181. Memorandum From William B. Quandt of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1

SUBJECT

  • Second Day of Camp David Talks (U)

As Dayan and Khalil turned their attention to specific issues in the negotiations today, there was a noticeable backsliding in comparison to yesterday’s relatively positive atmosphere. Dayan stuck to a narrow [Page 623]Cabinet-approved brief, reminding us on several occasions that the idea of a target date was unacceptable and that Israel will not agree to any interpretive note dealing with Article VI, paragraph 2. No residue of the broad strategy overview of yesterday could be seen in today’s talks. (S)

Khalil cut through much of the verbage in our draft letter, but stuck firmly to the need to change Article VI, paragraph 2, either by an interpretive note or by deleting the offensive language in the present draft which indicates that the treaty will be implemented “independent of any other instrument external to the treaty.” In brief there was no real give from either side. Little progress was made in discussion of the “Gaza first” option. It still has some life left in it, but the more it is discussed the greater the confusion it generates. (S)

We will be receiving textual suggestions for change in the West Bank/Gaza letter from both delegations in the course of the evening. We will use these as the basis for a new draft which will be discussed tomorrow. I continue to feel that we should try to put together a treaty package for Dayan to take home with him this weekend, if indeed he must return for Cabinet authorization; and we should urge him to return by mid-week with Begin in tow. There is a limit, which we are rapidly reaching, on how much can usefully be done at this level and in the absence of decision on non-treaty related issues. (S)

If there are any surprises late this evening still from our discussions with the Egyptians or the Israelis, I will call your office just before the Friday2 breakfast meeting. (U)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Subject File, Box 16, Egypt-Israel Negotiations: 2/79. Secret; Outside System. Sent for information. Printed from an uninitialed copy. No memoranda of conversation for the day’s meetings have been found.
  2. February 23.