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John F. Kennedy Administration:
Kennedy Aides Discuss of the Johnson Plan

(August 14, 1962)


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A continuation of the discussion concerning the manner in which the U.S. should go about trying to gain support for the Johnson Plan from Israel and Nasser, in addition to placing an emphasis on the importance of solving the refugee problem in order to begin to be able to achieve peace in the region.

Secretary: Not too inclined to simultaneous approach to Nasser.

MF: We are more likely to get something if he feels.

Secretary: If we approached Nasser and succeeded and Ben-Gurion refused, this not so good.

Mac Bundy: Ben-Gurion will not sign up right away on financial aspects.

Secretary: Not necessary bring up financial considerations now.

PT:/2/ Hasn't shown details to PCC yet.

MF: Difficult to sell with just a security guarantee.

Mac Bundy: Must be intensive discussion

1) Refugees cannot go on forever

2) Security guarantee

3) New military relationship implied by Hawk.

The very thing they suspicious about here should be turned around on them.

Secretary: Point to threat around borders, don't know what Arab will do until actually faced with problem. If large numbers opt, plan will not work, but if process works to get settlement with some repatriation, may be means of ending problem.

Mac Bundy: Move to create Palestinian organizations in past year. Might use to scare them a little. It is one additional item to use.

MF: The most effective way to sell them is Hawks. He wants peace. Most important single move is the refugee problem. If he wants assurances on financial and security we can provide these assurances. Ben-Gurion may say Nasser's answer should be gotten first.

Mac Bundy: Just asking him to sit still while we try.

Secretary: It is most important to come back without a "no".

Mac Bundy: Ben-Gurion should not let well meaning friends stir things up.

MF: Harman does quiet things down here if MF requests.

Secretary: Improper for Israeli diplomat to call on MF.

MF: Gazit says it is his proper function to clarify things. Told Gazit he would get bad reactions.

PT: We have talking points and can get on with this immediately. We must tell UK re Hawk.

Secretary: Not wait 2 months for disarmament. When talk about Hawk can say we looking for arms limitation possibility.

PT: If we could delay definite word on Hawks would be helpful.

Secretary: Not a chance in a thousand that Nasser would buy disarmament.

Mac Bundy: Can't point out delays.

MF: He'll want some sort of _____/3/

Mac Bundy: Tell him we'll try to find gap in queue.

PT: We must get Israelis to keep absolute secrecy.

Mac Bundy: Tell Ben-Gurion we must offer _____

Secretary: Are we prepared to give him details? How should we work out cover for purpose of MF's trip?

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86B/8-1562. Secret. There is no drafting information on the source text, but presumably it was prepared by Robert C. Strong. It is attached to an August 15 memorandum from Dutton to Talbot (see the source note, Document 19). This meeting was a continuation of the one recorded in Document19, which the President left at 5:35 p.m.

/2/Phillips Talbot.

/3/As on the source text. Presumably the notetaker could not hear the speaker.


Sources: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963: Near East, 1962-1963, V. XVIII. DC: GPO, 2000.

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