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74. Draft Statement1

The United States has its own constitutional processes which are basic to its action on matters involving war and peace. The Secretary General has not yet reported to the UN Security Council and the Council has not yet demonstrated what it may or may not be able or [Page 138]willing to do although the United States will press for prompt action in the UN.

I have already publicly stated this week our views on the safety of Israel and on the Strait of Tiran. Regarding the Strait, we plan to pursue vigorously the measures which can be taken by maritime nations to assure that the Strait and Gulf remain open to free and innocent passage of the vessels of all nations.

I must emphasize the necessity for Israel not to make itself responsible for the initiation of hostilities. Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone. We cannot imagine that it will make this decision.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Middle East Crisis, Vol. II. Secret. The statement, headed “Draft,” is unsigned. It is filed as an attachment to Rostow's May 26 memorandum conveying Goldberg's views on Rusk's recommendations for the President's meeting with Eban. (See footnote 2, Document 71.) Rusk's handwritten draft of the statement is in the Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Histories, Middle East Crisis, Vol. 2. A copy with the President's handwritten revisions is ibid., Appointment File, June 1967.