308. Editorial Note

In an address before the Department of State Foreign Policy Conference for Educators on June 19, 1967, President Johnson declared that recent events had proved the wisdom of five principles of peace in the Middle East. The first and greatest principle, he stated, was that “every nation in the area has a fundamental right to live, and to have this right respected by its neighbors.” Second was “another basic requirement for settlement: justice for the refugees.” Third was that “maritime rights must be respected.” Fourth, the conflict had demonstrated “the danger of the Middle Eastern arms race of the last 12 years.” As an initial step to deal with this problem, he proposed that the [Page 521] United Nations immediately call upon all of its members to report all shipments of military arms into the area. Fifth, he declared, the crisis underlines the “importance of respect for political independence and territorial integrity of all the states of the area.” He reaffirmed that principle but added that it could be effective “only on the basis of peace between the parties.” What the nations of the region needed, he stated, was “recognized boundaries and other arrangements that will give them security against terror, destruction, and war.” Furthermore, he declared, there “must be adequate recognition of the special interest of three great religions in the holy places of Jerusalem.” He offered the assurance that the U.S. Government would “do its part for peace in every forum, at every level, at every hour” but he declared that the main responsibility for the peace of the region depended on the peoples and leaders of the region. The text is in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, Book I, pages 630–634.

Drafts of the speech are in the Johnson Library, Statements of Lyndon B. Johnson, June 15–June 23, 1967. Harry McPherson sent a draft to the President at 11 p.m. on June 17 with a covering memorandum stating that it blended “Gene Rostow’s travelogue of world problems, and Mac Bundy’s compression of today’s final Middle East draft.” A June 18 draft bears a note that it was cleared with Rusk.