302. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

7545. Middle East: Jarring Mission. Fol summary based on uncleared memcon, Noforn and FYI, subject to revision upon review.


Eban reviewed with Secy Israel’s current approach to Jarring Mission and ME settlement following GOI Cabinet deliberations. Israel [Page 598] feels it important to continue process of clarification vis-a-vis Jordan while continuing correspondence through Jarring vis-a-vis UAR. Re UAR Israel prepared to continue substantive exchange through Jarring and to make declaration along lines put to Eban by Barbour, but with “agreement” emphasized and “functional” rather then geographical definition of Israel’s position on border question. Israel also working on declaration on Res vis-a-vis Jordan. Israel committed to continuation of Jarring Mission and believes Jarring should get more into specifics and reconsider March 1968 proposal for parties to meet under his auspices. Israel hopes us will continue to encourage UAR and Jarring. End Summary.

Secretary met with GOI FonMin Eban Nov 3 re ME settlement and Jarring Mission. Wiggins, Rabin, Tekoah, and Argov also present.
Secy asked Eban how he had done with GOI Cabinet. Eban said Suez Canal bombardment weekend after his arrival in Israel had created unfavorable atmosphere and first idea had been not to reply at all to Riad paper since it only invective and propaganda containing nothing specific and concrete to continue dialogue. Eban said he pointed out clear relation of any prospect for progress with Jordan to keeping process alive with UAR and Cabinet decision then taken to pursue dialogue further. Eban said he wished touch on three points: 1) process of clarification with Jordan on which there had been further progress; 2) Cabinet study of what position would be taken if negotiations forthcoming with UAR; and 3) tactical considerations relating to Jarring mission.
Eban said process of clarification with Jordan advancing and expected to culminate mid-November. (Septel) In meantime, it absolutely essential to keep Jarring available. Secy asked how Eban anticipated giving Jarring Mission enough nourishment keep it alive during this period. Eban said it is fact that there are possibilities and impossibilities with Israel as with UAR: it would be impossible for GOI to commit “whole destiny” to text without safety catch of “agreement.” Eban said Israel would be able to say something about having accepted Res and willing discuss ways reach full agreement on implementing its provisions as Amb Barbour had proposed. Problem is that UAR keeps wanting imposed settlement whereas Israel wants agreed settlement. Eban said Jarring had asked for anything to keep Riad in picture, and this all right with Israel. Problem is that Jordan does not want to go it alone so UAR must be at least indirectly in picture: it must be triangular not bilateral process. Eban said GOI position of placing implementation of Res in context of peace valid in terms both of international law and Res itself,UAR and Jordan should be persuaded that there would not be changes in SC opinion on this. Riad had left unanswered question in GOI paper as to whether he accepted UK FonMin Stewart’s definition of res.
In response to Wiggins question as to what Eban would say to Jarring, Eban said he would refer to his previous statement (paper) to Jarring and ask Jarring to move mission out of declaratory rut and into specifics. Eban said he would tell Jarring frankly that GOI had decided to go on with mission and with clarification process with Jordan, especially over next two weeks, and that it most important that Jarring not remove himself at this stage.
Re UAR, Eban said he had enough to draft something for Jarring today or tomorrow which he thought would satisfy third parties that Riad would be justified in not breaking up mission. Nothing suggests that UAR prepared for peace. Either whatever USSR telling them UAR not listening to, or USSR not telling them to make peace. Intoxicated speeches of two weeks ago and on throwing Israel into sea reminiscent of May-June 1967. Fact that 20 Israelis killed in last barrage and little damage done to UAR must have had enormous influence on hawks in Cairo who wish to gain time for either partial or complete military victory against Israel. Despite GOI pessimistic view of UAR intentions, Israel would like to secure limited tactical objective of making it difficult for Cairo to break off on Jarring Mission without loss in world opinion. Israel would address itself in this phase with Jarring to get enough acquiescence on UAR part to let process of clarification with Jordan proceed. Secy observed that return by Riad to Cairo would not necessarily mean breaking off Jarring Mission. Eban said gist of GOI approach would be to: 1) reaffirm willingness to exchange views on certain matters of substance through Jarring; 2) press for precise definition by parties of positions including answers to questions Israel had already put so that positions could be compared and scope of difficulties of settlement estimated; and 3) make declaration with text almost identical to that suggested by US but (a) without accepting view that Res invalidated because it contains “agreement,” and (b) giving “functional” rather than geographical formula on boundary question which should make clear that Israel’s purpose is not expansionism and that once boundaries and security arrangements agreed troops would be disposed accordingly. More specific position would be made known when Israel-UAR effort moved from tactical to substantive stage (septel), but it would be counterproductive to discuss specifics while UAR not talking peace. Jarring had never said Israel should give map or lines. If UAR says something on paper which is concrete and conciliatory Israel could say something more specific on boundary and res. Eban said Israel prepared to discuss further all three aspects of approach he had outlined.
Re tactics, Eban said Israel giving first priority to Jarring Mission; whoever breaks off mission, whether UAR or Jarring himself, would assume heavy international responsibility. Eban said he would be seeing Jarring sometime tonight or tomorrow. Secondly, GOI thinks [Page 600] Jarring should consider again proposal he made in March 1968 about meetings of parties under his auspices. This at least useful as operative proposal on table and Israel would say in advance that GOI would accept proposal if made now. Thirdly, Israel would follow up on Eban speech to GA and on Israel’s seven questions to UAR to see if perhaps agreement could be reached on one or more points in contingent initial discussion. With these procedural proposals, together with willingness work out declarations both vis-a-vis UAR and Jordan (septel), Israel prepared stand before public opinion if Riad leaves and Jarring Mission collapses. In answer to Secy question, Eban said he would have to return to Israel sometime after Nov 15, but could in interim continue correspondence in NY if other side wants.2
After Secy withdrew, Eban suggested to Wiggins that US might go to Riad indicating Israel has moved forward with further clarification to Jarring, declaration on res, and principles on border settlement which do not include or exclude anything. UAR would therefore be well advised to stay with Jarring Mission and make reassuring response so as not to take responsibility for breaking up mission. Eban said this crucial and he would say this to Jarring as well. If US were to say to UAR that US thinks that Israel’s position on “agreement” sensible, maybe UAR would play ball if recognizes Israel has support. While Jarring would not embrace Israel’s response he should recognize that it serious enough to have serious response on his part at least to insure time for Israel to make progress in clarification with Jordan.
Wiggins said this would be awkward in that what will be apparent re Israel’s forward movement will not be as much as that movement actually is. Eban said he would give some friends in SC enough info to enable them on diplomatic level to recognize serious and substantive nature of progress so as to encourage Riad to stay. Wiggins and Eban agreed that Riad might well want to return to Cairo. But that where he might be located for a short period of time not as important as whether UAR remaining on board with Jarring Mission. Wiggins asked how far Eban would go in telling Jarring of disavowal by Israel of territory aims and advised him to be as specific and substantive on this as possible. Wiggins said he felt Rifai wants peace and that Riad has seemed better on this score now than he was previously. Re Jarring, Wiggins said he had moved off demand for total and complete specificity of a week ago and reverted to earlier position that what required [Page 601] is something with which he can work. Wiggins said he had talked with Swedish FonMin, who had said he happy to have Jarring continue his mission. Eban said this important so that Jarring would not be worried that his own career might be jeopardized by remaining with ME mission.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Amman, Tel Aviv and Cairo.
  2. On November 5 Wiggins, on instructions from the Department, told Tekoah that the U.S. view of the approach outlined by Eban to Rusk on November 3 was that it would not keep the Jarring Mission going. Wiggins emphasized that the Jarring Mission was hanging in the balance and asked on behalf of his government to review the Israeli position paper before Eban submitted it to Jarring. (Telegram 7554 from USUN, November 5; ibid., POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR)