248. Telegram From the Embassy in Morocco to the Department of State 1

5462. For President and Secretary.

FonMin Laraki asked me remain behind after meeting with four power representatives reported Rabat 5459 (Notal).2
King wished make special appeal to President regarding support for cease-fire and Israel’s return to pre-hostilities positions. King urged USG take very strong position in Security Council this afternoon on both issues. Up until last few hours and Israel’s punishing attack on Damascus United States had, in King’s view, “bought thirty years to work for peace in NE.” Nasser’s prestige virtually destroyed. Now, situation wholly reversed. Nasser’s gesture of resignation had appealed to hearts of Arab people. Thanks to their unhesitating support of cease-fire and return to armistice lines, Soviet rapidly regaining what prestige they had lost. Israeli military prowess prior their unnecessary attack on Damascus had put the lie to the Arab “progressives” who had been so confident of their Soviet supplied military power. Concomitantly, moderates had been strengthened. Now, in face of Israel’s continuing attack, this differentiation between moderates and radicals being obliterated.
Laraki concluded that “If you do not act decisively at this point you will be handing the Arab world to the Soviets on a silver platter.”
Comment: At the time I was called to see Laraki Embassy had been working on telegram drawing to USG attention radical change in emotional and diplomatic situation brought about in these last few hours by Israeli invasion of Syria. King’s message to President states the situation as we see it accurately and objectively. To the average Arab there is no doubt that we would by this time be militarily involved on Israel’s side if she were being attacked by Arabs as she is now attacking them. That we have not yet taken strong public position in favor of withdrawal Israeli forces to armistice lines is being construed as proof that our often stated commitment to territorial integrity of Near East states works in only one direction.
I share with King Hassan the hope that US statements this afternoon will leave no room for doubt about US impartiality.3
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. Secret; Flash; Limdis. Repeated Flash to USUN and repeated to Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, Amman, Kuwait, Jidda, Tel Aviv, and COMAC and CINCSTRIKE for POLADs. Received at 9:58 a.m. Passed to the White House at 9:59 a.m.
  2. Telegram 5459 from Rabat, June 10, reported that Laraki had met with the U.S., British, French, and Soviet Ambassadors and conveyed the King’s appeal for their support for a cease-fire and Israeli withdrawal. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 210120 to Rabat, June 10, stated that the United States had pressed in the United Nations and with the parties concerned for an immediate cease-fire and had made a strong public statement calling on both Syria and Israel to obey the cease-fire resolution. It noted that at the June 9 meeting of the Security Council, Goldberg had reaffirmed the President’s May 23 statement supporting the territorial integrity of all states in the area. (lbid., POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN) For text of the GoldbeRG statement under reference, see Department of State Bulletin, June 26, 1967, pp. 946–947.