153. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

4555. Subj: Sandstorm. Ref: USUN 4785.2

Reftel and other recent messages on Israeli thinking about Jarring Mission give more than hint that GOI may now concentrate on making separate arrangements with Jordan. I would not be surprised to find they will seek contacts with Hussein during his forthcoming visit to Europe. We have already reported signs that some members of the Jordanian “establishment” may be considering separate talks with Israel.
For all of reasons set forth in Amman 37703 and 4119,4 I think we must be extremely careful in how we use (or acquiesce in Israelis using) this last asset for a peaceful settlement because if a separate peace effort should blow up, Hussein and Jordan will stand to lose everything. Israel will only have lost another move in its chess game with the Arabs.
I therefore think our own interests in the Middle East require:
That we obtain a clear and enforceable bilateral understanding with Israel on what we consider a minimum floor for Israel to offer Jordan for negotiations, with understanding Israel might have to give more in actual bargaining with Jordan. This will be essential in case of Jerusalem aspect of problem.
That we give careful and detailed consideration to politico-military contingencies that might arise and be prepared to move firmly and definitively (1) to underwrite any mutually acceptable arrangement Israel and Jordan might reach, or (2) to assist GOJ in maintaining public order and security particularly if efforts reach separate agreement should fail, and (3) to prevent any outside interference that might be threatened or undertaken by other states in the area.
Jordan and Israel may move to separate talks without our knowledge. Such talks could fail, and it would then be too late for us either to help influence the parties to final agreement or to protect Jordan and our Middle Eastern interest from the blowup that may ensue.
Foregoing ideas were developed in greater detail in Amman 3770 and 4119 which I hope will be reread in conjunction with this message.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR/SANDSTORM. Secret; Nodis.
  2. Telegram 4785 from USUN, April 26, reported on an Israeli appreciation of the situation in the Middle East, as conveyed by Permanent Representative Tekoah. Israel saw the UAR as intransigent and waiting for a more favorable opportunity to achieve a settlement on its terms. Israel viewed Jordan as potentially more flexible, and Tekoah indicated that Israel would continue to explore the possibility that Jordan might adopt an independent policy. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB-ISR)
  3. Document 109.
  4. See footnote 3, Document 126.