335. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State1

1028. For Dulles from Lodge. Re Palestine. Out of experience with Palestine in GA this past year, I have become more convinced than ever that we cannot afford to continue to deal with Palestine question on piecemeal, ad hoc, crisis basis. The present time seems to me to be best we have had in several years to begin new initiative to get at basic Palestine problems.

This period will not last long. Our experience shows that few months of quiet is most that can be hoped for, and if they are not utilized, situation can take turn for worse. There is growing body of opinion in UN that now is time to act decisively on such basic problems as Palestine refugees, development of Jordan valley and rectification of boundaries. Norway and Canada are particularly interested in taking initiative in next GA.

Urge that we encourage such initiative, working with Norway and Canada to develop joint plans, and be prepared to back them with all influence we can bring to bear on Arabs and Israelis alike. I particularly feel we should not wait too long in view probability that UNEF will be diminishing asset in matter of months. Its financial implications alone make its future problematical and within foreseeable period, unless it has been accepted on Israeli side of line, its continued acceptability to Egypt will become matter of controversy.

It seems clear to me that failure to get at basic Palestine problems over past 8 or 9 years was largely responsible for producing most serious breach that has ever occurred in Western alliance, the results of which are still being felt. We should not risk repetition of this by failing to take advantage of relative quiet we now have. I am encouraged to feel that it is feasible to take action now by indications from Israelis and some of Arab states of greater readiness to make unpalatable concessions. But whether or not this is true, we have means of making a united effort in next GA succeed.

If we are prepared as I strongly believe we should be, to grasp this thorny problem now, then I think we should consider encouraging some means of getting the Suez and Aqaba transit problems before the International Court and sub judice in order to have them out of way and not involved in any general approach to Palestine question.

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Despite dangers we faced as result of Israeli-British-French action, we have, through President’s and your leadership, gained best position we have had in many years in Middle East, and I believe in world generally. We should not fail to take advantage of these gains.

I would appreciate hearing your views.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 884.411/6–557. Confidential; Priority. Received at 1:36 p.m.