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John F. Kennedy Administration: Memorandum Outlines Israeli Objections to Changes in the Johnson Plan

(September 20, 1962)

This memorandum relays Israel's opposition to the Johnson plan in light of the many changes the have been made to the original proposal.

Mike and I talked with the President yesterday afternoon about the Johnson plan, and as I am leaving today I want you to know where things stand.

Mike reported to the President the deep concern of the Israelis and the pressure which they are mounting against the Johnson plan in its current form. There was inconclusive discussion of the degree to which the plan has in fact changed since Mike presented it in Israel, and the President took the view that Johnson must take the responsibility of pressing with the Israelis a discussion of the current status of the plan. The United States is not prepared to defend with the Israelis any modifications on what was agreed before Mike went to Israel and what he explained to Ben-Gurion. The President's view was that we should stick with the position which Mike explained in Israel and that the Israelis should also stay where they were when Ben-Gurion talked to Mike.

The President also said that we should not get way out front on this one, especially between now and the election, and I take this to mean what I have argued before--that the Department should not shower the Middle East with telegrams in praise of the Johnson plan.

McGeorge Bundy/2/

/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Palestine, Refugees, 8/62-9/62, Vol. II. Secret. Copies were sent to Feldman and Kaysen.

/2/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

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