391. Editorial Note

President Johnson held his regular weekly luncheon meeting on July 25, 1967, with Secretary Rusk, Secretary McNamara, Walt Rostow, and George Christian. Tom Johnson’s notes of the meeting state that there was a discussion of the Middle East and that the President told Rostow “to tell Bundy to channel future requests by leading Jewish leaders to Bundy and not to the President. The President said he was seeing too many.” Rusk said that Israel “has won a battle and not a war.” Rostow discussed conversations he had had with David GinsbuRG and Abe Feinberg. The President said “many of the Jewish leaders want us to make the Arabs sit down and talk with the Israelis.” He commented, “We know no mediator who is going to set himself up” to handle this situation. (Johnson Library, Tom Johnson’s Notes of Meetings)

A July 26 memorandum from Bundy to the President states that he had been “well filled in” by David GinsbuRG the day before and he thought GinsbuRG and Feinberg had a clear signal on two points:

“(1) that they should make their contacts with me and not bother you for a while, and

“(2) what Israel most needs now is not to have our whole overseas arms program knocked apart by the Congress. David assured me they understood this point and would do everything they could with Symington and their other friends.”

Bundy continued:

“I think in fact your visit with them was helpful simply because it reassured them that you will always listen. That wise man, Wally [Page 720] Barbour, made a good comment the other day: that since the Israelis and their friends cannot possibly help using every channel they have got, we have to accept that fact and make use of it ourselves. This is what you did yesterday and I think they understand that enough is enough for a while.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Special Committee Files, Special Committee #2, July 1–31, 1967)

No other record has been found of the conversation to which Bundy referred.