260. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State 1

4063. Ref: State 210085 and 210034.2

I conveyed substance UNSEC’s statement to Harman to Bitan for Eban and Eshkol immediately upon receipt. Eshkol at Syrian front but Eban and Dayan for whom message equally important were in Tel Aviv and were informed at once.
Report of conversation had already been received from Harman and I had impression there no misunderstanding of possible consequences if seriousness of situation in relation to Sovs disregarded. I had been preaching criticality Sov factor since 0645 hours this morning when I saw Eban.
However, by time I received reftel 210034, Israelis had already concluded necessity obtain effective ceasefire whatever the military position on the ground, had called in Bull and had given him free hand to get in touch with Syrians to ascertain their position and to make any [Page 430] physical arrangements to assure implementation he wished. Israelis and SYG had notified Security Council.
Although Sov breaking of diplomatic relations does not seem to me to have caused as much concern in GOI as it perhaps should have (this probably minimum card Sovs had to play sometime to satisfy Arab resentment against them), deteriorating Security Council situation, clear signal of US anxieties, and essentially of extricating themselves from over extension in Syria, which being compounded on political scene by Syrian charges of Israeli advance on Damascus, convinced Israelis implementation ceasefire under any available machinery of top priority.
It seems clear that, driven by military necessity of achieving viable military posture for protection border settlements, Israelis played for time in political maneuvers in Security Council to hair raising proximity to brink but also evident tonight that they think they have gotten away with it. There is generally relaxed atmosphere in official circles and every indication intention to hold to ceasefire.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. Secret; Flash; Exdis. Received at 6:15 p.m. An advance copy was received at 6:10 p.m. and passed to the White House at 6:13 p.m.
  2. Telegram 210034 to Tel Aviv, June 10, summarized the conversation between Katzenbach and Harman recorded in Document 249 and instructed the Embassy to convey this to the highest level and emphasize the seriousness of the situation. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR) Telegram 210085 to Tel Aviv, June 10, reiterated the instructions. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB–ISR)