105. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Memorandum of Conversation Between the Secretary and Foreign Minister Dayan


  • Israel
  • Moshe Dayan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel
  • Simon Dinitz, Ambassador of Israel to the United States
  • Ephraim Evron, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Hanan Bar-on, Minister, Embassy of Israel
  • Meir Rosenne, Legal Advisor to the Foreign Minister
  • Naphtali Lavie, Foreign Ministry Spokesman
  • Elyakim Rubinstein, Director, Foreign Minister’s Bureau
  • United States
  • The Secretary
  • *Deputy Secretary Christopher
  • Philip Habib, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
  • Alfred Atherton, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
  • Ambassador Lewis
  • *Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • William Quandt, National Security Council
  • David Korn, Policy Planning Staff
  • *Present only at the Lunch

The Secretary said he was very pleased to have the Foreign Minister and Mrs. Dayan with us. The Secretary said he would like to start this session by discussing the peace treaty draft that Dayan sent and then ask questions and clarify principles in the Israeli peace treaty and in Dayan’s letter.2 After the meeting with the President, he proposed that the two of them could sit down together alone.

Dayan said he agreed.3

The Secretary said it had been very helpful to have Israel’s draft and Dayan’s letter, particularly the letter, which gives us more detail. The Secretary said he would like to ask some questions regarding the concept of peaceful relations as Dayan saw it from the Israeli standpoint. What elements of peaceful relations did Dayan consider the most important? We thought up to now that Israel considered trade and cultural relations and other such things as having higher priority than diplomatic relations. But the draft treaty provides for the establishment of diplomatic relations one month after the entry into effect of the treaty. Does Israel think diplomatic relations could be established so quickly?

Dayan said he wished he knew. Then he motioned to Mr. Rosenne and asked him to comment. Rosenne said the first priority is to establish diplomatic relations. Once you have diplomatic relations then trade and cultural exchanges and other things can be settled on. For example, one year after the entry into effect of diplomatic relations we might sign trade and cultural relations agreements.

The Secretary asked if it were realistic to expect to be able to negotiate diplomatic relations one month after the treaty enters into effect. Dayan answered that he couldn’t really say, but it might be. The information Israel has now is that most of the Arab countries do not consider diplomatic relations to be a subject they want to deal with any time, even after many years—they don’t want to commit themselves. Dayan repeated that he really didn’t know whether it is realistic.

The Secretary said that as far as the establishment of normal diplomatic relations is concerned we see no problem for Hussein. Sadat has told us that the matter is negotiable but the question is how soon. Sadat is more flexible than Assad, who is the most rigid, but each puts diplo[Page 522]matic relations at the end of the list after trade, open borders and other things.

Dayan said that the Secretary and the President had asked Israel for a draft peace agreement which includes withdrawal on Israel’s side. It should include everything on the Arab side. Diplomatic relations should have higher priority than culture and trade, because of their symbolic importance. Except for Jordan, Dayan said he felt that none of the Arabs is thinking in terms of diplomatic relations. Syria is not thinking in those terms and he questioned whether Sadat really is also. Dayan wondered whether Israel’s concept of a peace treaty is the same as theirs. If you do not envisage early diplomatic relations, has your concept of a peace treaty not changed, Dayan asked.

The Secretary said it definitely has not changed. We continue to think it should be a comprehensive treaty and that the nature of peace should be clear. It should provide for trade, open borders and the establishment of diplomatic relations. But there must be a timetable for these things and that will have to be negotiated. We will do all in our power to get all those things in a treaty. The Secretary said he could assure Dayan that our position is unchanged on this matter. (Secretary underscores this last sentence by bringing his fist down on the table.) The Secretary said that his recollection of our earlier discussions was that we talked about diplomatic relations phased over a period of time. The Secretary turned to Mr. Atherton, who confirmed that this was correct.

Ambassador Dinitz said it was his recollection that diplomatic relations was to be included in a peace treaty. The Secretary said this was true, but the question of when was to be negotiated. Dayan said Israel’s concern was that this question be dealt with in the peace treaty. If a peace treaty is signed and it is not, then the Arabs would later say “Never” to diplomatic relations. Dayan added that if there was anything on this in the minutes of earlier U.S.-Israeli talks he would like to know. The Secretary said we would check.

Mr. Habib said the Egyptian position has been shifting and we have been trying to get them to shorten the time before diplomatic relations. They wanted it longer—we were trying to get them to shorten it.

The Secretary asked if Israel considered diplomatic relations the highest priority. Dayan said yes, but again he would like to ask Rosenne’s comment. Rosenne said he had looked into the precedents on diplomatic relations in peace treaties. In the Japanese peace treaty the establishment of diplomatic relations was immediate. On the question of trade there are two things, Rosenne said. There are negative practices, such as a boycott, which should be terminated immediately, and then there is the question of a trade agreement which could take a long time to negotiate.

[Page 523]

The Secretary replied that clearly the boycott should be lifted immediately. He added that Sadat said he agreed to this. Ambassador Dinitz said that one of the things that created this misunderstanding is that Israel did not distinguish between trade practices and the problem of the long time it would take to negotiate a trade agreement. When we say a trade agreement would take time, we don’t mean we are in favor of postponing it, just that the negotiation would be lengthy.

Ambassador Lewis asked whether the Israelis would be prepared to move toward diplomatic relations in stages. He noted that we know from our experience in recent years that there are various forms of diplomatic relations. Are diplomatic contacts the main thing or is it the exchange of ambassadors? Mr. Rosenne said it was an exchange of ambassadors that Israel wants. Mr. Evron explained that the problem is that when you start below the ambassadorial level it has a tendency to freeze. Take for example Israel’s relations with Greece, Turkey and Iran. Israel wants diplomatic relations, “the real McCoy.” Mr. Habib pointed out that there is a difference between doing this and having an understanding that it will be done. You can get an understanding on diplomatic relations, but do you think it is really realistic to have them in one month after the treaty enters into effect?

Dayan said the point is that when the Israelis were told they should make a maximum effort to draw up a comprehensive plan, including withdrawal and complete normalization, it was their impression that diplomatic relations and an exchange of ambassadors had to be a part of any such arrangement. This has to be the meaning of full normalization, particularly when Israel was given to understand that it would have to pay heavily in territory. Dayan said that as best he understood the Arab position at present, both Assad and Sadat exclude diplomatic relations. Assad particularly, but also Sadat. Assad’s position is that there should be withdrawal but that no Arab country should be obliged to have diplomatic relations with any country which it doesn’t want to. Let us suppose, Dayan said, that Israel were to wait two years and then discuss this matter. His impression was that the attitude of these two countries is that they don’t want diplomatic relations at any time. But people in Israel think that what is being discussed by the President and the Secretary when you talk about normal relations is full diplomatic relations. Dayan asked if the Secretary could tell him what the President thinks on this?

The Secretary said the President will speak for himself this afternoon, but he was sure the President would like to see full diplomatic relations. The question is can this be negotiated right away. Dayan reiterated that Israel gives high priority to the establishment of diplomatic relations.

[Page 524]

The Secretary said he recalled that Sadat did say he would rule out diplomatic relations as long as Israeli troops are in occupied territory in Sinai. This could mean either (a) there could be a provision for withdrawal over a period of time and no diplomatic relations until that was done; or (b) that Sadat would not discuss the question of diplomatic relations before full withdrawal. This is a point we will have to clarify.

The Secretary said he would also like to raise the question of security arrangements. In the Israeli draft treaty there are references to things such as buffer zones, but there are no references to other kinds of arrangements, such as black boxes, UN forces, or guarantees. The Secretary asked for Dayan’s views on this. Dayan replied that first of all, it is not technical matters that dictate where the line should run, but Israel’s security. The decision on where the line should run has to take into account Israel’s security. Then technical arrangements come into consideration. Dayan said this was a question he had been dealing with for many years. When we talk about demilitarizing we have to ask ourselves what will happen if a country violates the demilitarization provision. Will a third party do something? Will there be people out there who will go and investigate and take action? It is because of this problem of security that Israel mentioned the possibility of arrangements for a reduction in forces after the peace is signed. When a war is over the parties should be ready to reduce their forces. Dayan said he had not been given authority to negotiate on the Israeli draft, but he could explain it. Speaking for himself, he would not exclude the possibility of UN forces in a buffer zone, but there must be some supervision, some provision so that there will be someone to check and prevent violations.

Dayan asked if the United States would be willing to be a party to guarantees and what these guarantees would be. Dayan observed that Israel hasn’t suggested guarantees, but according to the U.S. some Arab countries brought this up and the U.S. said it would sign guarantees if all the parties wanted it. Dayan pointed out that Israel had “bad memories regarding UN forces in Sinai and certain kinds of promises made in 1967 by the United States Administration.”

The Secretary said he would be happy to talk about this. We would be prepared to join in guarantees with others. As to what would be encompassed in these guarantees, we would want to discuss with Israel what would be appropriate. The Secretary said he would like to set aside some time for this. Guarantees are something we are prepared to do if we can get the necessary Congressional authority, which the Secretary said he thought we could.

Dayan said he would like to find out what the U.S. proposes. Let us go into this.

[Page 525]

The Secretary said he would like to. He asked for Dayan’s views. Dayan said that in Israel there are two schools of thought, and he belongs to both. (Laughter) These two schools represent the two sides of the question. One says that Israel would rather not have American boys killed for it. If there were that kind of guarantee it would harm relations between the United States and Israel. People in America would say, “Why should our boys be killed for Israel?” This school feels there should be American guarantees only in the event that there is Russian intervention. The other school says that if guarantees are really meaningful then they would be of benefit. For example, if in 1967 there had been direct U.S. involvement at Sharm el Sheikh, either with American soldiers or as a part of the UN contingent or otherwise, then Nasser would not have called for withdrawal of the UN force, or even if he had the UN Secretary General would not have done it. This school wants businesslike guarantees; guarantees that are specific and meaningful, not a guarantee that says “We would try” or “We would do our best.” Dayan added (apparently contradicting his earlier statement that he “belonged to both schools”) that he thought it would be bad for Israel to have American guarantees, except where Russia is concerned. But he would rather have the U.S. in UN forces, since that would make them more reliable.

The Secretary pointed out that if U.S. troops are included in a UN force the Soviets would probably insist on their forces being included too. He asked how Dayan would feel about that. Dayan said he is a minority in the Israeli Government. He wouldn’t like to see Soviet forces in the Middle East but when you discuss UN forces it is obvious that there can’t be a Security Council Resolution without the Russians, so they are involved. Therefore he would not object to Soviet troops in a UN force. In 1967 if there had been a UN force with Americans and Russians, the outcome would presumably have been very different. But Dayan cautioned that he was not at all sure that his position on this matter would be the Israeli Government position.

The Secretary said we should have further discussions on this. Dayan responded that one kind of guarantee he does not support is that which relies on early warning systems in Sinai with the Americans between Israel and the Egyptians. The Secretary asked why. Dayan said Israel must establish relations with the Arabs without intermediaries. He said he did not exclude having anybody on the ground between Israel and the Arabs. UN forces are symbolic and don’t hurt relations. But Dayan thought it was undesirable and would undermine relations to see American soldiers, or rather, civilians, doing a job like the early warning system. It would work for a cease-fire, but not for a long period of time.

The Secretary said he had noticed either a contradiction or a confusion in the Israeli position. Paragraph 10 of the Israeli draft treaty says [Page 526] that all areas evacuated are to be demilitarized. But in Dayan’s letter he talked about buffer zones and demilitarized zones. In response, Dayan turned to Rosenne, who read Article 10 of the Israeli draft. Rosenne said demilitarized zones are a matter of principle, but they don’t rule out other arrangements.

The Secretary asked if Dayan would envisage that Sinai would have a limited force zone and demilitarized and buffer zones as well? Dayan replied that these things could be combined with one another. Some part would be a limited force zone and some part a demilitarized zone, and in between there could be a buffer zone with UN forces. There could be two or three different kinds of arrangements. We didn’t want to say anything specific on this.

The Secretary said there was another point he wanted to clarify. In Dayan’s letter he referred to “territorial control.” Are we correct in thinking that in using that term Israel is drawing a distinction between it and sovereignty? Dayan said the GOI was looking for a vague term and thus used “territorial control.” Normally when we say “control” we mean Israeli sovereignty. But we realize that there can be control other than through sovereignty. We are leaving possibilities open. We are not saying “nevers” and “nos.” The point for Israel is to provide security and we think the answer is Israeli control. But Dayan added that if there can be control without sovereignty, Israel is willing to discuss the matter. The Secretary asked if Dayan could give more detail on how he saw the situation being worked out in Sinai. The Secretary said he realized that whatever Dayan said would not be binding on him. Dayan said clearly he could not give us anything that would be binding. He then continued that the first thing is to find out whether Egypt agrees to Israel’s plan that there should be an area in Sinai under Israeli control. If the Arabs agree to that, then we can deal with the question of how to accomplish it and how wide the zone would be. As Prime Minister Begin told the President, there would be substantial withdrawal in Sinai. There is no practical point in going now into more detail as to where the line would be drawn. Dayan said that whatever area Israel withdraws from would have to be demilitarized or controlled by UN forces, for Israel recognizes that there could be no complete demilitarization anywhere. There would have to be someone everywhere to guarantee security. Full demilitarization between the lines is simply not practical.

The Secretary asked if it is practical to ask Egypt to have a demilitarized area without Israel’s having one. Dayan replied that it would not endanger Egypt if they don’t have big forces in Sinai. They can control the desert through small forces. But Israel has only a small area on its side.

[Page 527]

The Secretary said he did not understand what is meant when Israel talks about a “band of land south of Gaza.” Could Dayan explain more in detail? Dayan replied that Israel does have a problem in northern Sinai. It is not the same as in the south. In the north there are about 400,000 Arabs in Gaza. It is essential for Israel’s security that there be an Israeli inhabited zone to divide between Gaza and the Egyptian population in Sinai. That is the reason for Israeli settlements in that area. The Secretary asked if it was correct to say that Dayan believes there must be a band running from somewhere close to Al Arish on down the Sinai. Dayan went to the map, drew his hand down it from Eilat to Sharm el Sheikh, indicating that there must be a continuous land strip there under Israeli control. He then drew his hand from Eilat up to the Mediterranean. The Secretary asked where Israeli control would apply in this area, and Dayan responded by sweeping his hand down the map from the Mediterranean along the international border between Egypt and Israel, cutting a wide swath on the Egyptian side.

The Secretary asked why is it necessary to have Israeli control in the area that Dayan had just indicated, as opposed to a buffer zone with UN forces. Dayan replied that Israel’s proposal was not a full plan. There were security and military considerations. Military considerations explain the need for land control from north to south. Dayan said he should mention in this connection that Israel has “three or four” airfields along the western side of the old line to which he had just pointed on the map. The Secretary said he took it that Dayan was saying that at this point he didn’t want to be more precise. Dayan said that was correct; the time to be precise is really in negotiations. Israel hasn’t decided yet about exactly where the line of control would run. The Secretary said that if he understood correctly, the general concept is for control of a band of territory from somewhere near Al Arish to Aqaba and then to Sharm el Sheikh. Dayan replied that he hadn’t mentioned Al Arish or any other places in the north. In the south Israel can be more sure of where the line would run. It should run along the high ground (Dayan pointed to the map, to a narrow strip bordering the Gulf of Aqaba). But in the north Israel has not said Al Arish, or east or west of Al Arish. “We can’t say where the line would be precisely, but I can say that Israel would withdraw from the greater part of Sinai.” Habib remarked that the Israelis were talking about territorial control, not a buffer zone. Dayan replied that when he said Israeli control, he meant this was Israel’s proposal. Israel presents the problem on a theoretical level, since there is no one to talk to about it in practice at the moment. In the south, Israel wants to be sure of navigation rights. In the north, where there are Israeli settlements, it is a question of security of the population. Ambassador Lewis asked if the Israelis could live with the idea of Israeli settlements in Sinai but in a buffer zone. Dayan said that if the other side would propose that Israel would consider it. “We wouldn’t ex[Page 528]clude anything as long as security is assured. We would not, how do you say, reject any idea out of hand.”

Mr. Habib said that in other words, Israel wants to sanitize the 500,000 Arabs of Gaza from outside contact. Dayan said this is the real problem. There are also military considerations, but this is the main problem.

The Secretary proposed that the party adjourn for lunch. Dayan said he hoped he was clear in his answers to all of the questions. “I have come all this way here to talk with you, and I don’t want us to have misunderstandings.” (The Deputy Secretary and Mr. Brzezinski joined the party for lunch, and the conversation resumed at the luncheon table after drinks and pictures.)

The Secretary asked if we could discuss Golan now. He asked how Dayan saw Israel’s security needs there. Dayan said he did not see much room for changing the lines on Golan. Of course, he said, we were careful not to mention this or to rule out anything in his letter. But the area is so narrow, Dayan said, that he didn’t think the answer in Golan lies in a major change in lines. “But maybe there are other answers.” The Secretary asked Dayan to elaborate on the problems. Is it necessary for Israel to stay on the Heights? Is a buffer zone inappropriate or not useful in Golan?

Dayan said a buffer zone would not be very practicable in Golan. Israel had discussed the question of a buffer zone between its settlements and the Syrians and they weren’t interested in it. In any case, the strip would have been very narrow. The whole of Golan itself is only about 25 kms. wide and all that is slope. And this area is populated by Israeli settlements. Dayan remarked that he knew the U.S. was not a “great supporter” of Israeli settlements, but he said the current Israeli government was not responsible for any of the Golan settlements. But he did not think any Israeli government would consider removal of any of the Golan settlements.

Any of them, the Secretary asked?

Dayan paused briefly and said he wouldn’t ever say that Israel would not move one inch. But, he said, he had the feeling we are talking very theoretically. He did not think there is really much chance of peace. He did not see peaceful intentions on the part of the Arabs, particularly on the part of Assad.

Mr. Brzezinski asked if Dayan thought Assad would not sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Dayan said Assad is thinking of something like ending the state of war. He says Israel should give back all of the territories and that all of the Palestinians should be allowed to go back, but he doesn’t want to make any concessions on his side.

[Page 529]

Mr. Brzezinski said suppose Assad were ready to sign a treaty and have diplomatic relations with Israel. Would that make a difference?

Dayan said it certainly would. Israel would have to reexamine its views altogether. But, he added, we are talking about now, not about theory.

Ambassador Lewis remarked that what Dayan had said about settlements didn’t square with what he said before, that no settlement would be an obstacle to peace.

Dayan replied that he really did not think settlements make negotiations more difficult. Boundaries won’t be decided by where the settlements are. If there is peace, some settlements would stay on the other side of the border or we would move them. We might come to an agreement with the other party to leave them where they are but in no case would a settlement be an obstacle to peace. Dayan said that in general Israel has established settlements where it thinks it should stay for good, not simply temporarily. This applies in Golan in particular. It has established settlements in the view that it should stay there, “but if in peace negotiations the boundary turns out to be different, we won’t say we can’t move from here because there is a settlement here.”

The Secretary asked if it were correct that Israel’s position is that military considerations are the reason for the position it takes regarding Golan.

Dayan said Israel takes into consideration both military considerations and the fact of settlements.

The Secretary asked whether if circumstances changed and peace could be obtained, settlements would affect Israel’s position on withdrawal.

Dayan replied that if peace could be obtained, Israel would definitely have to review its position. He said he could assure that settlements will not decide the line. If there are settlements outside the line, either Israel will move them or come to an understanding with the other party. But, Dayan added, Golan is so narrow that he could not see much room for arrangements there.

The Secretary proposed discussing the West Bank. He said we get the impression from Israel’s paper that Israel feels the border must be the Jordan River. How can there be a basis for a conference if Israel takes this position?

Mr. Rosenne said this is not correct. The paper says Israeli security must be based on the Jordan, not that the border must be in Jordan.

Dayan observed that there are no “musts” in Israel’s paper. Israel has been exploring the West Bank question with the Arabs for ten years and has found that they reject all compromise. He said the fact is he could not see any line on the West Bank that would be acceptable to [Page 530] both the Arabs and Israel. For example, Dayan said, there are 400,000 people in Gaza, half of them refugees. They work in Israel. He would not like to imagine what would happen if they had barbed wire between themselves and Israel and they could not work in Israel. Or suppose no one could go to work from the West Bank to Israel. The same applies to Jerusalem. There can’t be artificial barriers. At this point Dayan spoke at length about how Israel had not been able to use the Hebrew University during the time of Jordanian rule of the West Bank because Jordan would not allow free passage there.

Mr. Brzezinski said no one wants to return to the situation of barbed wire, walls and all that. Dayan replied that part of the problem on the West Bank is security. Israel has its early warning system there. Part is political, in particular Jerusalem; and part is economic, which is largely the case of Gaza.

The Secretary asked how Dayan would envisage the administration of the West Bank. Dayan said Israel is clear about what its interests are but does not really know what the Arabs want. Israel has to keep a military position at the top of the hills and in the Jordan Valley. It would avoid discussing sovereignty. It would not establish settlements that displace Arab populations; it would put settlements only where there are security concerns. Dayan said this does not mean that he would exclude an Israeli from buying land on the West Bank if he wants to and if an Arab wants to sell, but as a general principle Israel would establish settlements only where security is concerned.

Dayan said the question was whether Israel would be dealing with the Jordanians or the local Arabs. For a long time the Israelis thought it would be Jordan that they would be dealing with. But now they realize they must find out what the West Bankers themselves want. Dayan added that he felt he should say that one day Jordan itself will be Palestinian. He thought it very clear that the Palestinians would not elect King Hussein if they have a choice. Eventually the Palestinians on both sides of the Jordan will be a majority and eventually they will rule, he said.

The Secretary remarked that Dayan had said that the other party would be local people. “We do have the mayors,” Dayan said. If he had to discuss something he would approach the mayors, but he did not know if they would respond. Dayan termed the mayors all under the influence of the PLO. The Secretary asked if it would be possible that the mayors would be willing to act as an advisory group to a Jordanian delegation at Geneva. Dayan said he didn’t know. It depends on the PLO. They wouldn’t do it if the PLO didn’t want them to. They are scared to death of the PLO.

The Secretary said he gathered from the Israeli letter that Israel feels there should be no foreign state with sovereignty over the West Bank. [Page 531] Does that mean Israeli sovereignty or no sovereignty at all over the West Bank, merely administration? Dayan replied that Israel would consider both Jordan and a Palestinian state to be foreign sovereignty, but that “we would not consider ourselves foreign, Israeli sovereignty would not contradict our principle.” But he said Israel really didn’t specify Israeli sovereignty. Dayan said if the problem arises, Israel would be ready to consider something in between. “I myself think that whatever arrangement there is on the West Bank cannot be eternal.” Dayan added that the West Bank will not be the first element to be settled in a peace treaty, and that perhaps after the other problems have been settled something can be worked out for the West Bank too. Dayan suggested that we see how Israel and the Arabs live together before an answer be given on sovereignty. Sovereignty can be decided at the end. “Let’s start with questions like who will repair the roads.”

The Secretary asked if it might be possible to leave the question of sovereignty over the West Bank unresolved, without Israel claiming sovereignty, but that an administration could be set up. How much autonomy would such an administration have? Dayan replied, “Let them formulate it” (presumably meaning the West Bankers). Israel would have military posts, but these posts would not interfere in the daily life of the population of the West Bank. Settlements would also not interfere. Arabs could work in Israel or not, as they want, and Israelis could travel in the West Bank, as they want. Israel would not run the West Bank schools, providing the schools were not used for inciting terrorism. If the West Bank Arabs don’t want to use Israeli technicians and facilities, that is up to them. Israel won’t force them. Dayan said he would ask the West Bankers what kind of autonomy they themselves want. “A Palestinian state is out of the question,” he added, “but otherwise we would consider their desires.”

The Secretary asked if it was correct that for Israel the real problem is who is the other person to negotiate with. Dayan replied, “Definitely.” He remarked, with a touch of bitterness, that since the Americans tell them they are entitled to self-determination and a Palestinian homeland the West Bank Palestinians won’t sit down and negotiate with Israel. Dayan added that Israel is not going to discuss the West Bank with the PLO.

Ambassador Lewis said he would like to ask a hypothetical question. Let us assume Dayan’s arrangement regarding the West Bank were worked out and some mixture of Jordanians and locals were running affairs in the West Bank. One of Israel’s bases in the mountains was attacked by terrorists. Israeli intelligence says that this is a terrorist cell based in Nablus. What would Israel do? Dayan replied that Israel would go and search and get them. Lewis replied, “This means Israel is retaining security responsibilities?” Dayan said, “Theoretically, if the [Page 532] local forces would do it we would leave it to them, but in practice they won’t. It would be very farfetched to think that they would.”

Mr. Habib asked Dayan if he would elaborate on the question of with whom arrangements would be made. Dayan replied that if it is agreed that the West Bank is not going to be a Palestinian state or be returned to Jordan, then Israel has to find a way to live with it. Dayan said he would approach the Jordanians and the mayors and form a delegation—not a delegation for Geneva—to discuss this matter with them. The Jordanians might say they want to stay out. That would be natural after what the Americans have said regarding the Palestinians; that they should have their own entity.

At this point the Secretary excused himself, saying that he had to go to the White House a few minutes before the Foreign Minister’s meeting with the President. The Secretary said he would see the Foreign Minister at the White House. Discussion of the West Bank problem continued briefly, with Dayan reiterating that Israel would seek the views of the West Bankers themselves on what kind of regime they would like.

Dayan and members of his party departed at 2:20 p.m. for the White House.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East File, Trips/Visits File, Box 107, 9/19/77–10/25/77 Vance Meetings with Middle East Foreign Ministers: 9–10/77. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Korn (S/P). The meeting took place in the Secretary’s office and the lunch took place in the Secretary’s Dining Room at the Department of State.
  2. See Document 100.
  3. No record of this private meeting has been found.