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John F. Kennedy Administration: Feldman's Report On Visit To Israel

(August 24, 1962)

This is a memorandum of conversation covering President's Deputy Special Counsel, Feldman, to McGeorge Bundy, discussing his recent visit to Israel.


Mr. McGeorge Bundy--The White House
Mr. Myer Feldman--The White House
Ambassador Barbour
NEA--Mr. James Grant
NE--Mr. William Crawford

When asked to summarize orally the results of his visit to Israel, Mr. Feldman commented as follows:

1. He had obtained a firm, secret commitment from Mrs. Meir that neither Israel nor its friends will introduce the direct negotiations resolution at this General Assembly, unless the United States should so request, and provided the United States agrees to "oppose" resolutions proffered by the Arabs. Mrs. Meir had stated that Israel will continue to make representations to other nations as if it were seeking to introduce such a resolution. Israel will probably make speeches in favor of such a course in the General Assembly, but it will not actually push these efforts to the point of seeking introduction of a resolution. It can answer for its friends. Mrs. Meir emphasized that this must be an absolutely secret agreement between Israel and the United States.

2. Regarding the Hawk, Mrs. Meir said that Israel has no interest in the Bloodhound. It has not received a firm offer for this but the system is inferior. Even if it were not and cost less than the Hawk, Israel, for other reasons, would purchase the United States system.

3. On the refugees, Mrs. Meir had made it clear that Israel distrusts Dr. Johnson not for bias but because he is considered naive. [1 line of source text not declassified]

Israel's commitment in regard to the refugees is as follows:

Israel will not reveal the true purpose of Mr. Feldman's visit.

Israel will "not say anything" to obstruct implementation of the Plan unless:

a) Nasser begins propagandizing in favor of repatriation, and b) when the plan begins to operate Nasser refuses to settle those refugees who opt for resettlement. Mr. Feldman said that, regarding provisos a) and b), Israel at times inserted here the words "Arab states" instead of "Nasser". It is evident that Nasser is their main concern and that we can hold them to this more narrow construction of the meaning of their two provisos.

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