272. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel1

210497. 1. We are attempting to work out best USG positions during coming days on issues we will have to face in UNSC and on other problems on which we are being questioned by Congress and the press—some of which can be deferred but others not. Such questions include UN resolutions re withdrawal to armistice lines, present posture on our repeated statements about territorial integrity of all ME nations, regional arms control, military/economic aid, etc. Arriving at realistic and equitable USG views hinge in considerable measure upon our determination of ultimate GOI objectives, particularly about territorial questions, refugees, status of Jerusalem, Sharm al Sheikh, and Suez Canal.

2. Your 39882 and 40653 have been particularly helpful in our efforts to face up to these questions. It will be of great importance to us to obtain your continuing assessment of minimum/maximum GOI objectives.

3. We would also like you to discuss GOI objectives with the highest Israeli officials you think appropriate to attempt to gain confirmation of GOI positions at this stage of post hostilities, realizing that there are soft and hard liners in Tel Aviv and that we will have to factor out initial GOI bargaining positions in the process. For this purpose it seems advisable to us not to seek a “final” GOI position on any of the key issues, which might tend to freeze maximum demands, but rather for you to engage in a continuing series of discussions with high GOI officials.

4. We are sending message to you by septel4 which you may draw upon for background purposes. It was originally drafted as direct message from Secretary to Foreign Minister but we have decided pursue more informal approach for time being.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR. Secret; Priority; Nodis. No drafter appears on the telegram; cleared by Battle, Eugene Rostow, and Walt Rostow; and approved by Katzenbach. Also sent to LuxembouRG as Tosec 19 for Rusk.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 194.
  3. Barbour reported in telegram 4065 from Tel Aviv, June 11, that all signs indicated Israel’s major expectation as a result of her military success was the direct negotiation of a political settlement with her neighbors. He concluded: “As the most powerful state in the Middle East, Israel feels entitled to demand peace treaties with its neighbors and it seems likely now that GOI will insist on trying this approach.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR)
  4. Document 273.