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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 XVIII
Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, Volume XVIII, Near East, 1962-1963
Released by the Office of the Historian
Documents 1-17

Near East, 1962-1963

 

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

Washington, July 7, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 811.0086B/7-762. Secret. Drafted by Duncan (NEA/NE) on July 6 and cleared by Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Phillips Talbot.

SUBJECT
Lack of Correlation Between US Aid and UAR Arms Purchases

The enclosed Background Paper/2/ should be helpful in answering questions recently raised in Congress and the press regarding the possible connection between our economic aid to the UAR and the latter's capacity to purchase arms from the Soviet Bloc. The paper concludes that the manner in which U.S. assistance is extended and the UAR purchases its arms is such that the two have relatively little connection in the UAR economy. Copies are being sent to the Secretary, the Under Secretary, Mr. McGhee, Mr. Rostow, and Mr. Johnson.

/2/Attached but not printed. The paper, entitled "Correlation Between US Aid to the UAR and UAR Arms Purchases from the Bloc," was drafted by Duncan on June 30 and cleared in draft with AID/NESA. On July 6, Talbot forwarded copies of the paper to McGhee and Rostow. (Ibid., 811.0086B/7-662, and ibid., S/P Files: Lot 69 D 121, Egypt (UAR))

The paper points out that the UAR purchases its arms on credit and that the terms and conditions on which the USSR is willing to provide arms are largely governed by political considerations. In any event, the UAR pays for its arms from the Soviet Bloc through sales of cotton which in fact it has been unable to sell in the West except at severely discounted prices. The UAR has for some time enjoyed more than ample credit and payment facilities with the Soviet Bloc while its international payments problems are concentrated in the Free World convertible currency area. Our aid to the UAR has been 75 per cent in the form of surplus food which has both increased food consumption by the UAR masses and relieved pressure on the UAR's convertible exchange resources, the necessary food now being available generally only from Free World sources. Our recent stabilization loan is designed to meet a convertible currency crisis. In summary, the UAR's decisions on arms have been made independently of considerations of U.S. aid; and U.S. aid is meeting needs which resources used to pay for arms--i.e. cotton and Soviet Bloc credits--could not be effectively mobilized to meet.

W Slater/3/

/3/Slater signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.

 

2. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Talbot) to Secretary of State Rusk/1/

Washington, July 9, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.84A/7-962. Secret. Drafted by Strong on July 5, cleared by Newman and Williams (AID), and approved by Wallner. Sent through Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs McGhee. A July 12 memorandum from Strong to Russell, Grant, and Talbot indicates that this memorandum and its attachments were transmitted from McGhee to Secretary Rusk on July 12. (Ibid., 611.80/7-1262) The source text bears a handwritten note by Wallner that reads "See attached memorandum" and a typed reference to Tab L.

SUBJECT
United States Policy toward Israel

Discussion:

A. The current policy issues between the United States and Israel are of two categories: (1) Israel's security concerns, and (2) frictions in the conduct of our relations.

B. Israel's security interests have been expressed to us as lying in 1) a close military relationship with the US, 2) a security guarantee specifically for Israel from the US, 3) access to a wider range of US military equipment including specifically the Hawk Missile, and 4) assurance, through US support, that Israel's water diversion program will be permitted to proceed without interference.

C. The frictions arising in US-Israel relations (other than those relating to Israel's security interests) are found in 1) Israel's policy of retaliatory raids, 2) Israel's uncooperativeness with the UN and its peacekeeping machinery in the area, 3) Israel's distrust of Dr. Johnson's mission on the refugee question, 4) questions on the definition of sovereignty over Lake Tiberias, 5) Israel's objection to US initiative toward persuading other states not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, 6) Israel's pursuit of a "direct negotiations" resolution in the UNGA, and 7) our policy of restraint on training of third country nationals in Israel.

D. The juxtaposition of several unrelated occurrences (U.S. opposition to an Israel-inspired direct peace negotiations resolution at the General Assembly last fall, the Security Council censure of Israel for recourse to a major retaliatory raid in March of this year, and announcement of increased US aid for the UAR), together with the favorable climate provided by the forthcoming US election have led Israel to greatly step up the pace of its diplomatic activity here in recent months in pursuit of the long-standing objectives described in B and C above.

E. The Ambassadors assembled in Athens June 12-15 concluded that the Soviets appear to have been unable to capitalize in the past several years on earlier successes in Egypt, Syria, and Yemen and that the relatively high standing of the US in the area among the Arabs, while still fragile, now provides us a minor degree of maneuvering room in terms of adjustments with respect to Israel. However, they considered it essential that the US avoid creation of too many issues with the Arabs and exercise caution in undertaking new initiatives beyond the Johnson Mission and Jordan waters. In their view, the security position of Israel today probably is as satisfactory as in the past and an Arab attack is not to be expected in the new future (Tab A)./2/

/2/None of the Tabs is attached to the source text, nor found elsewhere in Department of State files. The source text identifies Tab A as "A Summary--Athens Conference." The Conference of U.S. Chiefs of Mission to Near Eastern and North African countries and Greece and Turkey was held in Athens June 12-15, 1962. See Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Document 296.

F. The exchange of letters (Tab B)/3/ between the President and Prime Minister Ben-Gurion has already dealt with United States concern for Israel's security and well-being, Israel's policy of retaliation, strengthening of the UN peacekeeping machinery, and our support for Israel's water diversion plan together with Israel's assurance that its withdrawals of water will remain within the terms of the Unified Plan. In addition, Ben-Gurion has made clear Israel's intention to press the direct negotiations resolution.

/3/Tab B is Kennedy's June 13 letter to Ben Gurion and Ben Gurion's June 24 response; see ibid., Documents 293 and 308.

G. Our considerations are 1) to review our relations with Israel on an overall basis, rather than piecemeal, from the standpoint of our national security interests including maintenance of reasonably good relations with the bulk of the Arab states; 2) to provide adequately for the security and well-being of Israel; and 3) to alleviate insofar as possible the frictions between us. We believe that Israel is determined to seek from the US the broadest concessions during the current pre-election period and that Israel's fall-back position lies well short of its current maximum demands. We consider our recommendations below to be well-balanced, to be feasible, to duly safeguard US interests, and to meet Israel's needs realistically.

Recommendations:

1. Military Relationship with Israel. In our view, supported by the assembled ambassadors at Athens, it is essential to avoid establishing a special military relationship with Israel. To create what would in effect be a military alliance with Israel would destroy the delicate balance we have so carefully maintained in our Near Eastern relations and would bring insufficient compensatory advantages. (We have prepared no paper on this subject.)/4/

/4/Secretary Rusk initialed his approval.

2. Security Guarantee. The President already having given Israel an assurance of our continuing concern for the security and well-being of Israel, we propose to take no further action for the moment. At a suitable juncture we would wish to reactivate unilaterally that portion of the Tripartite Declaration/5/ dealing with aggression, perhaps in conjunction with our efforts with the Arabs to damp down the Jordan waters controversy or to achieve an arms limitation arrangement. If sale of the Hawk missile to Israel is delayed, we would propose an early strengthening of our security assurances to Israel (via unilateral reactivation of the Tripartite Declaration) in order to bolster Israel's confidence. Our ambassadors at Athens supported this approach. A paper at Tab C/6/ provides more detail./7/

/5/For text of the Tripartite Declaration of May 25, 1950, by the Governments of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, see Department of State Bulletin, June 5, 1950, p. 886.

/6/Tab C is identified as "Memorandum--Security Guarantee."

/7/Instead of indicating approval or disapproval, Secretary Rusk added underlining and marginal notations that asked why the sale of the Hawk missile to Israel should be linked to the early strengthening of U.S. security assurances.

3. Hawk Missile. Provision of the Hawk would enable Israel to reduce considerably its vulnerability to surprise air attack by low-flying aircraft. Greater confidence in its defenses would enable Israel the better to resist any temptation to engage in preemptive attack against the UAR air strike capability. Conversely, significant reduction of its vulnerability would remove one deterrent to Israeli preemptive attack. Despite the justification found in a strictly military equation, we cannot recommend at present sale of the Hawk to Israel for the following reasons: a) existence of effective deterrents to UAR action and of UAR vulnerabilities and limitations, and absence of conditions requiring or favorable to UAR attack; b) cogent factors operating on the US such as the undesirability of assuming responsibility for the initial introduction of missiles into the Arab-Israel arms race, problems of production and training schedules, and reactions from allies and friends; and c) a strong preference first to seek Nasser's reaction to a proposal for an arms limitation arrangement (see 4. below).

However, if US intelligence positively confirms that the UAR has in fact obtained or is in the process of obtaining comparable missiles from the USSR, we would recommend that after consultation with the British and discussion with the UAR we offer the Hawk to Israel in absence of real prospects for arms limitation. The ambassadors at Athens supported the foregoing. A detailed paper is at Tab D./8/

/8/Tab D is identified as "Memorandum--Hawk Missile." Secretary Rusk initialed his approval of paragraph 3.

4. Arms Limitation. Athens telegram No. 1337 (Tab E),/9/ concurred in by the assembled ambassadors, deals with this problem, assuming that meetings by the President with Ben-Gurion and Nasser would be necessary initially. Inevitably many months of delay would be entailed in this approach. Therefore, we would suggest that Ambassador Badeau be instructed by the President to talk with Nasser, explaining our considerations and seeking a reaction from Nasser. While we are not sanguine, we believe the attempt should be made. A similar approach would be made to Ben-Gurion if Nasser's response so warranted. A draft telegram to Ambassador Badeau is included at Tab E./10/

/9/Telegram 1337 is printed in Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Document 296. Tab E is identified as "Athens Telegram and draft telegram to Cairo."

/10/Rusk initialed his approval and added the handwritten comment: "must be cleared with WH and Defense."

5. Jordan Waters. The President has already given a written assurance to Israel and has received a reciprocal assurance. At Athens the ambassadors to Arab countries neighboring Israel agreed that whenever circumstances required we should seek to discourage Arab action against Israel's water scheme, reactivating the aggression portion of the Tripartite Declaration in conjunction therewith, but in the meantime we should encourage from behind the scenes Jordanian-Syrian development of the Yarmouk (recently we have had an indication from an important UAR official that the UAR has decided not to embarrass Jordan and Syria over their Yarmouk Plan). No paper has been prepared./11/

/11/Rusk initialed his approval.

6. Retaliatory Raids. Ben-Gurion has given the President a vague assurance that means other than the retaliatory raid will now be employed in an attempt to prevent serious trouble on Israel's frontiers. At the first suitable opportunity we propose to inform Israel that we interpret Ben-Gurion's letter as a pledge to abandon the retaliatory policy. On the other hand, we plan to continue to use our influence to the best of our ability to seek restraint by the Arabs in line with your discussion with Ambassador Harman./12/

/12/Rusk initialed his approval and added the handwritten comment: "we can object to retaliatory raids only if Arabs behave themselves."

7. Strengthening of UNTSO. A good deal of preparatory work has been done to determine measures both feasible and practical to improve the effectiveness of the UN machinery in the area. Ben-Gurion has informed the President of Israel's willingness to cooperate more fully. We therefore propose to proceed generally along the lines of the memorandum at Tab F./13/

/13/Tab F is identified as "Memorandum--Strengthening UN Machinery." Rusk initialed his approval of paragraph 7.

8. Dr. Johnson's Mission. We have discussed next steps with Dr. Johnson and, in line with the view of the ambassadors at Athens, have agreed with him that he should endeavor to have his project for a poll of the refugees launched at least on a small scale prior to UNGA debate of the UNRWA item. At some point prior to the debate it will be necessary to reach a private agreement with Israel on the maximum number of refugees Israel would be required to take and on financial arrangements. Likewise, prior to the private agreement, it will be necessary to obtain Presidential consent for financial support of the whole project, together with the concurrence in principle of key Congressional leaders. See the paper at Tab G./14/

/14/Tab G is identified as "Memorandum--Dr. Johnson's Mission." Rusk initialed his approval of paragraph 8.

9. Sovereignty over Lake Tiberias. We have the choice of letting the issue lie dormant, of stating our position publicly, or of informing Israel privately of our views. In order that we may have our position clearly on the record, we favor an aide-memoire to Israel stating the position set forth in the first portion of Tab H./15/ Informally the Israelis have led us to believe our language will be acceptable to them, though we do not rule out further Israeli attempts to persuade us to a view more favorable to them./16/

/15/Tab H is identified as "Memorandum--US Position on Sovereignty over Lake Tiberias."

/16/Rusk initialed his approval and added the handwritten comment: "must be cleared at WH."

10. Diplomatic Missions in Israel. In line with Ambassador Barbour's recommendation, and with the concurrence of the ambassadors to the Arab countries, we propose to cease taking the initiative to persuade other countries not to establish missions at Jerusalem. However, we would retain the right to respond to queries from other states. We would give the Embassy in Tel Aviv greater latitude in conducting business and accepting social engagements in Jerusalem. This should serve to meet the current Israeli complaint. See the paper at Tab I./17/

/17/Tab I is identified as "Memorandum--Diplomatic Missions in Israel." Rusk initialed his approval of paragraph 10.

11. Direct Negotiations Resolution. In mid-June Mr. Feldman informed Ambassador Harman that we expected to be consulted before Israel undertook to campaign for a new direct negotiations resolution in the next UNGA. Ben-Gurion, however, in his reply to the President, appeared to stress the importance Israel attached to the direct negotiations principle, thus indicating that we may have difficulty in persuading Israel to desist. In the view of the ambassadors at Athens the direct negotiations issue holds danger for the US. Our first preference is to dissuade Israel and other countries from pursuing it. Our second choice is to vote against such a resolution if introduced, provided Dr. Johnson has made some progress and provided it is necessary at the time in support of our tactical position in the debate. Otherwise we believe we could live with an abstention. In our view our foreign policy interests clearly would not be served by a vote in favor. See the attached paper and a copy of Mr. Feldman's letter to Ambassador Stevenson at Tab J./18/

/18/Tab J is identified as "Memorandum--Direct Negotiations--Letter from Mr. Feldman." Rusk initialed his approval of paragraph 11.

12. Training of Third Country Nationals in Israel. In the past we have been willing to sponsor the training of nationals of a number of third countries in Israel in accordance with the third country training program of the aid program. However, as a matter of practice in the past year we have tightened up considerably. Following a review of the issue with the ambassadors assembled at Athens we believe that we should within reason permit training of third country nationals in Israel in conjunction with our aid programs a) provided Israel's training facilities best meet our needs and b) provided we do not become engaged in the Arab-Israel cold war in Africa. Hence we propose to give field missions outside of Africa authority to make such arrangements subject to provision of notice to Washington but to require missions in Africa to refer all such proposals to the Department for approval. See paper at Tab K./19/

/19/Tab K is identified as "Memorandum--Training of Third Country Nationals in Israel." Rusk initialed his approval of paragraph 12 and added the following handwritten comment: "Israel should be treated as any other country, i.e., training there only if it makes sense to our own programs."

13. Upon receipt of your views we would prepare a comprehensive memorandum for the President if you so wish./20/

/20/Rusk initialed his approval.

 

3. Letter From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Bundy) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Grant)/1/

I-18123/62

Washington, July 16, 1962.

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 66 A 3542, #6, Middle East, 1962. Secret.

Dear Jim: As requested in your letter of June 25th/2/ we have conducted an analysis of the air defense balance between Israel and the UAR, and the effects on this balance of permitting Israel to acquire the Hawk missile system. The Joint Chiefs of Staff appraisal is inclosed as JCSM 507-62./3/ In summary, the Department of Defense views are:

/2/See Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Document 299, footnote 4.

/3/Attached but not printed.

(a) Israel is vulnerable to UAR air attack and is becoming increasingly so with the arrival of additional Soviet TU-16's.

(b) The addition of the Hawk missile within Israel's air defense system would fill an important gap in their defense.

(c) Acquisition of the Hawk missile system by Israel would not alone act to shift the balance of military power between Israel and its neighbors.

The Department of the Army can make the Hawk missile system available on the following conditions:

(a) Delivery on the system would take approximately 24 months after receipt of the funded order.

(b) The Hawk system equipment is classified Confidential except for the ECCM portion of the system which is classified Secret. Sale of the system would necessitate the release of information requiring an exception to the National Disclosure Policy.

(c) An agreement should be negotiated covering the exchange of classified information between the Government of the U.S. and the Government of Israel.

(d) The State-Defense Military Information Control Committee will have to be permitted by Israel to conduct a security survey within Israel. The results of this survey would have to indicate an Israeli capability to provide adequate protection of U.S. information prior to the actual release of classified military information essential for the operation of the Hawk missile system.

(e) The earliest the U.S. Army could commence training an Israeli Hawk cadre would be May or June 1966 and the cost of this training would approximate $1.5 million.

Current estimates on the cost of the Hawk missile system are:

1 each Battalion of Ground Equipment

$8,369,000

1 each Missile with Warhead

47,000

1 each Type IV Test Equipment Direct Support Units

1,071,000

1 Year's Repair Parts

3,000,000

1 each 3G36 Trainer

428,000

1 each Missile Dummy, Type II Trainer

4,800

If the Israeli battalion is to parallel U.S. requirements, the following number of missiles would be required:

Basic Load and Backup

288 Missiles

Package Training for Battalion

16 Missiles

Annual Service Practice (per year)

8 Missiles

Missile Dummy Type II Trainer

12 Missiles

As these estimates fluctuate with production demands a more detailed study would be required at the time an Israeli order is submitted.

I trust this provides the Department of State with the information necessary for an early decision on this matter. Please call upon us for any further assistance you need.

Sincerely,

William P. Bundy/4/

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

 

4. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, July 16, 1962.

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

We're still trying to find out whether Amini has in fact resigned or the Iranian Finance Minister was simply trying to scare us into a loan. However, there's no question that we face a major financial crisis in Iran. Amini has been unable to produce a balanced budget because of price rises, pay increases for teachers, land reform costs, and inability to control the military budget (which the Shah reserves to himself). Of course some of these outlays are for the very reforms we've been hoping Amini would make.

Amini's been trying to pare the budget but some fear he's lost control of his government. Ed Mason thought he was a spent force, but Holmes believes he's still in control and still has the Shah's backing. At any rate, you can't beat Holmes' argument that there's no decent alternative to Amini on the horizon./2/

/2/In telegram 15 from Tehran, July 4, Ambassador Holmes reported on financial disarray in Iran and Prime Minister Ali Amini's difficulties in retaining control of the budget process and even his own Cabinet. Holmes believed, however, that the United States should continue to support Amini's position. (Department of State, Central Files, 888.10/7-462) In telegram 33 to Tehran, July 13, the Department of State concurred in Holmes' position. (Ibid., 888.10/7-1162) For texts, see the Supplement, the compilation on Iran.

All of us here believe Iran should be forced to dig itself out of this one instead of our bailing it out again. If Amini can cut his budget enough, he should be able to cover the remainder by deficit financing plus diversion of oil revenues from the development budget.

The cost will be delay or stretch-out in Iran's new Development Plan. But it isn't ready anyway (the Bank is unwilling to call consortium planned for September) and fiscal stability is essential underpinning for it.

Amini has been pressing the Shah to cut the military as well as civil budget, but we don't know how much it's been cut already. We've flatly refused to repeat the $15 million budget support we gave last year, so if Iranians even keep military down to last year's level it will be an actual real cut.

We've got to back Amini's hand. Therefore, once we find out the score in Tehran, we may want to press the Shah not to let Amini go, but instead to cut the military budget. We could argue that the big MAP package we offered him when here was predicated on a force cut designed largely to reduce the local budget burden. We're still haggling about this.

R. W. Komer

 

5. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, July 18, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Staff Memoranda, Robert Komer. Secret. Komer forwarded this memorandum to Bundy on July 18 under cover of a note that reads: "Talbot has already called JFK with aid figures. We've given or pledged Amini $87.3 in grants and loans, in contrast to four year average of $59.4. He forgot to tell JFK that Amini's reference to 'previous government' (which probably irked President) was to Amini's predecessor, not Eisenhower. At any rate, heart of matter is do we sit back and hope for best or try actively to salvage Amini. Spent force or no, he's still our best bet. Hence the attached." No indication has been found that the memorandum was forwarded to President Kennedy.

In the current Iran flap, I urge as strongly as I know how that we base our policy on saving Amini if possible.

Whatever his wild charges about lack of US aid (you have the facts from Talbot), he's the only good PM Iran has had in the last several years and the only one anybody knows of who can carry Iran where we want it to go. If we return to more of the same in Iran, we'll face chaos there all too soon. Any successor government will have the same problems, and lack even Amini's capacity to deal with them.

My guess is that Amini had to turn to blaming the US--the traditional ME scapegoat, because he couldn't publicly mention the real cause--the Shah's refusal to back him in cutting the military and civil budget. Our aim should be to get Amini back in, with such backing from the Shah. Instead of Holmes' policy of standing back and letting Iranians come to us, we ought to go tell them. Our intervention at this crucial moment, risky though it may be, could spell the difference between success and failure.

But I don't think we should bail Amini out with more dough, at least not until after the budget is pared to the irreducible minimum. Instead we ought to tell Iranians that by using oil revenues and some deficit financing, Iran could cover its own budget gap.

My fear is that we won't make an all-out effort unless you lay down the law.

R. W. Komer/2/

/2/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

 

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

Washington, July 18, 1962, 9:34 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.84A/7-1862. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Crawford; cleared by Buffum, Cleveland, and Strong; and approved by Talbot. Also sent to USUN and repeated to Beirut, Damascus, Amman, Cairo, Jerusalem, and London.

79. Following July 17 meeting to hear Israel's views of Arab-Israel arms balance (Dept pouching to Tel Aviv details this presentation which designed emphasize Israel's vulnerability to low-level air attack),/2/ Talbot reviewed with Israel Ambassador Harman following results of recent intensive USG study several major aspects US-Israel relations:/3/

/2/During the afternoon of July 17, U.S. and Israeli representatives held a lengthy discussion on the Israeli view of the Israel-Arab military balance. Ambassador Harman headed the Israeli delegation; Talbot headed the U.S. delegation. A summary record of the meeting's proceedings is ibid., NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 304, U.S./Israel Discussions July 17, 1962.

/3/Talbot's July 17 conversation with Harman was recorded in two memoranda of conversation. (Ibid., Central Files, 611.84A/7-1762) A briefing memorandum from Strong to Talbot, prepared on July 16, is ibid., 611.84A/7-1662. It proposed that Talbot raise privately with Harman the subject of "Israel Embassy's Improper Efforts To Influence US Relations With a Third Country" by giving a U.S. journalist "inaccurate and misleading" information about UAR arms purchases. A marginal note on the briefing memorandum next to this point reads: "not raised." A legal opinion on the subject is in a memorandum from Hewitt (L/NEA) to Strong, July 6. (Ibid., 811.0086B/7-662)

I. As accommodations to Israel views, Talbot said that:

1. USG has reiterated its concern for security and well-being of Israel.

2. US has confirmed its approval and readiness give appropriate diplomatic support Israel's planned water withdrawals from Lake Tiberias provided these adhere Johnston Plan allocations. Israel has given reciprocal assurances. This exchange is solid foundation upon which consider in coming months steps which may usefully be taken by Israel and US to ensure that execution of Israel's projects has minimum disruptive consequence for area stability.

3. US has examined previous practice of taking initiative in giving its views on status of Jerusalem to other governments when we learn establishment of a diplomatic mission in Israel is being considered. We have decided practice can be discontinued without consequence for our position on status of Jerusalem. We will continue regard interests of international community as paramount and precluding recognition of Israel's claims to Jerusalem as its national capital. This voluntary action and fact we have not taken stronger position closure FLO/4/ should not be construed as watering down of our stand on principle nor as inference we would acquiesce in moves by Israel which we would regard as eroding principle such as requesting that official Americans obtain visas for travel within corpus separatum or that US consular officers in Jerusalem obtain Israel exequaturs./5/

/4/On July 6, the Israeli Government informed the Embassy in Tel Aviv that as of July 15 Israel would close its Foreign Liaison Office in Tel Aviv. Henceforth foreign governments with Embassies in Tel Aviv should send all communications directly to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. After consultations with French, British, and Italian representatives in Tel Aviv, the Embassy advised that nothing could be done about the decision, which would have little effect on Embassy business. (Telegram 27 from Tel Aviv, July 6; ibid., 784A.13/7-662) The text of the U.S. note to the Israeli Government expressing regret over the FLO's closure is ibid., NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 229, Status of Jerusalem.

/5/The Israeli Embassy followed up on the subject of the U.S. use of the term corpus separatum in regard to Jerusalem during discussions with U.S. officials on July 20 and 30 and August 6. On July 30 Strong qualified Talbot's remarks by indicating that Talbot's use of the term corpus separatum was in a geographic sense. (Memorandum of conversation, August 6; ibid., Central Files, 611.84/8-662) Additional information is in a memorandum from Ludlow to Crawford, August 8 (ibid., 684A.85/8-862), and a memorandum from Hewitt to Crawford, August 10 (ibid., 684A.85/8-1062).

4. While not prepared subsidize any fixed number of spaces, we willing support training in Israel of third country nationals on normal case-by-case basis and provided training in Israel clearly makes best sense for US programs.

5. Foregoing accommodations should be viewed against background of "uniquely generous" US economic assistance to Israel.

II. Talbot said that as consequence US deep concern for stiffening fibres area stability against new tensions which will be caused by Israel's water withdrawal and in keeping USG objective of facilitating establishment permanent peace between Israel and Arab states:

1. US gratified have Israel's pledge that retaliatory raid has been abandoned as an adjunct of Israel policy toward Arab states and full use of UN machinery will instead be Israel's policy in efforts prevent serious trouble on frontiers. US will naturally continue use its influence seek restraint by Arabs.

2. US reviewing with UN several proposals for strengthening UNTSO. We hope these will shortly be put into discussion with Israel and other states concerned.

3. Department has carefully considered Ambassador's July 6 comments re desirability move for direct negotiations resolution at 17th General Assembly (Deptel 22 to Tel Aviv)./6/ We do not think such resolution would realistically contribute progress nor can we concur Israel's estimate its tactical utility for UN consideration of Johnson mission. On contrary, we see renewal moves for such resolution as certain feed immoderate Arab influences and place further obstacles in Johnson's path. We strongly and seriously urge Israel not pursue this course. US views will be made clear to other governments which seek them.

/6/Dated July 7. (Ibid., 601.0084A/7-762) The memorandum of conversation is ibid., 684A.86B/7-662.

Re accommodations cited Section I, Harman expressed appreciation.

Re retaliatory raid, Harman said there might be situations such as prolonged series provocations by Arabs which would compel Israel take action restore the peace on its borders to which it entitled. Talbot said it important break cycle provocation and reaction.

Re UNTSO, Harman asked for opportunity present Israel views on strengthening this body, to which Talbot assented.

Re direct negotiations res, Harman asked whether US has abandoned its attachment to UN Charter and support of principle for concept of direct negotiations. He dissented sharply from US estimate tactical undesirability for Johnson mission of renewed proposal similar to 16-power Brazzaville res at 16th GA./7/ Requested opportunity present Israel's views in detail and undertake general discussion Near East 17th GA issues at early opportunity. Talbot said Department would be glad hear Israel's views if Israel comes to assessment different from ours; i.e, if Israel concludes direct negotiations res will genuinely contribute to optimum atmosphere for advancing Johnson mission which is to USG of "extraordinary importance".

/7/Reference is to the draft U.N. General Assembly Resolution that called for direct negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The United States was opposed and the resolution was defeated in the Political Committee on December 19, 1961. For text, see U.N. Doc. A/SPC/L.80/Rev.1 and Corr.1. Documentation regarding the U.S. position is in Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, volume XVII.

For USUN: In line Talbot statement II(3), Mission authorized express this US attitude re introduction direct negotiations res at 17th GA to such other delegations as may inquire. However, we wish avoid lobbying against this move.

Rusk

 

7. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic/1/

Washington, July 19, 1962, 1:22 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.86B/7-1962. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Barrow on July 14; cleared by Little, Strong, and McGeorge Bundy; and approved by Talbot.

71. At early opportunity you should inform senior official at Presidency of President Kennedy's pleasure at Nasser's letter of June 21/2/ which he feels reflects perceptive understanding of US intentions and affords basis for constructive US-UAR relationship. You should state President plans reply a bit later on.

/2/For an analysis of Nasser's letter, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Document 309. On July 12, Komer sent Bundy a note that reads in part: "I regard 21 June Nasser letter as a quite meaningful overture, saying in effect that Nasser recognizes our evidences of good faith (aid) for what they are and is also prepared to move toward cordial relations and new forms of cooperation. We've made a score on relations with the key guy in Arab world; let's keep nurturing it." (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, United Arab Republic, Nasser Correspondence)

You should add we have noted pattern of UAR attitudes and actions recently, particularly understanding of our need to anticipate problems before they arose and to endeavor eliminate or minimize possible sources friction. UAR statesmanship and moderate posture at Geneva Disarmament Conference,/3/ in Ben Bella-Ben Khedda affair/4/ and in handling of Cairo Economic Conference/5/ are examples of actions which have done much to improve UAR public relations image in US which here, perhaps more than elsewhere, must always be important factor in deliberations and policy decisions. There are formidable problems yet to be solved but we greatly encouraged by progress to date and hope better things in store for future.

/3/The first session of the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee met in Geneva March 14-June 15.

/4/Reference is to the rivalry between Ben Bella and Ben Khedda for the leadership of Algeria, which achieved independence from France on July 6.

/5/The Conference on the Problems of Economic Development, held in Cairo July 9-18, was sponsored by 10 African and Asian nations and Yugoslavia, and attended by 25 additional neutralist and/or developing countries, including Cuba. Documentation on the conference is in Department of State, Central File 398.00-CA. The conference was discussed at the Acting Secretary of State's staff meeting on July 20. (Ibid., Secretary's Staff Meetings: Lot 66 D 147)

You should repeat these remarks on occasion next meeting with Nasser.

Rusk

 

8. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, July 19, 1962.

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

McGB:

We have lost Amini,/2/ at least temporarily, but the problem which led to his downfall remains--that of an uncovered budget deficit of at least $110-120 million. The new Alam cabinet (tantamount to direct rule by Shah) will probably be even less able than Amini to cut this down to size.

/2/On July 18, the Shah of Iran accepted the resignation of Amini and his Cabinet and appointed Asadollah Alam as Iran's new Prime Minister. The Embassy in Tehran attributed Amini's fall to his inability to reduce the deficit in Iran's operating budget to manageable proportions. (Telegram 78 from Tehran, July 18; Department of State, Central Files, 888.10/7-1862) When reports appeared that Amini was blaming his downfall on U.S. refusal to provide sufficient economic support, the Department of State issued a press statement noting that during Amini's administration the United States had provided $67.3 million of economic assistance in grants and loans and had committed an additional $20 million for a development loan. (Telegram 50 to Tehran, July 18; ibid., 788.13/7-1862)

Therefore, we still face the issue of how to answer the inevitable plea for help. Holmes, supported by State, says let the Iranians come to us before we say "no", thus not entangling ourselves too much in Iranian affairs. However, this "wait and see" attitude has already contributed to the loss of one government. Bill Gaud and I argue that we should grab the ball and tell the Iranians again that they will have to cover the budget gap themselves (the only difference between Bill Gaud and me is my sense that if Iranians cut their deficit to $20-30 million, US will have to cover this gap if no other alternative). We're being blamed by the Iranians for this crisis anyway, and I'd rather be hanged for a goat than a sheep.

Biggest single part of the deficit is a whacking increase in the local military budget (far more than necessary to compensate for lack of $15 million US budget support). We should tell the Shah specifically that he ought to cut this back at least to last year's level. It won't happen unless we insist on it. Indeed, one reason we lost Amini is that we didn't back his play for a military budget cut.

Am working on Phil Talbot because of my strong belief that latest Iran crisis isn't over; in fact, it's just beginning. But it may take Presidential intervention to get State to override our Ambassador. Is JFK sufficiently annoyed by Amini's complaints about US aid to say he wants us to tell Iranians again that they'll have to bail themselves out?

Bob K.

 

9. Memorandum of Conversations/1/

Washington, July 28, July 31, August 6, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 886B.411/8-662. Confidential; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Crawford on September 5 and approved in S on September 18. Johnson concurred in this record of the conversation.

SUBJECT
Dr. Johnson's Proposals for Solution of the Arab Refugee Problem

PARTICIPANTS
(not at all meetings):
The Secretary
Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, Special Representative, Palestine Conciliation Commission
NEA--Assistant Secretary Talbot
IO--Assistant Secretary Cleveland
IO--Deputy Assistant Secretary Wallner
NEA/NE--Robert C. Strong
NEA--James M. Ludlow
UNP--Stephen E. Palmer, Jr.
NE--William R. Crawford, Jr.

At the Secretary's request, Dr. Johnson explained his proposals/2/ as follows:

/2/A briefing memorandum by Talbot and Wallner prepared for Rusk on July 27 contains a summary of Johnson's draft proposals submitted to the Department of State on July 17. (Ibid., NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 44, Refugees, PCC, General Policy) For text, see the Supplement, the compilation on the Arab-Israeli dispute. A copy of Johnson's July 17 draft proposal is in Department of State, IO/UNP Files: Lot 72 D 294, PCC-Johnson Mission. Johnson discussed his proposals with Department of State officials on July 19, 23, and 24. A memorandum of conversation of conclusions reached at these meetings is ibid., Central Files, 325.84/7-1962.

1. There are three premises: (1) minimum public commitment by the parties, (2) objectives are limited to implementation of Paragraph 11 of Resolution 194 (III),/3/ and (3) an effort should be made to have the plan launched and in limited operation before the 17th General Assembly, as recommended by the Athens Chiefs of Mission Conference.

/3/This resolution, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 11, 1948, created the Palestine Conciliation Commission and defined its mission to seek a resolution of the Palestine refugee problem. Article 11 dealt with the issues of repatriation of those Palestinians who wished to return to their homes and compensation for those who did not. For complete text, see Official Records of the Third Session of the General Assembly, Part I, 21 September-12 December, 1948, Resolution, U.N. Doc. A/810, pp. 21-25. Also printed in A Decade of American Foreign Policy, 1941-1949: Basic Documents, pp. 718-719.

2. Essentials of the plan are the confidential recording of refugee preferences, and the initiation of such recording without prior undertakings save reasonable assurance that U.N. representatives would have customary facilities and freedom to function effectively.

3. It may be that refugees will not voluntarily send in questionnaires or that there will be refusal to cooperate in implementing refugee preferences on the part of either the Israelis or Arabs or both. But there is agreement with working level officers in the Department that we should try to go ahead with a process of this sort and should inform the parties that we intend to do so.

4. There is one issue unresolved. On grounds of the legislative history of Resolution 194, of equity, and of practicality, should the U.N. undertake to facilitate payment of compensation, as appropriate, to refugees being repatriated? The Department, which concurs that what we are all seeking is a formula to result in a final choice of repatriation by about one refugee in ten, does not agree. It holds that adding the inducement of compensation to the prospect of repatriation would produce a difficult-to-control ratio of expressed preferences for repatriation as contrasted with resettlement far higher than one in ten. It believes for a number of reasons that compensation for loss of or damage to properties of returning refugees is a responsibility of Israel.

In the discussion which followed, the Secretary asked about the categories of compensation; the availability of information on former refugee property holdings; the percentage of refugees who owned immovable property at the time they left Palestine; the relationship between the total value of these properties and the essential costs of establishing the refugees in a new life; the annual costs of UNRWA and the United States contribution thereto; the prospects for acceptance of the plan; the probability that governments will be forced to take positions opposing the plan as soon as questionnaires are distributed; the extent of U.N. approval required; the difficulty of beginning operations until financing is in sight and the likelihood of undesirable publicity as financing is sought; the schedule of operations planned for the current year; expected average payments per family unit; extent of resettlement which has already occurred; possibility of UNRWA assisting financially in a settlement project; deduction from compensation of international funds already spent for refugee support; and the possibility of a "trial run" in which questionnaires would be distributed quietly to a very small number of refugees. The Secretary concluded by asking Dr. Johnson to give further thought to something along the lines of his last question. He pointed out the problems which might arise with Congress if the Administration were to seek a further large fund in the foreign assistance field at the very time it is preoccupied with the foreign aid bill and U.N. bonds. There may also be cause for concern in commitment of United States prestige to a proposal which may meet flat, immediate rejection by the parties. (The following subsequent memoranda to the Secretary dealt with the above matters in detail: Assistant Secretary Talbot's memorandum to the Secretary of July 28 answering the questions raised at the July 28 meeting,/4/ the Talbot-Cleveland memorandum of August 4 which enclosed a suggested Memorandum for the President setting forth the Johnson Plan in detail,/5/ Dr. Johnson's memorandum of July 27 concerning compensation,/6/ and the Department's comments of August 4 on Dr. Johnson's compensation memorandum.)/7/

/4/Talbot's July 28 memorandum is in Department of State, Central Files, 325.84/7-2862. For text, see the Supplement, the compilation on the Arab-Israeli dispute.

/5/The August 4 memorandum is in Department of State, Central Files, 886.411/8-462. For text, see the Supplement, the compilation on the Arab-Israeli dispute.

/6/Not printed. (Department of State, IO/UNP Files: Lot 72 D 294, PCC-Johnson Mission)

/7/Not printed. (Ibid., Central Files, 886.411/8-762) It was attached to Document 15.

At the July 28 and succeeding meetings, the Secretary's concerns were discussed in detail. In consultations with working levels of the Department, Dr. Johnson made certain revisions in his proposals to emphasize for the Administration's consideration thereof (a) their built-in controls over pace, (b) the essentially preliminary and "trial run" nature of the steps proposed for the coming year, and (c) recognition of limitations on responsibility to be assumed for compensation by the United Nations. Further revisions were incorporated to meet Dr. Johnson's concern that, if compensation were not to be paid through the PCC to refugees choosing repatriation to Israel, there should be a clearer recognition of the returning refugee's right, in equity, to be assured of prompt and fair hearing in Israel of such claims as he might have to compensation for properties sequestered, destroyed, or otherwise not available to him.

At the concluding meeting on August 6, the concerns of Dr. Johnson and the Department having been met by Dr. Johnson's revisions to his proposals, the Secretary agreed to forward the latter for the President's consideration./8/

/8/A list of "Changes Made in the Johnson Plan Package for the President as Result of Secretary's Meeting with Dr. Johnson and Assistant Secretaries Talbot and Cleveland, August 6, 1962," was attached to Document 15. Johnson expressed appreciation to the Department of State for changes made in response to his requests, but indicated that he did not agree with the views presented in the Department's July 27 memorandum concerning compensation. (Memorandum by Johnson, August 7; Department of State, Central Files, 325.84/8-762)

 

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

Washington, July 28, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.86B/7-2862. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Barrow on July 27 and cleared by Talbot. Komer forwarded this memorandum to Kennedy on July 30 under cover of a note that reads: "The UAR Ambassador's remarks on his return from consultations in Cairo are encouraging evidence that our desire for better relations with Nasser is understood and reciprocated. While Kamel himself has long sought better US/UAR relations, and may be a slightly biased witness, there's little doubt that most of his remarks were under instructions and designed to reach your ears. We'll have a draft reply to Nasser's latest letter for you shortly, plus suggestions for an overture aimed at tacit arms limitations between Israel and the UAR." (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, United Arab Republic, 7/62-8/62)

SUBJECT
United Arab Republic Ambassador's Report of President Nasser's Current Views on United States-United Arab Republic Relations

Enclosed is a memorandum of conversation between United Arab Republic Ambassador Kamel and Assistant Secretary Talbot in which the Ambassador reported the results of his consultations in Cairo./2/ Appended to the memorandum is an account of a portion of the Ambassador's informal discussion with Mr. John R. Barrow, Officer-in-Charge, United Arab Republic-Syrian Affairs, which contains certain supplemental points. The highlights are as follows:

/2/Attached but not printed.

1. United States-United Arab Republic relations are now "good" rather than "normal."

2. Nasser wants full cooperation with President Kennedy within the limits of his non-alignment policy. He understands President Kennedy's internal problems and wants President Kennedy to understand his.

3. The United Arab Republic wants further activation of relations in the economic field, the cultural field and in the international arena, including in the Middle East and Africa.

4. The United Arab Republic wants to keep the Palestine question "in the refrigerator," pointing out, however, that the United States has a reciprocal obligation.

5. It is the established United Arab Republic policy never to attack Israel.

6. The United Arab Republic nevertheless feels it has no choice but to maintain its armed forces in a state of defensive readiness and will go on acquiring arms. It would like to have American arms but feels it cannot afford them now even if we were prepared to change our arms policy.

7. If a plan for general disarmament were agreed upon by the great powers the United Arab Republic "would be a part of it."

8. The United Arab Republic understands the problems in our relations with certain non-aligned countries but feels we should handle the issue of non-alignment with greater clarity and more delicacy.

9. Though ready to cooperate with us to the extent feasible, the United Arab Republic cannot gear its policy to our domestic problems and considers it the obligation of the United States Government to protect the policy of cooperation with the United Arab Republic against domestic critics.

The Ambassador added as a personal comment that the exchange of letters between President Kennedy and President Nasser had been a key factor in the United Arab Republic's change of attitude toward the United States and that this practice should be continued.

William B. Grant/3/

/3/Grant signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.

 

11. Letter From President Kennedy to the Shah of Iran/1/

Washington, August 1, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, President's Office Files, Countries Series, Iran. No classification marking. The Department of State sent this text to the White House on July 27 under cover of a memorandum from Brubeck to Bundy that noted, among other points, that President Kennedy should prepare the Shah for his disappointment at not receiving the military assistance he had requested. The memorandum also reaffirmed the Department of State's belief that the Iranian Government could survive its budget difficulties without U.S. budgetary assistance through a variety of "unpleasant measures." (Department of State, Central Files, 611.88/7-2762) On August 2, the Department of State transmitted the revised text of the letter, as printed here, to the Embassy in Tehran in telegram 97. (Ibid., 788.11/8-262)

Your Imperial Majesty: Your letter of July 9,/2/ with its expression of friendly sentiments toward me and toward the American people, was most welcome. Mrs. Kennedy and I are also delighted with the good news that you are expecting an addition to your family.

/2/In this letter, among other points, the Shah requested military matériel additional to the previously-offered U.S. military assistance package for Iran. (Ibid., 788.5-MSP/7-1762) In a July 18 memorandum to Kennedy, Komer characterized the request as follows: "Not satisfied with the five-year $300 million MAP package and force cut we proposed to him when here, he'd like to shake us down for about $100-$135 million worth more." (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Staff Memoranda, Robert Komer)

I was sorry to hear of the resignation of your able Prime Minister, who had been laboring so diligently to advance Your Majesty's program of progress and reform. I recall from our conversations that you had a high regard for his energy and ability. I feel certain, however, that with Your Majesty's support the new Cabinet will be able to make similar progress, utilizing the accomplishments of its predecessors.

I realize fully the difficult problems faced by your Government in arriving at a State budget for the current year which will be fiscally sound and consistent with economic and social goals recently enunciated by your Government. As you yourself say, the taking of bold decisions and the assumption of great responsibilities will be required if Iran's operating budget is to be successfully drawn up without dependence on foreign subsidies. I have full confidence, however, in Iran's ability to make such decisions and assume such responsibilities, no matter how difficult they may be.

The United States greatly appreciates the highly important strategic location of Iran and your steadfastness in remaining vigilant against the pressures of international communism. In deciding what we both can do to strengthen Iran's national security, however, it is also necessary that your urgent social and economic programs and the resources available to carry them out be taken into account.

Secretary McNamara, with my approval, presented to you in April a program which we believe goes very far toward meeting Iran's most pressing military requirements./3/ The Joint Chiefs of Staff planning team which subsequently visited Iran has developed in consultation with your military advisors a more precise study of the strategic role of the Iranian Armed Forces and the organization, training, and equipment they would require to fulfill this role. I understand that General Twitchell had an opportunity to review this matter with you. You may be certain that the views you expressed to him and those contained in your letter have been studied most carefully. General Twitchell's report, which has taken all the relevant factors into account, is presently under study here. Within a short time Ambassador Holmes and the Chief of our Military Assistance Advisory Group will convey to you further details of our multi-year Military Assistance Plan for Iran and our recommendations for the improvement of your armed forces.

/3/For documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Documents 243-248.

I can assure you that this Military Assistance Plan will represent the utmost effort we can make within the constraints imposed by our own world-wide responsibilities and our desire to assist generously in financing Iran's equally important economic development plans.

I am sure you understand in this connection that we here, like you in Iran, have acute problems in deciding how to spread our limited resources over a large number of requirements. Indeed I personally am often forced to defer or disapprove on these grounds US defense outlays which my own professional military advisors regard as important. It is perhaps some comfort that the totalitarian governments which threaten the peace of the world must often find themselves in much the same kind of quandary.

Let me compliment you personally on the effort you are making to mediate the Pakistan-Afghanistan dispute. I recall expressing to you my concern over the present impasse, following our own abortive attempt to mediate last fall. If you can bring the two sides together, you will have succeeded where we have failed. I wish you every success in this effort.

I also welcome your views on the Kashmir dispute, and intend to give them further thought. As long as the Kashmir dispute continues, neither India nor Pakistan will be able to concentrate their energies and resources to the fullest extent on the basic tasks of internal development and of meeting the threat from the North. The Security Council has again debated the issue, with the results you know. I was encouraged, however, by the statements during the debate of the representatives of both governments of their firm desire to settle their problems peacefully.

As during your visit here, I find your thoughts original and stimulating. I often think of you and your charming Empress, and look forward to seeing you again. Meanwhile, rest assured of our continuing great interest in the security and modernization of Iran.

Sincerely,

John Kennedy/4/

/4/Printed from a copy that indicates President Kennedy signed the original. A typewritten notation on the source text indicates that Kennedy added the handwritten inscription: "I send you my very warmest regards and best wishes."

 

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

Washington, August 3, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.68/8-362. Secret. Drafted by Barrow on August 1.

SUBJECT
Pattern of United Arab Republic Activities as Related to United States Economic Assistance

In response to a request from Mr. Feldman, there is enclosed an informal balance sheet giving in chronological order what we regard as recent favorable developments in our relations with the United Arab Republic as opposed to unfavorable developments./2/ We have arbitrarily chosen as the point of departure, the tapering off of United States-United Arab Republic policy differences over the Congo in the spring and summer, 1961, since the Congo affair was the only major dispute to mar the process of "normalization" of relations with the United Arab Republic that began with the resumption of United States economic assistance in 1959. We feel these listings may be useful in comprehensively illustrating the degree of progress made in pursuing the action program charted by the Administration.

/2/The attached "Chronology of Favorable and Unfavorable United Arab Republic Actions" is not printed.

The balance sheet treatment naturally contains inevitable over-simplifications. Many of the issues listed, if examined in detail, might reflect both favorable and unfavorable elements or uncertainties regarding the future. Moreover it is clear that not all of the favorable developments are entirely attributable to our assistance program. Somewhat more adequate treatment of certain of the situations mentioned is contained in memoranda previously forwarded to you to which references are cited in the enclosure.

Even more importantly, the balance sheet is limited to tangible developments and thus does not reflect adequately the change in atmosphere and tone of our discussions with United Arab Republic leaders. The latter may well be of greater significance to our interests in the long-run. If the Department were to be asked to point to the most significant gain in our relations with the United Arab Republic since economic assistance programs were resumed in 1959, it would say that the progressively increasing disposition of United Arab Republic leaders from President Nasser down the line to consult and be consulted, to be more forthright in discussing issues and exploring solutions to problems, deserves high priority. Whereas formerly we faced a wall of suspicion and reserve, we are gradually working into a position of being able to get sympathetic hearings for our views and to elicit reasonably frank and genuine responses. While still unable to agree with the United Arab Republic on a number of issues, the dog-in-the-manger attitude of past years appears to be giving way to a disposition at least to work toward solutions of problems. In our view this provides a measure of guarantee for the future, even if the hoped-for solutions do not materialize, since the process of solution-seeking itself insures a degree of tranquility and stability.

We recognize that this is still a very fragile and uncertain relationship which might easily be broken by a hasty or ill-considered action, whether on the United Arab Republic's part or on ours. Extreme care must thus be exercised to avoid undue expectations. In his June 21 letter to President Kennedy, President Nasser displayed a willingness to "keep differences within limits not to be exceeded." The precise boundaries of these limits, which naturally might change with time, can only be determined by continuing the process of consultation which our assistance program has made possible. Establishment of a consultative atmosphere, albeit an intangible gain, is in our opinion a persuasive argument in favor of continuing the program of action we have charted.

We are cognizant, of course, that there have also been some disadvantages to this action program. It has aroused uneasiness in Israel and among some of our Western allies who are suspicious of Nasser. It has also aroused deep concern among anti-Nasser Arab leaders who believe, despite our assurances to the contrary, that our assistance makes Nasser appear in the area as our "chosen instrument" and to advance his personal objectives and his "Arab Socialist" policies. However, we expected this reaction when we decided to undertake the program, and we do not believe that it is likely seriously to affect our position in the area, especially as it becomes clearer to the complainants that our assistance to the United Arab Republic in no sense implies that we are abandoning them.

B. Wiener/3/

/3/Wiener signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's stamped signature.

 

13. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant (O'Donnell)/1/

Washington, August 6, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 786A.11/8-662. Confidential. Drafted by Seelye on August 2 and cleared by King, Talbot, Ludlow, and Strong. Sent through Bundy at the White House.

SUBJECT
Possible Visit to the United States of Crown Prince Faysal of Saudi Arabia

Our Embassy at Jidda has been informed by the brother-in-law of Crown Prince Faysal that the latter is considering attending the forthcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly. He is reported also to wish very much to have a visit with the President.

While the continued illness of King Saud may preclude a visit by Prince Faysal to the U.S., we would wish to be able to inform Faysal, should he inquire, that the President would be happy to see him. We have in mind a brief meeting either in Washington or New York, whichever is most convenient for the President.

We believe it important that the President see Faysal if he comes because he is heir to King Saud, whose health is rapidly deteriorating./2/ Faysal is much more intelligent, worldly and sophisticated than his brother, King Saud, and is in a position to exercise considerable influence over the latter. At a time when the King is petulant towards us as a result of our economic aid to Nasser, the King's sworn enemy, a meeting between the President and Faysal could prove most useful.

/2/A note from Komer to McGeorge Bundy, August 6, reads: "I emphatically agree that JFK should express willingness to see Faysal. Since Saud is visibly failing, F. may be the guy we'll be dealing with shortly. In any case, he is much better man than his brother and worth using as a restraining influence. I am assured there will be no repetition whatsoever of protocol fuss with Saud. However, in setting up meeting we should pass word informally [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] that President not interested in sterile repetitions of familiar Saudi complaints re Nasser, etc. but prefers talk about matters on which mutual constructive action feasible. At my request, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] already exploring informally how well this would go down. Without revealing above to State, suggest amending cable as attached." (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Saudi Arabia, 7/62-9/62)

Accordingly we propose dispatching the attached cable authorizing our Embassy at Jidda to respond to an official inquiry that the President would be happy to see him either in Washington or New York whichever appears most appropriate at the time./3/

J.L. Rogers/4/

/3/A typewritten note at the top of the source text indicates that on August 7 the White House approved transmission of the cable, which was sent as telegram 49 to Jidda, August 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 786.11/9-162) On September 1, the Department of State revised its instructions to allow the Embassy in Jidda to initiate such a discussion in conjunction with reports that Faisal planned to attend the U.N. General Assembly session. (Telegram 77 to Jidda; ibid., 786A.11/9-162) On September 6, Hart raised the issue during a conversation with Faisal, who immediately accepted the offer. (Telegram 148 from Jidda, September 7; ibid., 786A.11/9-762)

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

 

14. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, August 7, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.84A/8-762. Secret. Drafted by Strong. An earlier draft of this memorandum, dated July 16, is attached to the source text. A memorandum from Talbot to Rusk through McGhee, July 26, indicates that changes were made in the original draft of the Israeli package to reflect "a meeting of the minds between NEA and Messrs. Bundy, Feldman and Komer of the White House staff." Among other points, the revised version contained "a more positive approach to sale of the Hawk to Israel and an offer of the Hawk to the United Arab Republic (acceptance doubtful) on the same terms as any offer to Israel." (Ibid., 611.84A/7-2662) An August 3 note from Talbot to Rusk indicates that additional changes were made in accordance with suggestions from Rusk on July 31. (Ibid., 611.84A/8-2762)

SUBJECT
Review of United States Policy Toward Israel

An extensive and intensive review of our policy toward Israel has been conducted in recent weeks. We were fortunate in having as part of the review a thorough discussion of all aspects of our policy in the Near East at the Chiefs of Mission Conference in Athens June 12-15. The results of our examination are compatible in all respects with the extraordinary degree of consensus achieved by the Conference, which concluded that the relatively high standing of the United States among the Arabs, while still fragile, provides us with a minor degree of maneuvering room in terms of adjustments in policy with respect to Israel.

From the time we assisted at Israel's birth in 1948 until the present, the United States has had an unusually close relationship with, and has done a great deal for, Israel. We strongly supported Israel's entry into the United Nations in 1949. We encouraged many other nations to recognize Israel and enter into diplomatic relations. Economically, Israel has received assistance from the United States unparalleled elsewhere, amounting to $665.9 million, or roughly $317 per capita, between 1952 and 1962. In addition, Export-Import Bank loans amounting to $209.3 million were granted in this period. We have encouraged Israel to broaden its horizons beyond the confines of the Near East and now find her engaging in commerce and technical assistance programs practically around the world. Over the years the Arabs have been made aware repeatedly of our continuing deep concern for the security and well-being of Israel.

Against this backdrop, Israel seeks from us a close military relationship, a security guarantee specifically formulated for Israel, and access to a wider range of military equipment including specifically the Hawk missile. Frictions that have arisen between Israel and the United States are found in Israel's use of large scale retaliatory raids, Israel's uncooperativeness with the United Nations peacekeeping machinery in the Near East (also true of the Syrians), Israel's (as well as Arab) distrust of Dr. Johnson's mission on the refugee question, the question of sovereignty over Lake Tiberias, Israel's objection to United States initiative toward persuading other states not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, Israel's pursuit of a "direct negotiations" resolution in the United Nations General Assembly, and our policy of restraint on training third country nationals in Israel.

The enclosed memorandum details those measures which we are implementing. In addition, I would appreciate your decision on several recommendations presented in the enclosure. They relate to (a) sale of the Hawk missile to Israel, should there prove to be no possibility within the next two months of achieving (b) an informal understanding on arms limitation for the Near East, and (c) an explanation to Israel of our legal position on the question of sovereignty over Lake Tiberias.

In the near future I shall forward specific proposals for pursuit of an arms limitation arrangement based on work now being done by the Departments of State and Defense.

I believe the measures being taken and those recommended together constitute a well-balanced and feasible policy which duly safeguards United States national security interests and meets Israel's needs realistically.

Dean Rusk/2/

/2/Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.

 

Enclosure/3/

UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD ISRAEL

/3/Secret. The source text bears no drafting information.

The Department is proceeding with Israel as follows:

1. Military Relationship Sought by Israel. We shall avoid establishing any type of special military relationship with Israel. To create what would in effect be a military alliance with Israel would destroy the delicate balance we have so carefully maintained in our Near Eastern relations and would bring insufficient compensatory advantages.

However in our view it would be useful and feasible further to strengthen in the near future assurance given in the President's recent letter to Ben-Gurion of our continuing concern for the security and well-being of Israel. We believe we have in the Tripartite Declaration of 1950 (Tab A)/4/ a suitable vehicle. That Declaration is to all intents and purposes a security guarantee to both Israel and the Arabs. (See paragraph 2. below regarding use of the Tripartite Declaration with the Arabs.) We shall use an early opportunity to reaffirm unilaterally (asking the British and French not to follow our example) that portion of the Declaration dealing with aggression. It might prove useful to link such a strengthened assurance to our negotiations with Israel on the Johnson mission. Our concern is to reduce any urge Israel may feel to undertake a preemptive attack against UAR air and eventually missile installations and/or growing Syrian ground strength. See Tab B./5/

/4/Not attached to the source text. The Tripartite Declaration of 1950 is printed in Department of State Bulletin, June 5, 1950, p. 886. Only Tab J is attached to the source text. Copies of the tabs are in Department of State, NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 304, The Israeli Package, 1962. Tabs B-G and J are in the Supplement, the compilation on Israel.

/5/Tab B is a memorandum entitled "Security Assurance, Reaffirmation of the 1950 Tripartite Declaration."

2. Jordan Waters. The President having assured Israel in writing (Tab K)/6/ of our support for Israel's water program and having received Israel's assurances that its withdrawals will remain within the Johnston plan allocations, we are now in a position to reassure the Arabs that their legitimate water rights are protected and to discourage Arab action against Israel's water scheme. At such time as we shall find it necessary to engage in further quiet diplomatic activity to this end with the Arabs, we expect to find it useful to reaffirm to them that that portion of the Tripartite Declaration of 1950 relating to aggression continues to be an expression of United States policy. In the meantime we shall encourage from behind the scenes Jordanian-Syrian development of the Yarmouk (recently we have had an indication from an important UAR official that the UAR has decided not to embarrass Jordan and Syria over their Yarmouk plan).

/6/Tab K is President Kennedy's June 13 letter to Prime Minister Ben Gurion and Ben Gurion's June 24 response; see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Documents 293 and 308.

3. Strengthening of UN Peacekeeping Machinery. Israel has now expressed its willingness to cooperate more fully with the UN mechanisms in the Near East. Meantime we have studied measures to improve the effectiveness of the UN machinery, and are proceeding along the lines of Tab C./7/ Our efforts will be directed impartially at the Arabs and Israel.

/7/Tab C is a memorandum entitled "Measures To Enhance UNTSO's Effectiveness."

4. Retaliatory Raids. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion has given the President a vague assurance that means other than the retaliatory raid (a response with large forces to an accumulation of small-scale Arab hostile actions, thus escalating the level of conflict considerably), will now be employed in an attempt to prevent serious trouble on Israel's borders. (Ben-Gurion letter at Tab K.) We have informed Ambassador Harman that we interpret Ben-Gurion's letter as a pledge to abandon Israel use of the retaliatory raid. At the same time we recognize that Israeli restraint over the long haul is possible only if the Arabs show control and restraint. We shall intensify our efforts with the Arabs.

5. Dr. Johnson's Mission. In line with the view of the Ambassadors at Athens we have agreed with Dr. Johnson that if possible at least a small start on his project should be made prior to UN General Assembly debate of the UNRWA item. Whether Dr. Johnson will be in a position to proceed toward this objective heavily depends a) on the consent of the President to US support of the project as well as the concurrence in principle of key Congressional leaders, and b) on achievement by the US of a private understanding with Israel. We shall present a proposal to the President shortly./8/

/8/Document 15.

6. Diplomatic Missions in Israel. In line with Ambassador Barbour's recommendation, and with the concurrence of our Ambassadors to the Arab countries, we have informed Ambassador Harman that hereafter we shall take no initiative to persuade other countries to establish missions at Tel Aviv rather than at Jerusalem. However, we retain the right to respond to queries from other states. We shall give the Embassy in Tel Aviv greater latitude in conducting business and accepting social engagements in Jerusalem. This should serve to meet the Israeli complaint. See Tab D./9/

/9/Tab D is a memorandum entitled "Location of Diplomatic Missions in Israel."

7. Direct Negotiations (Brazzaville) Resolution. In mid-June Mr. Feldman informed Ambassador Harman that we expected to be consulted before Israel undertook to campaign for a new direct negotiations resolution in the next General Assembly. However, in his reply to the President, Ben-Gurion stressed the importance Israel attaches to the direct negotiations principle, thus indicating we may have difficulty in persuading Israel to desist. Ambassador Harman recently notified us of Israel's intent to proceed with its campaign. In the view of the Ambassadors at Athens the direct negotiations issue holds danger for the United States. Our first course is to dissuade Israel and other countries from pursuing it. If despite our efforts such a resolution is introduced we shall be prepared to vote (but not campaign) against it provided Dr. Johnson has made some progress and provided it is necessary at the time in support of our tactical position in the debate. Our foreign policy interests clearly would not be served by a vote in favor. We are discussing this issue further with Ambassador Harman. See Tab E./10/

/10/Tab E is a memorandum entitled "United States Position on Arab-Israel Direct Peace Negotiations."

8. Training of Third Country Nationals in Israel. In accordance with the conclusions reached at the Athens Conference we are revising existing instructions to the field to permit, within reason, training of third country nationals in Israel in conjunction with our AID programs, a) provided Israel's training facilities best meet our needs and b) without becoming engaged in the Arab-Israel cold war in Africa. See Tab F./11/

/11/Tab F is a memorandum entitled "Third Country Training in Israel."

Decisions by the President Are Requested on the Following:

A. Sale of Hawk Missile to Israel. Provision of the Hawk would enable Israel to reduce considerably its vulnerability to surprise air attack by low-flying aircraft. Greater confidence in its defenses would permit Israel the better to resist any temptation to engage in preemptive attack against the UAR air strike capability. (Conversely, significant reduction of Israel's vulnerability would remove one deterrent to Israeli preemptive attack.) Principal factors operating against sale of the Hawk are: a) existence of effective deterrents to attack by the UAR and of UAR vulnerabilities and limitations, and absence of conditions requiring or favorable to attack by the UAR; b) problems of production and training schedules, and reactions from allies and friends; and c) a strong preference first to seek Nasser's reaction to a proposal for an arms limitation arrangement.

However, since Israel has a military requirement for the Hawk, since the Hawk is a defensive weapon only and since United States intelligence clearly indicates that the UAR is in the process of obtaining comparable missiles from the USSR, we recommend that if within the next two months there is no serious prospect of an arms limitation arrangement we offer the Hawk to Israel after consultation with the British and discussion with the UAR. (See Tabs G and H)/12/

/12/Tab G is a July 16 memorandum by Strong (NEA/NE) entitled, "Hawk Missile." Tab H is Document 3.

B. Arms Limitation Understanding in the Near East. The Chiefs of Mission Conference at Athens proposed that an effort be made toward such an understanding (see Tab I)./13/ The Conference envisioned face-to-face meetings by the President with Ben-Gurion and Nasser as the initial step. Inevitably many months of delay would be entailed in this approach. Therefore we have in mind preparing a telegram instructing Ambassador Badeau to talk with Nasser in the name of the President, explaining our considerations and seeking a reaction from him. While we are not sanguine, we believe the attempt should be made. A similar approach would be made to Ben-Gurion if Nasser's response so warranted. We shall submit detailed proposals shortly based on work now being done by State and Defense.

/13/Tab I is telegram 1337 from Athens, June 15; see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Document 296.

C. Sovereignty Over Lake Tiberias. We have the choice of letting Israel's public claim to sovereignty over Lake Tiberias go unchallenged, of stating our position publicly, or of stating it either orally or in writing to Israel, privately. At a later date we intend to follow the latter course, with decision as to whether presentation is to be oral or written to be made at the time. The substance, in either event, would be that contained in the draft at Tab J./14/ Informally the Israelis have led us to believe our language will be acceptable to them, though further Israeli attempts to persuade us to their view seem likely.

/14/Tab J is a draft Aide-Mémoire from the U.S. Government to the Israeli Government regarding the U.S. position on sovereignty over Lake Tiberias.

A strategy timetable for implementing our recommendations is at Tab L./15/

/15/Tab L is a memorandum entitled "Strategy and Timetable (Security Assurances, Hawk Missile, Arms Limitation and Sovereignty on Lake Tiberias)."

 

15. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, August 7, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 886.411/8-762. Secret. Drafted by Crawford on August 2.

 

SUBJECT
Dr. Joseph Johnson's Proposals on the Palestine Refugee Problem

Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, Special Representative of the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission, is ready to launch a plan designed to insert the first "thin edge of the wedge" in seeking a solution. This is the result of more than a year's quiet but intensive effort. We seek your general approval and support for Dr. Johnson's proposals and the tentative course of action mapped out for the next few months, as described in the enclosure./2/ If you approve on both counts, we think it desirable that you agree to see Dr. Johnson privately in the next few days to inform him.

/2/At best, this proposal represents a "long shot". The alternative is to do nothing, which has many risks too. DR [Footnote in the source text.]

Dr. Johnson has collaborated closely with the Department of State in preparation of both the plan and the tactics.

Dean Rusk/3/

/3/Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.

Enclosure/4/

/4/Secret. The source text bears no drafting information.

THE JOHNSON PLAN

CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES

1. Background

The PCC-Johnson initiative arose out of humanitarian considerations and:

A. Our wish to break fourteen-year deadlock as a step toward a peaceful solution of the Arab-Israel dispute, consistent with campaign assurances and political realities in the Near East;

B. Our concern that in the absence of progress, extremist elements in the Arab states might seek to use the refugees to "Algerianize" the Arab-Israel dispute;

C. The need, in the face of Congressional demand, to demonstrate action specifically in pursuit of a solution for the refugee problem and offering some eventual prospect of reducing the United States contribution to the refugee relief agency, UNRWA (which has totaled about $300 million and which continues at about $25 million annually, with prospect of steadily mounting requirements as the refugee population increases); and

D. The tactical purpose of expunging our commitments to existing United Nations resolutions on the refugees by an effort at implementation so strictly impartial and reasonable that, even out of failure, we would profit by being in a position to call for consideration of the refugee problem on a wholly new basis and/or gradually disengage the United States from its present financial involvement.

The initiative began with your letters of May 11, 1961, to Arab leaders,/5/ committing United States support to an equitable solution of the problem, and your conversation of May 30, 1961, with Prime Minister Ben-Gurion,/6/ in which the latter reluctantly agreed that an effort at solution was "worth a try". Other significant steps have been: Dr. Johnson's acceptance in August 1961 of appointment as Special Representative of the PCC (France, Turkey, the United States); his first exploratory trip in August-September 1961; the adoption, by an overwhelming majority, of a United States-sponsored resolution at the 16th General Assembly endorsing the PCC's course;/7/ in April-May this year, Johnson's "second round" of quiet discussions with Arab and Israel leaders of alternative approaches to the problem; and Dr. Johnson's discussion with the Department of State, beginning July 17, of proposals for some practical first steps in the direction of final settlement.

/5/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XVII, Document 47.

/6/See ibid., Document 57.

/7/Reference is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1725 (XVI), adopted on December 20, 1961; for text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, pp. 680-681.

2. Essentials of the Johnson Plan

Inasmuch as a negotiated settlement is manifestly unattainable in the foreseeable future, Dr. Johnson envisages backing into the problem in small steps. The first step consists essentially of trying to find out what the possibilities are for repatriation and resettlement. After learning from you that this Government generally approves his proposals and is prepared to give appropriate support, Johnson would submit to the PCC under cover of a Letter of Transmittal (Tab A),/8/ a brief, simple "Plan" (Tab B), supported by an operational "Explanation" (Tab C)./9/ These documents would also be given "confidentially", and for information only, to the governments of the Arab host countries and Israel through their representatives in New York. After PCC approval, and if no categoric dissent has been made by the parties (no prior commitment would be sought from them), the PCC, hopefully about mid-September, would establish a small sub-office in charge of an (Acting) Administrator in United Nations Government House headquarters outside Jerusalem. A Notice would be distributed and Questionnaires would begin to be made available (about a thousand in the first few months, on individual application by mail). These would enable the refugee to make a voluntary expression of initial preference for repatriation to Israel as a law-abiding resident, or for compensation and resettlement in the Arab countries or elsewhere. It would be made clear that preferences would be regarded as confidential by United Nations officials, that they could be changed later, that implementation of preference could not be guaranteed, and that the first forms submitted would be the first processed.

/8/Tab A, entitled "To the Chairman of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine from its Special Representative," is not printed.

/9/Tabs B and C are printed below.

After verification of the refugee's identity, former property holdings, preliminary estimate of amount of compensation or other payments to which he might be entitled, etc., completed questionnaires would form the basis for consultation with the refugee to answer his questions and obtain a definitive statement of preference in the light of the practical alternatives. Administering officials would then begin consultation with the appropriate government to seek implementation. Governments would determine the admissibility of individuals and the number of refugees to be admitted to their territories. Bodies, containing suitable representation from Israel and the Arab states as well as other interested United Nations members who now contribute to the United Nations' Palestine refugee support (this excludes the Soviet Bloc), would be appointed to advise the administering officials (one of the main purposes of this being to assure the country of preference a significant role throughout the screening processes). The Administrator would report periodically on the degree of cooperation received from governments in implementing preferences.

Several "disincentives" to expression of preference for repatriation are built into Johnson's plan. One of the more important is that a United Nations obligation to pay compensation would be assumed only in cases of refugees being resettled outside Israel. For those, compensation would take into account the value of (a) refugees' immovable property, (b) refugees' movable property, (c) communal properties left in what is now Israel, with addition of (d) a payment representing interest on (a). Refugees returning to Israel would be expected to seek restitution for properties lost or damaged through such special procedures as Israel might set up. (Under present Israel law there would be no means for the returning refugee to seek such restitution.) Every refugee would be eligible for a per capita re-integration allowance of $250 upon acceptance of one of the alternatives offered.

As regards the ratio of refugees likely to express preference for resettlement to those opting for re-integration, it is quite possible that, at the first stage of completing the questionnaires, the majority of preferences might be for return to Israel. At the later stage of private interview with the refugee, however, it is expected that the number of persons expressing preference for repatriation would substantially decrease. The ratio in terms of actual movement, which it is believed can be ensured by the interview process and the several administrative and other controls built into the Johnson proposals, is generally expected to be about one refugee repatriated for every nine resettled in the Arab states or elsewhere.

Administrative and staff costs of the plan would be financed from the regular United Nations budget. Program costs, mainly compensation and the re-integration allowance, would be financed by voluntary contributions. Dr. Johnson believes maximum program costs during the first year of the plan's operation (i.e., FY-1963) might be $100 million. Johnson is hopeful that Israel, which has the benefit of the approximately $500 million worth of property left behind by refugees, would contribute $40 million, the United States $30 million, and other nations and private sources $30 million./10/

/10/It would be desirable that this ratio (Israel 40%, the United States 30%, and other sources 30%) be maintained if possible as the basis for contributions in succeeding years if the plan gathers and maintains momentum for the five-ten years which it is estimated would be required to settle permanently all the 1,100,000 refugees now registered. Assuming 100% claims over the decade, Dr. Johnson estimates the costs of the completed operation at about $1.2 billion. Therefore, the United States share, exclusive of what side assistance we provide Israel (much of which would be expected to come from the estimated $225 million in Israel currency which will be accruing to us over the next decade as a result of our past aid programs), might run as high as $360 million or an average of $36 million a year over ten years. In later phases, however, this would be to some extent offset by reductions in our annual $25 million support to UNRWA. [Footnote in the source text.]

3. The United States Role

We have conducted this operation in a United Nations framework and will continue to do so since this will enhance the palatability of Johnson's proposals. In the minds of the parties we are, however, closely identified with the effort. This is desirable as it would not otherwise be taken seriously. Significant elements of our further involvement during the coming year's phase of ascertaining what opportunities for repatriation and resettlement exist would be as follows (a tentative Action Sequence is attached at Tab D):/11/

/11/Attached but not printed.

A. Your assurance to Dr. Johnson that we generally approve and are prepared to give appropriate support to his proposals.

B. Our subsequent assurance to Dr. Johnson personally that we will (1) try to provide up to $30 million in FY-1963 if the plan works in practice, (2) commit ourselves to provide $100,000 of this for use before the end of the current year, (3) help in obtaining financial support from other nations, including Israel, and (4) seek legislative authority for generous United States support of operations under the plan in future years if it works. (We think Congress would be responsive if there is demonstrable progress.)

C. Support of the plan with our co-members of the PCC.

D. Appropriate private communications from you to Ben-Gurion, Nasser, and perhaps Hussein urging their cooperation (see Tab D).

E. Intensive exploration with Israel of means for prompt and equitable hearing of claims of repatriated refugees to indemnification for property lost.

F. Support of the PCC-Johnson initiative at the 17th General Assembly if the plan has not been rejected out-of-hand, including a public declaration if necessary of our willingness to provide up to $30 million in support of the plan during the current fiscal year if it is effective and support is also provided by others and the program requires it.

G. Efforts with Congress and other nations to provide some refugee resettlement opportunities in the United States and elsewhere.

4. Anticipated Israel Objections

Fundamentally, Israel wants no repatriation of refugees and can be expected to try to build resistance among its supporters in this country to any plan involving anything but token repatriation. It argues a "population exchange" has taken place through the admission into Israel of 400,000-500,000 Jews from the Arab states. However, we believe Israel would consider taking back 100,000-150,000 Arabs if (a) the Arab countries are cooperating in resettlement of the remainder, (b) controls are built into the system to guarantee Israel control over the admissibility of individuals and ensure that it alone is free to determine the number of refugees ultimately repatriated, (c) there is assurance of generous United States support in meeting costs of repatriation and settlement in Israel, and (d) there is some further United States move in meeting long-standing Israel objectives, such as a security guarantee.

Israel fears a great number of preferences for repatriation will be recorded. However, the plan does leave in Israel's hands full control, both as regards individuals and in terms of ultimate numbers, of those permitted to return. Israel can without prejudice cease cooperation at any time if the Arab countries do not cooperate in resettlement. What we now contemplate is a small beginning in a process over which it will be possible to exercise full administrative controls (by restraints on distribution and processing of questionnaires, making preferences confidential, guidance interviewing, assuring Israel of a full role in the screening process of each individual refugee, and ultimately by the willingness to restrict if necessary our financial contribution). The plan is clearly weighted in favor of resettlement. We can perhaps further ease Israel's qualms by a secret bilateral assurance that (a) we would not support return of refugees in such numbers as to endanger Israel's security or economic well-being, and (b) we would provide financial help (plus a security assurance). Ultimately, of course, Israel would gain enormously from the dissipation and restoration to useful lives of the 1,100,000 refugees who now constitute a focus of hatred and agitation on its frontiers, thus standing as an important obstacle to Israel's acceptance by its neighbors. We think there is considerable incipient support among Israel's friends in the United States for a fair and practical solution of the refugee problem, provided it can be shown to safeguard Israel's genuine interests and to be likely to promote peace in the Near East.

5. Anticipated Arab Objections

Arab objections will be (a) the absence of a prior commitment in principle by Israel to accept any and all refugees who opt to return, (b) the plan's clear recognition of Israel's existence and sovereignty, and (c) the weighting of the scales by provision for compensation only in the event of resettlement. Individual Arab states will have special concerns; e.g., Lebanon's desire to rid itself of the Moslem refugees threatening its confessional balance; Jordan's apprehension that its 500,000 refugees may endanger the government, which could be charged with "betrayal" of Palestinian interests; the UAR problem with the overcrowded Gaza strip, including the great difficulties it would have in absorbing an appreciable number of refugees into Egypt proper.

Answers to general Arab concerns (a), (b), and (c) are that the Arabs themselves have consistently pressed for implementation of paragraph 11 of Resolution 194 and will have a poor case in world forums if they now back off; this plan offers a better prospect of more repatriation and more generous compensation than they will get any other way; and it has never been decided that the United Nations should assume the same responsibility for facilitating payment of compensation to repatriated refugees as it has under the Resolution for those resettled. This is a reasonable and realistic plan; if the Arabs reject it, another real chance to implement paragraph 11 is unlikely. As with Israel, we think the concerns of individual Arab states can to some extent be dealt with by bilateral United States assurances.

6. Conclusion

United States prestige is already engaged to a considerable degree in this approach to the Palestine refugee problem. Other than through our approval of the plan in the PCC context, we are not suggesting further public commitment unless and until this thin edge of the wedge is a going concern. The same is true of its financial aspects. Elements of the Johnson proposals will be distasteful to both parties, but we think it will stand international examination as the most practical, impartial course, offering greatest real advantages to each side, which could be devised in the circumstances. The parties cannot be expected to agree to it in advance, and we are not seeking this, but acquiescence. Therefore, there is good reason to move quickly on the first small steps. Before the General Assembly debate on the refugees which must take place this fall (and which we hope to delay until mid-November), we have the opportunity to use our involvement to maximum effect, in our effort to ensure acquiescence and have a minimal, controllable structure operating in the area. We rate the chances of success as slight, but they will be even less if nothing has been done before Assembly debate commences. If the plan has not been launched by then, and it is put to the Assembly, discussion there would force its public rejection by one and probably both sides. If something has been gotten under way, on the other hand, we will be in an excellent position, as last year, to ask endorsement and support for it by the Assembly, with rejection of impractical proposals put up for tactical reasons by either party to the dispute. Furthermore, we judge present circumstances to be the best we are likely to obtain for launching this plan for some considerable time to come. This is the case because of new stresses in Israel-Arab relations and Arab-United States relations that we anticipate may occur as the result of Israel's planned water withdrawals from the Jordan system and the possibility that the United States might supply missiles to Israel.

Finally, if we have tried, in a way the international community will regard as honorable and serious, but have failed, our prestige will be high as the nation which has fulfilled its moral responsibility in seeking the fair solution, and we will be in position to urge a new approach to the problem or state our intention gradually to disengage from it.

 

Tab B/12/

/12/Confidential.

"THE PLAN"

PROPOSALS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PARAGRAPH 11 OF UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 194(III) OF 11 DECEMBER 1948

1. Paragraph 11 reads:

Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations.

2. To initiate operations, the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, on authority contained in resolutions of the General Assembly, would, with the approval (or cooperation) of the Secretary-General, appoint such officials as may be needed to administer the proposals described herein. Initially, the senior official should be called Acting Administrator. In due course, an Administrator would be designated. A central office would be established, temporarily, in Government House in Jerusalem.

3. Initial Preferences: The administering officials would first make available to refugees suitable questionnaires on which each could on an entirely voluntary basis indicate confidentially his initial preference for repatriation, or for compensation and resettlement. In the early stages, because of inevitable limitations associated with the start of such a technically complex operation, questionnaires would be available only on application by individuals or heads of family.

4. Consultation: The administering officials would start processing completed questionnaires in order of receipt. This would involve verification of the identity of the refugees; consultation with the Government of Israel to determine opportunities for repatriation and with Arab host governments and others to determine opportunities for resettlement; preliminary computation of the payments to which the refugee might be entitled. As the processing of each questionnaire is completed, the administering officials would communicate with the refugee to inform him of the results, to try to answer his questions, and to obtain a definite statement of preference in the light of this information.

5. Carrying Out Refugee Preferences: On the basis of this definitive statement of preference, the administering officials would set about assisting in implementation, so far as and as soon as possible, in consultation with the appropriate government.

The Acting Administrator would be authorized to designate certain impartial bodies to give advice on controversial matters; such as in cases of disagreement, the admissibility of individuals to the country of preference. Governments would retain the ultimate right to decide on the acceptance of refugees. The Administrator would have the duty to report from time to time on the degree of cooperation received from governments. Depending on these reports, the appropriate United Nations body would consider what, if any, further action to take.

6. Compensation, Assistance in Re-Integration, and Pending: Staff costs for implementing these proposals should be financed from the regular budget of the United Nations. Programme costs, mainly compensation and such financial assistance as the United Nations may provide toward helping the refugee to become self-supporting regardless of where he might ultimately reside, should be financed by voluntary contributions from governments and the general public.

 

Tab C/13/

/13/Confidential.

EXPLANATION OF THE "JOHNSON PLAN"

I. Determination of Refugee Preferences

A. General

1. The proposals advanced for implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly Resolution 194(III) envisage essentially a three-fold process:

--an opportunity for refugees voluntarily to indicate confidentially their initial preference for repatriation, or for compensation and resettlement (see paragraph 4);

--subsequent private consultations with refugees to answer questions as to what in more concrete terms would be involved in individual cases with regard to the preferences just mentioned;

--the implementation of refugee preferences insofar as and as soon as possible.

2. The United Nations as an instrument of international cooperation must have a central role in this endeavor to facilitate the implementation of paragraph 11. In a larger sense, this will involve leadership in launching the process and in keeping it under constant surveillance. Specifically, as administrator of the scheme, the United Nations' function will include consultations with governments concerned and the refugees, exchange of information among the parties concerned, representing refugees before governmental authorities, disbursement of funds, etc. It is very similar in many ways to the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The success of the effort, however, will depend only partly on the United Nations and the skill with which it administers the operation. Success will require cooperation from Israel and the Arab states concerned in compliance with their responsibilities as Members of the United Nations, as well as cooperation from the refugees themselves. Support will also have to be forthcoming from other members of the United Nations and Specialized Agencies, particularly as regards necessary financing.

B. Administration

3. To initiate operations, it is proposed that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, on authority contained in existing resolutions, should with the approval of the Secretary General appoint such officials as may be needed to administer the scheme. The senior of these should initially be designated Acting Administrator. As operations progress and demands on the staff increase, the administrative network would be expanded and an Administrator designated. Headquarters should temporarily be established in Government House in Jerusalem. Staff costs should be financed from the regular budget of the United Nations. Program costs should come from voluntary contributions from Members of the United Nations and Specialized Agencies. The United Nations administering officials should be accorded the usual facilities, privileges, and immunities normally available to any United Nations entity. The Acting Administrator should be authorized to invite certain Member Governments, including notably the Arab host states and Israel, to designate representatives upon whom he could call for advice.

C. Initial Preferences

4. As soon as possible after the necessary staff have been appointed, refugees should be invited to indicate their initial preferences for repatriation, or for compensation and resettlement. This would be accomplished by an appropriate notice and questionnaire, and such other means as may be indicated, to make clear to the refugee:

(a) the intent of the operation--namely, to implement paragraph 11 insofar as and as soon as possible;

(b) the general outlines of the plan; and

(c) the role of the United Nations administering officials.

The submission of completed questionnaires would be an entirely voluntary act by the refugees, and they should be assured that the administering officials will treat information received as confidential. They would also be assured that they could change their minds later. While at this stage preferences would be essentially between a return or not, as envisaged in the first part of paragraph 11, it might speed the subsequent processing applications if refugees were also afforded a chance to be somewhat more specific in their options. For example, the refugee ought to have a chance to indicate whether, in the event he cannot return to his former home (in the sense of domicile), he nonetheless wishes to return to some similar or adjacent place in what is now Israel and seek from the competent Israel authorities compensation for his property, or whether in such event he would prefer to receive compensation and settle in the Arab world or elsewhere. In the latter eventuality he may also wish to indicate more precisely where he would wish to resettle. The proposed texts of the (a) Notice, (b) Preference Questionnaire, and (c) Property Questionnaire which would be made available to the refugees will be found in Annex A./14/

/14/Attached but not printed are a "Notice to all Palestine Refugees," a "United Nations Preference Questionnaire," and a "Property Questionnaire."

To the extent possible, provision should be made for refugees to respond as members of a family, if they wish to do so. At present it seems likely that some refugees would prefer to return or resettle only as members of a family, but that others would prefer to act as individuals.

5. In the beginning, because of inevitable limitations associated with the start of such a technically complex operation, questionnaires would be available only on application by individuals or heads of family. Completed questionnaires would, similarly, be returned to the appropriate administering officials, and they would be dealt with in order of receipt. It would be explained that the processing of the first questionnaires received would of necessity be a comparatively slow process until sufficient qualified staff had been recruited and routine administrative procedures had been developed and made efficient through experience. Later, when administrative details had become routine, and adequate cooperation was assured, questionnaires might be made more widely and readily available, such as through UNRWA in essentially the same manner as has already been done in the case of application forms for the release of blocked accounts. The Acting Administrator might also then begin establishing branch offices in areas where refugees are located. These offices could provide the services of confidential scribes (Arabic speaking but not from the area) to refugees who cannot read or write and would also facilitate the process of consultation described immediately below. It could be assumed that when this stage is reached the processing of questionnaires would proceed rapidly, although it must always be expected that there will be some purely administrative limit to the number of questionnaires that even the most efficient organization could deal with in any year.

D. Consultation

6. As questionnaires are returned, the administering officials would start processing them. This would involve mainly:

(a) Verification of the identity of refugees by such means as may be available, including comparison with the records of the Conciliation Commission which would by that time have been made available to the administering officials;

(b) If the refugee's initial preference were to return, the administering officials would proceed to determine by the means available to them, including consultations with the Government of Israel, the possibilities thereof. This would involve putting together information concerning the former home of the refugee, the alternative places where he might be repatriated in Israel if his home does not exist, and the financial assistance to which he might be entitled;

(c) If the refugee's preference were to accept compensation and settle outside what is now Israel, the administering officials would proceed to determine the possibilities thereof by means available to them, including consultation with the governments of the Arab or other states where the refugee might have indicated that he would wish to resettle. This would involve putting together information generally similar to that required in the case of an option in favor of repatriation (see b above);

(d) The administering officials would endeavor to establish on a preliminary basis the general magnitude of the compensation or other financial assistance to which the refugee would be entitled.

7. Having completed this process, the administering officials would then communicate with the refugee indicating a readiness to respond to questions and to discuss what he might expect with regard to his initial preference.

8. The refugee would then be invited to indicate definitively his wishes in order of preference. The invitation would make clear that the refugee could freely state his preference (or not express any preference for the time being), but that he might not get his first preference.

II. Carrying Out Refugee Preferences

A. General

9. As soon as the refugee had indicated a preference on the basis of information made available to him during the consultation stage, the administering officials would then endeavor to secure its timely implementation, in cooperation with the governments concerned.

B. Repatriation

10. By the time this stage was reached, the Administrator would have established, with the Government of Israel, detailed procedures for the processing of the applications for repatriation. The administering officials, initially at least, would perform essentially a coordinating and catalytic function between the Israel authorities and the refugees. The Israel authorities would naturally wish to reassure themselves that there is no a priori reason why the refugee should not be admitted on security grounds. The refugee for his part would naturally have to undertake to live as a law-abiding resident of Israel. Israel has, with other sovereign states, the power to decide which individuals may be admitted; paragraph 11, however, clearly creates with regard to the refugees a special situation. It is, therefore, proposed that the Administrator designate or create a body to which cases where disagreement arises on admissibility of individual refugees can be referred for impartial opinion. Israel would still have to make the ultimate decision. The Administrator should regularly include in his reports information on the disposition of such cases.

11. Once refugees are admitted to Israel it will no doubt be in Israel's interest to see to it that the administering officials have every opportunity to inform themselves regarding the treatment afforded to the refugees. While it is to be hoped that the effective implementation of paragraph 11 will lead to the improvement of relations between Israel and her Arab neighbors, it would be unwise to overlook the fact that these relations are not normal. In this situation the Administrator as an impartial observer will perform an obviously useful function.

12. It will be noted that nothing has been said about the number of refugees who might be admitted to Israel in any year or in the long run. Establishing such ceiling figures as part of the suggestions herein advanced would appear to be contrary to both the letter and the spirit of paragraph 11. In line with the basic assumptions noted above, however, Israel will of necessity always have the right to make the decision as to how many refugees can be admitted both in any given period and ultimately. It is to be expected that in so doing Israel will act in good faith. The Administrator and ultimately the Assembly will, of course, retain the responsibility for making a judgment as to whether Israel is doing so.

C. Compensation and Re-Integration Allowance

13. The United Nations will assist in ensuring that compensation for properties left behind in what is now Israel be paid to those refugees who owned such property and who prefer not to return. Such compensation will be calculated by the administering officials on the basis of the following factors:

(a) the value in 1947-48 of immovable property left behind by the refugee when he departed from his home;

(b) an estimate of the value of movable property;

(c) adjustment for the loss of interest on immovable property;

(d) the value of communal property.

If wisely used, compensation would contribute to the development of the society or country where invested and would help to provide jobs for the non-propertied refugees so that, with the help of a re-integration allowance, they could take an honorable and productive place wherever they live.

14. The United Nations should endeavor to provide to all the Palestine refugees, at the time when their preference is implemented and on a per capita basis, a re-integration allowance. This allowance would serve in lieu of compensation for the disturbance factor in the refugees' lives and would also assist each refugee family in becoming self-supporting wherever it lived. The amount of re-integration allowance paid to each refugee should be the same; it is suggested this be the current equivalent of US $250 per person.

15. Compensation and the re-integration allowance should be paid from a special fund established for the purpose by the General Assembly, the Administrator to have as one of his primary functions the administration of the compensation and re-integration funds. The international community would be invited to contribute to the fund on a voluntary basis. Contributors might include not only governments of States Members of the United Nations and of the Specialized Agencies but also the general public. As the property for which compensation will be paid is now in Israel, it is assumed that Israel will make a substantial contribution.

16. It is suggested that a basic principle of compensation of Palestine refugees should be that it is paid to individuals. It is, of course, appreciated that governments have an interest in this matter and have the power to establish such conditions on the use of compensation payments and re-integration allowances by the inhabitants of their territory as they may feel would be desirable in terms of their countries' economic well-being, and the self-support of individual refugees. It would be a duty of the Acting Administrator to work out with the governments concerned arrangements designed to assist in the achievement of these objectives.

17. With regard to compensation for communal property, it is suggested that this might well be paid to the governments concerned approximately in proportion to the number of refugees who settle in the country and for use in assisting them as needed.

18. There may be some refugees returning to what is now Israel who when they left owned immovable property there, and whose immovable property has been destroyed, damaged, or is not available to them. If such refugees seek compensation for these properties, they will do so from the appropriate authorities of Israel. The manner in which these claims are dealt with obviously will affect greatly the reintegration of these refugees as citizens of Israel. Israel should be urged to act on such compensation claims expeditiously and with sympathy. It is hoped that Members of the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies will assist Israel financially to this end.

19. The operation of the scheme would be facilitated if Israel were to provide through the administering officials assurances that its Arab citizens would have a certain priority in acquiring, through purchase, the lands and other properties of refugees who prefer not to return but to claim compensation. In the circumstances that prevail in this area, this would have at least two advantages: it would help to satisfy the land hunger of Israel's Arab citizens and it would encourage acceptance of compensation by refugees who would otherwise be loath to take it because it might be regarded as "sale of a birth right". Assurances that their lands and properties might remain in Arab hands, although these Arabs were citizens of Israel, would help to remove this psychological obstacle.

D. Resettlement of Those Choosing Not To Return

20. As in the case of repatriation, the administering officials would start processing applications for compensation and resettlement as soon as received, and at the same time would start consultations with the governments concerned with regard to opportunities for the resettlement of refugees who had indicated this course as their preference. This would involve essentially the same kind of administrative action between the State or States concerned and the refugees as in the case of repatriation. The Administrator may find it advisable to establish procedures designed to safeguard the states of potential resettlement. Also, and as in the case of repatriation, the Administrator and ultimately the Assembly would have the obligation to judge whether the states concerned were cooperating in the implementation of the paragraph.

21. It is, of course, to be appreciated that conditions among the Arab states, and in particular their potential for accepting refugees for resettlement on a permanent basis, differ.

22. In the cases of refugees who would prefer to resettle in states other than those where they now are, in or outside the Arab world, procedures would have to be negotiated. It is, of course, to be hoped that those states will cooperate in assisting such resettlement on humanitarian grounds, as they now cooperate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees when he seeks from them opportunities for the emigration of refugees.

 

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

Washington, August 9, 1962.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 886.411/8-962. Secret. Drafted by Crawford and cleared by Buffum, Strong, and Talbot.

 

SUBJECT
Consequences for the United States of Rejection of Dr. Johnson's Proposals

On August 8 you asked Mr. Talbot for the Department's views on this, requesting that they reach you by August 9 for consideration by the President in his review of Dr. Johnson's proposals.

Alternative I

(If Plan Implementation is Impossible but Responsibility for Rejection is Unclear)

Both the Arabs and Israelis will find elements of the Johnson proposals distasteful. Johnson has devised a clever formula requiring acquiescence rather than approval, but either side might regard the proposals as so unpalatable as to lead it to try to defeat the entire venture. Neither party, however, will wish to be caught before the world opinion in a posture of open intransigence. Therefore, firm decision(s) not to cooperate would probably be manifested not by public rejection(s) but by (1) effort(s) to place the blame on the other side, (2) subtle or not so subtle sabotage,/2/ and/or (3) charges that Johnson's proposals are partisan.

/2/This has occurred already (Cf. Israel's leak of an alleged Presidential-Ben-Gurion "numbers formula" in April 1961; Israel's current "black" propaganda designed to whip up the refugees against the Arab governments and prevent cooperation with Johnson; and Iraqi and Communist allegations that Johnson's forthcoming proposals are the result of a Zionist-inspired "deal" by the United States and Israel to "liquidate" the Palestine problem.) [Footnote in the source text.]

Johnson's proposals are so realistic, safe, and admirably balanced that we doubt charges against him would stick under international scrutiny in the General Assembly. In fact, the party leveling such charges would put itself in a bad light. Moves along the lines of (1) and (2) are probable (even if the parties ultimately cooperate). In this situation there would be propaganda charges and countercharges and responsibility for rejection would be fuzzed. We consider this the situation we are most likely to confront if Johnson's acquiescence formula does not work.

If this occurs, we would still be well on our way to achieving our secondary objective. In our posture of being the party which put its shoulder to the wheel of an effort at realistic solution of the refugee problem--truly impartial but regrettably unsuccessful--we would be in a strong position in this fall's scheduled General Assembly debate. Depending on what we deemed most advantageous after careful consideration within this Government and with the other principal contributors to UNRWA, we would have won freedom of action to take the lead in such alternative courses as (a) declaring Resolution 194 unimplementable and disbanding the Conciliation Commission, (b) calling for a new basic United Nations resolution in regard to the refugee problem and the Arab-Israel dispute as a whole, (c) pressing for revision of UNRWA's responsibilities and operations to provide for a gradual reduction of the United States contribution and our eventual disengagement from the problem, and (d) organizing opposition to unrealistic proposals likely to disrupt area stability (Arab demands for appointment of a custodian of refugee properties in Israel; Israel's demands for peace negotiations on its terms).

We see no foreign policy disadvantages under this set of circumstances. If our freer hand in the General Assembly did result in that body's taking a tougher line on UNRWA and a clear United States intention gradually to disengage from the problem was demonstrated, the Arabs (and possibly Israel as well) would be temporarily hostile, but they would not have the grounds for opposing our intentions that they would have if Johnson's proposals were not tried.

Alternative II

(If Both Arabs and Israelis Reject)

We think this is unlikely, but the consequences would be the same as in Alternative I with clear net advantage for the United States.

Alternative III

(If Arabs Reject)

After Alternative I, this is the next most likely situation we might face, since the Arabs may (however reluctantly) feel that considerations of "face" force them to reject the proposals in the absence of satisfaction on their standing demand that there be a prior declaration by Israel that it accepts in principle the "right" of every refugee to return. If they should feel compelled into such public rejection, rejection will be accompanied by accusations that the plan was inevitably biased as the result of the PCC's "pro-Israel" membership, that the entire initiative was a cynical "Zionist-inspired" conspiracy by the United States to back out of its "responsibilities" to the refugees, etc. Again, we think the balance and realism of the proposals are such that the Arabs would find scant support for these charges in the Assembly, and we would achieve our secondary goal (gaining of greater freedom of action) with its attendant advantages and absence of disadvantages as specified under Alternative I. As our moral and public posture would be strong (i.e., that we had tried conscientiously to implement a resolution which the Arabs have pressed for fourteen years only to be faced by their rejection of this reasonable effort), we think whatever Arab cries of anguish did result would be short-lived and not significantly disruptive in terms of our broad relations with the Arab states. There would be the possibility of disturbances among the refugees, but we believe the Arab governments would find it in their interest to control these. (Whatever course we chose to take in regard to the refugee problem in the General Assembly would necessarily have to be designed to minimize this possibility and ensure that the plight of the refugees was not worsened.)

Alternative IV

(If Israel Rejects)

Open rejection by Israel alone might be embarrassing to the United States, as we would presumably be faced by Arab demands to force Israel's cooperation. Such open rejection, however, is extremely unlikely. Israel has at hand a number of means of shifting the blame to the Arabs, of dragging its feet, of creating tactical diversions, etc., which it would not hesitate to use to avoid the onus of intransigence if it felt compelled actively to obstruct implementation of the Johnson proposals. Since, of course, our primary objective is to resolve the refugee problem, our efforts should go to ensuring Israel's cooperation and forestalling its recourse to such obstructive tactics.

Conclusion

If we play out this endeavor on the same impartial, moral track we have pursued thus far, we think that, win or lose, there will be no advantage in terms of our future relationship to the refugee problem. The same holds true for our dealings on this subject with Congress, which has become increasingly restive over the years with lack of decisive United States diplomatic action to move the problem from dead center.

A.E. Breisky/3/

/3/Breisky signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.

 

17. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Talbot) to the President's Deputy Special Counsel (Feldman)/1/

Washington, August 9, 1962.

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 8/10/62-8/16/62. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Crawford.

 

SUBJECT
Considerations Relating to Use of a Presidential Emissary to Secure Israel's Cooperation in Implementation of the Johnson Proposals

There would be hazards for us in this, but also advantages. We think the latter would outweigh the former, with real gain for Dr. Johnson's proposals, provided:

1. There is no publicity on the emissary's visit to Israel and, of course, absolute secrecy regarding his talks with Ben-Gurion.

Rationale: Whatever the cover story invented, an open visit to Israel by a member of the President's staff at this time would sooner or later be connected by the Arabs with the Johnson proposals. When the connection was made, moderate Arab leaders would almost certainly be forced into rejection of the Johnson plan, as extremists would charge that it was the result of United States-Israel collusion. The Israelis might choose to leak the story to bring about just this Arab reaction. Therefore, security should be so good and knowledge of the visit so restricted that the Israelis will not dare leak it, knowing that if they did so we would consider there had been violation of Presidential confidence.

2. Our resolve on the quid pro quo is firm and remains firm. The deal would have to be (a) Hawks, subject to progress on an Israel-UAR arms limitation, (b) security guarantee (in the form of a specific, unilateral United States reaffirmation of paragraph 3 of the 1950 Tripartite Declaration), (c) assurance of financial help in meeting Israel's contributions to refugee compensation and in reintegration of refugees who are repatriated, and (d) if absolutely essential, a secretly agreed ceiling on refugee repatriation, in exchange for (a) Ben-Gurion's pledge of cooperation in Johnson's plan, including establishment of procedures for prompt and equitable hearing of compensation claims submitted by returning refugees; and (b) assurances that Israel will drop the direct negotiations resolution this year.

Rationale: We judge Ben-Gurion to be increasingly confident that he will get the Hawk and perhaps even a security guarantee regardless of how he helps us at this time. Unless he is convinced we are not bluffing about withholding these if he does not cooperate on the Johnson plan, he will be the more likely to feel he can risk non-cooperation in, or sabotage of, the refugee plan. Ben-Gurion is a hard bargainer and can be dealt with successfully only on the basis of hard bargaining.

3. A strong effort is made to avoid having to commit ourselves on a repatriation ceiling and, if we are forced to fall back, the resulting Presidential assurance is oral and is discussed with no one in Israel except Ben-Gurion.

Rationale: Offering Ben-Gurion a ceiling on repatriation will put us in his hands. By leaking this and knowledge of the emissary's visit, he could ensure Arab rejection of the Johnson plan. (He tried this after seeing the President in May 1961 but failed because there was almost nothing to sabotage--the Johnson mission had not yet been created--and we promptly and publicly denied the story.) We would then have failed not only in the primary objective (solving the refugee problem) but also in the secondary objective (building out of failure a strong moral position to disengage gradually) in undertaking this initiative. As in (1), and even more on this point, greatly restricted knowledge of the ceiling will be good insurance against the Israelis taking the risk of leaking the story.

The great advantages, of course, of the Presidential emissary approach are: (1) from Israel's point of view (a) it affords a secret shot at the plan before it is ever made public, and (b) Israel gets some very important returns if it cooperates; (2) for the foregoing reasons we have a far better chance of gaining Israel's cooperation than would otherwise be the case. Ben-Gurion has made it clear he favors this kind of ultra-secret personal diplomacy, and would give much more weight to the words of a man close to the President; and (3) it is difficult to negotiate a complicated issue by letter./2/

/2/A memorandum entitled "Suggested Approach and Talking Points," drafted by Crawford and Strong on August 16, was apparently prepared for Feldman's guidance. (Department of State, NEA/IAI Files: Lot 70 D 304, Security Guarantee for Israel, 1963) For text, see the Supplement, the compilation on the Arab-Israeli dispute.

 

 


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