86. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1

[Omitted here is material unrelated to the Middle East.]

Israeli Policy on Occupied Territories: On Monday the Israeli Labor Party will adopt policy guidelines toward the occupied Arab territories. In order to appeal to a growing body of annexationist opinion within Israel and to keep General Dayan within the Party, the new policy will call for an active Israeli role in settling and developing the occupied areas. Following are the main elements in the policy:

—expansion of the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem;

—establishment of 36 Jewish settlements, in addition to the 48 now in existence, during the next four years;

—accelerated Israeli Government acquisition of Arab lands and increased opportunities for private Israeli citizens and companies to purchase Arab land;

—incentives for Israeli businesses within the territories and expanded economic and social services for the Arab population.

The practical consequences of these measures, which Ambassador Keating terms creeping annexation, will be to make Israeli relinquishment of the West Bank and Jerusalem even more unlikely than at [Page 260]present and to establish an enclave of Jewish settlements in northeastern Sinai, cutting off the Gaza Strip from the rest of the former Egyptian territory.

While much of what the Israeli Labor Party is planning to do in the occupied areas is consistent with past policies, the establishment of a town in Sinai and allowing private land purchases are new departures. Ambassador Keating feels that the added momentum toward annexation created by this policy may undercut the prospects for starting a Middle East negotiating process.2

[Omitted here is material unrelated to the Middle East.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 54, President’s Daily Briefing, President’s Daily Briefs, September 1–15, 1973. Top Secret; Sensitive; Contains Codeword. A stamped note on the first page reads: “The President has seen.”
  2. A handwritten note by Nixon reads: “K—This is an enormous mistake—tell the Israelis in unmistakable terms that I believe they hurt their cause and jeopardize our (my) support by such brutal tactics.”