161. Letter From President Nasser to President Johnson1

Dear Mr. President:

I have the honour to convey to you my deep appreciation for the position you have taken by supporting the Resolution of the Security Council on April 27, 1968,2 which called upon Israel to refrain from holding the Military Parade which it intended to hold on May 2, 1968.

I have no doubt that your position was based on your disapproval of the actions taken by Israel in the City of Jerusalem and its refusal to comply with the Resolution adopted by the General Assembly at its special session on July 4, 19673 and upon your conviction that such an action by Israel is an illegal act. This illegal act on the part of Israel has its adverse effects on the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary General aiming at the realization of the peaceful settlement of the serious crisis in the Middle East which resulted from the Israeli aggression against Arab countries and the people of Palestine on June 5, 1967.

Israel’s defiance of this Resolution which you have supported and which was adopted unanimously by the Security Council, and Israel’s declaration of its intention not to implement that Resolution is a grave matter which seriously affects the prestige of the United Nations and its effectiveness, and in fact its future as an international organization set up for the maintenance of peace and justice. Israel’s persistence in its defiance of the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly underlines its insistence on pursuing the policy of force and the imposition of the fait accompli resulting from aggression to realize territorial expansion and perpetuate the disregard of the rights of the people of Palestine.

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I would urge you, Mr. President, to exert all efforts to compel Israel to respect the resolutions of the United Nations, the organization which we all strive to strengthen, and thus insure the preservation of its prestige and the increase of its effectiveness and at the same time contribute to checking any further deterioration of the situation in the Holy City and the Middle East.4

Gamal Abdel Nasser 5
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Special Head of State Correspondence File, United Arab Republic-Presidential Correspondence. No classification marking. The letter was sent through the UAR Interests Section of the Indian Embassy in Washington. According to telegram 2280 from Cairo, May 2, the text of the letter was sent by Nasser to all chiefs of state represented on the UN Security Council. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL UAR-US)
  2. On April 27 the Security Council discussed a letter from the Permanent Representative of Jordan protesting the proposed Israeli parade through East Jerusalem. A resolution proposed by the Delegations of India, Pakistan, and Senegal, which called upon Israel to refrain from holding the military parade scheduled for May 2, was adopted unanimously. (UN doc. S/PV.1417)
  3. Reference is to Resolution 2253 (ES-V) in which the UN General Assembly registered its disapproval of measures taken by Israel affecting the status of Jerusalem. (UN doc. A/RES/2253 (ES-V))
  4. Rostow passed this letter to President Johnson on May 2 under cover of a note in which he observed: “It gives us an opening for a response at a critical moment.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Special Head of State Correspondence File, United Arab Republic-Presidential Correspondence) May I take this opportunity to renew to you, Mr. President, the assurances of my very high consideration.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.