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U.S. Department of State

Department Seal FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES
1964-1968, Volume XVIII
Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1964-67

Department of State
Washington, DC

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

Washington, November 21, 1966, 4:14 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN/UN. Confidential; Priority. Drafted and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Tel Aviv and Amman.

88377. 1. Evron called on Assistant Secretary Sisco on Sunday/2/ to discuss current status of discussions in New York on Security Council resolution. He stressed two points in particular: (a) that we disabuse members of the Security Council that in final analysis we would support original Nigerian text; and (b) that regardless of what the United States might think about the retaliatory Israeli action against Jordan, the important thing was peace in the Middle East and that a completely one-sided Security Council resolution would only add to sense of demoralization and frustration in Israel.

/2/November 20.

2. Sisco responded that he appreciated the points made, and that we too are anxious that the Security Council act in such a way as to promote peace in the area. We have suggested changes in Nigerian draft to give it better balance. Sisco promised to convey above views expressed by Evron to Goldberg on Monday.

3. Evron also seemed particularly concerned over fact that neither British nor French were being helpful at present time, and he seemed to realize that US efforts to introduce some balance to resolution would be difficult.

Rusk

 

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

Washington, November 21, 1966, 4:21 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, INR Historical Files, Roger Channel Telegrams, Cairo. Secret; Roger Channel; Special Handling. Approved by the Secretary. A draft of the telegram was sent to Rusk with a November 10 memorandum from Hare setting forth its background. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL UAR-US)

88396. Eyes only for the Ambassador from the Secretary.

1. A New York lawyer for ALCO, Mr. James Birdsall, has recently reported to Department substance of a lengthy conversation he had with Nasser in Cairo on October 12./2/ Main thrust of conversation was reaffirmation of desire maintain good relations with US, arguments aimed at demonstrating that US and UAR had many common interests in area and request that USG exert new initiative to resolve Yemen impasse. There was strong plea for resumption PL 480 wheat shipments and expectable indications of what Nasser and UAR would do to be helpful if wheat forthcoming. Disturbing element was Nasser's statement to Birdsall that within last 18 months to two years he had become convinced that US determined overthrow his government and possibly go so far as to assassinate him. He added that "he had indisputable evidence that within the last several months agents of the CIA had entered into a conspiracy with Egyptians aimed at his assassination and violent overthrow of his government." He said he would be prepared to disclose evidence and to discuss matter with any representative of USG.

/2/Hare's November 10 memorandum states that Birdsall's memorandum of the conversation (not found) had been shown to and discussed with James Critchfield of the Central Intelligence Agency, who state that "CIA is involved in no operations in the area which could in any way be interpreted by the Egyptians as 'evidence' of the kind they claim they have." Hare noted that although it was highly unusual for a Chief of State to communicate through a private individual, Nasser had since 1952 had significant conversations with prominent but non-official Americans such as Robert Anderson. Hare thought they should take Nasser's statements seriously and act on the assumption that he would expect a response.

2. In same conversation Nasser, while not accusing you of being active participant in any "plot," said he had no evidence that you not aware of plot. Birdsall's answers were responsible, forthright, and adroit. He refused as private citizen examine any so-called "evidence" and said only he would convey Nasser's concern to USG. Problem of UAR suspicions of USG intentions is one with which both you and we have been wrestling for many months. We have no illusions that any single action on our part can in itself reestablish new atmosphere of mutual evidence. At same time we feel that Nasser's open-ended offer disclose "evidence" to a USG official carries with it an opportunity that should not be cast aside.

3. I believe it would be appropriate, unless you perceive serious objection, for you to see Nasser to make following points:

a. It has been brought to attention of USG that reports have reached the highest levels of the GUAR to the effect that the USG is involved in an alleged "plot" to interfere directly in the internal affairs of the UAR in opposition to President Nasser and his government.

b. You have been personally authorized by me to deny categorically the authenticity of such reports and to assure Nasser that the USG has no intention or desire to interfere in the UAR's internal affairs.

c. I want President Nasser to know of my concern at this indication of an obstacle to confidence between our two Governments and my belief that it is to the interest of both countries that this matter be expeditiously dealt with.

d. I believe that these reports and accompanying material should be subjected to joint scrutiny by competent intelligence technicians from the US and the UAR. I would like to send a high-ranking and responsible official of the Central Intelligence Agency to Cairo to discuss this matter with the appropriate UAR authorities and carefully to examine and comment on any material which the UAR may wish to make available to him. [2 lines of source text not declassified]

e. The USG would give serious consideration to any alternative suggestions which President Nasser might care to make as we strongly desire to set the record straight as quickly as possible./3/

/3/Battle reported in telegram 3300 from Cairo, undated, received on December 11, that he raised the subject with Nasser on December 10. He followed paragraphs 3a through e of telegram 88396 closely, telling Nasser that he was following Rusk's personal instruction. Nasser said immediately he had no feeling that Battle was personally involved. Battle thought he seemed "extremely surprised at the subject of our conversation and a little flustered." When Battle pressed him to make available the evidence he had mentioned, he replied that except for the Mustapha Amin case, he had not had anything for perhaps 2 years. Nasser made numerous efforts to change the subject and indicated no willingness to pursue the matter with Battle or anyone else. Battle thought he either had no evidence or was uncertain about making it available. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 UAR)

Rusk

 

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

Washington, November 21, 1966, 8:44 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN/UN. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Campbell; cleared by Wolle and in substance by Brown, Sisco, and Davies; and approved and initialed by Atherton. Repeated to USUN, Tel Aviv, London, Moscow, Cairo, Paris, Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, Kuwait, Jidda, Jerusalem, and UNCINCMEAFSA.

88812. Ref Amman 1177./2/

/2/Telegram 1177 from Amman, November 20, reported that Foreign Minister Zu'aiter called in Burns to urge U.S. support for an African draft resolution condemning Israel and to complain that a U.S. draft resolution contained "irrelevant" references to Israel-Syria border incidents. (Ibid.)

1. We fully share concern of GOJ over continuing unrest in Jordan and hope that strong action by SC will have calming influence upon situation. While Nigerian-type resolution with loose talk about sanctions under Chapter VII might have some heady effect for moment, we have been working on assumption that resolution containing ref to "cessation of violent acts from either side of line" would add some greater element of balance and would have greater long-term influence on general overall problem of peace in area.

2. Accordingly, in discussing with Zu'aiter Dept's reaction to his demarche on SC resolution, you should note our conviction that there will be no peace in area as long as Israel is subject to recurring Fatah type raids taking place despite Jordan's best efforts so far to prevent them and it difficult isolate Nov 13 incident from them. In seeking to create better understanding within GOJ of motives and objectives of US moves so far in Council, Embassy should draw as appropriate on para 4 of USUN 2491 and on USUN 2411./3/ Para 7 of latter will serve as general outline of background of our approach to problem in SC and may so be used. Embassy should not however refer specifically to our initial draft which is now outdated. Although we do not wish to refer to "terrorist activities" as such,/4/ we believe some language clearly covering Fatah-type raids should be included, although there would be no implication Jordan was to blame for them. Consultations at UN today, reported by USUN septel, indicate approach of this nature urgent since Nigerian Permrep plans to table resolution strongly favorable to Jordan, condemning action of Israel but containing language following closely along lines of last preambular paragraph of our draft (USUN 2493)./5/

/3/Telegram 2491 from USUN is dated November 19. (Ibid., POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN/UN) Telegram 2411 was not found.

/4/Telegram 88974 to Amman, November 22, instructed the Embassy to substitute the words "Although reference to 'terrorist activities' as such no longer possible in light of sentiment of Council," for the opening clause of this sentence. (Ibid.)

/5/Dated November 19. (Ibid.)

3. Dept commends your initiative in approaching Fonmin on El-Farra actions. We believe you should again express hope instructions have been sent to him since he again on Nov 21 saw fit to link US position in SC to domestic political considerations./6/

/6/Telegram 1217 from Amman, November 22, reported that since Tell had indicated he did not want to seem to dictate to El-Farra by instructing him on details, the Embassy thought it would be counterproductive to press him to send further instructions. (Ibid., POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN)

Rusk

 

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

Washington, November 22, 1966, 10:24 a.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Davies on November 21 and approved and initialed by Rusk. Repeated to Amman and USUN.

88940. For the Ambassador only. Secretary saw Ambassador Harman morning 21st/2/ to convey through him President's concern over Israeli raid into Jordan and its impact on King Hussein's position in Jordan. Secretary said we aware dilemma faced by Israel in coping with terror incidents but that the raid was disproportionate to problem. It was launched without consultation with us although just two weeks earlier we had stood firmly with Israel in the Security Council on this very problem. Israel's action has put Jordan Government under heavy pressure and both our interests and Israel's have been adversely affected. Secretary made clear that a recurrence of action across armistice lines could bring re-examination of our decision to sell certain military equipment to Israel./3/

/2/A memorandum of the conversation is filed with a memorandum of November 21 from Read to Rusk telling him that the President had sent word through Rostow that he would prefer Rusk to call in Harman and deliver the warning against further Israeli reprisals. It also states, "Apparently the President looks with favor on the idea of a border sealing and hopes we can encourage the Israelis and the Arabs to promote this action." (Ibid., POL ISR-US)

/3/In telegram 88827 to Tel Aviv and Amman, November 21, Rusk informed Barbour and Burns that Komer had made this point to Harman and warned them that no indication of this should be given to the Jordanians. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB-ISR)

Secretary said he welcomed statement by Prime Minister Eshkol as carried Monday's newspapers that Israel would seek to strengthen border security measures to prevent infiltration. Israel faces basically police problem, and police measures rather than disproportionate military attacks were the answer.

Harman said President's thoughts would be conveyed immediately to Jerusalem. He had however just received message from Prime Minister/4/ concerning USG distress over November 13 incident which he then read. Message opened with statement relief at news President's swift and resilient recovery and expression appreciation for meaning President's leadership for cause world peace and advancement human welfare. Noted Prime Minister's distress at course which events have taken since disturbances of November 12 and 13 and stated USG views being studied with utmost respect. Following lengthy recapitulation events in Israel and Security Council which led to Israel's decision to take action in response to November 12 incident, Prime Minister stated he felt refusal to act would not only demoralize his people but also open way for new attacks by terrorist groups. What was planned as limited local action turned out differently owing to arrival of Arab Legion infantry who unexpectedly engaged Israeli unit at close range. Repeated details attack as given by General Rabin to Barbour (Tel Aviv's 1742)./5/ In regard to future Prime Minister wished President to know he has ordered study be made and action be taken in regard methods of improving Israel's static defense. Prime Minister stated central point is that Israel's basic policy has not changed. It stands by armistice agreement, supports status quo, and sovereignty and integrity of existing states. Prime Minister invited understanding of President for dilemma in which Israel found itself. Message closes with strong appeal for US support to prevent SC resolution which utterly ignores Israel's losses, anxieties and difficulties.

/4/The message, stated in the third person, dated November 21, is filed with a covering memorandum of November 22 from Rostow to the President, which notes that Evron called on Rostow that day, underlined the shock felt in Israel at the consequences of the raid, and reaffirmed that the Israeli Government was "beginning to think seriously about more effective passive defense." (Johnson Library, National Security File, Special Head of State Correspondence File, Israel)

/5/Dated November 21. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN)

Following Harman's presentation Secretary stated he still could not understand how Israel so misread situation as not to realize even limited action would seriously endanger Jordan Government and moderate policies it pursued. That Israel's action got out of control and escalated brought to his mind three incidents where escalation had or could have occurred. First occurred last year when infiltrators crossed from Pakistan-held territory into Indian-held Kashmir to harass area. Action taken by GOP without consultation with us brought move into Pakistan-held territory by Indian forces, again without consultation with us. Rate of escalation such we had no means to use our influence with either party. When cease-fire agreement finally came we were "fifteen minutes" from Congressional resolution which would have barred all further aid to India and Pakistan.

In matters involving U.S. we have practiced restraint in order to avoid escalation to extent possible. Despite heavy infiltration of North Viet Nam forces into south we waited five years before ordering bombing of supply points and routes in north. In effect, there was a five-year pause during which we sought other solutions. At present, almost every week, there are armed forays from Cambodia against us in Viet Nam. We know Prince Sihanouk does not condone actions and that he lacks military force to prevent them. Yet, because of position in which he would be put, we do not strike at our enemy in Cambodian territory.

Secretary noted that recently when six U.S. soldiers killed south of demilitarized zone in Korea we did not launch retaliatory action against north. Restraint is essential to avoid escalation and to build up prospects of peace. And yet, restraint and moderation are the most difficult of postures for any government to assume.

Ambassador Harman said Israel faces most difficult problem. Terror incidents occur on doorstep rather than miles away as in Kashmir. Its 800-mile frontier across extremely difficult terrain is guarded by only small conscript army. Government had increased length military service to make more men available for security patrols. Frontier villages employing night guards at their own expense. All this created "siege atmosphere" and made for most difficult way of life for Israeli citizens. Arab actions seem indication of policy of total aggression.

Secretary did not agree this the case and again noted measures taken by Jordan to control terror groups. He said "what you have done in the name of your security seems in fact to have undermined Israel's security."

Rusk

 

344. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, November 22, 1966, 6 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Symmes on November 21; cleared by Atherton, Handley, Colonel Jordan of DOD/ISA, Sisco, Kitchen, and Davies; and approved by Katzenbach. Sent to Amman, Tel Aviv, USUN, Beirut, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Baghdad, Jidda, Kuwait, London, Paris, and Moscow and pouched to POLAD CINCSTRIKE.

89339. Amman 1120, 1180 and 1200;/2/ Tel Aviv 1742;/3/ USDAO Amman 1703 Nov 66./4/ Joint State-Defense.

/2/Regarding telegram 1120 from Amman, see footnote 2, Document 337. Telegram 1180 from Amman, November 20, urged a favorable response to the Jordanian request for military equipment but stated that the Embassy was convinced the most effective action to help Hussein, deter future Israeli attacks, and benefit the U.S. image in the Middle East would be an announcement of suspension of military deliveries to Israel. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, DEF 19-8 US-JORDAN) Telegram 1200 from Amman, November 21 reiterated the Embassy's view that the action that would have the maximum impact in Jordan would be an announcement of suspension of military deliveries to Israel. (Ibid., POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN)

/3/See footnote 5, Document 343.

/4/Not found.

Arms Deliveries to Israel

1. Idea of suspending or slowing down arms deliveries to Israel has much appeal as possible means (a) underline to GOI our strong disapproval Nov 13 raid and retaliation doctrine generally and (b) as short-term psychological measure to help bolster morale Hussein and GOJ. After careful consideration we have concluded for number reasons that such actions, whether publicly announced or privately conveyed to one or both parties, would not be wise at this juncture and might in fact be counterproductive.

2. Regardless general indignation concerning nature of Israeli raid, public announcement suspension of deliveries could be interpreted as slap at Israel that failed to take into account context of terrorism over past two years, growth of "popular liberation" sentiment in area, and alleged lack of immediately effective alternatives. We also have in mind most recent reports indicating Israeli forces used were on much smaller scale than originally reported and that no significant, if any, US equipment was employed (Tel Aviv 1742 and USDAO Amman 1703 Nov 66). In addition, publicly announced suspension of arms to Israel could lead to demand for same to be applied to Jordan, and perhaps to whole area. At very least this could reopen previous public questioning of US sales to Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, which could do considerable damage to our policy interests both in short and longer run. Finally, suspension of deliveries would face us with problem developing convincing rationale for their ultimate resumption. Even if suspension were kept private, fact of suspension would probably surface, and if terrorism and present tension continue it would be difficult justify resumption unless Israelis had renounced retaliation (which we judge as most unlikely).

3. Similar disadvantages and risks would apply to non-publicized actions affecting Israel arms deliveries. If actions were to do any good along lines para 1 (a) and (b) above, Israelis and Jordanians would have to be made explicitly aware of them, and damaging, probably distorted, publicity would almost inevitably result.

4. Whatever wisdom Nov 13 raid, Israel is in good position in larger context to justify defense requirements and thus to argue that delays in arms deliveries could jeopardize Israel's defense. If it could be demonstrated Israel had violated agreements with us by using our equipment for aggression there would be no question our reactions to suspend shipments. In present circumstances we believe measures short of suspension such as deliberate slowdown of shipments would risk strong reactions that could undercut Israel's tacit agreement for recent US tank and aircraft sales to Jordan.

5. In sum, in present circumstances we believe disadvantages outweigh advantages of suspension of arms deliveries to Israel and are therefore concentrating on (a) other ways to put IDF on notice that conditions of sale of US military equipment and US position on retaliation are not mere "paper points," (b) demonstrating that effective alternatives can be developed for containing terrorism, and (c) finding other means to provide psychological encouragement to GOJ.

Rusk

 

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

Tel Aviv, November 22, 1966, 2009Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN. Secret; Priority. Repeated to USUN, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, London, Paris, and Jerusalem and passed to the White House, DOD, CIA, USIA, and NSA.

1780. Ref: State 88408; Tel Aviv 1741./2/

/2/Telegram 88408 to Tel Aviv, November 21, instructed the Embassy to continue to emphasize U.S. concern with the situation in Jordan and to outline developments at the United Nations so that the Israeli Government would understand the strength of the opinion against it in the Security Council. (Ibid., POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN/UN) Telegram 1741 from Tel Aviv, November 21, reported a conversation with Foreign Office Director General Levavi, in which Barbour deplored the consequences of Israeli raid, stressing its impact on King Hussein. (Ibid.)

1. In mtg this afternoon, after discussing situation in SC reported septel, I told FonMin Eban that I assumed there no necessity for me to emphasize further the seriousness of the situation resulting from the Israeli Nov 13 raid, particularly insofar as its consequences in Jordan. I said that in worst event Hussein's regime will be displaced and at best damage of inestimable magnitude has been done to Hussein's attitude toward Israel and his estimate of Israeli intentions. This situation abundantly clear and I would spare him repetition.

2. Eban acknowledged full comprehension on part GOI now and its apprehensions. He said this understandably was reason he sought mtg. Having consulted at length with PM Eshkol, he wished to give some of GOI's thinking as to future. He expressed confidence in and gratitude for basic foundation of US-GOI relations. He cited help of U.S. in security field and its assistance in UN refugee and Syrian debates as components in making this a "good year" for Israel and a high point in US-Israeli relations. He went on that essential now is to get over current divergence. Basic factor which had been introduced into Arab-Israeli confrontation in recent times was concept of "popular war." This had given scope to non-governmental terrorist organizations hitherto under wraps. Attacks on Israel's capital (Romema dynamiting) and on railway between capital and main city added new dimension to security problem. GOI had reacted against harborers of agents involved. He admitted effect on Jordanian regime not as anticipated and dangerous situation had resulted.

3. PM has now approved as basic GOI policy the reestablishment of stability in Jordan. GOI will welcome any ideas as to measures which will promote this purpose. Meanwhile, PM has ordered "maximum restraint." This means no reaction to further popularly inspired incidents. Of course, in event of major military attack, GOI will defend itself. (Here Eban cited report earlier today of intention of commander of Jordanian brigade to take matters into own hands. I replied we had report apparently on same item but markedly different in most important element namely that commander in question was going to petition the King for authority. This seemed to reassure him.)

4. In implementation this policy GOI will endeavor first to minimize contact. Scopus convoy scheduled for tomorrow will not go. Trains on Jerusalem-Tel Aviv route will not run at night. Fences will be constructed in Jerusalem area at two points along railway. I asked about cultivation on Syrian border in DZ. He said GOI attempting through Bull to get informal three power--Israel, Syria and UN--negotiations going to settle fields on basis of status quo.

5. Of more continuing impact, PM has instructed that major effort be made to improve static defense in hope that even if it impossible to seal borders entirely at least infiltration can be made "less easy." Guards will be increased and technical devices sought. Any U.S. ideas will be welcome.

6. Eban wondered whether U.S. had any influence with Egyptians which might be utilized to assist King. Israeli impression is that subversion being fomented in Nablus is PLO inspired and although Shuquairy not Nasser agent his organization is in Egypt. I noted our stock with Nasser not high but it possible he also might not be anxious overthrow Hussein this time and might exercise moderating influence on his own.

7. Finally, Eban said King could be assured in firmest terms that Israeli policy as to Jordan and its disinterest in acquiring West Bank has not changed. Raid was not prelude or rehearsal for invasion. It merely got out of hand.

8. Conversation confirms that PM and other members GOI deeply shaken by developments. Also shocked by revelation of degree of precariousness of Hussein regime which, although they admit we told them repeatedly, they had been unable to comprehend. They probably have further taught themselves importance to Israel of Hashemite dynasty, idea which they adopted intellectually but less than wholeheartedly. Lesson may be worthwhile.

Barbour

 

346. Telegram From W. Howard Wriggins of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson in Texas/1/

Washington, November 23, 1966, 2006Z.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt W. Rostow, Vol. 15. Secret. A handwritten note reads, "Sent 4:40 p.m."

CAP 661033. Memorandum for the President.

Subject: Message to King Hussein.

Our next step in defusing the Jordan-Israel crisis is to bolster King Hussein. He is under great pressure both from the Palestinian elements in his population and from the junior army officers who charge that he has not provided adequately for Jordan's defense. Demonstrations have spread to all the major centers in West Jordan. He has asked us for substantial amounts of military equipment to help him demonstrate that he has moved to prevent a repeat of the mauling Israel gave Jordan's forces on November 13. Some of his advisors tell him that only attacking Israel will win the popular support necessary to save his regime.

From our point of view either of the extreme approaches Jordan officials are talking about amounts to suicide. An attack on Israel could result in nothing but a severe Jordanian defeat. Expanding the army to the extent the King is talking about would be economic suicide because the Jordanian budget--already heavily subsidized by us--could not stand the additional $20 million a year in normal support maintenance costs we estimate would be required.

The King may still choose to commit suicide. He has told Ambassador Burns that a point may come when he would rather go down fighting his enemies rather than his own people. However, our job is to (a) do what we can to help him through this tense period and (b) to restore balance to his thinking. We are convinced--and we now have Eshkol's own assurances--that Israel has not changed its policy toward Jordan as the King seems to believe. With the gradual restoration of calm, we hope to turn his thinking to modest efforts to better control his borders.

The following message, approved by Under Secretary Katzenbach, from you to the King is designed to help him over the current crisis.

It expresses our sympathy to Hussein, makes clear our sharp disapproval of Israel's action and reaffirms our interest in the peace, security, and economic progress of Jordan. It seeks to allay his fears that this major raid represents a change in Israel's policy toward the West Bank by indicating you have good reason to believe it highly unlikely that the events he fears will in fact occur. (We have the firmest assurances from Israel to this effect.) It makes clear that the Israelis are fully aware that a repeat performance will have the gravest consequences for U.S.-Israeli relations.

I believe we now have the Israelis focussing on better control of the borders--the most necessary immediate step in launching a period of quiet in Israel-Jordan relations. It will be more difficult to get Hussein concentrating on this problem rather than making unrealistic calls on us to make Jordan and Israel militarily equal. We will also have to help him parry thrusts again from the USSR and UAR, who are standing in the wings waiting to jump in with offers of new equipment as they were when you approved our plane sale. However, this message is the first step in that direction.

"Your Majesty:

Words of sympathy are small comfort when lives have been needlessly destroyed. I do, however, want to convey to Your Majesty a sense of the sorrow and concern the military action by Israel in the Hebron area has raised in me and in this country generally. My disapproval of this action has been made known to the Government of Israel in the strongest terms. Our support of condemnation of this action by the Security Council and Ambassador Goldberg's statement during the Security Council hearings demonstrate the depth of my feelings and those of our country.

This action has placed Your Majesty in a difficult position. I am certain that with your demonstrated courage, wisdom and moderation, your difficulties will be overcome. For our part, I assure you that this government maintains its interest in the peace and security of Jordan and in the economic progress and well-being of its people. I have ordered an urgent review of measures which the United States Government could take to assist you during this difficult period./2/ We will continue to be in touch with your government on this question.

/2/On another copy of CAP 661033, this sentence is revised in an unknown handwriting to read as follows: "I have ordered an urgent review of measures which the United States Government could take to assist in settling these difficulties." (Ibid., Special Head of State Correspondence File, Jordan)

Finally Ambassador Burns has informed me of Your Majesty's concern that Israel's policies have changed and that Israel now intends to occupy territory on the West Bank of the Jordan River. While I can understand the reasons for this concern, I have good reason to believe it highly unlikely that the events you fear will in fact occur. In this connection my government's opposition to the use of force to alter armistice lines or borders in the Near East has been made unmistakably clear to all parties concerned.

The strong private representations we have made in Israel as well as our forthright public statements make clear that should Israel adopt the policies you fear it would have the gravest consequences for United States-Israel relations./3/ There is no doubt in my mind that our position is fully understood and appreciated by the Israelis.

/3/On the copy of CAP 661033 cited in footnote 2 above, the sentence ends after the word "consequences" and the words "for United States-Israel relations" are crossed out.

Sincerely,"

Approve
Disapprove/4/

/4/Neither option is checked. A handwritten note states, "Been cleared with revisions." The message, with the revisions indicated in footnotes 2 and 3 above, was sent in telegram 90603 to Amman, November 23. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN) Burns reported in telegram 1237 from Amman, November 24, that he delivered the message that morning to the King, who was "clearly pleased." (Ibid.)

 

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

Washington, November 24, 1966, 3:01 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 12-5 JORDAN. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Atherton and Handley and approved by Handley.

90817. For Ambassador from Handley.

1. By immediately following telegram/2/ we are responding to King's and Tell's request for accelerated delivery of already programmed military equipment. We believe this positive and quick response will be helpful in meeting immediate need of bolstering morale of King and his status in eyes of Army and people as well as reducing chances of further disaffection in JAA. But it should not be interpreted as an indicator that USG is prepared underwrite long-term buildup JAA.

/2/Telegram 90818 to Amman, November 24, instructed Burns to inform the King of a favorable U.S. response to his request for emergency delivery of certain items of military equipment. The airlift to Jordan of 6 105mm self-propelled howitzers, 15 quarter-ton utility trucks, and 15 106mm recoilless rifles and an accelerated delivery schedule for the F-104 sales program had been authorized. (Ibid.)

2. At this moment, primary need seems to be psychological and we believe President's letter plus quick response GOJ's request for speedup certain equipment, especially F-104s, may help all concerned get over present extremely tense and dangerous period.

3. We are carefully weighing longer range problem posed by GOJ request and Embassy recommendations re increased military aid. Thinking here, however, is that major contribution US can make in months ahead lies not so much in buildup Jordan's military heft, as in finding ways to improve border security, i.e., static defense. Within few days we hope be able lay out plan and program to meet this problem. Meanwhile, consider it of highest importance you continue assess GOJ mood for indications that our short term measures and other current developments may make it possible discuss longer range problem in realistic and constructive context./3/

/3/Burns reported in telegram 1251, November 26, that he met with the King the previous day and informed him of the U.S. response to his request as authorized in telegram 90818. There followed "a long and deadly silence." The King finally thanked Burns but indicated that what the United States was offering would have little impact. (Ibid.)

Rusk

 

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

Washington, November 25, 1966, 11:24 a.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, AID (US) UAR. Secret. Drafted by Bergus and approved by Hare. Repeated to Amman and USUN.

90878. Cairo's 2907./2/

/2/Telegram 2907 from Cairo, November 24, reported that Battle called on Fawzi, told him of U.S. concern over the situation in Middle East, and appealed for steps to alleviate tensions by all countries interested in peace in the area. He referred to a change in tone of the Egyptian press and to PLO statements as provocative and unhelpful. Fawzi assured him of UAR interest in peace but declared that recent charges by Wasfi Tell required answers in the press and other media. (Ibid., POL 32-1 ISR-JORDAN)

1. Hare lunched alone with Kamel November 23. Kamel made usual lengthy presentation, by this time well known to Department and Embassy Cairo, re importance US aid to UAR. At one point Kamel stated US should not try to "starve Egyptians." Hare rejoined sharply pointing out fact we had given over one billion dollars worth of aid to UAR as evidence of our desire to be helpful.

2. Main thrust of Hare's remarks centered around need dampen down internal situation in Jordan. Hare dwelled at some length at inappropriateness HKJ UN rep Farra's trying to drag US domestic politics into Jordan situation. (Hare dwelled on this point in hope that Kamel would see that it could apply equally to UAR.) Hare also referred to inflammatory behavior of Shukairy and intimated that it was not in UAR's own best interest to allow Shukairy "lead Egyptians around by the nose."

Rusk

 

349. Editorial Note

On November 25, 1966, the UN Security Council adopted a draft resolution proposed by Nigeria and Mali on November 24 (UN document S/7598) as Resolution 228 (1966). The resolution's preambular section included language observing that the incident constituted "a large-scale and carefully planned military action on the territory of Jordan by the armed forces of Israel," reaffirming previous Security Council resolutions condemning past incidents of reprisal in breach of the Israel-Jordan General Armistice Agreement and the UN Charter, recalling "the repeated resolutions of the Security Council asking for the cessation of violent incidents across the demarcation line, and not overlooking past incidents of this nature," and reaffirming "the necessity for strict adherence to the General Armistice Agreement." The resolution deplored the loss of life and property damage resulting from Israel's action on November 13; censured Israel for its action; emphasized to Israel that if actions of military reprisal were repeated, the Security Council "will have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against the repetition of such acts;" and requested the Secretary-General to keep the situation under review and report to the Security Council as appropriate. The resolution was adopted by 14 votes to 0, with 1 abstention. The United States voted in favor of the resolution.

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