246. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)0
- Message from Israel Prime Minister Ben-Gurion to the President
On May 14, the Israel Ambassador handed the Department the enclosed letter of May 12 from Prime Minister Ben-Gurion to the President. This letter replies to the President’s message of May 5.1
The Prime Minister’s message contains the following principal elements:
- A long, critical commentary on Nasser and Nasser’s intentions.
- Mention of the threat to Israel which could follow any change of government in Jordan.
- Rejection of the Tripartite Declaration or other unilateral declarations as of “no value”.
- Reiteration of the belief expressed in the Prime Minister’s April 26 letter2 that “calamity” in the Middle East can best be avoided by a US-USSR joint declaration supporting the territorial status quo and compelling UAR acquiescence, if necessary, by withholding aid.
- An alternative to the suggested US-USSR security guarantee, if that is not feasible:
- Demilitarization of Jordan’s West Bank if Hussein should fall.
- A US-Israel bilateral security agreement, with which US allies would be invited to associate themselves.
- Provision to Israel by the United States of “all the equivalent kinds of armament with which the armed forces of Egypt and the other Arab states are equipped.”
- A plan of general disarmament between Israel and the Arab states under a system of mutual and international inspection and control (although the Prime Minister acknowledges doubt that this is a practical proposition).
The Department will prepare a suggested draft reply for the President’s consideration.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 ISR-US. Secret. Drafted by Crawford and cleared by Strong and Talbot.↩
- The memorandum of Harman’s conversation with Talbot, May 14, is ibid., POL ARAB-ISR. Ben Gurion’s letter is attached to the source text but not printed. For Kennedy’s letter, see Document 236.↩
- See Document 220.↩
- Kriebel signed for Brubeck above Brubeck’s typed signature.↩