1. Israeli Twentieth Independence Day Parade, to be held in Jerusalem May 2,
will originate in Shu'fat in former Jordanian-held sector, skirt Walled City
and terminate in Israeli sector. Israeli press has reported foreign
diplomats will not be asked to attend but that military attaches will be
invited. USG has received no official
Israeli communication regarding US attendance.
3. We plan to inform Israeli Embassy here of our position on parade as
follows: US could not authorize its representatives to attend parade in
Jerusalem. This is consistent with our well known views on status of
Jerusalem. As we have stated publicly and privately we believe future status
of Jerusalem must be worked out in consultation with all parties having
interest in special character of the city. Satisfactory solution for
Jerusalem must take into consideration religious, economic, and political interests at stake
including those of Israel and Jordan. This objective can best be achieved by
dealing with future of Jerusalem as element in general political settlement.
We have strongly and consistently expressed opposition to unilateral Israeli
acts which appear to consolidate or symbolize de facto annexation of
Jerusalem. We consider Israeli decision to route parade through the
occupied, formerly Jordanian-held sector of the city a particularly
provocative act which will understandably deepen Arab suspicions re true
Israeli will to peace. We think Israelis will find little understanding for
their action internationally and in UN. For Embassy Tel
Aviv: Should question of Jerusalem Parade be raised by Foreign
Ministry, you should make foregoing points in describing US position.
4. In formulating US position on parade Department has considered suggestions
that USG attempt to dissuade GOI from staging parade in occupied East
Jerusalem and that US encourage UNSYG to deplore Israeli planning for
parade. We share views expressed by Embassy Tel Aviv and ConGen Jerusalem
that there is no possibility GOI would make
any change in its plans for Jerusalem parade. That parade would be held in
Jerusalem has been foregone conclusion since June war, and elaborate
preparations involving road work and construction of facilities have been
made. GOI decision and actions have been
taken in full knowledge US views on Jerusalem. Accordingly, we believe
appropriate US response is dignified statement to press and to Israelis that
emphatically and clearly sets forth consistent US position on Jerusalem
while avoiding showdown over changing venue or route which we cannot win. By
seeking involve UNSYG or otherwise forcing showdown, US would only provide
additional fuel for Arab resentment.
5. Press guidance will be transmitted to addressees in subsequent
6. We plan also to inform British and other friendly governments who have
expressed interest in our decision. We understand from informal
consultations that British and Germans intend take similar decision.
1 Source: National Archives and
Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 8 ISR.
Confidential. Drafted by Precht on April 17; cleared in draft by
Sisco, Colonel Abba of DOD/Joint Staff, and by Colonel R. H.
Jenkins of DOD/ISA; cleared in substance
by Country Director for Northern Africa John F. Root and by Neuman,
Battle, Atherton, and Houghton; and approved by Katzenbach. Repeated to Aden, Amman,
Beirut, Jerusalem, Jidda, Khartoum, Kuwait, London, USUN, Paris,
Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, Rabat, and STRIKECOM.
3 In telegram 3296 from Tel Aviv, April
11, Barbour reiterated his
objections to pressuring the Israeli Government to cancel or reroute the
scheduled parade. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59,
Central Files 1967-69, DEF 8 ISR)
4 Telegram 4539 from USUN, April 11,
recommendations concerning the scheduled May 2 parade. Goldberg recommended issuing a strong
U.S. statement of non-attendance and criticism of the parade venue, and
at the same time make a high-level demarche to the Israeli Government
asking for a change of venue. (Ibid.)
6 The Department subsequently
revised this instruction to prohibit any U.S. official from attending
the parade. (Telegram 152893 to Tel Aviv, April 25; National Archives
and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 8