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Lyndon Johnson Administration: Memorandum Threatening To Stop Arms Shipments to Israel Unless Operations in Jordan Are Halted

(November 15, 1966)

In this memorandum, President Johnson asks his staff to make it clear that the U.S. opposed Israel's anti-terror operations in Jordan. Johnson was told that the Israelis needed to have clear that if they repeated their incursion into Jordan, the U.S. would begin to stop arms shipments to them and the President agreed.

Memorandum for the Record/1/

Washington, November 15, 1966.


Israeli/Jordan Flare-up

At the meeting of November 15 with the President, Secretary Rusk, and Mr. Rostow,/2/ the subject of Israel's massive conventional intrusion into Jordan was discussed.

The President asked Bob Komer to get in touch with Mr. Feinberg and Ambassador Harman to make clear in no uncertain terms our objections to the steps the GOI has taken.

Bob indicated that this in itself would do little good unless we made clear in these conversations that if the Israelis did this again, our military pipeline would begin to dry up.

The President agreed.


/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Harold Saunders, Israel, 4/1/66-12/31/66. No classification marking. Prepared by Howard Wriggins on November 16.

/2/According to the President's Daily Diary, Rusk and Rostow met with the President at 1 p.m. At 1:05 p.m. they were joined by McNamara. They had lunch at 2:05 p.m., joined by Bill Moyers and Komer, until 3:40 p.m. Several subjects, not including Israel and Jordan, were on the agenda for discussion at lunch. (Ibid.)

Sources: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, V. 18, Arab-Israeli Dispute 1964-1967. DC: GPO, 2000.