203. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Sisco) to Secretary of State Rusk1


  • Comments on Goldberg Paper

Here are some specific comments on the Goldberg paper2 which may be of use to you in your conversation with the President:

The principal recommendation is that we make a major effort with the Israelis to break the present impasse. We agree fully with this approach.
He suggests that we formulate terms for an overall settlement involving concessions from both sides and play an active role with both the Arabs and the Israelis to bring about the necessary compromises. Our present approach is more modest than this: while a US representative could seek to press the Israelis to give us their basic notions about a settlement, I doubt we ought go to them with our own blueprint at this stage. A more realistic goal is to press the Israelis to make some limited specific substantive suggestions which will give Jarring something more to work with. We should not preclude developing our own blueprint at a later stage if the Jarring Mission should fail.
He stresses the difficulties involved in a settlement imposed upon the parties for [by] a Security Council resolution. We basically agree with this analysis and consistent with the President’s June 19th statement, we feel the parties in the area must be the parties to the peace. However, and Goldberg agrees, there should be greater Israeli flexibility as to modalities and the form in which the agreement should take. For example, a joint or parallel declaration would be every bit as binding as a peace treaty if it results from an agreement between the parties.
Goldberg stresses we should hold the Israelis to their past agreement to proceed on the basis of the Rhodes formula. We share fully this view.

Goldberg believes we should get a commitment from the Israelis that they do not intend a wholesale redrawing of the territorial map of the Middle East. I agree, and George Ball, if he goes to the area, should lay great stress on this point with the Israelis.

In short, Goldberg’s paper is an excellent one stressing the need for the United States to press the Israelis to adopt flexibility of means and moderation in territorial changes.

He recommends prompt delivery of the Phantoms. As you know, we have this under active consideration at the present time. Luke, Gene, and I all feel a prompt favorable decision in principle on the Phantoms is desirable.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Nodis. Copies were sent to Katzenbach and Battle. Rusk initialed the memorandum to indicate that he had read it.
  2. Reference is to a memorandum sent to the President and Secretary Rusk by Ambassador Goldberg on June 24 as he was preparing to leave his post at the United Nations. The memorandum put forward Goldberg’s proposal for breaking the impasse in the Middle East. (Ibid.)