 23-24. On the basis of this third-hand information from Damascus, the intelligence community's best guess is that:

/2/A list at the end of the memorandum indicates that the following reports were attached: telegram 13810 from Beirut, October 28; [5 document numbers not declassified].

Prime Minister Zuayyin's policy of cooperation with the USSR and local Communists went too far for Defense Minister Asad who decided to oust Zuayyin. Baath Party leader Jadid--the most important figure in Damascus--thought that if Asad succeeded he would be too powerful a rival and decided to stop him. An equally good explanation is that Asad moved against Zuayyin to be in a position to oust Jadid. In any case, Asad and Jadid had a showdown, and our sources in Beirut are reporting that Asad--backed by the army--won. So far there has been nothing official from Damascus to indicate a struggle, much less the winner./3/

/3/On October 29 the Syrian Baath Party announced the formation of a new Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Nur al Din al Atasi who replaced Prime Minister Yusuf Zuayyin. The Embassy in Beirut assessed the change in government as "the most fundamental change in the character of the present Syrian regime since it came to power February 1966." The Embassy noted that the Syrian military had emerged as prominent and that Defense Minister General Hafiz al Asad was the second most important member of the Cabinet. (Telegram 13880 from Beirut, October 29; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 15-1 SYR) In a later analysis of the governmental change in Syria, the Embassy concluded that Baath Party Secretary-General Salah al Jadid had been forced to accommodate Asad's expanded power and role, but that there had not necessarily been a split between the two long-time political allies. (Airgram A-1446 from Beirut, November 18; ibid.)

If Asad won, Syria might move away from the USSR slightly, but it would still be the most radical Arab nation. They might heat up the border with Israel, but they're more likely to continue showing restraint in view of their obvious shortcomings. If Jadid won, the pro-Soviets would be likely to move Syria even farther left. Another possibility is that fighting among the Baath radicals will give the exiled Baath moderates and their Iraqi friends an opening, but the moderates are moderate only by comparison.

John

 

294. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Helms to President Johnson/1/

Washington, October 28, 1968.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt W. Rostow, Arab-Israeli Private Talks. Secret; Eyes Only. A copy was sent to Secretary Rusk.

SUBJECT
Secret Israel-Jordan Negotiations

1. Since the last hours of the June war of 1967 senior Israeli officials, including Eshkol and Dayan, have demonstrated a willingness to meet directly with King Hussein. A secret meeting in Switzerland planned in July 1967 was cancelled at a late moment [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] when the U.S. terminated an emergency communications channel between the two parties that had been established during hostilities and used by both parties after the war in making arrangements for a clandestine Switzerland meeting. A second top level meeting arranged through direct Israel-Jordan contacts developed in early 1968 and scheduled for 8 August 1968 in the Gulf of Aqaba was cancelled [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] following Israel air attacks on Salt, Jordan on 4 August. The series of preliminary secret meetings in London have once again produced agreement for a top level secret meeting in the Gulf of Aqaba. The date of 7 November 1968 has been set; the arrangements will be checked out in a trial run [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] on 31 October. Both dates fall on a Thursday, the eve of the Jordanian weekend which provides some cover for a visit to Aqaba.

2. [6 lines of source text not declassified]

3. [8 lines of source text not declassified]

4. While there has been some increase in press and public speculation about contacts between Amman and Tel Aviv outside of the Jarring effort and Israeli officials have with a wide circle of American officials flatly asserted that direct Jordan-Israel talks are taking place, we are at this time unaware of any actual compromise of detailed and accurate information on the recent and planned contacts.

Dick

 

295. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Warnke) to Secretary of Defense Clifford/1/

Washington, October 29, 1968.

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 91-0017, Israel 452 (Sen). Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. A stamped notation with a November 4 date reads, "Sec Def has seen."

SUBJECT
F-4 Negotiations with Israel

As you know, the first negotiating session on the sale of F-4s to Israel is tomorrow, 30 October. Assistant Secretary Hart has been delegated Mr. Rusk's responsibility for carrying out these negotiations with Ambassador Rabin of Israel.

The threshold issue is whether our negotiators have authority to impose any political conditions on the sale of the F-4s or whether all that is to be negotiated are the technical details. The second is, assuming that conditions can be imposed, what these should be. Preliminary discussions between the President and Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Secretary Rusk with Eban have focused on Israeli adherence to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

As to the first issue we feel that the President's direction to open negotiations does not mean that we must agree to provide the Phantoms unconditionally. The oral messages conveyed from Prime Minister Eshkol and other Israeli officials are to the effect that they understand the sale of Phantoms to be unconnected to the issue of the Non-Proliferation Treaty or any other political question. In our view, we should not accept this position and should instead make clear at the outset of negotiations that the sale of the Phantoms will be contingent upon our satisfaction with Israeli assurances on matters affecting our own national security. Authority for our negotiators to take this position should be obtained from the President.

Reports we have as to the President's discussions with Prime Minister Eshkol the first of this year show that the President agreed only to keep the sale of Phantoms to Israel under review and to put ourselves in a position where, if an affirmative decision were to be made by the end of the year, we could begin to supply Phantoms in quantities of two or three per month beginning January of 1970. The announcement of October 9th that we would begin to negotiate with Israel on this sale did not constitute an undertaking to consummate the transaction unconditionally.

Even more important, any agreement with a foreign government is subject to modification in accordance with developments affecting the security of the United States. [3 lines of source text not declassified] This possession of a nuclear missile by Israel would be of no value to that country unless the fact were known to its Arab neighbors. If this fact were to become known, there is every likelihood that the UAR and possibly other Arab countries would request and receive Soviet nuclear missiles stationed on their soil under Soviet control. At a minimum, this development would lead to increased Soviet penetration and influence among the Arab countries and the complete polarization of the area. The responsibility for Israel's nuclear weapons would generally be charged to us, particularly after the sale of Phantoms has made us virtually Israel's only major source of arms supply.

For the future, the consequences of nuclear weapons in the Middle East could be calamitous. There can be no assurance that Israel's possession of strategic missiles would deter the Arab states, particularly if they have Soviet nuclear missiles as an offset. We must at least contemplate the possibility that, faced with a massive Arab attack, Israel might launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike. A retaliatory attack, however limited, would destroy Israel and face us with totally unacceptable alternatives. The first of these, a nuclear strike by the United States, is almost unthinkable. If directed against the Soviet Union, it would lead inexorably to all-out nuclear war. If directed against an Arab state, it would virtually compel Soviet retaliation against U.S. territory, particularly in view of the fact that Israel would have been the first to resort to nuclear arms.

On the other hand, the inability of the United States to respond to the destruction of Israel by Soviet missiles would damage incalculably our world position and our foreign policy objectives. We would have shown ourselves powerless to protect or even avenge a country for which we have been the principal sponsor and champion. I doubt that the West Germans could retain any confidence in our nuclear deterrent. Their most likely recourse would be an accommodation with the Soviet Union. NATO would cease to exist as an effective body.

In the light of these possibilities, I believe that we must use every available means to get assurances from Israel well beyond their signature on the NPT. These assurances, upon which sale of the F-4s should be expressly conditioned, would include their written agreement:

1. Not to test or deploy those strategic missiles now in Israel without our advance knowledge or consent;

2. Not to manufacture or otherwise acquire strategic missiles or nuclear weapons without our advance knowledge or consent;

3. To permit semi-annual inspection of specified sites in Israel and to provide full information on any program designed to achieve a nuclear weapon capability; and

4. To sign and ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty./2/

/2/Harold Saunders sent a memorandum on October 29 to Walt Rostow warning him that Israeli Air Force Commander General Hod was about to arrive in Washington expecting to discuss the purchase of Phantom aircraft with Defense officials and Defense was taking the position that it was not prepared to discuss the aircraft until the United States received assurances from Israel concerning the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Saunders noted the unlikelihood of such assurances. "So we may have a situation where General Hod is here but can't talk to anyone." (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Israel, Vol. X, Cables and Memos, 6/68-11/68)

For illustrative purposes, a proposed exchange of correspondence between the President and the Prime Minister is attached./3/

/3/Not printed.

Paul C. Warnke

 

296. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/

Washington, October 30, 1968, 2120Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Day (IO), cleared by Hart, and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Amman, Cairo, and USUN.

263978. Subj: Jarring Mission.

1. You should convey urgently to Eban our growing conviction that if he does not bring to New York more specific position for UAR on withdrawal, Jarring mission doomed. You should follow line taken by Sisco with Tekoah in New York on October 29 (USUN 7434)./2/ Suggest you also draw on Hart's talk with Riad on same day (USUN 7435)/3/ in which Riad made clear his deep skepticism re Israeli intentions and his unwillingness to remain in New York unless Israelis began to make specific proposals. You should again stress need for GOI to give most serious consideration to kind of reply we have suggested.

/2/Israeli Permanent Representative Tekoah told Sisco on October 29 that Eban was expected to return to New York on November 3. Sisco urged Israel to rise above the military incidents occurring along the Suez Canal and offer the UAR specific proposals relating to Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory. Sisco argued that if Eban returned to New York without such proposals, the end of the Jarring Mission was in sight. (Telegram 7434 from USUN, October 30; ibid.)

/3/Dated October 30. (Ibid.)

Rusk

 

297. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/

Washington, October 31, 1968, 0255Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 ISR. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Atherton, cleared by Davies, and approved by Hart.

264289. Subject: F-4 Negotiations.

1. Ambassador Rabin, accompanied by General Hod, Argov and Raviv called on Assistant Secretary Hart afternoon October 30 for next round in F-4 Phantom negotiations which were formally opened by Secretary and Eban October 22. Davies and Atherton also present.

2. Hart opened conversation by asking Israelis to prepare draft proposal setting forth what they believed agreement on F-4s should contain.

3. Rabin asked for clarification of this procedure. Noting that Israelis had only A-4 Skyhawk agreement to go by, he asked if this should serve as pattern. Israel could indicate its ideas on number of aircraft requested, which it had already set at fifty, on time of delivery and on credit arrangements. Were there other matters that should be covered?

4. Hart said he would leave it to Ambassador to follow whatever model he thought most appropriate. Rabin said he would have draft proposal ready tomorrow morning, October 31, and asked what next stage would be. Hart said Israeli proposal would be studied at high level as expeditiously as possible.

5. Pressing for further clarification Rabin noted that in previous such negotiations, once political decision had been taken detailed technical discussions had followed. General Hod was here for this purpose and undoubtedly additional experts would be needed. Rabin said he had hoped that U.S. would inform him in today's discussion that political decision had been taken to supply fifty F-4s and that immediate detailed technical discussions would follow. What stage of negotiations were we now in? Hart said we were at the stage of having asked the Israelis for a draft proposal which we would then study.

Rusk

 

298. Action/Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson/1/

Washington, October 31, 1968, 11:30 a.m.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt W. Rostow, Vol. 102, 10/29-31/68. Secret.

Mr. President:

Herewith the state of the Phantom deal.

1. Sec. Rusk instructed Hart to ask Rabin to come in with a draft agreement.

2. The Israelis are coming back this morning with their draft./2/

/2/The Israeli-proposed memorandum of agreement was conveyed to Hart on October 31 under cover of an October 30 letter from Rabin to Hart. A copy is in the Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 73 A 1351, Chronology of F-4s for Israel, 10 Oct 68-5 Sept 69, Folder 1. In an October 31 memorandum to Rostow, Saunders summarized the Israeli draft as follows: "places the order for 50 planes and requests that we try to deliver some in early 1969; refers to Eban's paper of October 28 reaffirming Israel's 'intention not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the area' and agrees, accordingly, that the Phantoms won't carry these weapons." Saunders found the Israeli proposal disappointing: "This is much less than we have been talking about. It doesn't get to Israel's not producing nuclear weapons. It doesn't touch missile production." (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Israel, Vol. X, Cables and Memos, 6/68-11/68) In a similar assessment of the Israeli draft, Hart concluded that the Israeli draft posed the question of whether to try to get, in the context of the F-4 negotiations, assurances from Israel concerning the NPT, nuclear weapons production, and missile development. (Memorandum from Hart to Rusk, October 31; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 ISR)

3. The Pentagon is determined, unless instructed to the contrary by the President, to link the Phantom deal to hard nuclear assurances to the U.S.

Sec. Rusk told me that what he had in mind is not forcing [is forcing?] the Israeli hand on the NPT by getting them to sign on to the U.S. that they will not produce or accept nuclear weapons.

The Pentagon will not even discuss technical details with the Israelis until they get the nuclear assurances. Therefore, I suggest that you:

--Talk with Sec. Rusk and get his recommendation as to how we proceed in the light of what Rabin brings to Hart this morning; and

--After that conversation, talk with Clark Clifford and give him an instruction as to how to proceed with the technical talks with respect to timing and to prior conditions, if any.

Abe Feinberg called me about this, underlining the Pentagon problem in broad terms./3/

/3/Rostow added a handwritten postscript that reads: "P.S. Amb Rabin also called to ask if the President had made a 'policy decision.' I told him I was reporting the situation to the President."

W. W. Rostow/4/

/4/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

 

299. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Rusk and Secretary of Defense Clifford/1/

Washington, November 1, 1968, 10:15 a.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Conversations, Box 930. No classification marking. Prepared by Mildred Asbjornson of the Secretary's office. A handwritten note on the memorandum reads, "No Dist."

TELEPHONE CALL TO SEC CLIFFORD

C congratulated the Secretary. Sec said he didn't know C was planning on recording a statement--left him in the position of being the old hawk who must have proposed it. C said he had done it in accordance with what the Pres had said. A one-minute statement on TV and given to the reporters which is fair and is absolutely the rule. He and Wheeler had had a backgrounder.

Sec said he had had two or three talks with the Pres on Phantoms. He is strongly opposed to twisting arms on the nuclear thing in connection with Phantoms. Doesn't want them linked. When Sec brought up A-4's and tanks, Pres said they had already gotten this from us. Sec said Pres doesn't buy it at all. C said the problem falls in our area more than theirs. C said we know they have gotten an operational missile from the French. [2-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] This is the road to disaster. The Soviets will never let them have this in the Middle East. Sovs must know it now. They will send in Sov contingents and set up atomic weapons in Arab nations. It will be the most dangerous area in the world. Sec says he has a directive and C may want to raise it with the Pres. Sec asked about delivery on the Phantoms. C said he thought it was 1970. Sec said they (Israelis) say early 1969. C said Nitze and Warnke were with him and their clear understanding is 1970. C said he would talk to the Pres again. Sec suggested sending word to Rabin that there was agreement in principle and they should send someone to the Pentagon to work out things and go on from there. C said they wouldn't want to do that. Sec said the Air Force man who was at the Ranch is in town and is prepared to do it. C said to send him over./2/

/2/In a November 1 memorandum to Parker Hart, Rodger Davies stated that Rusk had instructed him to contact Nitze at Defense to arrange for technical discussions with the Israelis preparatory to the conclusion of an agreement for the sale of the Phantom aircraft. After discussing the matter with Nitze, Davies called Rabin and informed him that General Hod could get in touch with Warnke to set up technical discussions. Davies noted that Rabin was "overjoyed at this development." (Ibid., Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 ISR)

 

300. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Warnke) to Secretary of Defense Clifford/1/

Washington, November 2, 1968.

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 72 A 1499, 452.1 Israel. Top Secret; Sensitive.

SUBJECT
Negotiations with Ambassador Rabin on F-4s

Yesterday, November 1, 1968, the Secretary of State, instead of negotiating anything with the Israelis, instructed Mr. Rodger P. Davies to inform Ambassador Rabin that the American Government was prepared in principle to accede to the Israeli request for Phantoms and that they should get in touch with Defense "to set up technical discussions." In the attached memorandum of Mr. Davies,/2/ General Hod's name is used as the one to contact us, but Mr. Davies admits that Hod's name was not included in Mr. Rusk's instructions to him. Davies also tells us that Mr. Rusk said that we should get from the Israelis no less than we have gotten in the past.

/2/See footnote 2, Document 299.

I therefore seek your authorization to negotiate with the Israelis on the basis that an agreement in principle leaves ample room for us to require assurances from the Israelis with respect to matters which are vital to the national security of the United States, and specifically much harder assurances with respect to strategic missiles and nuclear weapons than we have received in the past. These were only: (1) that Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the area, and (b) they would not use the A-4 aircraft to carry nuclear weapons.

I would propose to tell Ambassador Rabin that:

(a) I am acting on the instructions of the Secretary of Defense;

(b) [3-1/2 lines of source text not declassified];

(c) [2-1/2 lines of source text not declassified];

(d) Israel may consider such weapons to be a deterrent to hostile action by Arab states. The United States Government, having had considerably more experience with nuclear weapons and the concept of deterrence than any other nation on earth, does not believe that these weapons will have the effect on which Israel presumably is counting. Instead, we believe it will compel the U.S.S.R. to station nuclear missiles in the U.A.R. and perhaps in other Arab countries.

Such a concept leaves out entirely possible actions by the Soviet Union with respect to the Arab states or with respect to Israel. It also ignores the unstable and irrational nature of the Arabs. Our belief, based on experience, is that deterrence of this kind can work only if the other side is not only capable of rational analysis, but of sustained rational action, particularly in times of great stress. We know, and Israel knows, that neither the Egyptians nor the Syrians nor the Iraqis have been known to exhibit such rational thought and behavior and we cannot be sure that they will be for decades to come. Furthermore, the United States, by selling Phantom aircraft to Israel, is entering into a new relationship not only as the principal arms supplier to Israel--when only a short time before we publicly refused to be a major arms supplier--but also, and partly by virtue of that fact, will put ourselves in a more vulnerable position with respect to any future hostilities. For these reasons, we must ask of Israel certain assurances prior to entering this new relationship;

(e) Specifically, we would include in any written agreement for the sale of the aircraft, the following assurances:

(1) Not to test or deploy strategic missiles without our advance knowledge and consent;

(2) Not to manufacture or otherwise acquire strategic missiles or nuclear weapons without our advance knowledge and consent;

(3) To permit semi-annual inspection of specified sites in Israel and to provide full information on any program designed to achieve a nuclear weapon capability;

(4) To sign and ratify the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

I have set my meeting with Ambassador Rabin for Monday afternoon, November 4. He can be expected to react strongly to my approach and immediately to notify both his government and others in order to elicit the maximum pressure on us to change our position. The meeting, however, should be a long one and the repercussions should not be felt until Tuesday. If you approve this approach, I will of course report immediately to you after my session with Ambassador Rabin for further instructions.

One happenstance that may work out well is that I am leaving for Europe on Wednesday, the 6th, and I therefore recommend that Ambassador Rabin's next session be with Paul Nitze. If Paul Nitze then takes the same line with the Ambassador on the 6th of November that I have taken on the 4th, the Israeli Government might become accustomed shortly thereafter to the thought that we are serious in this matter.

In the meantime, I recommend that you report to the President how we intend to negotiate with Ambassador Rabin, and why.

I am also attaching a proposed exchange of letters between the President and Prime Minister Eshkol with respect to the assurances that we require./3/ I consider this method of receiving the assurances the most binding and therefore the most suitable. A cross-reference to these letters could be made in the actual contract. My second preference for receiving written assurances would be in a government-to-government Memorandum of Understanding. In this memorandum there should be a clause which connects Israel's assurances with paragraph 6 of the Standard Sales Contract, which reads:

/3/Not printed.

"6. Under unusual and compelling circumstances when the best interest of the United States requires it, reserves the right to cancel all or part of this offer at any time prior to the delivery of defense articles or performance of services. It shall be responsible for all costs resulting from cancellations under this paragraph."

I would also recommend as additional sweeteners to obtain the assurances we desire, that we be prepared to offer a number of other items; for example:

(a) As is already inserted in the draft proposed letter from the President to the Prime Minister: "The United States undertakes to provide Israel with sufficient conventional military equipment to meet its legitimate security needs."

(b) We would also be prepared to offer something like the following:

--Reconnaissance F-4s.

--As many as 50 more F-4s if desired.

--J-79 engines for which they have already asked for their Mirage IIIc.

--Non-nuclear weapons systems for the F-4s of a kind which have previously been withheld, and a number of other items which they have requested which we have withheld for various reasons up to now.

Finally, I recommend that in the event you are unable to see the President on this subject between now and 2:00 o'clock on Monday afternoon, November 4, that I nevertheless be authorized to talk to Ambassador Rabin along the lines set forth above.

Paul C. Warnke/4/

/4/Printed from a copy that indicates that Warnke signed the original.

 

301. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, November 3, 1968, 0653Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Cairo, Amman, and Tel Aviv.

7544. Middle East: Jarring Mission. Following summary based on uncleared memcon Noforn and FYI. Subject to revision upon review.

Summary: In lengthy review with Secy of ME settlement issues, Riad emphasized primacy of territorial question and impossibility of UAR considering Israeli withdrawal from UAR territory apart from question of withdrawal from other Arab territories. Secy focused on UAR-Israel aspects of settlement problem, outlining seven point summary of how US views meaning of Nov 22 SC res vis-a-vis UAR. Secy suggested that Hussein could take care of Jordan aspects of settlement problem. Riad said Nasser had "freed" Hussein to make own settlement, but that UAR could not itself consider settlement apart from Jordan and Syria. Riad said UAR had accepted res and had later also given answers to Jarring and US on specifics. On refugees and Canal, Riad said he not officially connecting anything, but res is package. Israel, however, had not accepted res or indicated readiness to implement it, which is matter of principle and leaves main question of territorial expansion unanswered. After Riad said US interpretation of res not clear, Secy outlined US views on UAR aspect of settlement re withdrawal, termination of state of war, Suez Canal, refugees, Tiran Straits, arms levels, and signing of doc. End Summary.

1. Secy met for nearly two hours with UAR FonMin Riad Nov 2 for discussion of problems of ME settlement. Wiggins, Al-Khouly, and Mohamed Riad also present.

2. Secy said he had personal and official reason for coming to NY to see Riad: he personally would like next secy of state to find peace rather than war in ME and officially USG desired same. Secy said matters reaching point where important decisions have to be made, since if there is no peace there apparently is war. He therefore wanted to get Riad's estimate of situation with regard to components of peace, GOI views as UAR sees them, and particularly UAR's views. Secy said peace surely must be object; no one in right mind wants war.

3. Riad said UAR hopes something can be done; hopes US can do something. Observed that Secy and USG had not left Vietnam situation for new administration, but had taken big step of halting bombing which it could be hoped would together with other steps lead to peace. Secy said it takes two to make peace in VN as in ME. Riad said it will be very difficult in VN and ME since no one has magic wand to bring peaceful situation in 24 hours. In ME UAR hopes there will be peace, but does not call alternative "war." Alternative is rather "destruction" and after more destruction settlement would eventually be found. As he and Secy had agreed a year ago, time not in favor of peace but running against peace. If anything this more true today and it necessary to work hard to achieve peace. With opposing forces confronting each other there bound to be incidents, exchanges of fire, resistance. Secy observed these have tendency to build into chain reaction with momentum which leads to larger incidents and full scale hostilities. Riad agreed, referring to last incident in which Israeli "plane" bombed bridges, dam, and power plant inside UAR. Riad said this destroys little in itself, but causes disaster for agricultural food production which must depend on irrigation. Thus Israel initiating dangerous new stage of warfare and if retaliation being considered in Cairo it would have to be something equivalent in importance to what Israel doing to UAR, i.e., not a bridge.

4. Riad said even after further rounds of destruction on both sides there would have to be settlement, so why not do it now? But if peace must be achieved, how can it be done? This subject of discussion in UAR since June 5, 1967. UAR does not like Nov 22 SC res but whether UAR likes it or not it is a solution and UAR has accepted it because of need to be realistic. Israel and UAR might not like res but they have to accept it. Main question is whether Israel gives up desire for expansion as res requires. Independence and security of all countries--not just Israel-must be guaranteed. Other questions of refugees and navigation part of res and must also be settled but main problem is territorial question and security for both sides. Anyone who wants to be fair would agree. Up to now UAR has felt implementation of res will lead to peace. If situation drags on unresolved, however, Arabs will continue to try to strengthen their position in face of occupation, there will be more incidents, and prospects for peace will dwindle since who would talk peace with Israel in wake of further Israeli aggression? This is why time very precious and it necessary to work hard and very quickly so res respected. History of Jewish state, support from Zionist movement and big powers (US, UK, USSR, and France), and past and current statements of Israeli leaders about expanded state long story which known to Secy. Thus important question not how UAR can please Eban or Eshkol by fulfilling certain procedures, but matter of security of Arab countries, territorial intentions of Israel, and extent to which ambitions of Jewish state receive support from big powers.

5. Secy said he speaking only for US, not anyone else. US had supported and continues to support the territorial integrity and political independence of states in ME. This not one-sided policy; it had been applied to Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAR, Kuwait, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco in past. Had UAR Pres not closed Straits of Tiran in May 1967 not one inch of territory would have been jeopardized; had he said on June 1 what he said in September 1967 about Tiran none of problems he and Riad discussing today would be confronting them. Secty said it not USG policy to support Israeli territorial expansion. Except for events of May-June 1967 there would not have been danger of territorial expansion. Secy asked Riad to look at question from US point of view. US pressed Israel to withdraw from Sinai in 1957 and with inter alia closing of Straits in 1967 US kicked in shin. Likewise, US would have supported original Palestine res of 1948, but it had been resisted by arms and slipped out of window.

6. Riad accepted Secy's points; said he not talking about attitude of US but attitude of Israel. UAR could do nothing with historical factors and support of big powers for establishment of Jewish state; problem is whether Israel is going to stick with pre-June 5 territory, which already well beyond "legal" boundaries of partition res. Territorial question very important to them-more important than procedure to Israelis.

7. Secy said for US to give expression of our attitude, we need help from Arab side. At critical times this had not been forthcoming. He proposed breaking settlement problem into its component parts. Jordan could take care of its own interests. Re UAR, he did not see any reason why Israel would levy territorial claims. Riad interjected that it very difficult for him to talk about UAR as UAR. It too late for Egypt to discuss settlement problem in isolation from other Arab states directly involved. If problem concerned Egypt only, Egypt would never have become involved in 1948. Egypt was attacked in 1956 because she was involved. Israel could not withdraw from Sinai and stay in other Arab areas. Secy said he had not said that: Hussein had responsibility for Jordan, UAR for UAR, etc. He wished to look at pieces so as to get settlement. Riad reiterated that major question territorial one and that it could not be solved in pieces because it matter of principle. UAR could not have Israel withdraw from Sinai leaving territorial questions for Jordan and Syria to be solved subsequently. Feelings of people and policy of government would not permit this. UAR was member of Arab League and party to defense pacts; Jordan and Syria had moved to assist UAR on June 5; it would be immoral for UAR to agree leaving behind Jordan, with half of country occupied, and Syria.

8. Riad said Nasser had told Hussein to find agreement if he wanted and could save his territories, that UAR could not help him so he could try to find settlement himself. Riad said "We freed him, but we cannot free ourselves" because UAR cannot betray others due to pride and honor of country. On territorial question if others like Jordan make settlement UAR would "never object."

9. Secy said if UAR had told Jordan territorial question for Jordan to determine, why couldn't he and Riad talk about territorial question between Israel and UAR. Riad reverted to reasons already adduced. UAR did not want to put obstacle in front of Hussein by saying don't do anything unless Israel also leaves Sinai. Sinai was desert and UAR could wait, but West Bank contained a million people, for its part, however, UAR could not go ahead alone, since Jordan and Syria would know that if UAR did so, they would be in very difficult position. Secy said he had no reason to think Hussein would or could object if with Jarring's help or otherwise UAR-Israel issues sorted out in some fashion. Asked Riad what interest Hussein would have in standing in way? Re trying to look at problem by pieces then bring them together, Riad said matter of principle re acquisition of territory as result of war had to be agreed on first and on this answer was either yes or no. Discussion of navigation, Holy Places in Jerusalem, demilitarization and security for both sides in Syrian heights sector etc could be discussed for Israel and each party, but not territorial question which only one question and is matter of principle. If territorial question between Israel and each party taken separately SC res loses meaning. So UAR hopes stick to main question, having previously answered matters of detail on navigation and how to sign doc or paper to fulfill obligations at previous mtg with Secy. Riad emphasized UAR answers on details all on assumption that Israel accepts and implements SC res and ready to withdraw. Up to present moment, Riad had not heard that Israel ready to implement res; this was really serious problem now.

10. Secy said UAR had prescribed its own words which Israel must use--"accept and implement"--and that what UAR means is that Israel should accept and implement res as UAR interprets it. Suggested that UAR would reject requirement that UAR accept and implement res as Israel interprets it. Secy said he could not see why any government should accept words of another government subject to that other government's interpretation. Res should be accepted for implementation by each as each interprets it with details to be worked out in negotiations.

11. Riad said maybe this would be correct approach if only details at issue. Difference, however, revolves around matter of principle, so far there is no difference between UAR and Israel because UAR has given its interpretation but UAR has not heard Israel's interpretation. All UAR had heard was that Israel accepted res as agenda. Riad asked if Secy knows what Israel's interpretation of res is. Secy said res not self-executing and details have to be negotiated. Riad asked if this view of US or of Israel? He asking for Israel's view. Secy said he not speaking for Israel, but that US could not go to either side and say you must implement res as interpreted by other side. Riad asked but what does Israel say? UAR had told Jarring UAR aim is peace and peace can be achieved by implementing solution in res. Riad said we should forget all words and see how we can implement res. UAR accepted res and for first several months of Jarring Mission he had refused to give answers to specific questions pending Israel's acceptance of res. Then he gave answers to Jarring, but perhaps this was mistake since Israel still not forthcoming on this matter of principle. Secy said he had not seen Eban since latter's return to NY, but if Israel agrees implement res on basis of details worked out through negotiations would Riad object to that? Riad said if Israel says that he will have no objection. Secy said beyond withdrawal from UAR territory, he not really clear on UAR answers on other parts of res. Riad, for example, had linked refugees to Canal, but res does not so link them. Riad said he not officially connecting anything, but accepted res as package at urging of US. Riad reiterated that it impossible to split main question of territory into segments. Secy said it not possible to insist on withdrawal until it known withdrawal to what. Withdrawal must be to peace, but he unable as yet to see pieces of the pattern of peace. US would not press anybody on withdrawal as first step leaving everything else up in air to be discussed. US is trying to find way to put pieces of puzzle together to get peace.

12. Riad said UAR up to present moment does not know what policy of US is on res. US says there are different interpretations of res, but so far UAR has not heard specific interpretations of others including Israel and US. Secy said interpretation of UAR not known. Riad said UAR can answer on res point by point and had done so several times. Secy said he would briefly give US interpretation of res as far as UAR concerned. Riad said UAR could not be considered separately. Secy observed he talking to FonMin of UAR. Riad said he and Secy discussing res. France and USSR had told UAR clearly that Israel would have to withdraw, but UAR had not heard this to date from US. This big problem for UAR and UAR hoped one day US would make its interpretation known. Secy said he could be specific re what US thinks res means for UAR; he could not accept Riad as spokesman of Arab world since others did not accept him as such any more than de Gaulle accepted as spokesman for Europe by other Europeans. Riad said he never said he spokesman for all Arabs. Secy said this implicit in Riad statements. Riad said he could not be spokesman for all Arabs; he had said repeatedly he could not speak for Palestinians and could only speak about UAR. UAR ready to implement whole res as is. US interpretation would no doubt help in solving question of withdrawal one way or another.

13. Secy said he would summarize his views on what res means vis-a-vis UAR as fol:/2/

/2/This is apparently the proposal Rusk was referring to when he indicated in his memoirs that "I tried my hand at peacemaking when I proposed an eight point program to the Egyptian foreign minister." He mistakenly remembered making the proposal during the UN meeting that preceded the June 1967 war. (As I Saw It, p. 383) Richard Parker, who was present at the November 2 meeting between Rusk and Riad, described the moment in the meeting when "much to everyone's surprise, Rusk fished out of his pocket a piece of paper which contained what has come to be known as Rusk's seven points." Parker noted that Rusk's proposal came as a complete surprise to the NEA Bureau and he subsequently discussed the initiative with Rusk in 1980. Rusk said that he had thought up the points himself and had not discussed them with anyone in the White House or in the State Department. (Richard B. Parker, The Politics of Miscalculation in the Middle East, pp. 131-133)

1) Israeli withdrawal from territory of UAR

2) a formal termination of the state of war

3) following from (2) above, Suez Canal open to all flagships

4) answer on refugees be found on basis of personal and secret choice of refugees on where to live (Secy later clarified that this included choice to return to Israel as one of possible places, but that this means Israel not Palestine since latter does not exist having been replaced by Israel and Jordan.)

5) international presence at Sharm el Sheikh which could not be removed without consent of SC or GA

6) general understanding about level of arms in area so as to avoid arms race (though this point would not be required "in first instance")

7) UAR should sign something in writing to which Israel also a signatory.

14. Riad asked if he could pass these points on to other Arab countries. Secy asked that Riad let him talk with Rifai, recalling for Riad USG's solicitude for Jordan and interest in her welfare even sometimes at expense of our relations with UAR. Secy noted that he left Gaza question dangling; he had referred to "UAR territory." He supposed there could be agreement about Gaza. Riad asked agreement with whom-Israel? Secy suggested with Jordan. To Riad's query on why Jordan, Secy said some say they want this and UAR has no desire surely for Gaza "slum"; perhaps could be handled as part of refugee problem. Riad said Secy knew that Gaza was UAR responsibility; that UAR had been there when Israel attacked. UAR must see Gaza free of Israeli occupation; after that it an Arab question. UAR had never tried to annex it to Egypt. UAR had supported about half of Gaza citizens since UNRWA refused to give assistance to those who had not lost their homes but only their lands across the line in what became Israel.

15. Riad said that from what Secy had said US policy concerning res is that there should be no territorial gains. Riad said Israel must withdraw from all Arab territories, not just Sinai. This would help achieve peace. On refugees, did US have in mind UN reses? Secy said he not talking about plebiscite, but about giving each refugee fifteen countries to chose from (including Israel) and then trying to accommodate their wishes. Mohamed Riad noted UN reses not against this: they required repatriation/compensation but specified no methods or devices. Secy said on basis he suggested he thought there could be a solution. Riad did not demur; observed that many refugees had already gone elsewhere, including to Cairo.

16. Riad said aspirin not enough for man with cancer and main question still whether there enough support for peace in area. This main question still to be answered by Israel. If clear answer given that there will be no expansion, then all problems can be solved. If they reject expansion and try to improve relations with Arabs there will be no problem.

17. Secy asked Riad if maximum effort could be made in next ten days. Riad asked what Secy thinks can be done, what UAR should do? Riad said he in NY for six weeks and had not seen any movement, only generalities. He had told Jarring he would have to leave for Cairo soon. If Eban returned with same nine points and no answers to Riad's two questions--as press reports seemed to indicate--then he would leave at once for Cairo. This would not mean end of discussion; he could return to NY at any time. Movement would depend on whether Eban ready to move on question of implementation of res. UAR wanted to see peace, but could not make concessions on territories.

18. Secy asked whether Riad could give reaction on purely bilateral basis to his seven points. Riad said his reaction could be given now and that main question is territorial. He welcomed Secy's attitude on Sinai, which he still hoped could be extended to other territories. UAR could not move to settlement unless assured Israel would withdraw from all Arab territories. Secy suggested that in commenting on his seven points, Riad might add additional point that UAR could not itself agree on settlement unless something worked out for other Arab states and that if something worked out for others, UAR could agree to settle. Secy suggested that El-Kony and Wiggins might get together re seven points. Riad reiterated that territorial question uppermost. Re UAR Secy asked if in view of his first point other six points acceptable? (Said no need for answer on this at present mtg.) Riad said everything is in res, that UAR accepts res and prepared to fulfill all its obligations under res. He had told Jarring UAR looking for final settlement in which all questions settled. He had responded to Jarring's questions by saying UAR would accept UNEF in Sharm El-Sheik and Gaza and Sinai; free navigation in Straits of Tiran not a problem, etc. On signing paper, this depends on paper and how it looks and how other questions are solved. UAR has no objection as matter of principle to pledge or paper which it would sign and which would be sent to all members of SC so that it signed not only "to Israel but to all the world." UAR ready to do this and if Israel comes and signs on "that" afterwards, this would depend on paper itself, and if it "my doc." Secy said this would be then a contractual obligation between UAR and Israel. Riad said UAR signature would be on doc, but details would have to be worked out. Riad said UAR had signed four agreements with Israel; that this not the question; that UAR ready to sign. But it must be a paper on which all our obligations are written and stated.

19. Re arms, Riad said UAR would be most happy to be released from arms spending since high levels of arms expenditure inhibit economic growth. If UAR sure Israel not bent on expansion, UAR would need no arms since no threats to UAR from elsewhere. Secy said two psychological issues are involved: 1) Arabs fear Israeli expansion; 2) Israelis fear Arab desire to destroy Israel. What could be done? Riad said anyone could see that to destroy Israel not possible practically speaking, but that for Israel to expand all that is needed is for her to annex territory on which she sits by having defeated Arabs.

20. Riad again asked if Secy could advise him on what could be done in next few days, as he would have to be returning to Cairo. He might also need to return home for consultation, and could have done so during Eban's delay. Secy remarked that Eban had returned to Israel with strong recommendations from US but that Cabinet Oct 27 had been fully preoccupied with artillery battle across Canal which, together with Eshkol's illness, brought delay. Riad said Eban now returning and question is whether he brings anything hopeful. Secy said he did not know; he would be seeing Eban following day. Secy said it reasonable for Arabs press territorial question and reasonable for Israel to press other questions. Riad recalled that Eban reportedly had once talked of maximum security for Israel and minimum border corrections. What was Israel's position on this? Secy reiterated that on UAR border he did not think there would be any change. Riad said he talking about res. Secy said Hussein could speak for Jordan. Riad recalled that Secy had spoken of US support for Arabs at times of need; UAR could do no less.

21. In closing comment, Secy said he hoped Riad would understand that US could not exert 100 percent influence in Israel when UAR did not give US any influence in UAR.

Rusk

 

302. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, November 3, 1968, 2245Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Amman, Tel Aviv and Cairo.

7545. Middle East: Jarring Mission. Fol summary based on uncleared memcon, Noforn and FYI, subject to revision upon review.

Summary:

Eban reviewed with Secy Israel's current approach to Jarring Mission and ME settlement following GOI Cabinet deliberations. Israel feels it important to continue process of clarification vis-a-vis Jordan while continuing correspondence through Jarring vis-a-vis UAR. Re UAR Israel prepared to continue substantive exchange through Jarring and to make declaration along lines put to Eban by Barbour, but with "agreement" emphasized and "functional" rather then geographical definition of Israel's position on border question. Israel also working on declaration on res vis-a-vis Jordan. Israel committed to continuation of Jarring Mission and believes Jarring should get more into specifics and reconsider March 1968 proposal for parties to meet under his auspices. Israel hopes us will continue to encourage UAR and Jarring. End Summary.

1. Secretary met with GOI FonMin Eban Nov 3 re ME settlement and Jarring Mission. Wiggins, Rabin, Tekoah, and Argov also present.

2. Secy asked Eban how he had done with GOI Cabinet. Eban said Suez Canal bombardment weekend after his arrival in Israel had created unfavorable atmosphere and first idea had been not to reply at all to Riad paper since it only invective and propaganda containing nothing specific and concrete to continue dialogue. Eban said he pointed out clear relation of any prospect for progress with Jordan to keeping process alive with UAR and Cabinet decision then taken to pursue dialogue further. Eban said he wished touch on three points: 1) process of clarification with Jordan on which there had been further progress; 2) Cabinet study of what position would be taken if negotiations forthcoming with UAR; and 3) tactical considerations relating to Jarring mission.

3. Eban said process of clarification with Jordan advancing and expected to culminate mid-November. (Septel) In meantime, it absolutely essential to keep Jarring available. Secy asked how Eban anticipated giving Jarring Mission enough nourishment keep it alive during this period. Eban said it is fact that there are possibilities and impossibilities with Israel as with UAR: it would be impossible for GOI to commit "whole destiny" to text without safety catch of "agreement." Eban said Israel would be able to say something about having accepted res and willing discuss ways reach full agreement on implementing its provisions as Amb Barbour had proposed. Problem is that UAR keeps wanting imposed settlement whereas Israel wants agreed settlement. Eban said Jarring had asked for anything to keep Riad in picture, and this all right with Israel. Problem is that Jordan does not want to go it alone so UAR must be at least indirectly in picture: it must be triangular not bilateral process. Eban said GOI position of placing implementation of res in context of peace valid in terms both of international law and res itself, UAR and Jordan should be persuaded that there would not be changes in SC opinion on this. Riad had left unanswered question in GOI paper as to whether he accepted UK FonMin Stewart's definition of res.

4. In response to Wiggins question as to what Eban would say to Jarring, Eban said he would refer to his previous statement (paper) to Jarring and ask Jarring to move mission out of declaratory rut and into specifics. Eban said he would tell Jarring frankly that GOI had decided to go on with mission and with clarification process with Jordan, especially over next two weeks, and that it most important that Jarring not remove himself at this stage.

5. Re UAR, Eban said he had enough to draft something for Jarring today or tomorrow which he thought would satisfy third parties that Riad would be justified in not breaking up mission. Nothing suggests that UAR prepared for peace. Either whatever USSR telling them UAR not listening to, or USSR not telling them to make peace. Intoxicated speeches of two weeks ago and on throwing Israel into sea reminiscent of May-June 1967. Fact that 20 Israelis killed in last barrage and little damage done to UAR must have had enormous influence on hawks in Cairo who wish to gain time for either partial or complete military victory against Israel. Despite GOI pessimistic view of UAR intentions, Israel would like to secure limited tactical objective of making it difficult for Cairo to break off on Jarring Mission without loss in world opinion. Israel would address itself in this phase with Jarring to get enough acquiescence on UAR part to let process of clarification with Jordan proceed. Secy observed that return by Riad to Cairo would not necessarily mean breaking off Jarring Mission. Eban said gist of GOI approach would be to: 1) reaffirm willingness to exchange views on certain matters of substance through Jarring; 2) press for precise definition by parties of positions including answers to questions Israel had already put so that positions could be compared and scope of difficulties of settlement estimated; and 3) make declaration with text almost identical to that suggested by US but (a) without accepting view that res invalidated because it contains "agreement," and (b) giving "functional" rather than geographical formula on boundary question which should make clear that Israel's purpose is not expansionism and that once boundaries and security arrangements agreed troops would be disposed accordingly. More specific position would be made known when Israel-UAR effort moved from tactical to substantive stage (septel), but it would be counterproductive to discuss specifics while UAR not talking peace. Jarring had never said Israel should give map or lines. If UAR says something on paper which is concrete and conciliatory Israel could say something more specific on boundary and res. Eban said Israel prepared to discuss further all three aspects of approach he had outlined.

6. Re tactics, Eban said Israel giving first priority to Jarring Mission; whoever breaks off mission, whether UAR or Jarring himself, would assume heavy international responsibility. Eban said he would be seeing Jarring sometime tonight or tomorrow. Secondly, GOI thinks Jarring should consider again proposal he made in March 1968 about meetings of parties under his auspices. This at least useful as operative proposal on table and Israel would say in advance that GOI would accept proposal if made now. Thirdly, Israel would follow up on Eban speech to GA and on Israel's seven questions to UAR to see if perhaps agreement could be reached on one or more points in contingent initial discussion. With these procedural proposals, together with willingness work out declarations both vis-a-vis UAR and Jordan (septel), Israel prepared stand before public opinion if Riad leaves and Jarring Mission collapses. In answer to Secy question, Eban said he would have to return to Israel sometime after Nov 15, but could in interim continue correspondence in NY if other side wants./2/

/2/On November 5 Wiggins, on instructions from the Department, told Tekoah that the U.S. view of the approach outlined by Eban to Rusk on November 3 was that it would not keep the Jarring Mission going. Wiggins emphasized that the Jarring Mission was hanging in the balance and asked on behalf of his government to review the Israeli position paper before Eban submitted it to Jarring. (Telegram 7554 from USUN, November 5; ibid., POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR)

7. After Secy withdrew, Eban suggested to Wiggins that US might go to Riad indicating Israel has moved forward with further clarification to Jarring, declaration on res, and principles on border settlement which do not include or exclude anything. UAR would therefore be well advised to stay with Jarring Mission and make reassuring response so as not to take responsibility for breaking up mission. Eban said this crucial and he would say this to Jarring as well. If US were to say to UAR that US thinks that Israel's position on "agreement" sensible, maybe UAR would play ball if recognizes Israel has support. While Jarring would not embrace Israel's response he should recognize that it serious enough to have serious response on his part at least to insure time for Israel to make progress in clarification with Jordan.

8. Wiggins said this would be awkward in that what will be apparent re Israel's forward movement will not be as much as that movement actually is. Eban said he would give some friends in SC enough info to enable them on diplomatic level to recognize serious and substantive nature of progress so as to encourage Riad to stay. Wiggins and Eban agreed that Riad might well want to return to Cairo. But that where he might be located for a short period of time not as important as whether UAR remaining on board with Jarring Mission. Wiggins asked how far Eban would go in telling Jarring of disavowal by Israel of territory aims and advised him to be as specific and substantive on this as possible. Wiggins said he felt Rifai wants peace and that Riad has seemed better on this score now than he was previously. Re Jarring, Wiggins said he had moved off demand for total and complete specificity of a week ago and reverted to earlier position that what required is something with which he can work. Wiggins said he had talked with Swedish FonMin, who had said he happy to have Jarring continue his mission. Eban said this important so that Jarring would not be worried that his own career might be jeopardized by remaining with ME mission.

Wiggins

 

 

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