This telegram takes note of Israel's withholding from the Johnson Plan, and the effect that their position has on the ultimate success of the plan and the degree to which the U.S. is willing to press for the plan.
529. Depcirtel 384./2/ Current unwillingness of Israel to acquiesce in Johnson Plan creates uncertainty whether process envisioned thereunder can actually be gotten under way. Until both Israel and Arabs willing let process start USG wishes avoid openly placing full weight behind plan. Arab attitude still unclear.
Posts therefore instructed take no further initiative press for acceptance plan. In responding to initiative by local officials posts authorized describe plan as fair, reasonable and beneficial for refugees as well as for governments concerned. However, USG should not be portrayed as strongly supporting plan.
At such time as we able determine final Israel and/or Arab position further instructions will be provided.
All communications on this subject are to be slugged "Limit Distribution--S/S" until further notice.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 325.84/9-2662. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Strong, cleared by Cleveland, and approved by Talbot. Sent to Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda, London, Paris, Ankara, Tel Aviv, and USUN and repeated to Baghdad, Khartoum, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, Rabat, and Jerusalem.