464. Memorandum From the President’s Special Counsel (McPherson) to the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow)1

The attached notes2 were dictated by Abba Eban, with the understanding that Eppie would give them to me.

When he delivered them today, Eppie said that the one thing the notes do not convey very well is Anderson’s sense of disappointment over the “chill” Eban put on the intermediary idea. Eppie says the Israelis did not intend at any time in the first or second meeting with Anderson to ask him to be an intermediary. Eban did not even report [Page 886] his first conversation with Anderson to Jerusalem, and my call to Eppie was the first indication the Israelis had that we were seriously interested in the matter.

I asked Eppie in all candor whether Jerusalem had in fact suggested intervening between the first and second meetings and he said absolutely not.

The Israeli policy line—for waiting, for looking to direct negotiations, against talking with Nasser, whom they believe is weak and indeed tottering—is as you described it to me on the telephone.

Harry C. McPherson, Jr.3
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt W. Rostow, Vol. 45. No classification marking. Rostow sent this memorandum and the attachment to the President with an October 10 memorandum noting that the proposed Anderson mission was out and adding, “I suspect Eban did raise it with Anderson, very cautiously; checked with Jerusalem; and was turned down.” He commented further: “I do fear the Israelis will overplay their hand; but, then, I don’t live in the Middle East.” (Ibid.)
  2. The attachment, headed “Notes of a meeting between Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Mr. Robert Anderson in New York, Monday, October 10, 1967,” is not printed. A memorandum of an October 10 conversation between Battle and Anderson contains Anderson’s summary of his meeting with Eban. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.