212. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

509. Arab press March 21 reports Ben Gurion told Histadrut convention yesterday “It is incumbent upon us to arrive at agreement very soon with Arab States concerned re utilization Jordan waters if possible. If not possible, Israel will resume work on diverting course of Jordan for irrigation purposes. If evil results, the Arabs are responsible.”2

This is likely the nail in coffin of our efforts get Jordan acceptance of Jordan Valley plan or any version thereof. Leaders have repeatedly said they will not bow to threats and Ben Gurion’s statements look like threat from here.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.85322/3–2156. Confidential. Received at 2:24 p.m. Repeated to Cairo, Damascus, Beirut, and Tel Aviv.
  2. Telegram 977 from Tel Aviv, March 21, transmitted the verbatim account of Ben Gurion’s statement concerning the Jordan River water problem. (Ibid.)