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Lyndon Johnson Administration: Telegram on Use of "Palestine" in U.S. Passports and at Jerusalem Consulate

(March 14, 1964)

Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/

Washington, March 14, 1964, 10:48 a.m.

793. Israel Embassy has been informed of Department's approval of following:

1. We accept Israel Embassy's proposal regarding Munn's passport (Deptel 774 to Tel Aviv)/2/ as most expedient way to resolve issue, i.e., proposal that we issue Munn second passport without designation Palestine which Israel Embassy will visa and return to Dept for disposition. GOI would then issue border-crossing permit against Israel Embassy visa number, but Munn would retain his present passport.

2. We will cease using "Palestine" in passports as place of assignment and cease issuing, renewing, or amending passports with seal bearing word "Palestine".

3. If there are no adverse repercussions from foregoing, we will change listing of Jerusalem Consulate General in Foreign Service List so that it would be listed under Jerusalem rather than Palestine.

Dept stressed that if there is any publicity over steps 1 and 2, it would be difficult for us to carry out additional steps now contemplated to accommodate Israelis on this issue./3/ Israel Emboff Gazit said he would immediately refer proposal to GOI. He again asked about plaque over front door of Congen office in Israel-held Jerusalem. Is our understanding correct that plaque does not contain word "Palestine"?/4/

[Dean] Rusk


/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 PAL. Confidential; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Lucien L. Kinsolving; cleared by Davis, Jernegan, Stephen Campbell of IO/UNP, and Harriman's Special Assistant Frederick Chapin; and approved by Harriman. Also sent to Jerusalem and repeated to Amman.

/2/Telegram 774 to Tel Aviv, March 5, summarized an informal conversation between Davies and Israeli Minister Gazit concerning Israel's efforts to obtain U.S. agreement to drop the use of "Jerusalem, Palestine" in passports issued or renewed in Jerusalem and issued to officers stationed in Jerusalem. Davies strongly protested Israel's refusal to honor Consul Robert H. Munn's passport, which contained this usage. (Ibid.) A chronology of discussions on this subject, dating back to February 1963, is attached to A-104 from Jerusalem, March 30. (Ibid.)

/3/Telegram 812 to Tel Aviv, March 19, stated that the Department was preparing an order for new seals for the Consulate General, all bearing the designation "Jerusalem" without the word "Palestine." It instructed the Consulate General to begin using the new seals as soon as they arrived and at the same time to cease using the word "Palestine" on letterheads and in correspondence. (Ibid.)

/4/Telegram 316 from Jerusalem, March 15, replied that the word "Palestine" did not appear on any Consulate building. (Ibid.)

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