259. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan 1
Washington, September 19, 1968, 2208Z.
241705. Subj: Ceasefire Violations in ME. Ref: USUN 6562.2
- Dept shares USUN’s view that situation along Israel/Jordan and Israel/UAR ceasefire lines is ominous and may encourage additional violent acts by parties leading to further deterioration of situation in immediate future. Accordingly, ME addressees should approach host govts soonest to urge utmost possible restraint and rigorous observance of ceasefire, pointing out (inter alia) irreparable harm that additional strife in coming weeks could do to Jarring’s ability continue his peacemaking efforts in what could be decisive phase.
- For Tel Aviv: In approaching GOI along lines para 1, Embassy should say we impressed by evidence of recent Israeli restraint and we intend to remind other parties of this important fact in urging similar restraint on them. We would hope that recent warnings delivered by Prime Minister and other GOI spokesmen do not presage lessening of Israeli forbearance in days to come, particularly in any manner that would tend to undercut our approaches to other parties.
- For Amman and Cairo: In addition to making points outlined para 1 above, you should state our belief that recent Israeli actions along ceasefire lines have been relatively restrained and our desire see this continue, although we clearly unable give any assurances this will be the case. We hope GUAR and GOJ would see fit to respond helpfully, rather than by undertaking or allowing acts calculated to try Israeli patience to its uncertain limits.
- For London: Embassy requested inform HMG of our approaches to parties and urge UK undertake similar representations, especially in Cairo.
- Dept will make parallel approaches here.
- Reuters report just received re death six Israelis in ambush on Israel/Jordan cease-fire line adds urgency to above.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Thomas J. Carolan, Jr. (IO/UNP); cleared by William H. Gleysteen (IO/UNP), Atherton, Popper, and in draft by Parker and Seelye; and approved by Davies. Also sent to Tel Aviv and Cairo and repeated to USUN and London.↩
- In telegram 6562 from USUN, September 19, Buffum followed up a telephone conversation with Department officials the previous day to warn that Israel’s circulation at the UN of a compendium of cease-fire complaints against Jordan should be seen as presaging major military operations against Jordan in light of past experience with similar Israeli diplomatic initiatives. Buffum recommended a high-level U.S. approach to Israel urging restraint. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB-ISR)↩