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Lyndon Johnson Administration: Research Memorandum on Creation of a "Palestine Entity"

(May 11, 1964)

This document is the introduction to a more complete document discussing the creation of a Palestinian entity and the Arab Summit's creation of the PLO and the Palestine Liberation Front terrorist organization. It mentions opposition among the Arab leadership (notably Hajj al-Husayni) to these efforts. The US Deputy Director Denney incorrectly predicts that the attempt to create a unified Palestinian organization (the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], et al) will fail.

Research Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Denney) to Acting Secretary of State Ball1


Washington, May 11, 1964.


The Search for a "Palestine Entity"

The projected conference of Palestinians now scheduled to take place in Jerusalem late in May 1964 focuses attention on various attempts of the Arabs to organize their Palestinian brethren into a group to represent the common interest. This paper has been produced in response to a request for a study of the past history and current status of the Palestine entity question.


The Arab states once again are giving prominence to plans for the establishment of some form of body to represent all the Palestine Arabs. At the Arab Summit Conference in Cairo in January 1964, Ahmad al-Shuqayri, a Palestinian long prominent in Palestine Arab affairs, was designated to organize a so-called "Palestine entity." Thus far, Shuqayri has announced a "National Charter for Palestine" and a "Constitution of the Palestinian Liberation Organization." These documents will be laid before a conference of Palestinians scheduled to open in Jerusalem on May 28, 1964. He has announced also the formation of a "Palestine Liberation Front" to be composed of commando units to be kept combat ready. While Shuqayri has been attempting to gain support for this Charter and for the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestine Liberation Front, his rivals, notably Hajj Amin al-Husayni, have been organizing to oppose these schemes with the support of Arab states opposed to Nasser. The current endeavor to create a Palestine Entity, like previous attempts, seems destined to become a victim of the continuing struggle for power among Palestine Arab leaders and of the contest over the balance of power in the Arab world.

[Here follows the Discussion portion of the paper, followed by copies of the proposed charter and constitution.]


1 Source: Department of State, NEA/IAI Files: Lot 69 D 492, POL 3/2, Palestine Entity. Secret; No Foreign Dissem.

Sources: Department of State