Leaked Cables on Israel:
Dayan's Thinking on Possible Peace Arrangements with Jordan & Egypt

(May 18, 1973)


Wikileaks: Table of Contents | Cables on Israel | Cables on Iran


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Classified diplomatic cables, leaked by the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, contain accounts from former Knesset minister Gad Yaacobi, who was a close ally of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, saying that Dayan was preparing to expand the degree of autonomy for Arab municipalities in the West Bank, which Israel had captured in the Six-Day War.


FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO SECSTATE WASHDC

S E C R E T

SUBJECT: DAYAN' S THINKING ON POSSIBLE PEACE ARRANGEMENTS WITH JORDAN AND EGYPT

SUMMARY: CLOSE DAYAN POLITICAL ALLY GAD YAACOBI IN PRIVATE DISCUSSION HAS TOLD EMBOFF DAYAN IS CONCENTRATING THESE ON WHAT ISRAELI POLICY SHOULD BE TOWARD WEST BANK BEFORE FINAL SETTLEMENT ACHIEVED. THEREFORE, DAYAN' S IDEAS ON FINAL PEACE ARRANGEMENTS WITH EITHER JORDAN OR EGYPT WERE SOMEWHAT TENTA- TIVE. YAACOBI SAID DAYAN PREPARING MOVES TO BRING ABOUT FURTHER LIBERALIZATION OPEN BRIDGES POLICY AND DEGREE OF AUTONOMY FOR WEST BANK MUNICIPALITIES. AS FOR DAYAN' S THINKING ON ULTIMATE PEACE SETTLEMENT WITH JORDAN, YAACOBI SAID DAYAN WOULD RETURN ONLY ONE OR TWO SMALL ENCLAVES OF WEST BANK. BUT DAYAN ACCORDING TO YAACOBI ENVISAGES REST OF WEST BANK POPULATON THOUGH LIVING UNDER ISRAELI SOVEREIGHTY AS BEING FULLFLEDGED JORDANIAN CITIZENS, WITH EXCEPTION INHABITANTS OF RAMALLAH AND BETHLEHEM WHO WOULD BECOME ISRAELI CITIZENS. ACCORDING TO YAACOBI DAYAN ASSUMES NO EFFORTS TOWARD ACCOMMODATION WITH EGYPT BEFORE KNESSET ELECTIONS AND CURRENTLY IS NOT FOCUSING ON THIS SUBJECT. HIS MOST RECENT IDEAS CENTERED ON SECRET NOTION THAT SINAI SHOULD BECOME MILITARY VACUUM, WITH ONLY ISRAELI AND EGYPTIAN ELECTRONIC CREWS STATIONED ON CENTRAL SINAI MOUNTAIN TOPS TO MONITOR MOVEMENTS IN AND OUT OF MAIN AIRFIELDS OF OTHER SIDE' S COUNTRY. YAACOBI BELIEVED THAT DAYAN ASSUMES THERE WILL BE PERMANENT ISRAELI MILITARY PRESENCE AT SHARM EL- SHEIKH, BUT YAACOBI SPECULATED THAT IF EGYPTIANS SATISFIED DAYAN ON OTHER POINTS AND REAL PEACE WAS IN PROSPECTS, DAYAN CONCEIVABLY WOULD FAVOR ACCEDING TO ANY EGYPTIAN REQUEST THAT SHARM BE INCLUDED IN SINAI MILITARY VACUUM. MAIN OTHER POINTS ON WHICH DAYAN WOULD REQUIRE EGYPTIAN AGREE- MENT WOULD BE: ISRAELI ADMINISTRATION ( NOT NECESSARILY FORMAL SOVEREIGNTY) OVER SHARM AND CORRIDOR TO IT; AND REDRAWING OF PRE-1967 BORDER TO INCLUDE RAFAH JUNCTION PLUS AREA WEST OF EILAT IN ISRAEL.

END SUMMARY.

1. IN PRIVATE DISCUSSION MAY 16 EMBOFF ASKED DAYAN CONFIDANT AND DEPUTY TRANSPORT MINISTER YAACOBI FOR GENERAL OUTLINE OF DAYAN' S VIEWS ON POLICY TOWARD WEST BANK IN ABSENCE OF PEACE SETTLEMENT AS WELL AS ON EVENTUAL PEACE ARRANGEMENTS WITH JORDAN AND EGYPTM YAACOBI SAID HE WOULD BE GLAD TO DESCRIBE DAYAN' S THINKING ON THESE SUBJECTS BECAUSE SOME CONFUSION HAS RESULTED FROM RECENT DAYAN STATEMENTS. YAACOBI BELIEVED THAT MAIN CAUSE OF OVERALL CONFUSION WAS THAT DAYAN HAS BEEN FOCUSING PRIMARILY ON WHAT ISRAEL SHOULD DO IN WEST BANK PENDING FINAL SETTLEMENT, WHEREAS OTHER ISRAELI POLITICIANS HAVE INSISTED ON ADDRESSING NATURE OF FINAL SETTLEMENT AS IT WOULD AFFECT WEST BANK.

2. POPULAR MISUNDERSTANDINGS OF DAYAN. TURNING TO DAYAN INTERVIEWS OF MAY 9 AND 14 ( REFTEL), YAACOBI NOTED THREE MISUNDERSTANDINGS WIDELY HELD IN ISRAEL AS RESULT OF MANNER IN WHICH MEDIA HAD PLAYED INTERVIEWS. A) SOME PEOPLE ARE UNDER IMPRESSION DAYAN IS READY TODAY TO RETURN MOST IF NOT ALL OF WEST BANK TO JORDAN. YAACOBI SAID THIS IS NOT TRUE AND RESULTS FROM OVER- EMPHASIS BY MEDIA ON DAYAN COMMENT HE WOULD BE OPPOSED TO INCORPORATING ADDITIONAL ONE MILLION ARAB CITIZENS INTO ISRAEL IF THIS WERE AT ISSUE TODAY AND THERE- FORE WOULD BE PREPARED TO GIVE UP WEST BANK IN THEORY. B) MANY IN ISRAEL HAVE MISREAD DAYAN' S ASSERTION OF THEORETICAL READINESS TO SERVE IN CABINET UNDER SAPIR AS PRIMIN AS BEING DAYAN FEELER FOR COOPERATION WITH SAPIR . IN YAACOBI' S ESTIMATION DAYAN IS CONVINCED THERE IS ALMOST NO CHANCE HE AND SAPIR CAN MOVE CLOSE ENOUGH IN THEIR OUTLOOKS TO ENABLE DAYAN TO SERVE IN A SAPIR CABINET. C) INACCURATE VIEW ISRAELIS GATHERED FROM DAYAN' S JOCULAR REMARK TO BBC INTER- VIEWER THAT HE WOULD RATHER SEE EGYPTIAN TROOPS THAN UN FORCES IN SINAI IN THAT DAYAN IS INDIFFERENT ON QUESTION OF WHETHER CAIRO SHOULD BE PERMITTED UNDER SETTLEMENT TO PLACE COMBAT TROOPS IN SINAI. YAACOBI SAID DAYAN IS STRONGLY IN FAVOR OF ARRANGEMENT UNDER WHICH NEITHER EGYPT NOR ISRAEL WOULD HAVE FORCES IN SINAI AND SINAI WOULD SERVE AS BUFFER AREA BY BECOMING MILITARY VACUUM.

3. WEST BANK PENDING PEACE SETTLEMENT. YAACOBI SAID DAYAN IS CERTAIN FINAL SETTLEMENT WITH JORDAN WILL NOT COME FOR TWENTY YEARS. DAYAN ACCORDING TO YAACOBI BELIEVES THAT WHEN SETTLE- MENT DOES COME, JORDAN BY THAT TIME WILL HAVE BEEN TAKEN OVER BY PALESTINIANS BECAUSE OF THEIR NUMBERS AND ABILITIES, AND CHIEF OF GOVERNMENT, PROBABLY A PRESIDENT, WILL BE PALESTINIAN. DAYAN BELIEVES THIS MAY SIMPLIFY FINAL SETTLEMENT.

A. DURING LENGTLY INTERIM PENDING FINAL SETTLEMENT, YAACOBI STATED DAYAN FEELS ISRAEL SHOULD DO EVERYTHING TO ENCOURAGE WEST BANKERS TO ORIENT THEMSELVES TOWARD AMMAN. DAYAN PREDICTS WEST BANKERS IN DUE COURSE WILL DEMAND EXERCISE OF THEIR POLITICAL RIGHTS AS JORDANIAN CITIZENS, INCLUDING OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE IN JORDANINAN ELECTIONS, AND AMMAN WILL HAVE TO PERMIT THIS.

B. TO FURTHER PROCESS OF ORIENTING WEST BANKERS TOWARD AMMAN, YAACOBI SAID DAYAN HAS IN MIND EXPANSION OF OPEN BRIDGES POLICY. YAACOBI SHARED DAYAN' S PREDICTION THAT THIS WOULD WORK, NOTING THAT EVERYONE HAD DOUBTED DAYAN' S PREDIC- TION IN 1969 OF SUCCESS WHICH POLICY WOULD ACHIEVE IN THREE YEARS, BUT DAYAN HAD BEEN PROVEN RIGHT. ACCORDING TO YAACOBI, DAYAN WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERWHELMING CABINET VOTE MAY 12 IN FAVOR OF EXTENDING ISRAEL' S PRESENT WEST BANK SUMMER VISITOR PROGRAM TO YEAR ROUND BASIS. DAYAN HAD IN MIND OTHER MEASURES WHICH GOI COULD TAKE TO FACILITATE MMVEMENT BACK AND FORTH.

C. NEXT MOST IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE FOR DAYAN RE WEST BANK, YAACOBI SAID, IS FOR ISRAELIS TO SETTLE EVERYWHERE AND NOT JUST WITHIN LINES OF ALLON PLAN. YAACOBI SAID ONLY QUALIFICATION DAYAN MAKES AS TO LOCATIONS OF ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IS THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE WITHIN ARAB METROPOLITAN AREAS, WITH EXCEPTION OF GREATER JERUSALEM AREA, WHICH DAYAN WOULD LIKE TO EXPAND TO INCLUDE BETHLEHEM AND RAMALLAH.

D. YAACOBI SAID THIRD BASIC PRINCIPLE FOR DAYAN IS THAT ISRAELI MILITARY FORCES MUST CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN SECURITY CONTROL THROUGHOUT WEST BANK. AT SAME TIME DAYAN FAVORS INCREASING AUTONOMNY FOR LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES INCLUDING BROADER ROLE FOR LOCAL POLICE. YAACOBI PREDICTED DAYAN WOULD SOON START MOVING TO EXPAND THEIR AUTONOMY.

4. WEST BANK UNDER EVENTUAL FINAL SETTLEMENT. RECALLING DAYAN' S CONVICTION THAT FINAL SETTLEMENT IS SOME TWENTY YEARS AWAY, YAACOBI SAID DAYAN INTENTIONALLY HAS NOT COME TO FIRM CON- CLUSNSIONS ABOUT HOW FINAL SETTLEMENT SHOULD LOOI IN RELATION TO WEST BANK. YAACOBI OUTLINED DAYAN' S TENTATIVE VIEWS AS FOLLOWS.

A. METROPOLITAN COMPLEX OF NABLUS- JENIN SHOULD BECOME TERROTORY UNDER SOVEREIGNTY OF ARAB NATION EAST OF JORDAN RIVER. AREA WOULD INCLUDE ROUGHLY ONE- THIRD OF WEST BANK ARAB POPULATION. IT WOULD CONSTITUTE ENCLAVE SMALLER THAN THE ONE ENVISAGED UNDER ALLON PLAN FOR NORTHERN PART OF WEST BANK. ALSO UNLIKE THRUST OF ALLON PLAN, DAYAN WOULD EXPECT ISRAELI MILITARY FORCES TO CONTINUE TO HAVE INTERNAL SECURITY RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN ENCLAVE, WORKING IN COOPERATION WITH LOCAL ARAB POLICE.

B. DAYAN WOULD EXPECT ENLARGE JERUSALEM AREA INCLUDING RAMALLAH AND BETHLEHEM TO BE INCORPORATED INTO ISRAEL WITH ITS ARAB INHABITANTS BECOMING ISRAELI CITIZENS.

C. IN DAYAN' S VIEW, REST OF WEST BANK ACCORDING TO YAACOBI SHOULD PROBABLY ALSO BE ANNEXED TO ISRAEL, BUT WITH PROVISO THAT ARAB INHABITANTS WOULD BE CITIZENS OF ARAB STATE EAST OF JORDAN RIVER. YAACOBI SAID DAYAN HAS NOT ENTIRELY DECIDED WHETHER HE WOULD FAVOR CREATION OF VERY SMALL ENCLAVE AROUND HEBRON WHICH LIKE ENCLAVE TO NORTH WOULD BE SOVEREIGN TERRITORY OF ARAB STATE EAST OF JORDAN RIVER. YAACOBI PREDICTED DAYAN WOULD DECIDE AGAINST HEBRON ENCLAVE.

5. GAZA STRIP. YAACOBI NOTED DAYAN HAS ALWAYS TAKEN GREAT CARE TO LIMIT HIS PUBLIC UTTERANCES ABOUT FUTURE OF GAZA TO SAYING THAT EGYPTIANS SHOULD NEVER EXPECT TO RETURN THERE. IN YAACOBI' S OPINION SILENCE OF DAYAN RE SOVEREIGNTY ISSUE MEANS HE ALLOWS FOR POSSIBILITY THAT GAZA MIGHT BECOME AUTONOMOUS REGION AND MIGHT BE AFFILIATED IN SOME FASION WITH ARAB STATE EAST OF JORDAN RIVER.

6. SINAI. TURNING TO DAYAN' S VIEWS ON SINAI, YAACOBI SAID THAT VAGUE DISCUSSION IN ISRAELI PRESS THIS WINTER ABOUT POSSIBILITY OF " ELECTRONIC BORDERS" BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HER NEIGHBORS TO ENABLE IDF FROM HIGH GROUND IN OCCUPIED TERROTORIES TO MAINTAIN ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE OF NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES' AIRFIELDS, DREW ULTIMATE INSPIRATION FROM PHASE OF DAYAN' S THINKING AT THAT TIME. YAACOBI CAUTIONED, HOWEVER, THAT DAYAN CURRENTLY IS NOT TURNING OVER IN HIS MIND POSSIBLE WAYS ISRAEL COULD STIMULATE SADAT INTO TAKING SECOND LOOK AT INTERIM SUEZ SETTLEMENT, AND YAACOBI' S READING OF DAYAN ON THIS SUBMECT WAS SOMEWHAT DATED. YAACOBI SAID DAYAN ASSUMES EVERYONE AGRESS NOTHING CONCRETE CAN BE DONE ABOUT NEW ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN EGYPT AND ISRAEL UNTIL AFTER ISRAELI ELECTIONS THIS FALL. YAACOBI DESCRIBED DAYAN' S MOST RECENT THINKING RE ACCOMMODATION WITH EGYPT AS FOLLOWS.

A. DEMILITARIZATION. YAACOBI SAID DAYAN WOULD LIKE MILITARY VACUUM IN SINAI WITH NEITHER ISRAEL; NOR EGYPTIAN COMBAT FORCES THERE. SOLE MILITARY PRESENCE WOULD BE ISRAELI AND ALSO EGYPTIAN CREWS OF TECNNICIANS LOCATED ON MOUNTAIN TOPS IN MIDDLE OF SINAI TO MAINTAIN SURVEILLANCE OF MILITARY AIRFIELDS IN POPULATED AREAS OF EGYPT AND ISRAEL. WHEN ASKED WHETHER THIS MEANT DAYAN UNDER FINAL SETTLEMENT WOULD GIVE UP IDEA OF ISRAELI MILITARY PRESENCE AT SHARM EL- SHEIKH, YAACOBI ADMITTED ONE WOULD HAVE TO DESCRIBE SHARM EL- SHEIKH AS PART OF SINAI REGARDLESS OF WHICH SIDE CONTROLLED IT AND SAID THAT DAYAN' S AUTOMATIC REACTION, IF ASKED TODAY, WOULD BE THAT ISRAEL MUST MAINTAIN PERMANENT FORCES AT SHARM. YET IF FINAL SETTLEMENT WITH EGYPT BECAME REALISTIC PROSPECT, YAACOBI' S OPINION WAS THAT DAYAN MIGHT AGREE TO REMOVAL OF FORCES FROM SHARM PROVIDED EGYPT AGREED TO MILITARY VACUUM CONCEPT FOR ENTIRE SINAI AND ALSO AGREED TO ISRAELI ADMINISTRATION OVER SHARM AND LAND CORRIDOR TO IT.

B. BOUNDARY. YAACOBI SAID THERE IS BROAD CONSENSUS TODAY IN LABOR PARTY THAT FINAL BOUNDARY BETWEEN EGYPT AND ISRAEL SHOULD BE STRAIGHT LINE FROM SHARM EL- SHEIKH TO A POINT ON MEDITERRANEAN AND WEST OF EILAT, BUT ONLY IN RETURN FOR FACE- SAVING ISRAELI CONCESSION OF SMALL PIECE OF DESERT AROUND EL AUJA, YAACOBI REMARKED DAYAN WAS JUST DARING ENOUGH THAT IF HE WERE CONVINCED EGYPTIANS WERE SERIOUS ABOUT PEACE, HE MIGHT AGREE.

C. SOVEREIGNTY OVER SHARM EL- SHEIKH. YAACOBI SAID THAT ALTHOUGH DAYAN, AS NOTED, INCLINED TOWARD LABOR PARTY CONSENSUS FAVORING NEW BOUNDARY IN SINAI, HE HAD NEVER SAID SO. YAACOBI FELT DAYAN PROBABLY STILL ADHERES TO LABOR PARTY ORAL TORAH OF 1969 ON ISSUE OF SOVEREIGNTY OVER SHARM EL- SHEIKH AND LAND CORRIDOR TO IT. ORAL TORAH CALLS FOR THESE AREAS TO BE UNDER ISRAELI " ADMINISTRATION," AND " ADMINISTRATION" DID NOT NECESSARILY MEAN SOVEREIGNTY. YAACOBI ADDED THAT " ADMINI- STRATION" DOES MEAN MORE THAN " CONTROL," WORD THAT DAYAN CURRENTLY IS USING TO DESCRIBE ISRAELI RELATIONSHIP TO THAT PART OF WEST BANK WHICH DAYAN WOULD BE WILLING TO SEE PLACED UNDER THEORETICAL SOVEREIGNTY OF ARAB STATE EAST OF JORDAN RIVER UNDER FINAL SETTLEMENT. YET DAYAN HAD NEVER CALLED FOR SHARM OR ITS CORRIDOR TO BE INCORPORATED INTO ISRAEL AND FLY ISRAELI FLAG, AND YAACOBI DOUBTED THAT ATTRIBUTES OF SOVEREIGNTY IN THIS CASE WERE IMPORTANT TO DAYAN.

7. COMMENT. YAACOBI' S SPECULATION ABOUT DAYAN' S INNERMOST THOUGHTS ON HOW FAR ISRAEL CAN GO TO REACH ACCOMMODATION WITH EGYPT SUPPORTS OUR BELIEF THAT DAYAN A) STRONGLY DESIRES MORE STABLE RELATIONSHIP WITH EGYPT, AND B) IS THE ONE ISRAELI LEADER WHO LOOKS AT THIS PROBLEM IMAGINATIVELY. IT ALSO SHOWS HOW DAYAN BLOWS HOT AND COLD ON SUBJECT. WHEN IN ICONOCLASTIC MOOD, SEEKING RECONSIDERATION OF OLD ASSUMPTIONS BY ISRAELIS, HE CAN SHOCK PUBLIC WITH NEW IDEAS; WHEN TROUBLED BY BELLICOSE TALK OUT OF CAIRO ( OR BY US PROBES FOR ISRAELI CONCILIATORY GESTURE TOWARD EGYPT), HE CAN TAKE VERY TOUGH LINE RE SINAI. IF NEGOTIATING PROCESS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND EGYPT SHOULD EVER GET UNDER WAY, DAYAN WOULD PROBABLY NUMBER AMONG ADVOCATES OF HARD OPENING POSITION BUT MIGHT BE PREPARED EVENTUALLY TO MOVE FARTHER THAN SOME ISRAELI LEADERS TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME. ZURHELLEN.

SECRET


Sources: Wikileaks

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