338. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State1

9. Ref: State 2185732 and 219964;3 Tel Aviv 0003.4

I conveyed position State’s 218573 to p.m. Eshkol last evening.
As to effect of Knesset’s enabling legislation on occupied territory other than Jerusalem, Eshkol categorically assures me there no intention take any steps to extend jurisdiction as authorized those enactments to any of occupied territories. FonOff legal adviser takes some exception to the quote from Oppenheim on grounds that Jordanian and Egyptian sovereignties were never extended West Bank or Gaza but GOI not disposed argue point further. Dayan’s remarks at press conference that Israel seeks restore life as much as possible to normal relying to maximum on local Arab authorities still remains policy of GOI those areas.
However, as to Jerusalem, GOI adamant. It is attempting to reorganize the municipal council by the inclusion of Arab members and otherwise is prepared to use the maximum number of available Arab civil servants from the former Old City governate, but the only really negotiable issue is the holy places. I emphasized Unsec Rostow’s comments to Harman (State’s 219964), effect on UNGA situation, and particularly the hope GOI would make public its action does not prejudice future negotiations about status of Jerusalem as a whole. Response is that holy places are negotiable. Further clarification not forthcoming.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Amman, Beirut, Jerusalem, and USUN. Received at 9:25 a.m. Passed to the White House, DOD, CIA, USIA, NSA, COMAC, and CINCSTRIKE at 10:55 a.m.
  2. Telegram 218573 to Tel Aviv, June 29, instructed Barbour to register U.S. opposition to any unilateral action by Israel to assert de jure control over occupied territories. (Ibid.)
  3. Document 333.
  4. Telegram 3 from Tel Aviv, July 1, reported that before receiving telegrams 218573 and 219964, Barbour had discussed the subject of Jerusalem with the Israeli Minister of Justice and several other officials and had strongly deplored the “precipitate issuance unification ordinance re Jerusalem.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR)