230. President’s Daily Brief1
1. Arab States-Israel
The ceasefire was observed on all fronts during the night. Further Israeli action is still possible against Iraqi forces in Jordan, however, since Baghdad has yet to accept the ceasefire.
The Israeli commander in Sinai reported that his forces were camping on the banks of the Suez Canal and the Red Sea.
Tel Aviv is beginning to discuss the terms it hopes to achieve in a permanent settlement with the Arab states. These include the establishment of an autonomous province of Jordan on the West Bank in which all Arab refugees could hopefully be settled.
The Israelis also intend to insist on the demilitarization of the Gaza strip and the Sinai border, guaranteed access to the Gulf of Aqaba, and an as yet undefined “new status” for a unified Jerusalem. The latter would guarantee people of all religions access to the holy places.
As for the Arab side, attention is now turning to what can be salvaged in post-ceasefire negotiations. Nasir, after earlier proposing an [Page 390] Arab summit as a means of preserving Arab unity, is now proposing the publication of a ten-point joint resolution to be signed by all Arab chiefs of state. The proposed statement trots out all of Nasir’s propaganda attacks on the US and other “colonialist forces supporting Israel.” On balance, it looks like a rather feeble effort to save face.
Signs are growing that Egypt’s defeat has badly damaged Nasir’s prestige in the Arab world. He will have trouble getting many other chiefs of state to adhere to his “joint resolution.”
2. Arab States
Arab resentment against the West continues to threaten US facilities. Libya appears to be a particularly dangerous spot at the moment.
3. Soviet Union
The Soviets are finding it hard to conceal their shock over the rapid Egyptian military collapse. A Soviet [2–1/2 lines of source text not declassified] could not understand “how our intelligence could have been so wrong.” He asked despairingly, “How could we have gotten into such a mess?” Comments from other Soviets, while more restrained, reflect a similar state of mind.
[Omitted here are sections on unrelated subjects.]
Israeli spokesmen told the press this morning that Egyptian troops had launched an attack on Israeli troops near the Canal, thus violating the ceasefire.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Histories, Middle East Crisis, Vol. 6, Appendix A. Top Secret; [codeword not declassified]. Regarding the release of this PDB, see footnote 1, Document 151.↩