Title: Policy background.
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072554/00034
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Title: Policy background.
Physical Description: Book
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Bibliographic ID: UF00072554
Volume ID: VID00034
Source Institution: The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica
Holding Location: The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica
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December 24, 1969



1. The Press this week published reports of a set of US

formulations submitted December 18 to the Four Power confer-

ence, dealing with an Israeli-Jordanian settlement. This

follows the new formulations submitted by the US on October

28 to the USSR, Egypt and certain other governments, detailing

a proposed Israeli-Egyptian settlement. Both documents have

only recently been brought to the attention of the Israel


2. The Negotiation Principle

An analysis of their content shows them to be specific,

detailed and comprehensive, covering every substantive aspect

of a settlement. Left to the parties to hammer out between

themselves in a so-called "Rhodes-type" negotiation under

Ambassador Jarring are peripheral and technical questions. This

is an abrupt reversal of the principle that US policy has

hitherto proclaimed, namely the need for the parties them-

selves to negotiate their differences so as to guarantee a true

and lasting peace.

3. This tenet was repeatedly and publicly acknowledged as

essential for peace. It was emphasized by President Johnson

in an address on June 19, 1967: "Clearly," he said, "the

parties to the conflict must be the parties to the peace... It

is hard to see how it is possible for nations to live together

in peace if they cannot learn to reason together," President

Nixon endorsed this view in his address to the UN General

Assembly on September 18 when he said: "A peace to be lasting

must leave no seeds of a future war. It must rest on a

settlement which both sides have a vested interest in main-

taining... We are equally convinced that peace cannot be

achieved oh the basis of anything less than a binding, irrevoc-


able commitment by the parties to live together in peace."

Secretary Rogers gave voice to the principle in his statement

to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, March 27, 1969,

declaring: "His (Jarring's) mission is to promote agreement--

and this can only mean agreement between the parties.

US policy as unfolding now comes close to the advocacy

and development of an imposed settlement. While this may not

be deliberate, the mechanics and dynamics are moving in that


4. The Acid Test of Negotiation

Israel will resist this. It remains adamant in the

view that a lasting peace is feasible only if the Arab Govern-

ments show a readiness to negotiate their differences with

Israel and agree to open a new era of true reconciliation.

Conversely, so long as Arab representatives persist in avoiding

any and every contact with representatives of Israel, they

demonstrate thereby, their intention not to resolve the dis-

pute but to perpetuate it for renewed assault upon the life

and limb of the Israeli people. There can be no two ways

about this. If there is to be peace there has to be re-

conciliation. If there is to be reconciliation there has to be

negotiation. There is no instance in history of a resolution

of a dispute between states except by the normal, universal,

international practice of sitting down and hammering out the


Do the Arabs wish to make peace or not? After 21 years

of Arab animosity and the violation of every accepted rule of

international conduct, Israel is entitled to ask its neighbors

to submit to this elementary acid test of their true intentions

before it commits itself to any change in the present status-

quo. There is no mere technicality, nor is it just a matter'of


procedure. Everything that has happened over the past 21 years

affirms the legitimacy of this one precondition Israel makes.

It is upheld by the disastrous lessons of 1957. The Arabs

then were not required to negotiate and enter into a direct

peace commitment with Israel. A political settlement, con-

ceived by the United States, was imposed upon Israel. That

settlement did not eradicate the roots of the Israel-Arab con-

flict. It left them intact for the war of 1967.

5. The Implications of Detailing a Settlement

By addressing themselves in detail to matters of sub-

stance, the US proposals do more than to undermine the

principle of negotiation; they pre-empt its very prospect. For

there can be little meaningful left for the parties to

negotiate once outside powers virtually decide on each and

every item for solution. Certainly, the Arabs are not going

to give an inch on anything that has already been decided upon

in their favor by the Powers.

Above all, by pre-ordaining what amounts to a total

Israeli withdrawal, the United States squanders away the one

major card Israel possesses (the occupied territories) that

might conceivably bring the Arabs to the negotiating table to

talk peace. Israel will not again surrender this crucial bar-

gaining factor as it did in 1957 to its own peril in 1967.

6. Analysis of Formulations

An analysis of the actual US formulations as given in

the Press shows how inimical they are to vital interests of

Israel unwittingly though this be


The New York Times, December 22, states that with respect

to an Israeli-Jordanian settlement the American plan lays



December 24, 1969


"The parties would determine procedures and a time-
table with the use of a map, for the withdrawal of
Israeli troops from substantially all of Jordan's
west bank, occupied in the June, 1967 war."

A similar demand is made of Israel in the October 28 US

proposals with respect to -the old frontier with Egypt.

Israel is adamantly opposed to this approach, not be-

cause it covets Arab territory which it does not, but because

the US plan ignores fundamental security realities.

Israel's view on the border question is governe.d.by the

single yardstick of security. Israel seeks secure geographic

boundaries, not territorial aggrandizement. Three times the

Arabs have physically assaulted the old boundaries in their

attempt to destroy Israel. The former armistice lines that

twisted and turned in total geographic irrationality were of

themselveos-.a temptation for aggression. They demonstrated

Israel's acute vulnerability, with every major population

center exposed to the range of Arab guns and to lightening air

strike, Israel would have been content with the old frontiers

had they not been rendered inviable by the Arabs' own actions.

What Israel asks and is resolved to obtain is a reasonable

margin of security that it has not had so far. It insists up-

on essential corrections of the old defunct armistice lines

and their replacement by secure and recognized boundaries.

Security must, in the first instance, rest on geography. It

can never be a function merely of arrangements. The Middle

East is the graveyard of every conceivable kind of inter-

national security arrangement from the tripartite guarantee

of 1950 (by the US, Britain and France which failed to prevent

the war of 1956 and was discarded in May of 1967) through

the impotent international security guarantees of 1957 (which

collapsed overnight when Nasser, ten years after, declared

himself ready for war). The proposal mooted now to make the

USSR party to guarantees can hardly be expected to be con-


DECEMBER,24, 1960


- 4

DECEMBER 24, 1969

ducive to the peace of the area and certainly not to the

security of Israel.

5. Refugees

On the refugee question, the US document of December 18

is, in a sense, the most disturbing. The New York Times reports:

"Under the American guidelines, Arab refugees
from the 1948 Palestine war would be given the
choice of repatriation to Israel or resettlement
in Arab countries with compensation from Israel.
It would be up to Israeli and Jordanian negotiators
to agree on the number of refugees to be permitted
repatriation annually, but the American paper
specifies that the first refugees should arrive
in Israel no more than three months after con-
clusion of a negotiated settlement."

Taken together with the demand for Israeli withdrawal,

the above proposal, if acted upon, would initiate the realiza-

tion of President Nasser's doctrine of "Land and People."

This doctrine is the core of what has been termed the two-

phase strategy for Israel's elimination. Phase one is to

compel an Israel retreat back to the June 4, 1967 armistice

lines and thereby retrieve the strategic bridgeheads pointing to

the heart of Israel, ("Land"). Phase two is the systematic

introduction into Israel of the Arab refugees, thus dismem-

bering Israel from within by injecting into its bloodstream a

hostile element of maximum size ("People"). These two objectives

are what the Arabs mean by a "political settlement." The US

proposal inevitably must serve to encourage them as to its


It needs little imagination to comprehend the kind of

pressures Arab Governments will exert upon the refugees compel-

ling them to demand admission into Israel, not to speak of the

pressures that will be put on Israel to take them in. Indeed,

by the US plan, Israel's hands are substantially tied from

the outset. There is to be a timetable for repatriation;


Israel has to undertake to accept the first quota within

three months after.the conclusion of a political settlement

with Jordan; Israel's sovereignty is subordinated to an

international commission that is to supervise selection and

classification; and, by the conditions of the operation, the

Arab Governments have the instrument to blackmail their total

accord with Israel on every point. For it is suggested that

all aspects of the political settlement be implemented be-

fore the completion of the refugee repatriation, since this

is to take years to complete. Hence, following the Israeli

withdrawal, the Arabs can veto whatever obligations they

might have made on the pretext that Israel has refused entry

to a group of refugees, whatever their number.

Rather than resolve the refugee problem, the present

plan will only serve to exacerbate and perpetuate it. Were

Israel to accept the scheme, the date of the first Arab in-

flux would probably go down in hist-ory as the beginning of

the dismemberment of the Jewish State. Israel rejects it be-

cause it won't sign its own death warrant.

6. Jerusalem

With regard to Jerusalem, the New York Times explains

the US proposal as follows:
"Israel and Jordan together would settle the
problem of ultimate control over Jerusalem,
recognizing that the city should be unified,
with free traffic through all parts of it,
and with both countries sharing in civic and
economic responsibilities of city government."

What appears to be envisaged is some sort of condominium

in which Jordanian rule would be established alongside the

Israeli. The role of Jordan would not even be restricted to

theeastern sector it conquered in 1948, but would now be

expected to embrace the whole of the city on a share and

DECEMBER 24, 1969


share alike basis with Israel. Thus Israel's future status

in its own capital is to be even less than it was before

1967. This is really a preposterous notion,

Jordan never had any sovereign rights in Jerusalem.

Its occupation of the eastern sector for 19 years was that

of an aggressor. Twice in two decades, in 1948 and 1967,

it unleashed unprovoked war against Jerusalem. In the area

it captured by force, Jordan literally eradicated every trace

of Jewish existence. It destroyed every ancient synagogue

and every house of learning. It destroyed Jewry's most

revered historic cemetery and banned Jewry's access to the

holiest of its shrines. Under its rule, freedom of worship

was selective and discriminatory. Jewish access was barred

entirely in defiance of Jordan's obligations under the


There can be no justice or logic in restoring a

Jordanian administration of whatever sort over a city which,

in living memory and before, has always known a Jewish maj-

ority and where, today, for the first time, there exists by

law, freedom of worship and access for all.

7. The Substance of Peace

The US documents do contain language about peace and

non-belligerency. The New York Times quotes:

"Each country will accept the obligations of a
state of peace between them, including the
prohibition of any acts of violence from its
territory against the other."

These words, however, appear meaningless when measured against

the full contents of the documents (December 18 and October

28). Nothing is said about recognizing Israel politically or

its sovereign statehood. The need to establish secure and

agreed boundaries is ignored. Israel is required to surrender

sovereign rights over its capital. It is asked to prejudice


DECEMBER 24, 1969


its security and sovereignty with respect to the refugees.

The principle of direct negotiations is jettisoned. The

aim of lasting peace is reduced to "a state of peace."

And in place of peace agreements "final accords" are pro-

posed. These are not matters of semantics. They are

expressions and measures that distinguish a negotiated peace

settlement from a political arrangement conceived and

imposed by third parties.

8. The Four Power Process

The US proposals are now to be debated in the Four

Power talks. Conceivably, America, will have to take into

consideration the views and suggestions put forth by the

Soviet Union which openly proclaims itself to be Israel's

enemy and the advocate of the Arabs; by France whose position

dovetails that of USSR, which deprives Israel of the arms

it contracted to deliver and which it now seeks to peddle in

Arab capitals; and by Britain which has joined in competing

for Arab favor by imposing a partial embargo of its own on

Israel, reneging on the agreement to sell Israel the very

kind of tanks it now seeks to market in the Arab countries.

The Four Powers, having reduced the proposals to

their lowest common denominator, will then presumably place

them before the Arabs and the Israelis for approval. It is

not difficult to imagine the emasculation they would have

undergone by that time, the strengthened pro-Arab terms

they will by then contain, and the concerted pressures to

which a politically defenseless Israel will then be subjected.

Here, in short, are all the components of an imposed solution

emanating out of a formula which is tantamount to an un-

witting prescription for the disintegration of Israel.

9. The Arab Governments cannot but take courage from


DECEMBER 24, 1969


the US stand, viewing as they must the concessions as a gesture

of appeasement and as a license for further diplomatic and

military escalation against Israel.

The Soviet Union, consonant with the diplomatic history

of the past 10 months, has predictably rejected the US proposals

of October 28 dealing with Israel and Egypt. It will also,

predictably, press in the Four Power talks, for drastic pro-

Arab modification of the December 18 US plan with respect to

Jordan. Indeed, the Soviet Union can now step forth as the new

champion of Jordan, reaping for itself propaganda and political

fruits not available before, For this is Soviet tactic, as it

is that of every totalitarian regime to respond to each con-

cession extorted; with a demand for more.

10. US-Israel Friendship

As for Israel, it grieves the fact that the US found it

necessary to propose a plan which, with all its good intent for

peace, is actually retrogressive to peace. It grieves the mis-

understanding that has developed between the two Governments, be-

cause Israel cherishes United States friendshipr.ooted as it is

in common ideals and a common aspiration for peace. But it has

to be made clear that Israel cannot place its very future in

jeopardy by agreeing to proposals, even those of its greatest

friend, that enshrine elements disastrous to its vital in-

terests. As stated by Prime Minister Golda Meir in a New York

Times interview, December 22:

"Israel won't accept this (the US plan). We're not
going to commit suicide. We didn't survive three wars
in order to commit suicide so that the Russians can
celebrate victory for Nasser. That isn't what we're
here for and what thousands have died for. Nobody in
the world can make us accept it. What can happen is
that life can be made difficult for us."

So it can, and the ones to benefit, ultimately, will be

those who obstruct peace, who seek to evict every vestige of

western influence from the area, and who are bent on destroying

the regions only democracy.

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