359. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Morocco1

6578. From the Secretary.

I appreciate your 145,2 and its analysis. Re Laraki views, GOK FonMin took same line with me July 10 (State 4217).3 I told him Israeli withdrawal could not be separated from central question of need to end [Page 647] state of belligerency. Because of its reciprocal character, finding some formula which would end state of war would seem as much in interest Arabs as Israel.
Our policy has indeed been based on clear realization that world community has little time in which prevent Arab-Israel problem from again lapsing into dangerous immobility. Our conviction that time is short underlies our efforts to produce a solution in which Israel would withdraw and the Arabs—and, of course, Israel—would give up warfare. Whatever the Arabs may think, the former cannot be brought about by USG without some reciprocal concessions on belligerency question. Provided genuine, these could no doubt be formulated in manner which would take account Arab sensibilities.
We would like to end this situation now, before myths take over and a new arms race becomes inevitable. However, while Arab moderates might well accept (and even be grateful for) any imposed solution of the problem on which we and the Soviets could agree, the Soviets have made it clear to us that they will not sacrifice their credibility in Arab eyes. We recognize that the Arab moderates are probably the prime Soviet target in this crisis. To a considerable extent, so do the moderates themselves. But so far they seem neither able nor willing to do anything about it. No doubt this is because they fear Arab radicals, notably Syria and Algeria, even more than Israelis or Russians. But it is difficult for us to help those who will not help themselves.
I want to assure you, however, that we fully understand the difficulties in which the Arab moderates find themselves. We know we need them for the future and are seeking to get across the message that they need us sufficiently to do something in their own behalf. This would involve neither “recognition” of Israel nor “dealing directly” with Israel. Some recognition of the need to avoid a return to the Arab-Israel status quo, as well as willingness on part one or two Arab states to restore relations with us, and to remove discriminatory oil curbs, would materially help us in our continuing efforts to assist good friends like King Hassan in riding out the storm.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Eugene Rostow and Brewer; cleared by Battle, Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs William C. Trimble, and Kohler; and approved by Rusk.
  2. Telegram 145 from Rabat, July 11, reported a conversation with Foreign Minister Laraki, who told the Ambassador that the Kuwaiti and Jordanian Foreign Ministers, plus the Saudi Arabian equivalent, were leaving for the United States, where they hoped to see the President to state that it was absolutely essential to the Arab moderates that U.S. actions in the General Assembly give them something on which to base continued cooperation with the United States. (Ibid., POL MOR–US)
  3. Not found.