272. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Lebanon1

250484. Subj: Lebanese View on Imposed Solution. Ref: Beirut 13089 (Notal).2

1.
In call on Department Officers October 4, Simon Boulos,3 President Helou’s unofficial emissary, stated that Helou (as well as other Arab leaders) firmly convinced that only possible ME settlement is one imposed on Arabs and Israelis by US and USSR (but not Big Four or UN). Leaders could not justify to Arab people anything other than imposed settlement. Boulos added that although danger of later repudiation exists, imposed settlement is only way of getting issue off dead center at this time.
2.
Boulos also stated Helou has hard intelligence indicating Syrian Government planning sharply increased infiltration of fedayeen through Lebanon into Israel. Purpose is to provoke Israeli reprisals [Page 543] which would in turn cause serious internal difficulties in Lebanon. Boulos expressed hope Israelis will not retaliate in case occasional terrorist slips through Lebanon, since Lebanese forces doing everything possible to interdict fedayeen. Memcon follows.
Katzenbach
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret. Drafted by Bryan H. Baas (NEA/ARN), cleared by Michael Sterner (NEA/IAI), and approved by Talcott W. Seelye. Repeated to Amman, Tel Aviv, and USUN.
  2. Telegram 13089 from Beirut, October 1, reported that President Helou had designated Simon Boulos as a member of the Lebanese Delegation to the UN General Assembly and charged him with responsibility for discussing with U.S. officials Lebanon’s fears about an Israeli attack against Lebanese territory in response to real or imagined infiltrations across Lebanon into Israel. Boulos was also instructed to try to promote an Arab-Israeli settlement at the United Nations. (Ibid.)
  3. Boulos called on Seelye and Baas. A memorandum of the conversation is ibid., AID(US)LEB.