370. Memorandum of Meeting1


(Second Special Meeting)

(12:00, July 16, 1967)

The Jordan Scenario paper2 was reviewed and the following course of action was blocked out:

Hussein has informed us of his desire to reach a settlement with Israel. He has staked out a negotiating position of a return to the political lines of June 4, including Jordanian control of the Old City of Jerusalem. He is prepared to accept some border rectification, accompanied by over-flight rights and port facilities in Israel. He wishes us to determine whether this would be in the Israeli ball park. The Israelis, in turn, have informed us that they are ready to talk to the Jordanians although they are uncertain about the seriousness of Hussein.
The key to a negotiated settlement is Jerusalem. We need a better assessment of Israel’s flexibility on this subject before giving a definitive reply to Hussein. Three immediate steps should be taken in this respect:
Ambassador Barbour should be recalled for consultations;
We should follow up the separate conversations of the Secretary and Walt Rostow with Eban with another approach, preferably by the Secretary, along the following lines:

We are in a difficult position in advising Hussein. If he goes down the negotiating trail and fails to reach a viable understanding with Israel, the consequences could be grave for Israel and Jordan, and on US-Soviet relations. The key to a settlement is Jerusalem. Without revealing the details of your negotiating position, we would wish to ascertain whether you believe that your position would permit the conclusion of an agreement with Hussein.

We should probe the Jerusalem issue carefully with selected leaders of the American Jewish community who may be more flexible on this issue than the Israelis.
Assuming that we are unable to get a definitive reply from the Israelis on July 18, we should transmit an interim reply to Hussein informing him that, while we are not yet in a position to assess the chances of success, the Israelis have authorized us to tell him that they are ready to discuss a settlement. We would also inform him that we would endeavor to provide a more definitive response by the end of the week.
There is a Jordanian requirement, particularly of a political and psychological nature, for assurances that military supplies will be available from the West. The Jordanian request for non-lethal arms should be reviewed urgently with the DOD. Until our position is firmly established and approved by the President, General Khammash should not be invited to visit Washington. Consideration should be given to diverting him to London to discuss his desires for Hawker-Hunters.
If a political settlement can be brought about, we will have to play a basic role, preferably behind the scenes. The cover could be a UN mediator. If possible, he should have a blanket authorization to see what can be done to bring peace to the area, reporting to the Security Council. Ambassador Jarring would be an acceptable mediator.
We should complete our study of alternative settlement proposals for Jerusalem, including an optimum solution from the US viewpoint without consideration to its acceptability by the contending parties. NEA will complete this in time for circulation on July 17.
Luke Battle will brief Ambassador Dean on the conversation with Eban and the report of Ambassador Burns.
The presence of the Iraqi forces in Jordan is dangerous. Necessary measures should be taken to get them out.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR/SANDSTORM. Secret; Nodis. No drafting information appears on the memorandum. The meeting is also recorded in a July 16 memorandum from Wriggins to Walt Rostow and Bundy, which describes it as a meeting of the “inner circle of the Control Group”—Katzenbach, Eugene Rostow, Battle, Kohler, and Wriggins, plus Walsh and Burns. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Middle East Crisis, Vol. VIII)
  2. Not found.