300. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

4370. For the Secretary.

If there is to be hope of lasting peace in the Middle East, obviously both the Arabs and Israelis must be brought to want it and to be reasonable regarding the terms of the settlement.
It seems to us from Amman that if this is to be accomplished on the Arab side the moderate Arab states must be helped into as strong a position as possible to carry the day against the radical Arabs. If the moderates cannot carry the day, they will feel forced to adopt the stand of the radicals.
Thus far our statements have not had the result of strengthening moderate Arab forces.
We suggest that the following, if done immediately, would strengthen the moderate hand and counterbalance Soviet support of the radical’s position of revanchism.
USG to announce at the highest level, hopefully by the President: (A) USG has been and continues to be neutral in the Arab-Israel dispute. (B) USG calls upon all parties concerned to work out through the UN a just, equitable and lasting peace. (C) Pending the conclusion of a permanent settlement, USG proposes that Israeli forces withdraw to the previous armistice lines under a formula which will insure the security and integrity of all parties concerned.
One such formula, which would best be proposed by a party other than US, might be demilitarization under UN supervision of Arab territory presently under Israeli occupation.
Of the three portions of the statement proposed in para 5 above, the most imperative and urgent is sub-section C. In our opinion, we should make the statement even in the absence of precise formula for implementation.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Repeated to Rabat, Tunis, USUN, Beirut, Jerusalem, Tripoli, Tel Aviv, Khartoum, Kuwait, and Jidda. Received at 10:28 a.m. and passed to the White House, DOD, CIA, USIA, NSA, COMAC, and CINCSTRIKE at 11:45 a.m.