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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 > Kennedy Administration > Volume XVII
Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, Volume XVII, Near East, 1961-1962
Released by the Office of the Historian
Documents 293-314

293. Letter From President Kennedy to Prime Minister Ben Gurion/1/

Washington, June 13, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Country Series, Israel, 6/2/62- 6/15/62. Personal and Secret. A handwritten note on the source text indicates that the letter was sent to the Israeli Embassy for Ambassador Harman on June 15. According to the notes of a telephone conversation between Secretary Rusk and Feldman that began at 4:44 p.m. on June 13, "The Sec returned the call. F said the Pres asked about the Ben Gurion letter. F showed him the probable response. Meantime F talked to Harman and he said this is the exact response. F said it was their (his and Sec's) that they had the full letter. [sic] Pres said to let it go out now and get on with it. F will send it over now for the Sec to transmit to Harman. Sec asked if paragraphs will be exact and F said yes. Sec asked what about other suggestions. F will talk with him about it again. BG considers himself a world statesman and wants to give his views on Africa, Latin America, etc. Sec said no problem on things not involving the Near East. But he does not like it re prestige of the Pres of the US. F mentioned this to the Pres. F replied letter not to be made public." (Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Conversations)

Dear Mr. Prime Minister: I should like to take advantage of the offer you made at the conclusion of our conversations last year to be available for further exchanges of ideas and information. Since that time, there have been several developments in the matters we discussed, both in the Near East and in other parts of the world. Some have given rise to concern and anxiety; others provide a basis for hope that our ultimate objective of peace in the Near East can be achieved. Throughout this period, however, the United States policy has consistently included among its objectives the security and progress of Israel.

I have had reports, most recently, on the discussions between Deputy Defense Minister Shimon Peres and officials of the United States Government, and the matters he presented are currently being carefully examined. The maintenance of Israel's integrity and independence and her economic progress will continue to engage our full support.

I would hope that the present quiescence on the borders of Israel will continue undisturbed. But this should not cause us to relax our efforts to obtain a lasting and permanent peace and good neighborliness between the Arab States and Israel and to resist doctrines of belligerence. I believe you share my feeling that the United Nations, despite any of its imperfections, remains an important bulwark against aggression of any kind. Israel is entitled to have the calm of its borders respected by its neighbors. I hope that your Government will find it possible to cooperate fully with those functions of the United Nations which can be helpful in this regard.

My attention has recently been directed toward the advanced state of the program for the full development of water resources in the Near East. This program offers both agriculture and industry exciting prospects. It is dependent upon the implementation of Israel's plan to draw from the Jordan-Yarmuk River System those waters to which she is entitled under the plan drafted by former United States Ambassador Eric Johnston. This project is one which can and should be carried out as scheduled, both by Israel and by its neighbors. Each can then use her fair share of the water system to improve her economy and advance the general welfare of her people.

I hope that the water development projects flowing from the technical agreement reached in 1955 can be implemented in an atmosphere of calm and harmony. I am gratified by your reassurances that Israel's project and the amount of the waters withdrawn will be consistent with the plan. Accordingly, the United States Government will use its own good offices in behalf of the project and support United Nations instrumentalities in the area with a view to insuring its peaceful implementation.

It is my conviction that the waters of the Jordan-Yarmuk River System, which have been flowing to waste for so many centuries, can be a constructive force not only for the benefit of the people of the Near East, but can result in an economic cooperation that will mark a small step forward toward the ultimate objective of peace.

In view of the many changes which have taken place since our meeting last year, I would welcome an expression of your own views on the situation in that area, as well as your vantage point.


John Kennedy/2/

/2/Kennedy's signature appears in an unidentified hand, indicating Kennedy signed the original.

294. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Washington, June 15, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Staff Memoranda, Robert W. Komer. Secret. Copies were sent to Kaysen and Hansen.


Ed Mason is back from Iran with most gloomy report. He thinks the economic situation an utter mess and Amini all washed up. Politically and physically Amini is a spent force who doesn't even control his cabinet. As a result, the Iranian budget is about $170 million in deficit, since practically every ministry has upped its share 20-30 per cent.

Meanwhile the Shah sits back doing nothing; he reputedly said Amini is a US man so the US can support him. The Iranians are obviously going to ask for a budgetary loan, perhaps around $60 million. Mason feels budget support would be fatal at this point and would only be postponing the evil day unless the Shah will insist on adequate budget cuts. Ed is so discouraged that he plans to pull his Harvard team out as soon as their contract expires in September. State/AID reaction seems unduly passive to me. They send messages warning that we'll give no new budget support but I have urged we also come up with positive suggestions as to how Shah and Amini can best cope with current mess. What both need at this point is not just exhortations but advice.

Shah may be unwilling to shore up Amini without a high-level prod from us. I am thinking of suggesting we give Holmes Presidential oral message to take in when he returns to Teheran on 19th. JFK would remind Pahlevi of economic discussions during visit and urge prompt and effective action lest it prove impossible to get Third Plan (and US contribution) under way on schedule.


295. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iran

Washington, June 15, 1962, 6:37 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 888.00/6-1262. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Miklos (NEA/GTI); cleared by Ide (AID/NESA), Kaufmann (AID/NESA/GTIC), and Cottam; and approved by Grant.

921. Embtel 1008./2/ Appreciate analysis reftel and recognize difficulty reaching firm conclusions in light current state GOI budget. Encouraged Amini attempting take steps however belatedly bring budgetary problem under control. It our position which should be made abundantly clear to GOI that resolution its fiscal problems primarily a task for Iranian Government itself. In this connection we are puzzled by your comment that it would "probably be too much to expect the Shah to bail Amini out of situation essentially created by Amini himself." In our view where fault rests for current situation is academic. Fundamental question remains as to who has ability and power to correct it. It clear Shah is paramount authority and he, therefore, able take steps not possible for Prime Minister or others who do not hold his unique authority. Realize Shah interference into daily government business exposes him to direct line of political fire which may weaken his role as key element of stability in country. On other hand current budgetary problems appear pose substantial direct threat to Shah. Under these circumstances suggest Ambassador Holmes encourage Shah bring his power more fully into play either directly or through support of Amini's efforts deal with budgetary and development problem. Unless disarray now evident in GOI cleared up, there seems to be little basis for international consultative group meeting in September to discuss Third Plan which presently remains our and IBRD objective. Wilson, Mid-East Director IBRD, who arriving Monday, will be instructed reflect these views to the GOI and Shah if he sees him. Suggest you seek opportunity discuss with Wilson on his arrival. McDiarmid trip postponed to end of June on Iranian request.

/2/Document 292.

In making point that resolution budgetary problem primarily Iranian task, we should avoid giving an impression we favor one method of allocating resources including petroleum revenue over another. It should be made clear difficult choice between satisfying political and economic needs is Iranian responsibility. GOI cannot expect foreign assistance will be so generous as to relieve it of this responsibility. In this connection, we are disturbed by substantial evidence that GOI assumes solution will be in form of transitional emergency assistance from U.S. What U.S. seeks is evidence of responsible fiscal management. If this condition not met, increased foreign assistance does no more than postpone the inevitable day of reckoning.

In view of foregoing, we believe it premature to discuss AID levels or fix conditions such as those suggested final paragraph reftel. Several questions relating to more technical aspects reftel including request for full presentation 1340 and 1341 budget data and balance of payments projection will be subject separate cable.

Ambassador Holmes intends as matter first priority review situation with country team upon his return and submit assessment. Foregoing views, however, have not been discussed with him./3/

/3/Following Holmes' return to Tehran, the Department of State advised him in telegram 928, June 19, that concern in Washington over Iran's financial situation had increased and suggested that, pending his analysis, this concern be conveyed to the Shah in Holmes' next conversation with him. (Department of State, Central Files, 888.10/6-1962) See Supplement, the compilation on Iran.


296. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State

Athens, June 15, 1962, 11 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5622/6-1562. Top Secret; Limited Distribution.

1337. From Talbot for Grant./2/ Reference Department telegram 1141./3/ Central to conference deliberations have been (a) maintenance of peace in Near East and (b) in this context, security of Israel. In interest of own security, Israel pressing us for close military relationship, security guarantees and Hawk missile. Main problem as conference sees it is not a defense "gap" on either side of Arab-Israel quarrel, but danger that if a serious imbalance of vulnerability should develop it would create real and present temptation to pre-emptive attack. Thus conference has considered Hawk as part of overall review, as follows:

/2/Talbot was in Athens attending the Conference of Chiefs of Mission to Near Eastern and North African countries and Greece and Turkey; see footnote 5, Document 286.

/3/In telegram 1141 to Athens, June 12, Grant sent Talbot the following message: "Secretary has requested urgent consideration certain questions regarding Israel's need for Hawk missile which he feels were not fully covered in NEA's recent memorandum [Document 290] recommending against sale. Inasmuch as this is subject scheduled for discussion in Athens, we would find it useful have brief telegraphic report Conference consensus on pros and cons." (Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5622/6-1262)

(1) Military Relationship. Conference urges avoidance ties of this nature as being inconsistent with our basic goal to promote impartially the peaceful resolution of Arab-Israel conflict while maintaining with both sides a constructive relationship designed to safeguard and promote our other interests in the area. Specifically we should also bear in mind virtual impossibility of keeping a military relationship with Israel secret with foreseeable result that road would be opened for Soviet exploitation which would be most injurious to us.

(2) Security Guarantee. Conference believes unilateral reactivation by U.S. of that portion of Tripartite Declaration dealing with aggression would provide renewed assurance to both Israelis and Arabs as well as deterrent to both. We would envision (a) asking British and French not to join in our initiative and (b) quiet diplomacy rather than public statement.

New formulation of security guarantee specifically for Israel considered by conference to be both unnecessary and undesirable. Language already used in Tripartite Declaration is known, is impartial and is suitable to situation. A new version would raise serious questions of meaning and intent. Conference believes Arabs and Israelis clearly understand, principally from precedent, that US would act if serious hostilities break out.

Handled in recommended manner conference of view a security assurance to Israel would be useful policy move in reducing any Israeli sense of insecurity and would be least damaging response to three principal Israeli objectives.

(3) Hawk. Conference recognizes that previously existing vulnerability of Israel air defense somewhat increased by UAR acquisition of MIG 21 and TU 16 bomber. (Similarly UAR is vulnerable to Israeli air attack until it has ground-to-air and air-to-air missiles, and it is considered inferior to Israel in ground forces.) For a combination of reasons, however, conference believes decision on sale of Hawk to Israel should be further delayed:

(A)We consider Israel's basic security position today and for next few years to be in reality as satisfactory as in past. Israel's own military defense capability is only one of several effective deterrents to Arab attack among which are fear of Israeli reprisal, fear of Western intervention on side of Israel, deep divisions among Arabs, and particularly on part of UAR certain loss for indefinite period of U.S. and Western large scale aid. Renewed security assurances and warning against aggression to Israel and Arabs as proposed in paragraph (2) at suitable time in next few months would tend reinforce Israeli security. Understand in any event, Hawks would not be in place for two years if offered to Israel today.

(B) Examination of political complexities and consequences, as well as consideration of burdens placed on weak economies, lead conference to urge that priority be given to serious effort at arms limitation arrangement in next year or so, initiated perhaps by Presidential discussions with Ben Gurion and Nasser, without publicity.

Must be stated frankly that attainment of agreement during Presidential conversations improbable but process of continued discussion and perhaps negotiation might well be inaugurated, a notable advance over present situation. We are influenced in this direction by fact long-standing U.S. arms policy for Near East has to date permitted U.S. avoid onus for arms race and proliferation of missiles and other sophisticated weapons in area and has been major component in stabilizing U.S. relations with Arabs without jeopardizing Israel security. Once U.S. breaks barrier by selling Hawk to Israel U.S. would find it virtually impossible avoid sales further missiles, thereby contributing to [garble--escalation?] since provision of even defensive weapons inevitably leads to requirement for greater offensive capability and thus to a continuing spiral. Further, conference sees need to avoid creation of situations disruptive and erosive of U.S.-Arab relations additional to existing issues of Jordan waters and Johnson mission which must be handled in next two years. Finally, there is probable use by Soviets of sale of Hawk to Israel in Soviet attempt redress its position with UAR and possibility of new UAR-Soviet deal affecting adversely development of U.S.-UAR relations.

However, should U.S. own intelligence clearly confirm UAR possession of air-to-air or ground-to-air missiles or Soviet commitment to provide such missiles to UAR, then U.S. would be both justified in selling Hawk to Israel and would have considerable greater freedom of action in doing so. Conference aware such confirmation may come any moment. At time clear confirmation received, or if high level decision taken in Washington anyhow that Israel vulnerability must be reduced, conference urges following procedure:

(A) Exploration of alternative sources of supply. British should be consulted in any event and may wish sell Bloodhound.

(B) Frank explanation to Nasser on defensive nature of ground-to-air missile; Israel need for defensive capability; and, if pertinent, our understanding UAR has arrangement on missiles with Soviets (we doubt secrecy possible for long and believe preferable we gain what advantage we may from being frank at early date). Offer Hawk to UAR and Syria (either likely buy) on same terms as for Israel. Discuss with other Arabs as needed.

(C) Commencement of training of Israeli personnel and inclusion in sales contract of cancellation clause as hedge against possible achievement of arms limitation arrangement prior to installation date.

(D) Sell only for cash on barrelhead to limit proliferation of demands.

Foregoing presented without full knowledge of security problems and procedures and without considering possible complications with other countries, e.g. Iran.

5. [(4)] Recommendations:

A. Avoid establishing military ties with Israel.

B. Provide unpublicized security assurances to Israel and certain Arabs in context Tripartite Declaration at an appropriate time.

C. Seek vigorously arms limitation arrangement for Near East.

D. Delay sale of Hawk for present.


297. Editorial Note

On June 16, 1962, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Grant proposed in a memorandum to Secretary Rusk that Rusk send a memorandum to President Kennedy setting forth the Department of State's reasons for opposing efforts to obtain support for direct negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors and authorizing the Department to make its position clear to Israeli officials. Grant noted that Israeli officials were commencing a campaign to persuade the Department of State of the need to support direct peace negotiations and that Israel's supporters within the United States had underway a drive to develop U.S. opinion favorable to some kind of direct peace negotiations. Grant argued: "If we fail to oppose these pressures firmly at the offset, they may present us with a major problem by fall when we will have to engage in negotiations on sensitive Palestine matters at the UN General Assembly. Ambassador Stevenson has expressed concern over renewed Israeli activity to secure support for the direct peace talks concept." (Department of State, NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 304, Secret/Limdis 1962)

A June 18 note to Brubeck from Rusk's Special Assistant Emory C. Swank, attached to Grant's June 16 memorandum, reads: "You will recall that the attached memorandum was the subject of discussion at this morning's staff meeting, with the Secretary indicating concern that we not appear to oppose in principle direct peace negotiations between the Arab countries and Israel. The Secretary penciled a note referring this paper for action to Mr. Ball, but it was my impression at staff meeting that this was a problem which the Mr. McGhee would interest himself in initially." (Ibid.) The record of the June 18 Secretary's staff meeting indicates that "The Secretary directed that in discussion of UN resolutions for direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Arabs we should avoid the posture of opposing direct negotiations in principle." He also "requested IO and NEA to prepare a study and recommendations for Mr. McGhee on the subject of direct Arab-Israel negotiations, clearing with H--Mr. Dutton with regard to the statements we have made on the Hill." (Ibid., Secretary's Staff Meetings: Lot 66 D 147)

On June 18, Dutton directed to McGhee's attention a draft letter to Senator Boggs, prepared in the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, that Dutton had found on his desk after the Secretary's staff meeting. Dutton noted in a memorandum to McGhee that language in the proposed letter showing Department of State resistance to direct Arab-Israeli negotiations was typical of over 50 such letters that had gone out to members of Congress within the previous 2 months. Dutton then advised: "Both the Democratic leadership on the Hill and several members of the White House staff have expressed considerable concern over our posture on this issue. The Jewish newspapers in the country in the last sixty days have made quite an issue of this position. I have talked with NE several times about it. While the Arabs obviously will refuse to negotiate directly with Israel, I personally believe our discouraging such talks appears domestically to be taking the Arab viewpoint without in any way lessening tensions in the Middle East. I would think that the U.S. would always want to be in the position of encouraging efforts at understanding on a bilateral as well as a multilateral basis." (Attached to memorandum from Dutton to Grant, June 18; ibid., Central Files, 684A.86B/6-1862)

In a separate memorandum to Grant on June 18, Dutton indicated that he was returning the proposed letter to Senator Boggs, adding "I assume that language will be inserted indicating that this country supports negotiations between the parties even though recognizing that Arab leaders would not likely be willing to undertake direct talks." Dutton then recalled several letters to members of Congress that had not only reiterated U.S. opposition to the U.N. General Assembly draft resolution of December 19, but went considerably further in registering Department opposition. Dutton said that at McGhee's request, he had sent McGhee copies of several of these letters. Dutton also complained to Grant that "we owe a letter to Congressman Farbstein indicating that assurances of a change in Jordanian policy previously given to him in writing have not been borne out. I know that he and several Jewish organizations have been deliberately testing the Jordanian regulations through the Embassy here and can document the fact that our assurances did not turn out in practice. The record should be set straight by us before it is done in the Congressional Record by Farbstein. I realize that this involves a delicate matter with Jordan; but considerable damage will be done to the Department and its overall presentation of foreign policy matters if specific documentation is produced that assurance has been given to the Congress on the matter when, in fact, there is no basis for it as verified by travel applications made by American Jews to the Jordanian Embassy." A notation in an unidentified hand next to the suggestion to send Farbstein a letter reads "No". (Ibid.)

298. Memorandum for the Record

Washington, June 16, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Country Series, Israel 6/16/62-6/30/62. No classification marking. Drafted by Kaysen. Copies were sent to Talbot, Feldman, and Komer.

Luncheon with Ambassador of Israel, June 15, 1962

1. I lunched with Ambassador Harman at his request. He began by raising what he described as a small technical question which he was sure could be swept out of the way. This related to the use by Yost in a Security Council discussion of the phrase, "area under Israeli control" to describe the Sea of Galilee. Harman pointed out the difficulties this phrase caused for them. It is a phrase with military connotations, and the Syrians felt that much of the lake was under their effective control because of their gun positions on the hills overlooking it. According to Harman, there is no dispute over the proposition that the Israelis exercise jurisdiction and authority over the lake under the armistice agreement, and that Syria was not now riparian. Whether or not the U.S. recognized Israeli "sovereignty" over the sea, we should and could recognize Israeli authority and jurisdiction. It would be most helpful to them in the future if the U.S. represented them in the UN by describing the situation in regularly accurate terms.

There followed some general discussion about the UN peace-keeping machinery and the attitude of Israel toward the patrol boat in the Sea of Galilee. In the course of this, I indicated that to the U.S. it sometimes seemed that the Israelis were rather rigid in relation to the question of UN peace-keeping activity in the area.

2. Most of the time was devoted to the question of the balance of power, military and otherwise, in the Middle East. Harman indicated the Israeli concern for growing Egyptian strength and for the continuing subversive activities of the Egyptians in other Arab countries, and said that their intelligence evidence of UAR possession of missiles was increasingly firm but was unclear as to whether this went beyond the air-to-air missiles associated with the MIG-21.

Harman asked to what extent we had any evidence that our new approach to Nasser was bringing rewards, to which I responded it was too soon to tell. He indicated his own skepticism in this respect. When I asked him what alternative he had to suggest, he didn't answer, but said, "Remember, if you don't succeed, we will be facing those dogs." We talked about the military balance, and I assured him that we were very much concerned to see that it was maintained. He expressed a desire that there should be more consultation between us in the future on this point.

3. He then turned to the question of the impact of the Common Market on Israel and discussed some of the problems involved. In the course of his discussion, he mentioned the effect of the Suez blockade increasing Israel's economic difficulties. He agreed, in response to my comment, that this is a problem which the U.S. could do little except by way of a general pressure toward reducing the external challenge of the East. However, even that general pressure would not solve Israel's problem because of the importance of a very few commodities in Israeli's exports which would be unaffected by the achievement of zero duties on our zero duty list.


299. Memorandum From the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Grant) to Secretary of State Rusk

Washington, June 17, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5612/6-1762. Secret. Drafted by Grant. A June 20 memorandum from Grant to Hilsman indicates that this memorandum was not shown to Secretary Rusk before he left for the NATO Ministerial meeting in Paris on June 19. (Ibid., 684A.86B/6-2062)

Your Memorandum of June 10 to Mr. Talbot on Hawk Missiles for Israel

/2/Document 291.

In your memorandum of June 10 (Tab A) you stated you still were not satisfied that the materials submitted by NEA (Tab B)/3/ came to a well supported position on the Hawk missiles and posed the question:

/3/Not attached but printed as Document 290.

Does Egypt have an important air strike capability against Israel and, if so, does Israel have a sufficiently credible defense against such air strikes as to provide reasonable security.

With respect to the first part of the question, Egypt may now have, and is certainly expected to have in the near future, an important air strike capability against Israel. Egypt has some 8 TU-16 mid-range jet bombers and 46 Ilyushin-28 light jet bombers, with a considerable increase scheduled for the coming year.

The second part of the question is far more difficult to answer, in large part because of the widely different factors that enter into the equation for determining whether there is a sufficiently credible defense as to provide reasonable security. In a strictly air defense sense, Israel does have considerable vulnerability to air attack. The recent Arab-Israel Situation Report of June 7 (Tab C)/4/ states that the Israel air defense system has several major weaknesses (page 18) since "capability to provide an effective defense against a night or bad weather attack is poor because of a shortage of all weather fighters. The radar network is vulnerable to jamming tactics and also has difficulty detecting low-level penetrations."

/4/Not attached.

The report notes that the Israelis are taking measures, construction of partially underground revetments, etc., to assist in meeting this problem. We do not have a comprehensive Defense Department analysis of the full extent to which Israel is vulnerable to air attack, nor do we have a careful study of how far provision of Hawks would go in meeting this problem or how it would shift the balance of military power between Israel and its neighbors. We are asking for such an analysis./5/

/5/In a June 20 memorandum to Hilsman (INR), Grant requested that the Bureau of Intelligence and Research obtain by June 28 "an estimate which would provide us with a somewhat more refined analysis of Israel's vulnerability to air attack, the extent to which provision of Hawk missiles to Israel would meet this problem, and how their availability to Israel might be expected to shift the balance of military power between Israel and its neighbors." (Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/6-2062) On June 25, in a letter to William Bundy (DOD/ISA), Grant asked the Department of Defense to provide a "more refined analysis of Israel's vulnerability to air attack. Particularly we would like to have an appraisal of the extent to which provision of Hawk missiles to Israel would meet this problem and whether their availability to Israel might be expected to shift the balance of military power between Israel and its neighbors." (Ibid., NEA/NE Files: Lot 65 D 5, Israel, 1962. U.S. Milit. Asst.--Gen. 2-As)

A credible defense posture, of course, turns on much more than air defense. Israel has a superior fighter air force and a substantially superior army. There also are major deterrents to UAR attack other than the military ones: fear of Western intervention, the deep divisions among the Arabs and the loss for an indefinite period of large scale United States and Western aid.

We have now received a cable summary (Tab D),/6/ which I commend for your reading, of the consensus developed in extensive discussions during the NE Ambassadors meeting in Athens on the subject of the maintenance of peace in the Near East and, in this context, of the security of Israel. The issue of providing Hawks to Israel was a major part of their discussion.

/6/Not attached but printed as Document 296.

The main problem as the conference saw it was the danger that if a serious imbalance of vulnerability should develop it would create a real temptation to pre-emptive attack. This, rather than whether there was a defense "gap" on either side of the Arab-Israel quarrel, was seen as the central problem.

The recommendations of the conference were:

(a) avoidance of establishing military ties with Israel;

(b) provision to Israel and certain of the Arab countries at an appropriate time of unpublicized security assurances in the context of the Tripartite Declaration of 1950;

(c) major arms limitation effort in the Near East to avoid a new arms race; and

(d) delaying for the present the sale of the Hawk missile to Israel.

With your memorandum of June 10, you returned the proposed note to Israel on the subject of Jordan Waters./7/ I would hope you might approve our proceeding with handing this note to the Israeli Ambassador as suggested in Mr. Talbot's memorandum to you of May 25 (Tab E)./8/

/7/Reference is presumably to the proposed note to Israel attached to Tab A of Document 283.

/8/Not attached but printed as Tab A to Document 283.

300. Letter From the President's Deputy Special Counsel (Feldman) to the Representative to the United Nations (Stevenson)

Washington, June 19, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86B/6-1962. Confidential. The source text is the copy sent to Talbot.

Dear Governor: After receiving your letter of June 14/2/ I decided to discuss the "correspondence" again with Ambassador Harman. I told him that I felt his Government had an obligation to discuss with us, in advance, any initiatives it considered taking at the United Nations which would involve us. I referred specifically to the "Brazzaville" resolution./3/ It seemed to me, I said, that if they expected understanding from the United States they should take the United States into their confidence with regard to their plans.

/2/Not found.

/3/Reference is to the draft U.N. resolution defeated in the General Assembly's Political Committee on December 19 calling for direct negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors. See footnote 3 Document 153.

Ambassador Harman assured me that his Government was not taking any action to enlist support for another "Brazzaville" resolution. He assured me that if it seemed advisable to introduce such a resolution his Government would consult with you before it discussed the matter with the representatives of any other nation. I made it clear that we would regard such a resolution at this time as an effort to embarrass the United States, and he seemed to understand. At the conclusion of this phase of our conversation I summarized by saying that, although we could not expect to dictate the actions of his Government, we would expect an opportunity to offer our advice before his Government became committed to a course of action; and he agreed.

I then raised the question of Israeli cooperation with the United Nations in connection with its peace-keeping operations. Ambassador Harman pointed out that their interest in not retaliating and in keeping peace and harmony was proved by their recent actions: despite machine-gun fire against their farmers by one Arab State and the shooting of four police officers (one of them fatally) who were merely fixing a fence in Jerusalem, the Israeli Government had contented itself with filing a complaint. He said that this represented Israeli policy. I asked for more constructive suggestions concerning the part the United Nations could play in maintaining peace, and he promised to give me a memorandum on how his Government might cooperate in the strengthening of the United Nations forces.

In addition, in accordance with your suggestion, I asked Harlan Cleveland to have a memorandum prepared for you and me on how the Israelis can help to improve the peace-keeping operations of the United Nations in the Near East./4/ After we receive the two memoranda we should discuss the method of implementation.

/4/Attached to the source text is a 2-page paper entitled, "Ways By Which Israel Could Enhance the Effectiveness of UNTSO," drafted by Palmer on June 25 and cleared by Cleveland, Sisco, Talbot, Ludlow, and Strong.

Best regards.


Myer Feldman/5/

/5/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

301. Editorial Note

On June 19, 1962, Grant forwarded to McGhee a background memorandum, entitled "Location of Diplomatic Missions in Israel," and supporting documentation that contained a description of past practices of the Department of State in encouraging other governments to establish diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv rather than in Jerusalem. Grant's action was taken in response to a request made by Secretary Rusk at his June 1 staff meeting that the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs undertake a review of the matter. Grant's covering memorandum to McGhee contained the recommendation: "That you approve continuation of the practice by which we suggest to other governments who are considering setting up diplomatic missions in Israel that they establish their missions in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem, without, however, pressing this viewpoint once we are satisfied the other government understands our position." (Department of State, NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 229, Status of Jerusalem) An unsent June 16 memorandum indicates that Grant originally intended to send the background memorandum to Secretary Rusk. (Ibid., NEA/NE Files: Lot 64 D 73, Tel Aviv)

A note from McGhee to Grant, dated June 20, attached to Grant's June 19 memorandum, reads as follows: "After reviewing the attached file, I am inclined to believe we should not take further actions to dissuade other governments from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. While we can still adhere to our past policies in this regard, it seems to me that this is not an important enough issue to go this far in taking a step which the Israelis naturally resent. I would appreciate it if you would review the matter and see if you do not concur." A handwritten note by Grant at this point reads: "My present inclination is to agree." (Ibid., NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 229, Status of Jerusalem)

302. Memorandum of Conversation

Washington, June 20, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, NEA/NE Files: Lot 65 D 5, Israel, 1962. U.S. Milit. Asst.--Gen. 2-As. Secret. Drafted by Strong.

Possible Sale of Hawks to Israel

Mr. Denis Speares, British Embassy
NE--Mr. Robert C. Strong

Referring to Mr. Strong's remarks on this subject on June 6,/2/ Mr. Speares said his Embassy had instructions to state the following:

/2/The memorandum of conversation between Strong and Speares on June 6 is ibid., Central Files, 784A.56/6-662.

1. The Foreign Office was disturbed the USG was even thinking of providing missiles to Israel. The UK had earlier agreed with the US not to supply such weapons to Israel in advance of their supply to the Arabs by the Soviets. In any case, the UK cannot be put in the position of blocking its own firms from making such weapons while leaving the commercial advantage to the US. On June 13 the Israel Ambassador in London asked for basic information and advice regarding missiles. There are growing signs of Soviet intentions to sell missiles to Arab states. Thus the UK cannot now turn down the Israel request out of hand.

2. The Foreign Office would be glad to have assurances that the UK will receive as much advance information as possible of US intentions. Otherwise it cannot bind its own firms.

3. The Foreign Office agrees the Israeli case for ground-to-air missiles is becoming stronger but there is no need for action until there is firm evidence the Soviets are selling to the UAR. The UK has in mind giving a limited amount of basic information and advice to Israel but without commitment of future supply. The UK must consider the nature and extent of the information and advice to be provided and will inform the US when the decision is taken.

4. Otherwise the UK policy on the sale of guided missiles in the Near East is unchanged. The UK will keep in touch with the US.

Mr. Speares added that he had read Mr. Strong his instructions, which were stated rather boldly, in order to be sure that nothing was lost in the recital. In his opinion, the intentions of the Foreign Office are to try to assure that the two governments remain in step both with regard to information to be provided Israel and in any commitment to supply missiles. Mr. Speares was most anxious to have an early reply.

Mr. Strong promised to inform his superiors promptly and would pass a reply as soon as possible; however, he could not predict when a reply would be forthcoming as the whole spectrum of US policy in the Near East had come under review in Athens and a good deal of work remained to be done.

303. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Washington, June 20, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.87/6-2062. Secret. Drafted by Grant, Strong, and Thacher on June 18.

United States Policy on Iraq

Responsive to Mr. Komer's memorandum of June 4 to Assistant Secretary Talbot,/2/ the enclosed memorandum explains our thinking with regard to Iraq for both the present and the future. Also enclosed are a memorandum from Mr. Talbot to the Under Secretary of State dated December 18, 1961,/3/ and a study of the Iraqi situation dated April 18, 1962, recently given us by the British./4/

/2/Document 287.

/3/Document 150.

/4/Reference is to British document S.C. (62) 8 (WP 30/1), "The Possibility of the Downfall of Qasim and the Consequences for the United Kingdom and the West."

Ambassador Jernegan is due back in Washington at the end of July. His consultation will provide an opportunity for a further review of the situation in Iraq and of our policy.

We believe the course Iraq is now pursuing is deliberately designed to frighten the West by appearing to take Iraq progressively closer to the Soviet Bloc. This appearance is, of course, strengthened by the progressive weakening of Iraq's ties with the Free World countries. We believe, however, that Iraqi leadership probably can go on playing this kind of brinkmanship without losing control to the Communists and that eventually anti-Qasim nationalist pressures will become strong enough to force a change which will most likely produce another strongly nationalistic government but one with a more balanced foreign policy. The British share our view.

In these circumstances we believe our course should be guided by a determination to avoid fright or panic. We should continue to adhere to our policy of maintaining, insofar as possible and under the handicaps imposed upon us, normal relations with the Iraq government. In this way we will be doing the most we can to slow, or hopefully to reverse, the present gradual trend toward closer ties with the Bloc.

Regarding the contingency of a new regime in Iraq, the most recent NEA paper, dated May 3, 1962, is enclosed./5/ We believe we have in mind the necessary steps should the government change in Iraq.

/5/Document 262.

A.E. Breisky/6/

/6/Breisky signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.


Washington, June 18, 1962.



Mr. Komer's memorandum of June 4 breaks down into two principal points: 1) what can we do to stop the current trend toward the Soviet Bloc and 2) whether we are prepared to move quickly in event of a change of regime, and how.

A. The Iraqi Move toward the Bloc. What do we do?

We agree with Embassy Baghdad on the trend, on Qasim's ebbing popularity, and on his ultimate overthrow, whether soon or ten years hence.

Iraqi policy of appearing to move steadily in the direction of the bloc is deliberately designed to frighten the West and the other Arabs into letting Iraq gain control of Kuwait. Qasim's determination to proceed along this line is encouraged by his deep anti-Western antipathies and by the attractive credit arrangements by which he acquires assistance from the Bloc. Moreover, the appearance of Qasim's trend toward closer ties with the Bloc is heightened, of course, by his worsened relations with the Western countries exemplified in the recent lowering of the level of diplomatic representation between the United States and Iraq. That Iraq can be swayed from its policy by anything less than control of Kuwait or an internal upheaval seems unlikely. However, in dealing with the Qasim regime and to maximize the prospects for keeping Qasim and any successor regime from moving more closely to the Bloc, we believe the West's best present posture is to show a continuing interest in pursuing normal relations with Iraq but without appearing deeply perturbed at Iraq's brinkmanship. To exhibit serious concern would merely confirm to Iraqi leadership that it is pursuing the course likely to lead to achievement of its principal objective, control of Kuwait. For the United States to maintain such a posture demands a high degree of sophistication and a confidence that nationalism in Iraq remains strong and capable of protecting Iraqi independence. We (and the British) continue to have that confidence.

Since June 25, 1961 when Qasim entered Iraq's renewed claim to Kuwait, and from which date the reversal of a slow trend toward better relations with the West occurred, we have engaged in a continuing effort to make clear to the Iraqi Government our desire to have good relations and to be as helpful as possible. We have undertaken lengthy and, hopefully, successful efforts to work out a solution to the sticky problem of standards for Iraqi dates exported to the United States. We have regularly encouraged American businessmen to compete for business in Iraq despite Iraqi favoritism for the Bloc. After lengthy consideration within the United States Government, it has been decided to meet Iraq's request to purchase 500 military trucks in the United States. We have avoided any open criticism of the Iraqi regime and have undertaken no clandestine activity against it. We have as best we could continued contacts with a range of Iraqi officials well disposed toward the West and have met Iraqi requests for training assistance of various types. Also we have been active in providing key officials with material which makes clear not only the nature of the Soviet regime but also includes statements tending to reflect on the Iraqi regime. We have consulted regularly with the United Kingdom. We have encouraged West German efforts in Iraq. We have pretty much kept out of the Iraq-IPC problem but it is an important factor in the equation. It seems unlikely that Qasim will go so far as to permit control of IPC operations to be transferred from the Western companies to the Soviets or the Red Chinese. IPC ability to shut down operations and thus deprive Iraq of essential revenue is an ultimate sanction which may give Qasim some pause and may explain in part why the British Ambassador is still in Baghdad. But resort to this sanction to topple Qasim could well start a chain of events where we could not predict the outcome would be an improvement over the present situation.

We attribute the improving Soviet position in Iraq less to Soviet skill and sophistication than to deliberate Iraqi policy, a path being taken despite considerable disenchantment with Soviet policy, with Soviet practices and with the quality of Soviet performance and materials. The answer has to come from within Iraq and the United States cannot hope successfully to manipulate the internal forces at work. We propose to maintain a dignified, friendly, rather regretful posture toward Iraq and give its leadership no satisfaction in the form of believing it has the United States Government flustered. The process of severing ties with the West is likely to be long drawn out, for Qasim seems to be considering the objective of controlling Kuwait as at least a medium-term rather than as a short-term one. At the same time that the Qasim regime moves closer to the Bloc, it displays no intention of allowing the Communists to become dominant inside Iraq.

At present we prefer not to seek United Arab Republic views for this would likely be utilized covertly by the UAR to strengthen any existing impression in the Arab world that the UAR is our chosen instrument for dealing with Arab affairs. In our opinion, the UAR in its own interest is likely to devote increasing efforts to the destruction of the Qasim regime and the establishment of a non-Communist successor, whether or not we consult or encourage the UAR. At a later stage there may be utility in consulting the UAR and we are bearing this in mind.

B. Contingencies--Change of Regime in Iraq

Two of the attachments, our latest contingency paper (still valid) and a recent British study, set forth our thinking and will not be duplicated here. Suffice it to say we have very much in mind the desirability of early recognition of a non-Communist successor regime (providing it appears able to hold power) and of making clear in general terms our desire to be helpful, leaving specifics to the new regime. We would urge other Free World states to take similar action, particularly Turkey and Iran. In event of a Communist takeover (unlikely), we would consult with the British and with Iraq's neighbors on courses which would remove the regime before it could consolidate. Of the contingency courses of action proposed by Embassy Baghdad, we believe that if Iraq needs ready cash, it can be found promptly (but we would prefer to take no unusual steps now to prepare the way); however, we have our doubts about the need for or desirability of a major program with the police, would oppose use of the CENTO label in dealing with Iraq, and consider impractical the use of an inventory system for finding experts for future employment in Iraq.

C. Conclusion

We believe the course Iraq is now pursuing is deliberately designed to frighten the West by appearing to take Iraq progressively closer to the Soviet Bloc. Yet it is notable that Iraqi leadership very carefully maintains an internal balance of political forces designed to prevent any one element, including the Communists, from becoming dominant. From our observations of Iraqi policy and actions since Qasim came to power, it has become clear that Iraqi leadership has the will and the probable capability to play brinkmanship without losing control to the Communists. We also think the anti-Qasim nationalist forces will become more and more troubled as Qasim pursues his course which results in isolating Iraq progressively from brother Arabs and from the Free World. Eventually, in our opinion, unless the West makes serious mistakes, such internal pressures will be created in Iraq as to force a change. That change is estimated as most likely to produce another strongly nationalistic government, but with a more balanced foreign policy. The British, with whom we consult periodically, agree with our assessment.

We are unhappy with Iraq's present course and are doing what we can within our limited capability to slow and hopefully reverse the present gradual trend toward closer ties with the Bloc. Of basic importance is the need to avoid fright or panic which would lead either 1) to placing of pressures on Iraq and thus force Iraq to move more rapidly in the direction we do not want it to go, or 2) to proving to Qasim the course he has chosen is the correct one.

304. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Washington, June 21, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.86B/6-2162. Confidential. Drafted by Thacher and cleared by Talbot.

Article in June 25 New Republic Re Nasser

The article in the June 25 New Republic, "Courting Nasser", in which the President has expressed an interest, is filled with distortions and untruths. The policy it attacks is a mockery of what in fact is our policy toward the UAR and the Near East generally.

Contrary to assertions in the article, all Presidential correspondence with Nasser was fully staffed throughout the government./2/ We have never, of course, sought to "humor Nasser's aspiration to be the key figure in mid-eastern politics". We consulted with Nasser with regard to the Syrian crisis but certainly did not seek his "go-ahead" before recognizing the Syrian regime. Our timing and tactics paid handsome dividends in preserving our relations with the UAR and getting us off on the right foot with the new Syrian government.

/2/Attached but not printed is a "Chronology of Substantive Correspondence and Oral Messages Exchanged Between President Kennedy and President Nasser."

United States assistance to the UAR in food, technical assistance and industrial loans has been tied closely to Embassy Cairo's recommendations although details of our recent loans in support of the UAR's IMF-backed stabilization program were worked out here with the UAR Minister of Economy. Our policies have been based on careful appraisal of our national interests and not the inspiration of any single individual. Nasser's role in the Congo shifted to full support of the Adoula government when he became convinced that it was an independent one. We have no evidence of his playing a provocative role among the Mau-Mau (dead as an organization for several years). The canard that he showed willingness to deny the canal to Portuguese and Dutch ships in the Goan and West Irian crises is based on wholly unsubstantiated press stories. Nasser has gone in for anti-Iranian propaganda but we are working on a plan whereby both the UAR and Iran would cease simultaneously their mutually hostile radio broadcasts./3/

/3/Documentation is in Department of State, Central File 686B.88.

We have not expected our policies to put Nasser at the end of a short string or induce him to abandon his neutralist policy nor to give up all ideas of a prominent role in the Arab world. Our objectives are not in this context.

We have expected, however, a number of things which are occurring--increased UAR concentration on its internal development with a growing inclination to leave aside touchy area problems, or, as Foreign Minister Fawzi has put it, "place in the icebox" the Arab-Israel dispute. We have been gratified by the consistent tapering off of anti-U.S. material in the Cairo press, by UAR endeavors to mend its fences with the Western governments and by a gradual thaw in our whole range of contacts with the UAR, from Ambassador Badeau down through our political officers in Cairo. The UAR is developing a stake in good relations with the United States and the West. The scope of the dialogue between us is expanding and the fabric of our ties is being strengthened. We expect disagreements may arise but we are convinced, too, that our present approach is gradually expanding our influence in Cairo with a consistently moderating impact on Nasser's whole outlook.

Several of our Near Eastern Ambassadors reported at the recent conference in Athens nervousness among Near Eastern governments and leaders that we might be making Nasser our "chosen instrument". But after full discussion our Ambassadors agreed that our present course toward the UAR was the one best calculated among available alternatives to serve the United States interest.

J.T. Rogers/4/

/4/Jordan T. Rogers (S/S-S) signed for Brubeck above Brubreck's typed signature.

305. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Iraq

Washington, June 22, 1962, 9:17 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 787.00/6-2262. Confidential. Drafted by Dinsmore (NEA/NE), cleared by Strong, and approved by Talbot. Repeated to Ankara, Damascus, London, Paris, Tehran, Tabriz, and USUN.

383. Kamaran Badrkhan, well known Syrian Kurd and Jamal Abdullah, Iraqi Kurd employed at Michigan State University called Department June 20, following talk with Justice Douglas./2/ Stated they representing Mulla Mustafa al-Barzani, tribal leader now fighting GOI army.

/2/The memorandum of conversation by Dinsmore is ibid., 787.00/6-2062.

Kurds stated they aim arouse general international interest in their claims for local autonomy and hope for UN hearing. Asked for US "moral support" on humanitarian grounds suffering Kurdish people caused by Iraqi attacks. US could not actively take sides or espouse Kurdish movement for autonomy. Asked US not be "hostile" if question broached in UN debate.

Department officer expressed US view Kurds must through own endeavors reach agreement with GOI and that for US to indicate sympathy or interest, let alone support, would merely accentuate their problems with GOI.

Visitors departed chastened but friendly and apparently still convinced Kurdish situation Iraq has now reached point deserving UN consideration.

Department notifying Iraq Embassy and suggests Embassy inform Foreign Office, avoiding naming Iraqi representative./3/

/3/This final sentence of the telegram has a line drawn through it, but evidently was included in the outgoing telegram. The Embassy in Baghdad responded in telegram 594, June 27, with the following report: "Information conveyed orally to Foreign Office Director Western Department June 26." (Ibid., 787.00/6-2762)


306. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Washington, June 22, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Staff Memoranda, Robert W. Komer. Secret.


Phil Talbot and I have agreed that he will do a scenario tying together the various moves we contemplate on Arab-Israeli policy. The idea would be to give JFK (and the rest of us) the kind of comprehensive fill-in we all need. I also think President should sign off personally on any such policy, and perhaps have a prior session with the key actors on it.

Meanwhile both State and Defense seem to favor selling Hawks to Israel as soon as UAR starts actually getting the various types of missiles USSR has contracted to give.

Before doing so, however, we ought to make an effort to sell mutual (though tacit) arms limitations instead. This would involve an approach to Nasser, probably at highest level, saying "before we give Hawks to Israel to restore balance upset by your missile purchases from Sovs, we'd like to see if both of you wouldn't consider cheaper and safer self-denial route." I doubt Nasser would bite at this point, but at least we would have explained to him in advance our plans to help Israel and hopefully make him more cautious about further Soviet arms deal.

Above gambit may call for a high level approach to Nasser, perhaps a JFK letter in response to one Nasser reportedly writing to thank us for aid. But main effort would almost certainly have to be in course of a Nasser visit. State is now thinking of proposing a Ben Gurion visit in October or so, to be followed by Gamal.


307. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State

Tehran, June 24, 1962, 5 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 888.10/6-2462. Confidential.

1041. I combined first calls on Foreign Minister and Prime Minister with presentation Howard Cottam June 23.

In contrast with the general attitude of his predecessor, Aram gave the impression of being a full participating member of the cabinet, interested in budgetary and fiscal problems and explained drastic steps being taken by government to cut budget and put public finances in order. While saying that this was matter Prime Minister would discuss with me, he made plea for budgetary help to cope with present situation. I made appropriate reply to his representation. I was somewhat surprised that he did not raise question of radio station or 2,000 special police force which he had previously done with Rockwell.

When I met Prime Minister he immediately launched into explanation of action taken within recent past to reduce budgetary deficit and bring order into fiscal picture. He said that some but not all Ministries would be cut 15 per cent below last year. In response to my inquiry he said that Ministry of Education would have the same amount as last year and that the Ministry of Agriculture would be cut 15 per cent in its administrative expenses and that the cost of land reform would be transferred to development budget. He said that for the purpose of controlling expenditures the budget would be divided into four parts: (1) hard core fixed expenditures such as salaries, and foreign obligations; (2) those expenditures for which there was reasonable expectation that funds would be available; (3) disbursement which would be authorized in the event an increase in revenues over last year would permit; and (4) development budget.

PriMin was unable to furnish me figures as to what the final budgetary deficit might be, saying that the figures were being worked over by Samii, Under Secretary of Finance, as chairman of pruning committee. In response to a question Amini said he would have final figures by June 30. Specific statements made were that those development projects which had hitherto been in ordinary budget and not in Plan Org would be transferred to the Plan Org budget and that in compensation Plan Org would receive 60 per cent of oil revenues instead of 55 per cent. Recalling that NIOC share of oil revenues had been reduced last year from the previous allotment of $20 million to $15 million, the PriMin said that he had an agreement with NIOC to reduce its budget this year to $10 million.

Amini said that he was making every effort to cut down military budget indicating that he had found a new willingness on the part of the Shah to be cooperative in this respect, but they found great difficulty in finding items which could be reduced. He added that from Iranian resources he expected to give the military budget the same amount as last year and this would leave a shortage represented by the $15 million defense support which we had contributed. He then made a strong plea for continuance of this assistance for the current year going into a rather long attempt at justification based on internal-external security, political stability, etc. To this I made a very firm and explicit reply, reminding the PriMin that I had officially told him as well as the Shah many months ago when preparation of the current budget was beginning, that they must not count on any budgetary support from the U.S. in the future. I again went over the reasons why we had adopted this policy and stated flatly that there were no funds available for this purpose. Although Amini was very clearly aware of our position, he was making a desperate try in a belief, possibly shared by the Shah, that if we could be convinced of the critical character of the existing situation, that it was worth a try to get us to do one more rescue mission. I was as emphatic as I could be in disabusing him of any hope in this connection. I also pointedly reminded Amini of the assurances he had given me, at the time our emergency aid was given last year, concerning the establishment of a Budget Bureau, a consolidated budget, tax reform, etc./2/

/2/For documentation on Iran for the months of May and June 1961, see Supplement, the compilation on Iran.

The PriMin said that in the military budget there were items for the purchase of ambulances and spare parts which he hoped might be supplied from U.S. sources and he asked me to direct General Hayden to examine these items with the Ministry of War. I decided it was not appropriate at this juncture to tell the PriMin that as far as ambulances and spare parts were concerned, the MAP program envisaged replacements. I told him I thought it was entirely inappropriate for Hayden to become involved in determining the amount of the military budget; that once the Ministry of War knew the amount of its appropriation, that it would then be appropriate for the U.S. military advisor to be consulted on the best use of these funds from a strictly military point of view.

It was abundantly clear that representations made by Rockwell expressing our concern about the budget and lack of fiscal order and discipline had been hoisted in and that the PriMin was making great effort to convince Cottam and me that he was tackling the problem with vigor and determination. We shall not be able to judge results until final figures are known.

After some discussion PriMin declared that vigorous methods would be used to improve tax collection during current fiscal year and that rates would be raised for the next fiscal year and stated that austerity, improvement of administration, and improvement in the economy of the country constitute a five-year program concurrently with the third development plan. I made inquiry as to the Shah's attitude toward the measures contemplated now and for the future. Amini replied that he felt portion of the Shah's agreement [sic] and that as soon as the budget is ready for publication, he is going to ask the Shah to make a statement to the nation that this is the direction the country will follow for the next five years. The PriMin said that he wanted the country to understand that this was the direction in which its salvation lies and that this program will be sabotaged regardless of who is PriMin. He wanted it to be the nation's program and not Amini's program. There was no suggestion here that Amini has any intention of leaving the government but rather that he wanted a public reaffirmation of the Shah's support of the program which the latter had given in November.

Although he was not precise, Amini said that he plans to strengthen the Plan Org, particularly to reform or eliminate its High Council. He also said that he had had Farmanfarmaian in during the morning and that he was confident the latter would soon return to duty.

Although Amini appeared tired and harassed, I found him little different than when I had my last conversation with him in early April. It may be that events will prove that he is a "spent force" but it is very evident that he does not think so. I shall not be able to give a considerate assessment of the situation here until I have had an opportunity to explore it further and until I have had a conversation with the Shah which I am requesting for early next week. I shall probably not be able to offer any recommendations as to what we should do here until after final budget figures are available for study.


308. Letter From Prime Minister Ben Gurion to President Kennedy

Jerusalem, June 24, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.84A/6-2462. Secret; Personal. Attached to a June 27 memorandum from Brubeck to Bundy that reads: "The enclosed letter from Israel Prime Minister Ben-Gurion to the President, dated June 24, 1962, was delivered to Assistant Secretary Talbot at noon on June 27. The text of the Prime Minister's letter conforms in most respects to what had been anticipated. In the second paragraph on page one, however, it lays unexpected stress on direct negotiations between the Arab States and Israel. Additionally, it includes in the final two pages a broad argument for more sympathetic United States consideration of Israel's military requirements."

Dear Mr. President: I was very pleased to receive your letter/2/ and your suggestion that we exchange ideas concerning developments which have taken place in the Middle East and other parts of the world since our conversation of a year ago.

/2/Document 293.

On many occasions during the last year I have looked back on our meeting in New York which took place on the eve of your departure to Europe. In carrying the burdens of your office, I am sure that you might derive encouragement from the knowledge that people throughout the world and certainly in Israel follow with admiration your courage and steadfastness in the pursuit of peace, human advancement and freedom.

I would express to you my deep appreciation of the opportunity that was given to my deputy in the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Shimon Peres, to discuss with officials of your government matters of vital importance to Israel's security. Our Foreign Minister, Mrs. Golda Meir, examined these matters together with your Ambassador on the seventh of June./3/ I was happy indeed to hear from you that these matters are currently being carefully examined, and that the maintenance of Israel's integrity, independence and economic progress will continue to engage your full support. I would express the hope that our governments will remain in close touch in the examination of the specific matters referred to.

/3/In telegram 853 from Tel Aviv, June 8, Barbour reported that during a meeting on June 7, which had been initiated by Meir, Meir devoted practically the entire conversation to speaking in behalf of Israel's request for armaments, particularly the Hawk missile. (Department of State, Central Files, 784A.5/6-862)

Your letter is a renewed indication to me that on fundamental questions of crucial significance for the future of our area our governments share an identity of approach. The goal to which we seek to strive is that of lasting and permanent peace and good neighbourliness between the Arab states and Israel. In the effort to achieve this aim, it is indeed essential that doctrines of belligerence be resisted, and direct negotiations for a peaceful settlement be promoted and encouraged.

I fully share your hope that the quiescence on Israel's borders will continue. The policies of the Israel Government are consistently directed toward this purpose. We have a vital interest in the preservation of this quiescence. We are always ready to make our full contribution towards the settlement of border disputes, their prevention and elimination. It is clearly our interest not to see border incidents inflamed but rather to have them speedily brought to an end.

I agree with you that the United Nations representatives on the spot could play a helpful role by bringing their full influence to bear to prevent shooting and other violations of the Armistice Agreement, and to be instrumental in bringing the parties together to avoid incidents and prevent them from attaining major proportions. We have seen some useful and workable practices develop in relation to our borders with the Lebanon and Jordan. I fully believe that a great deal can be learnt from these experiences in relation to the Syrian border in particular. We shall always be ready to cooperate with the United Nations representatives to this end.

In the spirit of this policy we have responded to the suggestions of the United States Government to be informed of untoward incidents. We appreciate the concern for the quiet of our borders implicit in this suggestion and the good offices that the United States extend to this end.

I was gratified by your statement that Israel's water project can and should be carried out as scheduled, and I am deeply appreciative of your support of our project. You have shown by this statement a deep and sensitive understanding of one of Israel's most vital needs and interests. As you know, our two governments have been in close and continuous association on this subject for many years. Our attitude has always been clear. We do not wish to deprive our neighbours of their rights; we plan to use our fair share of the water for the benefit of our people. Accordingly, in the absence of an agreed unified development plan, for which we are always ready and which no action on our part will prejudice, we shall conform with the pattern of withdrawals and deliveries of water on which the former United States Ambassador Eric Johnston secured the technical agreement to which you refer. I would hope that our two governments will maintain the closest contact on the matter. As in the past, we shall always be ready to place our technical experts at your disposal for detailed clarification of our plans. I fully share your hope that there is no reason why all concerned should not proceed in an atmosphere of calm and harmony to derive advantage for the benefit of their peoples from waters which are now flowing to waste.

As you might know we have to shoulder tasks which do not exist in other countries. We have to give a home to the newcomers. The figure of new immigrants exceeds at present 10,000 per month. Most of them come from backward and oppressed countries, where education was neglected for centuries.

The transformation of these immigrants who lived in the most miserable Ghetto conditions into tillers of the soil and into productive people in other fields of endeavour; the transformation of the Negev, a desolate wilderness which constitutes sixty percent of the total area of Israel, into a land of fertility and habitation; the teaching of the Hebrew language to newcomers from more than seventy countries and as many tongues; these are the tasks to which we devote our efforts and energies.

Your great and rich country achieved this in the course of several hundred years. We have to do this in the span of a short time.

Yet, above all we are confronted with a unique security problem. It is not our democratic system, or our borders and independence alone which are threatened, but our very physical existence is at stake. What was done to six million of our brethren twenty years ago with the participation of Palestinian Arab leaders, among them the ex-Grand Mufti and his henchmen, could be done to the two million Jews of Israel, if, God forbid, the Israel Defence Forces are defeated.

I am bound to say to my deep regret that such thoughts of total aggression are not absent from the minds of some of the Arab rulers of our region. The propaganda campaign which they conduct against us in Africa and in other continents does not differ much from the ill-famed and ill-fated Nazi propaganda.

For these reasons it is of utmost importance to provide the Israel Defence Forces with sufficient deterrent strength which will prevent our neighbours from making war on us. As long as the peace of the world is not secure everywhere we have to secure our peace through our strength.

The situation in the Middle East in general is not particularly encouraging. The principal failing of most of the countries of the area is the lack of a democratic system of government, the inability of their peoples to achieve untrammelled self-expression and the mastery over their own destinies. While most of the Arab countries proclaim day in day out their aggressive designs against Israel, we do not regard the Arab peoples as a target for hatred; to us they are men and women like ourselves, who need and ought to get all opportunities for education, health, development and social progress; and like all other sections of the human race in our time, their fate depends largely on peace, international cooperation, and mutual aid.

Unfortunately such a state of mind and affairs does not prevail in the Arab countries. In spite of the existence of the Arab League, there is no positive and constructive cooperation between them; they are united in nothing but their declared hostility to Israel. In none of them, except Lebanon, is there even a hint of democracy; they all are ruled--directly or indirectly--by the Military.

I am glad to note with deep satisfaction that two Moslem countries in the Middle East, Turkey and Iran, whose combined population exceeds by far that of our four Arab neighbours (Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon) maintain good-neighbourly relations and cooperation with Israel for the benefit of all involved.

I have confined myself on this occasion to comment mainly on the special problems which you, Mr. President, raised in your letter. I shall be glad to respond at an early opportunity to your suggestion to give an assessment of the situation in other parts of the world as we see it from our vantage point here.

In profound esteem,
D. Ben-Gurion

309. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Washington, June 25, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.86B/6-2562. Secret. Drafted by Barrow (NEA/NE) and Talbot and cleared by Herz (AF).

Analysis of President Nasser's Letter of June 22, 1962 to President Kennedy

/2/The Embassy in Cairo transmitted the text of Nasser's letter, dated June 21, in telegram 1830, June 22, which is attached but not printed.

President Nasser's letter (enclosed) in our view represents a significant step forward in US-UAR relations. For one thing, Nasser's statement of sincere gratitude is practically unique in the history of US-UAR relations. More significant, though the letter is superficially simply an expression of appreciation for the understanding shown toward Dr. Kaissouni on the occasion of the latter's mission in Washington, we believe it may have substantive implications of far-reaching import.

In the beginning of the message, Nasser implies that the attitude of the United States had a bearing on the National Charter enunciated by Nasser on May 21. Enclosed is the Department's analysis of that Charter/3/ which (a) strikes hard at communism (albeit at capitalism as well); (b) embodies finite moves toward decentralization of authority; (c) leaves the door open to the development of a mixed economic and social system including private foreign investment in limited fields; (d) advocates forward-looking economic and social measures such as family planning and equality of women; and (e) extends an olive branch to former imperialist countries who participate in the UAR's development program. Nasser has called himself pragmatic and it may well be that he was influenced away from certain more extreme views by the ideas presented to him in recent months by Ambassador Badeau, Mr. Bowles and Dr. Edward Mason.

/3/Attached but not printed.

Nasser's message also implies that our attitude toward the Kaissouni mission had an influence on the recent Casablanca Chiefs of State Conference which was chiefly significant in respect of (a) support for the Evian agreements on Algeria, (b) support only for "peaceful" moves by Morocco against Mauritania, (c) call for effective control and supervision of disarmament.

However, the key paragraph of the letter is Nasser's reference to "mutual understanding" and an expression of confidence that US-UAR differences can be kept "within limits not to be exceeded". We take this to mean that he intends to honor his commitment to keep the Palestine question "in the refrigerator" (provided of course that we also do so), to concentrate on modernization of Egypt, to avoid overt provocative actions in the Middle East, and to pursue a statesmanlike course in world affairs. He appears to wish to indicate that he respects the role we are playing in the world and does not want to be far out of step with it.

Inasmuch as this letter tends to balance previous messages sent to Nasser by President Kennedy, we do not believe it calls for an immediate reply. However, we desire to authorize Ambassador Badeau to comment favorably on the letter in his next meeting with Nasser. Additionally, we plan, later in the summer, to consider recommending that the President send Nasser a letter reviewing the state of our relations and suggesting means to keep momentum behind their continuing improvement along the lines set forth in our memorandum of May 18, 1962.

J.T. Rogers/4/

/4/Rogers signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.

310. Memorandum From the President's Military Aide (Clifton) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Country Series, Saudi Arabia, 6/7/62-6/30/62. No classification marking.

Washington, June 27, 1962.

The President [2 lines of source text not declassified] asked that you get the following information:

a. A resume of what we promised the King./2/

/2/Reference is to King Saud.

b. A résumé of what they promised us, especially in regard to the action they were going to take on the Jewish question, and in regard to the servicemen, etc.

c. If, as they alleged, the radio transmitters we promised them were unsatisfactory, why did we offer them? If they were satisfactory, what is the difference of opinion that makes them take such a dim view?

d. Has the aid mission that we promised already departed? If not, why not?

As a corollary to this, the President would like a few facts on the aid and assistance we are giving the UAR, compared to what we are giving to that other friend. What is the financial situation, especially in regard to oil, and what do they really need; what should we be giving them?

C.V. Clifton/3/

/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

311. Memorandum From Harold H. Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Washington, June 27, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Country Series, Saudi Arabia, 6/7/62-6/30/62. Secret.

Saudi Dissatisfaction with US Aid

Here's the latest on US-Saudi relations in response to the President's query. In a nutshell, Saud has become increasingly surly since his visit because he's apprehensive over our attentions to the UAR. State attributes his current behavior to childish spitefulness over this one issue. Hart has tried to reassure him that our aid to the UAR implies no less interest in him.

We've been quite responsive to the requests Saud made during his visit:

1. The President promised to consider the possibility of economic assistance. A three-man AID survey team headed by Harvard's A. J. Meyer arrived in Jidda on 13 June, has been cooperatively received, and has reported preliminary findings.

2. The President promised to examine the possibility of providing credit terms for a $16 million arms purchase. State has officially asked AID and Defense to arrange this. They hope it can be worked out, although it will mean taking funds from some other program.

3. The President promised we would communicate our views on the British role in Southern Arabia. State did so both here and in Jidda in February. Saudis haven't asked for anything further.

4. The President expressed willingness to continue the US Military Training Mission but pointed out we would have to negotiate new arrangements in view of our formal withdrawal from Dhahran Air Base on 2 April. Negotiations are now going on, and training continues under the old agreement.

5. After considerable vagueness about what King wanted, Saudi ambassador requested three 5KW short-wave transmitters. Saud originally confirmed this request. Now, however, he says they're unsuitable; he wants 50 KWs. State feels his change of mind results from pique over our UAR policy, not from any change in technical requirements.

Saud has taken care of one of the two problems the President asked him about:

1. He released from customs the backlog of equipment consigned to our Consulate General in Dhahran and promised to expedite further customs clearances.

2. Hart has not had a chance to take up with him the matter of visas for American Jewish travelers to Saudi Arabia, and Saud has offered nothing. In the current climate, it doesn't look as if we can hope for much progress for the present.

Comparative figures on aid to Saudi Arabia and the UAR appear on the attached sheet. Chief financial difference between the two is that the UAR for the past year has been fighting a serious balance of payments problem and food storage resulting from the last year's crop disaster. In contrast, Saudis since 1958 have improved their position to the point where, by late 1963, we expect Saudi government will owe no money internally or externally.

Meyer's preliminary findings confirm State's view that the Saudis don't need substantial development assistance. Saudi government gets about $375-400 million in annual oil revenues--about 80% of its total income. Although they have the makings of a fairly good planning authority under a privately hired American, they probably won't be able to spend the $85 million set aside for development and normal construction projects this year. Finance Minister told Meyer he didn't anticipate the need for large-scale financial assistance for two years. However, he agreed with Meyer that the real need is for technical help. Meyer will bring his detailed recommendations to Washington early in July, and AID will determine then what we might do.



($ Millions)
Saudi Arabia
FY 59-61
FY 62
FY 59-61
FY 62
PL 480
Title I planned for grants and loans
PL 480
Title II (emergency relief)
PL 480
Title III (voluntary relief agencies)
Ex-Im Bank

312. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, June 29, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 811.0086B/6-2962. Confidential. Drafted by Dickman and Strong on June 25.

Transmittal of an FBI Report on the Source of Information of an Article by Mr. Roscoe Drummond Criticizing U.S. Assistance to the UAR

We invite your attention to the enclosed copy of an FBI report/2/ confirming that the Israel Embassy was the source of information of an article appearing on June 6, 1962, by Mr. Roscoe Drummond./3/ This article, which was the subject of my memorandum of June 6,/4/ suggested that United States assistance to the United Arab Republic was permitting that country to divert its own resources to purchase arms from the Soviet bloc.

/2/Attached but not printed.

/3/The article was printed in The Washington Post on June 6.

/4/Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 811.0086/6-662)

The timing of the Israeli Embassy release of this information and the Drummond article coincided with the Senate's consideration of the Foreign Assistance Act. The article was inserted in the Congressional Record by Senator Keating of New York on June 7 when he introduced the following amendment to the Senate version of the Foreign Assistance Act:

"Section 102 (b) Such section is further amended by inserting after the seventh paragraph the following: 'it is the sense of Congress . . . (phrase omitted) that requests for appropriations to carry out programs of assistance under this Act should be accompanied by information with respect to the priorities assigned among the countries receiving assistance for the fiscal year for which appropriations are requested.

It is further the sense of Congress that in the administration of these funds great attention and consideration should be given to those countries which share the view of the United States on the world crisis and which do not as a result of United States assistance, divert their own economic resources to military or propaganda efforts, supported by the Soviet Union or Communist China, and directed against the United States or against other countries receiving aid under this Act.'"

Senator Keating made it clear in his remarks that the United Arab Republic was one of the principal targets of his amendment.

The Department has been made aware by other sources that the Israel Embassy has been active with other newspaper correspondents in propagating the same line as with Mr. Drummond. Some of these sources are of the belief that the Israel Embassy has been in contact with members of the Congress on the subject.

In our view such activity by the Israel Embassy is improper and is creating serious embarrassment for the United States Government. Therefore we propose to speak to Ambassador Harman./5/

/5/A July 3 note from Brubeck to Talbot, attached to the source text, reads: "In reply to Mr. Bundy's query to me, I have advised him that there are factors of timing in any approach to Ambassador Harman as proposed here. I have therefore proposed and he has agreed that there would be no approach either from here or the White House at this time. I have undertaken that we will be back in touch with them before any action is taken."

E.S. Little/6/

/6/Little signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.

313. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Talbot) to Secretary of State Rusk

Washington, June 29, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 486.1112/6-2962. Official Use Only. Drafted by Strong on June 28 and concurred in by Dutton (H). None of the tabs are attached to the source text.

Replies to Senatorial Letter on Arab Discrimination Against Americans of the Jewish Faith


Attached is a letter (Tab B) signed by ten Senators, members of the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees, expressing their concern with regard to the discrimination practiced by certain Arab governments against Americans of the Jewish faith./2/

/2/Dated June 13 and signed by Senators Hubert H. Humphrey, Alan Bible, Clifford P. Case, Dennis Chavez, Thomas J. Dodd, Thomas H. Kuchel, Warren G. Magnuson, Gale W. McGee, Leverett Saltonstall, and Margaret Chase Smith. (Ibid., 486.1112/6-1362)

The Senators cite the instances in which Congress, in foreign aid legislation, has recently enjoined the Executive Branch to apply in aid negotiations those national principles which are contravened by discriminatory Arab practices./3/ They note that in spite of this certain Arab countries receiving US aid continue to bar Americans of the Jewish faith and urge that the Administration make every possible effort to give effect to the declarations enacted by Congress.

/3/Section 106 of the Foreign Aid Appropriations Act, 1963, approved October 23, 1962, reads as follows: "It is the sense of Congress that any attempt by foreign nations to create distinctions because of their race or religion among American citizens in the granting of personal or commercial access or any other rights otherwise available to United States citizens generally is repugnant to our principles; and in all negotiations between the United States and any foreign state arising as a result of funds appropriated under this title these principles shall be applied as the President may determine." (P.L. 87-872; 76 Stat. 1163)

The "modest progress" mentioned in the letters/4/ refers to Jordan: (a) The Jordanian Embassy here has given up requesting baptismal certificates in connection with visa applications. However the latter still require an indication as to the applicant's religion and we have been told by representatives of the American Jewish Congress here that the clerk at the Jordanian Embassy states that applications by Jews must be referred to Amman. (b) Following my conference at Athens with the Ambassadors to Near Eastern countries, Ambassador Macomber has made new and forceful approaches to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Jordan./5/ The former finally agreed the Ambassador could give you assurances that within a month he would find means of easing travel restrictions on American Jews. (c) The Jordanian Government will admit any American Jew except known Zionists whenever our Ambassador makes a personal request.

/4/Letters to each of Senators, signed by Rusk, were sent on July 5. (Department of State, Central Files, 486.1112/6-1362)

/5/Tab C is telegram 588 from Amman, June 26, reporting recent approaches to the Jordanian Government regarding Jordan's visa practices. (Ibid., 885.181/6-2662)


That you sign the attached letters (Tab A).

314. Paper Prepared in the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs

Washington, June 30, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.80/6-3062. Secret. Drafted by Strong and Thacher and cleared by Talbot, Cleveland, and Sisco. Hewitt (L) cleared Part III. Transmitted to Bundy (NSC) on June 30 under cover of a memorandum from Brubeck that reads: "The enclosed memorandum is the revision due July 1 of the preliminary report forwarded on May 29 [see footnote 3, Document 280] in response to Mr. Feldman's request on behalf of the President for a recapitulation of United States courses of action aimed at (1) lessening tension in the Near East, (2) eliminating barriers to travel by American citizens in the area, and (3) alleviating the impact of the Arab boycott on American businessmen."

I. U.S. Courses of Action Tending to Relieve Tensions in the Near East

(A) Our constant concern for alleviating tensions in the Near East derives directly from our primary task of promoting our national security interests by limiting the spread of Soviet influence, identifying ourselves adequately with the aspirations of the peoples for modernization and development, and preserving Western access to oil reserves and lines of communication. In fact we can best promote these interests in an atmosphere of relative tranquility.

To serve these interests we seek to demonstrate our respect and support for the independence and sovereignty of each state; to encourage orderly political, economic and social progress; and to maintain a position of impartiality between the Arabs and Israel, with due respect for the security and well-being of Israel. The road to progress, however, is strewn with obstacles such as Arab suspicions of the West, internal stresses arising from the modernization processes, the Arab-Israel problem, and conflicts among the Arab states themselves. The Soviets have established a foothold in the Near East and no doubt will continue to look for issues to exploit to our disadvantage.

In determining courses of action in the Near East we are constantly concerned to reduce tensions. For example, we conduct our diplomacy quietly and avoid public pronouncements; we avoid placing overt pressures which would lead to counterpressures and reduction in our influence; we have ceased interfering in the internal affairs of Arab states and playing one group or state against another; we seek to ameliorate various facets of the Arab-Israel problem; we have met critical financial needs (U.A.R., Syria, Jordan and Israel) which, unsatisfied, would have exacerbated tensions; and, within the limits of our policy not to become a major supplier of arms to disputants in the Palestine problem, we have made available to Israel significant quantities of nonoffensive military equipment.

(B) Other U.S. measures in recent years have been aimed more directly at dealing with the underlying problems causing Near East tensions:

1. The Palestine refugee problem remains the most threatening and difficult aspect of the Arab-Israel dispute. The United States bears 70 percent (some $23 million annually) of the cost of supporting the refugees.

We have encouraged the United Nations Relief and Works Administration to expand vocational training to facilitate refugee movement out of the camps into profitable employment in the surrounding Arab countries.

Meanwhile, we have sought urgently for a solution which might lead gradually to elimination of some of the inflammatory potential of the refugee problem and to reduction of the burden it imposes on the U.S. taxpayer. We are handicapped by strong emotions and inflexible attitudes on both sides. The Israelis are deeply apprehensive over the implications for their security of repatriation of any significant number of Palestine Arabs. (The United States has frequently assured the Israel Government that we would never support a refugee solution that could affect Israel's security.) The Arab governments continue to assert the right of the refugees to return to their former homes and resist strongly any solution, such as that suggested by the Hammarskjold report of 1959,/2/ which envisaged intensive economic development of surrounding Arab countries which might be expected gradually to draw the refugees out of their camps and into new homes and useful employment.

/2/Proposals for Continuation of United Nations Assistance to Palestine Refugees, Document Submitted by U.N. Secretary-General Hammarskjold, June 15, 1959; U.N. doc. A/4121 and Corr. 1.

In an effort to provide some movement toward progress, the United States stimulated the three-nation Palestine Conciliation Commission, of which the United States is a member, to appoint last summer a Special Representative for the refugee problem. The selection of Dr. Joseph Johnson, his trip to the area, and his report to the Commission which was, in turn, conveyed to the Sixteenth General Assembly provided the basis for a United States sponsored resolution, supporting further efforts by Dr. Johnson to find some common elements in the positions of the two sides. While recognizing the difficulties with which Dr. Johnson must contend, his mission is a positive token of United States intention to take constructive action on the refugee problem. It is the first effort of this kind in several years and has been accepted tolerantly, though not enthusiastically, by both sides.

Dr. Johnson has just completed another trip to the host government capitals and to Israel, and we expect he will soon complete a detailed proposal for his next move. He was received in friendly fashion in both the Arab states and Israel, and he commenced the important conditioning process needed to prepare both sides to consider practical alternatives.

2. Recent months have seen steadily increasing concern among both Arabs and Israelis at the implications of Israel's proposed withdrawals from the Lake Tiberias-Jordan River waters' system scheduled to commence within the next eighteen months to two years. On its side, Israel has feared Arab military or diplomatic action aimed at preventing water uses for which the Israelis have over the last several years erected costly and elaborate installations and which are urgently required for Israel's agricultural and industrial growth. The Arabs see Israel about to commence diversion of waters much of which rise in Arab lands and in which, as riparians, they have a right to share. They feel Israel may well intend to withdraw quantities beyond its equitable share. The recent U.S. assurances with regard to Israel's right to water withdrawals and reciprocal Israel assurances protecting Arab rights is, of course, aimed at preventing eruption of hostilities. In addition we are quietly encouraging the Arabs to proceed with the development of their share of the waters, by this means hoping to reduce some of the tensions in concentrating on a constructive facet.

3. Events of the summer of 1958 demonstrated the crucial position of Lebanon as a focal point for area conflict and tensions. On December 31, 1961, an attempted military coup was crushed by loyal Lebanese forces but repercussions within Lebanon and surrounding countries have continued. To offset a deep Lebanese sense of insecurity and in response to Lebanese requests, U.S. officials, including the President, offered affirmations, without military commitment, of our support for Lebanon's stability, independence and integrity. These assurances played an important role in returning Lebanese internal affairs to a more normal course.

4. In mid-March hostilities flared in the northeastern area of Lake Tiberias. When Syria's complaint against an Israeli retaliatory raid was brought before the Security Council, the U.S. stood, as it has in the past, for a firm reproof of this type of Israeli action. The Security Council's unanimous acceptance, with but one abstention, of the U.S. resolution demonstrated once again the international community's preference for use of United Nations mechanisms for settlement of area problems rather than a dangerous resort to escalating hostilities. Since then, the U.S. has impressed upon both Syria and Israel the urgent need for restraint in this tense area, and we propose to support United Nations efforts to improve the effectiveness of its machinery in the area.

5. Following reaffirmation of Kuwait's independence in a Kuwaiti-United Kingdom exchange of letters in June 1961, Prime Minister Qasim of Iraq reiterated in threatening manner his country's claim to Kuwait's territory. The U.S. has backed up the United Kingdom fully in the latter's determination to support Kuwait. Qasim realized that any attempt to seize Kuwait would be met by British military force, and that the U.S. stood squarely behind the British position.

6. Occasional visits of Sixth Fleet vessels to Eastern Mediterranean ports are arranged. We have in mind resumption of visits of Sixth Fleet units to Haifa at a suitable time in coming months.

7. When news of construction of Israel's Dimona reactor led the Arabs to fear creation by Israel of a nuclear weapons capability, the Department arranged for an inspection of the reactor by two American scientists on the basis of whose visit we were able to reassure the Arabs that the reactor is designed for peaceful purposes. Arrangements for further periodic inspections followed by renewed assurances to the Arabs are being undertaken.

8. We are at present endeavoring to persuade the UAR and Iran to cease their radio campaigns against each other, and in recent months we have encouraged the UAR to moderate its radio propaganda and have advised Jordan to avoid interference in the internal affairs of other Arab states and to devote its energy and resources to the development of Jordan.

9. Our Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, doubling as Minister to Yemen, has played a useful role as intermediary between Yemen and the British authorities in Aden in achievement of a detente in that area.

10. We are at present engaged in a thorough review of our policies toward Israel with a view to determining measures we may take to alleviate Israel's security concerns and remove some of the irritants in our relations.

II.U.S. Actions to Eliminate Barriers to Travel by American Citizens in the Near East

(A) Saudi Arabia

Since the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948, Saudi Arabia has customarily declined to grant entry visas to persons of Jewish faith whatever their nationality. The United States has taken every appropriate opportunity to impress on the Saudi Arabian Government our abhorrence of practices which discriminate against American citizens on grounds of religious faith.

Saudi Arabia, which considers that a state of war still exists between the Arab states and Israel, asserts its policy is prompted by security considerations and is not intended to discriminate against persons of Jewish faith but is intended to bar admittance to Zionist supporters. Saudi Arabia's exclusionist policy is stimulated also by a strain of xenophobia which, while diluted in recent years by increasing contact with the Western world, continues to be present and tends to surround the whole process of obtaining a Saudi visa with conditions and delays.

Over a period of years we have sought mitigation and eventual reversal of the Saudi Arabian policy of excluding U.S. citizens of the Jewish faith, as well as restrictions against Jewish-owned commercial firms in the U.S. We have done so through our Ambassador in Jidda, through the Saudi Ambassador in Washington and through direct Presidential intervention with the King during the latter's recent visit to Washington. We have repeatedly emphasized that discriminatory practices against American citizens on grounds of race, creed or color--whatever the reasons--are repugnant to the fundamental principles on which this country was founded.

We have proposed to the Saudi Arabians that as a first step they should shift their policies by certain modifications: (1) the issuance of visas to U.S. Congressmen of any faith and (2) permission for American citizens of Jewish faith to transit Dhahran airport. During the King's visit the President suggested these modifications and reminded him that Saudi Arabia's position on this matter is more extreme than that of any other Arab country, including the UAR, which imposes no restrictions on the entry of persons of the Jewish faith. While restating the Saudi position that only Zionists are refused entry into Saudi Arabia, the King agreed to explore the possibility of bringing Saudi policy at least into line with the more moderate visa-issuance policies of other Arab states. The King requested that upon his return to Saudi Arabia our Ambassador should deal with him directly on the matter. We so apprised our Ambassador and requested that he take every suitable opportunity to press the King further. Since the King's return to Saudi Arabia in late March, urgent operational problems have had to take precedence in the talks our Ambassador has had with the King. In addition the decline in the King's health plus necessary absences of our Ambassador from Saudi Arabia reduced opportunities for contacts, and for the past month the King has been away from Saudi Arabia for reasons of health.

During Assistant Secretary Talbot's meeting in Athens in mid-June with Near Eastern Ambassadors, he discussed with them in depth the problem of discrimination and with Ambassador Hart in a private conversation he stressed the importance of this issue in the conduct of our policy. The Ambassadors in general and Ambassador Hart in particular understand fully the significance of the problem. The latter proposes to seek an early opportunity to take up the matter shortly after the King's return, but he frankly expressed the view that, given the internal policies of the kingdom plus the current Saudi attitude toward the U.S., he could not be sanguine of early favorable action by the King. In his view, progress can come only slowly with persistent action on his part. He did point out that under the lead of the Royal Family liberalization is slowly coming in Saudi Arabia, citing the fact that Christian worship is now occurring in Dhahran and Jidda on United States-controlled premises, something that could not have occurred a few years ago. In addition, girls' schools are now operating under the sponsorship of members of the Royal Family, equally impossible a few years ago.

We are convinced that successful amelioration of Saudi Arabia's exclusionist policy can only come about through quiet and persuasive diplomacy and that attempts at undue pressure on our part might well inhibit prospects for making progress in this matter and even jeopardize our relations with a country whose interests and orientation coincide in many respects with our own. We have been guided accordingly in seeking to assist Congressman Halpern to obtain a visa for Saudi Arabia. Without publicity we have on his behalf approached the Saudi authorities at all levels, including the King (before his White House visit), but as yet to no avail. We have informed the Congressman of our continuing efforts and have expressed the view that, while we are vexed by the Saudi inaction, little would be gained, and perhaps much lost, by public recrimination.

(B) Syria

In 1959, while Syria was part of the United Arab Republic, the United States took advantage of the fact that it was the policy of the Egyptian region not to discriminate against travelers of Jewish faith, to urge that a similar policy be followed in Syria. Our representations were received favorably by the UAR Central Government, but implementation was not immediate because of the considerable local autonomy maintained by the Government of the Syrian Region which held that admission of persons of the Jewish faith created a security problem for Syria in view of the strong feelings of the populace concerning the Palestine problem. The American Embassy in Cairo, nevertheless, continued to pursue the matter and was greatly assisted in its endeavors by Egyptian and Syrian officials responsible for tourism who wanted to increase the income earned by the Syrian region in this field. Eventually in 1960 the UAR Foreign Office was able to give us assurances that Jewish travelers would be welcome in the Syrian region provided they arrived in organized tourist groups. Since the secession of Syria from the UAR we know of no change in this policy, nor have any complaints been brought to the Department's attention.

(C) Jordan/3/

/3/Documentation relating to the question of discrimination and Jordan's visa policy is in Department of State, Central File 885.181.

Our strenuous efforts with Jordan over many months finally resulted in late April in the removal from its visa application forms of the requirement for a baptismal certificate. However, shortly thereafter we learned that the requirement was replaced by one asking the religion of the applicant and that applications by persons of the Jewish faith were to be referred to Amman for decision. Further representations have been made to the Jordanian government and to the Jordanian Ambassador here, so far without result.

In Athens recently Assistant Secretary Talbot discussed the problem with Ambassador Macomber, who is fully conversant with its implications for U.S. policy. The Ambassador stated he had warned high Jordanian officials that following his return from the Athens conference, he intended to exert serious pressure on them to relax their discriminatory practices and to grant the Jordanian Ambassador in Washington considerable latitude in issuance of visas to American Jews. On June 26 Ambassador Macomber reported a series of conversations he has now had with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. The former agreed that the Ambassador could assure the Secretary of State that within one month a way would be found to liberalize the issuance of Jordanian visas in Washington. Whether there is performance remains to be seen.

Actually, with few exceptions we have found the Jordanian government willing to waive its restrictive requirements in the case of individuals who secured the Department's intervention. Thus, exceptions have been made to allow entry of individuals whose passports bore Israeli stamps. In other cases, Americans of Jewish faith or Americans known to be friendly to Zionist organizations were permitted to come to Jordan again after U.S. official representations.

The United States Government will continue to make all approaches it can appropriately initiate with a view to further relaxations of Jordanian restrictive practices as they relate to the travel of American citizens.

III. The Arab Boycott/4/

/4/Documentation relating to the Arab economic boycott against Israel is ibid., 484A.8612, 486.1112, and 486.84A2.

The Arab boycott stems from the Arab-Israel conflict and is designed by the Arabs to reduce the economic and hence the military potential of Israel. The causal relationship between the boycott and the Arab-Israel dispute tends to give the boycott all the emotional intensity and complexity of its underlying stimulus.

Over the years U.S. policy toward the boycott has been made clear: the United States does not recognize or condone the boycott and has consistently refused to facilitate its application. Our posts abroad are under standing instructions to reiterate this fundamental position on every appropriate occasion. For example, in July of 1961 the Department protested vigorously to the Government of Kuwait the latter's sending to a number of American firms letters requesting compliance with boycott regulations under threat of blacklisting for noncompliance. The despatch of these letters by Kuwait now appears to have ceased. Furthermore, the Department stands ready to protest individual boycott actions which are harmful to American firms. In point of fact, however, we have received few requests for protests from firms affected by the boycott. American firms have generally wished to resolve their difficulties with Arab boycott offices in a manner which will attract the least publicity and in light of their own decision as to where their commercial interests lie. In several cases when we have offered to protest, the American firms have not taken advantage of the Department's offer. Whereas the regulations for the boycott have been laid down by the Arab League, their application is left to the individual Arab states. Here practice varies widely and in some Arab countries the boycott has no practical effect on American firms. In others pragmatic considerations play an important part and the usual boycott procedures may be set aside in favor of the countries' own self-interest.

Arab boycott regulations do not involve religious discrimination and thus Arab firms are neither prohibited nor do most of them refrain from doing business with Jewish-owned firms. The boycott does include a primary boycott under which all trade and financial transactions between the Arab countries and Israel are prohibited and a secondary boycott in which firms or individuals who maintain particularly close business ties with Israel or who contribute to Israel causes are blacklisted. In the latter case, these firms or individuals are denied the right to trade with the Arab countries. Mere sale of goods by a non-Arab firm to Israel is not a cause for blacklisting. The boycott also prohibits an airline or shipping line from establishing regular passenger or freight services between Israel and Arab countries. However, shipping and airlines, TWA for example, may serve both Israel and an Arab country in separate runs. With the exception of tourist ships, maritime transportation is prohibited from calling at an Israel and an Arab port on the same trip. Mere calling at an Israel port is not, however, grounds for blacklisting a vessel. Vessels carrying munitions to Israel will be blacklisted. Blacklisting does not bar ships from the Suez Canal although it does prevent vessels from receiving bunkering and other services in Suez Canal ports. (Thus no American vessel has been denied use of the Suez Canal.)

Several years ago a form used by a Saudi Arabian lawyer in connection with the registration of foreign trademarks in that country required the applicant firm to certify that it was not Jewish controlled or owned. This document has been referred to as the creed-sworn declaration. It is not clear whether this declaration followed a format laid down by the Saudi Arabian Government or whether it was merely the lawyer's interpretation of what was required. In any event, it went beyond Arab League boycott regulations. Subsequent to 1956, when this matter came to the attention of ranking Department officers, the Department has refused to provide authentication services in connection with any declarations which gave evidence of racial or religious discrimination. As a result of this decision, a number of American firms were unable to register their trademarks in Saudi Arabia. The Department made a series of representations to the Saudi Government regarding this matter and in the latter part of 1960 the creed-sworn declaration was withdrawn from use. No other instances of Arab governments applying the boycott on racial or religious grounds have come to the Department's attention in recent years.

There have been a few cases in which an Arab firm has unilaterally decided not to do business with Jewish-owned firms. Such decisions, however, have not appeared to be based on the policies of the Arab governments nor on the rules and regulations of the boycott.

For example, in 1961, the Department of Commerce publicized to the American business community the interest of a Jordanian firm in securing bids for processed cheese. A West Coast publishing firm telegraphed the Jordanian firm asking if it was interested in bids from three cheese manufacturers, two of whom were stated to be Jewish. The Jordanian firm asked that the non-Jewish firm submit a bid. This case was brought to the attention of the Department by the publishing house. Our Ambassador in Amman, under instructions from the Department, raised the matter with the Jordanian Prime Minister who expressed strong disapproval of the discriminatory attitude of the Jordanian firm.

Recently the Department has discussed with representatives of the Monsanto Chemical Company a threat of boycott against it in reprisal for its plan to construct through one of its subsidiaries a plant in Israel for Israeli account. The company desired that the Department take no action on its behalf, considering (a) that its interests in Israel outweigh those in the Arab world and (b) that it has certain means of continuing to do business in the Arab countries even if placed on the boycott list. In addition, in response to our approach to Minister of Economy Kaissouni regarding a warning to Hilton Hotels to stop its construction of a hotel in Israel or face loss of its contract for operation of the Nile Hilton, the Minister has assured us that no action will be taken against Hilton (the UAR values highly the tourist dollar).

Neither the Department of State nor the Department of Commerce disseminates business opportunities in the Arab states where there is evidence of discrimination on racial or religious grounds. If this element is not present, however, business opportunities in the Arab countries are publicized.

No department or agency of the United States Government has sanctioned or approved any contractual language of a discriminatory nature in ship charters nor any language barring American flag vessels touching at Israel ports from carrying gifts of American surplus agricultural commodities to Arab countries under Titles II and III of Public Law 480. In the case of Title I shipments under Public Law 480, countries making these purchases take delivery at dockside and negotiate shipping arrangements themselves directly with the private carriers. Restrictive clauses in ship charters negotiated by the United Arab Republic have included a prohibition against sailing in Israeli waters prior to discharge. UAR authorities assert this is not a boycott provision but is inserted as a precaution in view of the continuing tension in the area. The Israeli Government has included clauses in its Title I Public Law 480 cargo charter contracts which similarly forbid transporting vessels to sail in Arab waters or call at Arab ports prior to discharge.

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