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

9339. Subject: Palestinian Representation at Peace Conference.

1. Israel may just refuse to attend any peace conference at which there will be a separate Palestinian/fedayeen delegation. Israelis would accept Palestinian representation folded into the Jordanian del and it is even possible they might tolerate some fedayeen rep included in the Jordanian or some other Arab state del.

2. The nature of any Palestinian rep at a peace conference, therefore, as a concern takes precedence over the possible shape of a final West Bank settlement. If Israel doesn’t attend the proposed peace conference, it becomes just another Arab summit and West Bank settlement scenarios under those circumstances would be highly academic.

3. We have read the excellent reporting from various interested posts with great interest. It is not entirely clear to me, however, what we might expect to come out of the Arab summit,2 particularly re the nature of Palestinian representation at a peace conference.

4. I would, therefore, appreciate receiving the Dept’s best estimate of the possible results of the Arab summit, if that is reasonably predictable. My frank concern is that the Arab summit might, under radical pressure, try to tie Sadat’s hands and, in other ways, seek to obstruct real movement towards peace. A “worst case” result from Israel’s point of view would be a summit decision that there would be a separate Palestinian/fedayeen delegation.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated Immediate to Algiers, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Jerusalem, Jidda, and USUN.
  2. An Arab League summit convened in Algiers November 26–28.
  3. In telegram 6152 from Amman, November 19, Brown wrote that he had been making the point to the Jordanians and the Arab Ambassadors in Amman, especially the Saudi Ambassador, that it would be a great mistake to let the Arab radicals take over at Algiers since they might destroy the chance for negotiations in their haste to attack the United States and bolster Arafat. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 618, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, X, November–December 1973) Telegram 233802 to Cairo, November 28, reported that the summit recognized the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinians but that no official statement was made that would prejudice the peace conference. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)