205. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State1

856. Department Pass USUN. Deliver to Action Office Opening of Business.

1. Mrs. Meir and Eban called in Ambassador, accompanied by DCM, morning February 12. Mrs. Meir said she was shocked and worried about Jarring initiative2 and deeply concerned because she thought difficulty lay with State Department rather than simply with Jarring. As GOI had now learned from summary of exchange of messages with UAR, USG had reiterated its continued support for “Rogers plans” of 1969. Mrs. Meir felt this was contrary to assurances given her, most recently in President’s message of December 4, 1970,3 that USG would leave negotiations to parties and not intervene. Moreover, while she did not know whether US–UAR messages had been made available to Jarring by USG or Egyptians, or whether Jarring had consulted USG about his proposed initiative, it seemed clear to her that he would never have taken initiative except for knowledge that USG stood by 1969 plans and that Egyptians were counting on that.

2. Ambassador took strong exception and pointed out USG had continuously reiterated to all concerned that its policy remained as out [Page 741] lined in 1969 papers and we had given no commitment either to change fundamental position or to refrain from stating that it still valid. Pointed out we supported idea that negotiations must be between parties but had not tied our hands or hidden belief that we would continue to be of assistance to parties as negotiations proceeded. Stated he did not know whether USG had apprised Jarring of exchanges with Egyptians or whether Jarring had consulted or informed anyone in advance of his proposed paper to parties, but doubted that USG had had any foreknowledge. Called on Mrs. Meir to continue smoking out Egyptians and not to make any negative reply to Jarring paper.

3. Mrs. Meir said GOI position was that it still awaiting simple reply from UAR to simple question of whether, under any circumstances, UAR prepared to make binding peace with Israel. In absence such reply from UAR, she said, GOI would not “take even one more step” and would not take any action on Jarring paper.

4. Mrs. Meir also raised discussion of guarantees and reiterated strong Israeli opposition.4

5. Details by septel.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1160, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations Files, Middle East—Jarring Talks Edited and Indexed, February 12–18, 1971. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Repeated Immediate to Cairo.
  2. On February 8, Jarring handed identical aides-mémoire to Israeli and UAR representatives in New York in which the Special Representative sought to “make clear” his views on what he believed to be “the necessary steps to be taken in order to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles of Security Council Resolution 242 (1967), which the parties have agreed to carry out in all its parts.” He continued: “I have come to the conclusion that the only possibility of breaking the imminent deadlock arising from the differing views of Israel and the United Arab Republic as to the priority to be given to commitments and undertaking—which seems to be the real cause for the present immobility—is for me to seek from each side the parallel and simultaneous commitments which seem to be inevitable prerequisites of an eventual peace settlement between them.” (Ibid.) For the text of Jarring’s aide-mémoire, see Israel’s Foreign Policy: Historical Documents, volumes 1–2, 1947–1974, Chapter XII, The War of Attrition and the Cease Fire, Document 28.
  3. Document 187.
  4. After reading Meir’s complaints regarding Jarring’s initiative, Yost wrote: “I am afraid that, if we wish to preserve the negotiating process under Jarring as the main vehicle for a ME political settlement, as the GOI has so long desired, we must speak urgently and very frankly indeed to Mrs. Meir and Eban. The conversation reported reftel [telegram 877 from Tel Aviv; see footnote 5 below] reflects such a preoccupation with their own grievances and such an absence of perception of the true situation that I despair of keeping negotiations going more than few more weeks unless there is a fundamental change in the GOI approach.” (Telegram 446 from USUN, February 13; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1160, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations Files, Middle East—Jarring Talks Edited and Indexed, February 12–18, 1971)
  5. Telegram 877 from Tel Aviv, February 12. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR)