Memorandum of Conversation: U.S. Secretary of State Vance in Israel with  Israeli Foreign Minister, Yigal Allon Secretary of State Vance and President Jimmy Carter, March 1977, AP Photo

(16 February 1977)

Source: FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1977–1980, VOLUME VIII, ARAB-ISRAELI DISPUTE, JANUARY 1977–AUGUST 1978, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1977-80v08/d6

During his meeting with Secretary of State Vance in Jerusalem in February 1977, Israeli Foreign Minister Allon presented the Rabin Government’s negotiation positions with Egypt, Jordan and the PLO. Israel would absolutely not negotiate with the PLO unless it renounced terrorism, accepted UNSC 242, and recognized Israel’s legitimacy. The Begin government held the identical view when it came to office in June 1977.  Israel preferred bi-lateral negotiations with Arab states; under Rabin, Israel preferred negotiations with Jordan about the future of the West Bank. Israel knew that Egypt would not go to a Middle East peace conference in a unified Arab delegation lest Syria constrain Cairo’s negotiating hand.  Despite these realities, the Carter administration (1977-1981) pushed hard for a conference with a unified Arab delegation. It wanted Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank so that this land could ultimately form the basis for an independent Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Ministers Rabin (1977), Begin, Shamir, Peres, and Rabin again in 1992, all opposed a Palestinian state.

10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

PARTICIPANTS:

Foreign Minister Allon

MFA Director General Avineri

Deputy Director General Evron

Ambassador Dinitz

Moshe Raviv, Director, North American Desk

Mr. Hassin, Political Advisor to the Foreign Minister

Yehoshua Raviv

The Secretary

Mr. Habib

Mr. Atherton

Mr. Saunders

Mr. Carter

Mr. Lake

Mr. Quandt

Mr. Dunnigan

Mr. Crump

Mr. McKune

Foreign Minister Allon repeated the welcome he had expressed earlier in his private meeting with the Secretary.2 He was glad the Secretary could come to Israel shortly after entering on duty. The Secretary will soon find how difficult his new job can be and will find that sometimes the Israelis are part of that difficulty.

The Foreign Minister expressed his thanks for the excellent work done by the United States on the Nabatiya question.3 To Israel this meant more than the presence of a certain military unit; it was the first time in 18 months that the Syrians had tried to establish a fait accompli. Israel deserved better treatment from Damascus because the Syrians knew how patient Israel had been. He hoped that this would be the last case of such a move and even Sarkis should understand that he must be more careful in the future. As a result of the lesson of Nabatiya the Secretary might wish to ascertain in Beirut and Damascus (and perhaps even in Cairo) what the Arab views are regarding avoiding such misunderstandings in the future. Israel for its part is ready to reach agreement regarding where the red line should be and what the deployment of forces on each side of that line should be. Israel has reached disengagement agreements with others, why not with Lebanon?

Lebanon should be allowed by its Arab brothers to make such an agreement with Israel. This should be done to make clear that there is no misunderstanding and that Lebanon and Israel do not have territorial claims on one another. The Minister recalled a comment by Israel’s first Foreign Minister Sharett in which he said he did not know which Arab state would first sign an agreement with Israel but he was sure Lebanon would be the second.

Allon said he hoped the Syrian withdrawal from Nabatiya would be completed during the Secretary’s visit and repeated Israel is ready for an agreement on this subject.

The Secretary responded that he was glad the U.S. was able to be useful. He believed progress had been made in resolving the short-term problem. Regarding the long-term problem he will discuss this in Damascus and Beirut and will be back in touch with Israel.

The Foreign Minister said he assumed that joint strategy and consultations between the U.S. and Israel would continue and he noted the kind words of the President and Secretary regarding Israel. In that context, he wished to proceed to discuss certain specific topics.

The Minister said he understood that the UN Secretary General had sent an official to brief the Secretary about his recent visit to Israel4 but he felt it was important to provide Israeli impressions of the Waldheim visit. Israel had informed the SYG that Israel is willing and ready to participate in a reconvened Geneva Peace Conference without delay, provided it follows the original model regarding participation, processes, and co-chairmen. Israel is ready to do so even before its general election; if the time is ripe Israel will participate, regardless of domestic political considerations and in spite of remarks to the contrary by political opponents. Israel does not want to be responsible for blocking any moves toward peace. Israel is a democracy and he could not promise what the next government would do but he believed it would follow the same policies. In any case, the present government is ready to participate at Geneva.

Israel also informed the SYG that the Syrian idea of a joint Arab delegation to Geneva is unacceptable to Israel, for two reasons: first, such a delegation would be contrary to the provisions of the original MEPC and second, Israel has learned it cannot negotiate with a choir. Sometimes a choir is needed—for example, for a ceremonial opening—but negotiations have never succeeded with a group. It was the consensus of the original MEPC that Egypt and Israel and then Syria and Israel would negotiate among themselves; this was done and, in fact, the disengagement agreement with Egypt was signed at Kilometer 1015 and not in Geneva.

Israel is aware that Egypt is against a single Arab delegation. Syria sees itself as the new center for Arab moves and Israel knows that Egypt opposes the Syrian single delegation idea because of this Syrian viewpoint.

Regarding the question of the Palestinians, the Foreign Minister said Israel and the U.S. are in full agreement and he referred to the Secretary’s statements in his recent interviews. He suggested the Secretary read the Palestinian National Covenant6 and he would understand Israeli feelings regarding the PLO. He said that last week in Europe where the PLO has made some headway, he had said that the Covenant was an Arabic view of Mein Kampf. Later, several Europeans told him they never read the Covenant and were shocked when they found what it contained.

The Minister said this Israeli position is beyond argument or debate. He wanted to assure the Secretary that Israel will not sign any agreement with Jordan unless there is provision for settling the Palestinian question. This question has been open too many years because of Arab disagreements and Arabs should not lecture Israel on the Palestinian question. The Minister was sure that a solution could be found in the Jordanian framework. Hussein has not given up hope of recovering West Bank support and Palestinians from the West Bank could be included in a Jordanian delegation to Geneva; this would in fact give a more authentic Palestinian character to the delegation.

As a result of the crisis in Lebanon, there has been a change in the attitude of the Arabs. Israel has perceived hints they would like to have Jordan back in the negotiating picture. Israel will draw new boundary lines to satisfy its own defense needs and Arab needs for sovereignty, but it has hints that some Arab governments think that MEPC should be reconvened without the PLO. For example, European sources recently met with a high Syrian official who said Palestinians should be included in a Jordanian delegation. The negotiation is presently about how to choose those Palestinians. The Minister repeated that if the MEPC is postponed it will not be because of Israel.

The Secretary asked that the Minister confirm his understanding of what he had heard: Israel says that if the Palestinians participate at Geneva they must do so as part of the Jordanian delegation. Would that hold even if the PLO changes its covenant and accepts 242?7

Allon replied that this is not an easy question to answer. Without its covenant and refraining from terrorism and recognizing the right of Israel to exist and recognizing 242—the PLO ceases to be the PLO. In those circumstances Israel would have no reason to boycott its participation. But who would decide these steps—would a new Rabat be necessary to undo the Rabat Conference?8 If such Palestinians were invited by Hussein, how could Israel challenge them? The Minister noted a recent statement by the former mayor of Hebron who visited Amman last month and was received royally by the King—while all Arabs respect the Rabat conference, there was another Arab conference—that of Jericho which established the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.9 The former mayor also said that the Palestinians must organize themselves in a different way in a non-PLO organization. Allon said when this tiger becomes a horse let me know and I will think about riding it.

The Secretary said that if the PLO recognizes Israel’s right to exist and renounced its Covenant this would be a different situation. The Foreign Minister agreed and said that it would not be the same organization. He said that the Arab strategy, particularly Sadat’s strategy, is based on the belief that only America can deliver Israel. In the event that Israel refuses to be delivered, Sadat hopes to achieve a split between the U.S. and Israel, but he is deluding himself. Israel takes very seriously statements of support by U.S. leaders. It is particularly important for Arab leaders to see that a compromise is possible and for them to know that one should be sought. This can be done on the basis of defensible borders for Israel, a constructive solution to the Palestinian question, and the handing back to Arab countries of the greater part of the territories taken in 1967.

The Foreign Minister referred to the end of the state of war initiative proposed last year—in which the U.S. was to consult with the Arab governments on the possibilities of such an agreement, and provided that, if the Arab countries were interested, the U.S. and Israel came to an understanding beforehand on the meaning of the end of state of war.10 Israel has not received any formal American response on this initiative which may be a good sign. A bad sign would be a negative answer. Israel accepted the word of former President Ford, given in the course of negotiations over the last interim agreement, that the U.S. would not ask Israel to make further agreements with Egypt and Jordan for less than peace. By agreeing to look into the end of the state of war, Israel has already made its concession.

The Foreign Minister said that it is very important to understand, on this, the Secretary’s first trip to the Middle East, that Israel’s requirement for defensible borders is “what makes the whole difference” and enables Israel to make a territorial compromise with the Arabs. The 1967 war was forced on Israel by the Arabs, and in looking at the maps and the green line,11 it can easily be seen that in certain places, the ’67 line is only nine miles from the sea coast. Modern weapons make topography and geography indispensable elements in any settlement. It is possible to carve out defensible borders for Israel without annexing Arab population. The Arab leaders must reconcile themselves to the fact that Israel is not simply playing for prestige in asking for defensible borders, but that Israel intends to defend itself by itself. With defensible borders, not only can Israel be its own master for the future, but also an asset for the West in times when there are regional problems when it may be useful for the West to have friendly forces in the area.

The Foreign Minister rebutted UN Secretary General Waldheim’s stated opinion that it is essential not to miss the current opportunity to find a solution to the Middle East problems because there are moderate Arab leaders who may be gone tomorrow. In arguing this way, Waldheim admits that the situation among the Arab governments may change overnight and that the Middle East is an unstable region. For Israel, an agreement without defensible borders would be a piece of paper and not a paper of peace.

The Secretary said that the Foreign Minister can be assured that nothing will divide the U.S. and Israel. He asked whether he understood correctly that Israel, in asking for an overall settlement, demanded a real peace, a normalization of relations with neighboring countries, defensible borders, and a solution to the Palestinian question.

The Foreign Minister agreed.

The Secretary then asked what connection, if any, Israel made between defensible borders and the application of time-phasing to any future agreements; and he also asked whether he properly understood that Israel’s position on guarantees was that they were no substitute for defensible borders but may become an item for discussion in the later phases of a negotiating process. To the first question, Allonresponded that time is a neutral element, and that the Arab strategy is to liquidate Israel by stages. Geographical arrangements are indispensable to a future peace agreement and are needed to give Israel the ability to defend itself in case future agreements are violated.

In response to the second question, the Foreign Minister distinguished between guarantees and military alliances. Guarantees, he said: “I hate like poison.” He related one of his conversations several years ago with French President Giscard d’Estaing, who told him that defensible borders are an excellent idea but since no one could achieve them for Israel, it ought to accept guarantees instead. Allon had asked Giscard to assume that France was the guarantor and that Israeli intelligence was warning France of an imminent attack: would not French intelligence wish to have independent verification of the possible attack? Of course, Giscard replied. And if they did verify the coming attack, would Giscard wish to send the French Army in to defend Israel? At that point, Giscard said “I don’t mean military guarantees, I mean political guarantees,” to which Allon responded “Ah, now I see what kind of guarantees not to accept.” Allon said he would accept guarantees and well-policed demilitarized zones in addition to defensible borders. Without those guarantees and demilitarization the future lines would have to be even further east, further north and further west. Israel can accept defensible borders as currently conceived only in combination with guarantees, and vice versa. When it comes to drawing maps—a stage which has not yet been reached—it will easily be seen that the minimal amount of territory that we are talking about is only a small percentage as compared to the vast lands of the Arab countries.

The Secretary said that if he understood correctly, Israel would accept guarantees and defensible security borders depending on the combination of circumstances at the time.

The Foreign Minister agreed and said that defensible borders was a term deliberately chosen. Israel demands “defensible” borders and not “secure” borders.

The Foreign Minister said he was very happy to see that President Carter, before he was elected, had said that he supported defensible borders for Israel. He said that when the Secretary arrives in Damascus, the Syrians will no doubt tell him that defensible borders don’t exist in this modern age of weaponry. But in Israel’s view, missiles alone cannot win a war and defensible borders are just as necessary now as they ever were if not more. The purpose of defensible borders is not simply to defend a settlement here or there, but to defend an entire country.

The Foreign Minister then said he would appreciate it if the Secretary would clarify the U.S. view of the Soviet role in the peace process. He said that the Soviets had sent around an unsigned circular to UN representatives, including to the Israeli Ambassador, and from this they expected an Israeli answer—but this was just playing.

The Secretary said that the U.S. believes that the Soviet Union can play a blocking role in any possible future settlements if it chooses to do so. If there is to be progress toward a settlement, it is necessary to act in such a way that the Soviet Union will not feel compelled to take a blocking position. They are after all co-chairmen of the Middle East Peace Conference and it will be necessary to help them save their faces. This does not mean that in any resumption of the peace process they must come in early but at the same time it does not mean they must be excluded. The Secretary said that this was the U.S.’s general approach regarding the Soviet Union’s role in the Middle East, and that to keep the Soviet Union in the picture, he would be making a general report to the Soviet Ambassador on his Middle East trip when he returned to Washington.

The Foreign Minister asked if the Soviet Union would be satisfied with this minimal role for itself. The Secretary replied that they would be for the time being.

Allon said “But they would not be involved directly in the process immediately.” The Secretary responded that they would not.

Allon joked that he did not want the Secretary to think that Israel wants to involve the Soviets. They are co-chairmen of the Peace Conference, but Israel accepted them only because the U.S. asked it to do so. There have been many statements lately by foreign officials proudly announcing that they recognize Israel’s right to exist. Allon said he was sick and tired of hearing something which is a natural fact to him, and he had recently told one European Foreign Minister (sarcastically) “And I recognize the right for your country to exist, too.”

Israel accepts that the U.S. has to cooperate to some extent with the Soviet Union, but beyond that, they have not done anything to date to deserve more. Israel does not want American soldiers to help it in the event of another war. Even the presence of Americans at the Sinai Field Mission is not required for the purpose of defending Israel, but has a role only in the peace-keeping. Israel also wants the U.S. to understand that it does not accept that Soviet troops should play any role between Israel and its neighbors. (Note: Allon then read from notes—presumably a 1973 U.S. demarche re the USSR role at Geneva—concerning the U.S.’s appreciation for Israel’s reservations about the Soviet role as co-chairman of the Middle East Peace Conference.)

The Secretary said that one thing which is good to keep in mind about the Soviet Union in the current context is that they see the U.S. now has some influence with the Arabs.

Allon agreed and said that the U.S. had made progress in this area and would make more. Ambassador Dinitz added that the Arab countries themselves want Soviet participation in this area much less now than in times past.

The Foreign Minister then turned the subject to Spain, saying that the former Spanish Foreign Minister had promised Israel some time ago that they would normalize relations with three countries—the Soviet Union, Mexico and Israel. Israel had advised the Spanish Foreign Minister to make no public statement about the matter because this would draw Arab pressures; but this advice was not heeded and the Spanish Foreign Minister made a public statement. Israel coordinated closely with the Spanish, asking them what response to make to the public statement, and thereafter expressing as agreed Israel’s favorable appreciation of it. Since that time, Spain has resumed relations with the Soviet Union and with Mexico, but they are telling Israel that Arab pressures prevent Spain from moving to normalize relations with Israel. Former Secretary Kissinger and NATO GeneralLuns had previously spoken to the Spanish on Israel’s behalf. Israel does not consider the question of relations to be simply a question of dignity—“If they don’t want relations, let them go to hell”—but it is a matter of giving in to Arab blackmail. Israel is planning a campaign on this issue against the Spanish Government through Jewish communities in Spain and elsewhere, but Israel would prefer to avoid this little war if possible, and would appreciate the U.S. again speaking to Spain on Israel’s behalf.

The Secretary assured the Foreign Minister that the U.S. would do so. The Foreign Minister said that Egypt, contrary to the provisions of the Sinai II agreement,12 had spearheaded Arab pressures on Spain. The Foreign Minister said that he had told the Secretary’s predecessor that in any future agreement, there must be ways of ensuring compliance to all the terms. At the time of Sinai II, Egypt had specifically undertaken not to interfere with Israel’s normalization of relations with third countries.

Chargé Dunnigan asked the Foreign Minister how matters stood with Portugal. The Foreign Minister said that the Portuguese had promised to open a Consulate within a year, and Israel was waiting to see whether the Portuguese live up to it.

The Foreign Minister then asked the Secretary to consider two final matters; the first concerning Syrian Jews. Some Israelis had insisted in 1974 that Israel not sign any agreement with Syria unless they promised to let all Syrian Jews go. Israel has raised this matter a number of times, and in one way or another, has received assurances that the Syrian Government would give Israel satisfaction. Although there has been some relaxation lately by the Syrians on this question it is far from any humanist’s expectations. This tiny community of 4,000 Jews is a miserable remnant of a once flourishing community, and Israel will appreciate the U.S. doing what it can to help solve the problem.

The Secretary assured the Foreign Minister that he had already intended to raise this subject with Syrian President Assad.

The Foreign Minister then turned to the question of Soviet Jews, and asked that the new Administration raise this question in its first contacts with the USSR. “We have had enough. If they give us a few, why not more?” the Foreign Minister asked.

The Secretary said that he had already raised the subject with the Soviet Ambassador in Washington and also intended to raise it at higher Soviet levels. He said that he would appreciate receiving further information that Israel would want us to pass along to the U.S.S.R. on the question of Soviet Jewry. He said that the State Department keeps close track of the number of emigrants leaving the Soviet Union, and that the latest figures for January showed a drop over the previous three months, but represented an increase over the figures of last January.

The Foreign Minister expressed his appreciation for the first-class job that the American technicians were performing at the SFM and then said that there were other U.S.-Israeli bilateral issues to be discussed at the later meeting in the afternoon.

Mr. Evron interjected that a few minutes remained for further discussion and the Foreign Minister said that he would be happy to answer any questions.

The Secretary asked for the Israeli view on oil drilling in the Gulf of Suez. He said the U.S. is seriously concerned that Israeli actions in that area could jeopardize the search for peace. He referred (without elaboration) to an incident which had occurred yesterday as the latest example of problems in the Gulf of Suez.13

The Foreign Minister said that he would begin by defining the different zones in the Gulf, over which Israeli and American experts have differed. The Israeli view of it is that the Gulf of Suez is divided in half between Egypt and Israel, with Israel controlling the eastern half. No outside oil explorations or operations have taken place in the Israeli-controlled zone except for one field operated by Americans which lies just east of the median line, “the only enclave we tolerated.” One argument previously posed by the U.S. against the Israeli position was that at the end of the Six Day War our forces had not reached by sea the Gulf of Suez up to the median line. The Israelis had disagreed with the U.S. and besides, after 1973 even that legalistic argument has no bearing at all.

As for the recent troubles with AMOCO, when AMOCO began moving east of the line they did not consult with Israel—they simply behaved as oil companies everywhere do. Israel’s position is that if the Egyptians are interested in changes in the Gulf of Suez, they should negotiate with Israel.

The Foreign Minister mentioned that something very interesting happened at the last Egyptian-Israeli joint commission meeting.14 General Siilasvuo told the Israelis that Egyptian General Gamasy had said to him that “if the Israelis have a problem in the Gulf of Suez, why don’t they talk with us at the Joint Commission instead of going all the way across the ocean to the U.S.?”

The Foreign Minister said that Egyptian behavior in the Gulf of Suez is an attempt to disregard the fact that Israel is there. He reiterated that Egypt should get in touch with Israel if there are problems. Returning to AMOCO, the Foreign Minister asked, “How far did we ask them to move west? a mile or two?” Evron said that it was 900 yards and only an anchor, not a rig. The Foreign Minister remarked that he was afraid the oil companies were taking advantage of the Secretary’s presence in this area.

The Secretary said that the State Department’s legal adviser took the position, first, that it is not lawful for an occupying power to open new wells in occupied territory, and second, that it is legal for a country to undertake exploration in areas previously held by it but now under occupation.

Hassin said that he assumed that the Secretary was referring to the position expressed by the U.S. in its demarche of last October, to which the Israeli response has not been formulated. We have it, he said.

The Secretary reiterated that the U.S. views the Gulf of Suez as a very sensitive area. He said that he looked forward to reading the paper on the Israeli position, and that he would also look into General Gamasy’s remark re the Joint Commission.

Evron said that according to General Magdoub, General Gamasy was in favor of discussing the Gulf of Suez issue with the Israelis at the Joint Commission, but Fahmi was against this. Evron added that he had talked earlier in the morning with Asst. Secy. Atherton about the Suez issue and could discuss it further with him.15The Secretary agreed.

The Foreign Minister asked about the status of U.S. supplying of nuclear power stations to Egypt and Israel. The Secretary said that there were studies now in process concerning proliferation and related subjects and that these would be completed in early March. It is expected that President Carter will make a policy determination by the end of March on these questions.

The Foreign Minister asked: “And meanwhile are you blocking the French initiative in Pakistan and Iraq?”

The Secretary said that this was a very sensitive matter, but that the U.S. understood that at present, both sides are willing to show flexibility in their positions, if only the other would propose it.

  1. Source: Department of State, Office of the Secretariat Staff, Records of Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State, 1977–1980, Lot 84D241, Box 10, Vance Nodis Memcons 1977. No classification marking. Approved in S. The meeting took place in Allon’s office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The memorandum of conversation contains a number of handwritten revisions. Vance arrived in Jerusalem the evening of February 15, then traveled to Cairo, Beirut, Amman, Riyadh, and Damascus before returning to the United States on February 21.
  2. No record of this private meeting has been found.
  3. In late January 1977, approximately 500 to 1,000 Syrian soldiers entered the South Lebanese town of Nabatiyeh, roughly 7 miles from Israel’s northern border. These forces, a contingent of a larger Arab peacekeeping force sent to Lebanon to maintain the peace after the Lebanese civil war, sought to disarm the various factions fighting in the area. The Syrians’ presence close to Israel’s “red line,” an area Israel described as being south of the Litani River, raised alarm in the Israeli Government. Israel asked the United States to inform the Syrians that they were operating too close to the Israeli border and needed to vacate the area immediately after disarming the Palestinian groups. The United States engaged in negotiations through early February to resolve the situation, and Israel credited the United States with easing the situation by convincing Syria to peacefully remove its troops from the area. (William E. Farrell, “Description of U.S. Help with Syrians Given to Israeli Cabinet,” New York Times, February 14, 1977, p. 11)
  4. During a 9-day tour of the Middle East in an effort to revive the Geneva Conference, Waldheim visited Israel and met with Israeli leaders on February 10 and February 11. (William E. Farrell, “Waldheim Confers With Israelis; Little Gain Towards Parley Seen,” New York Times, February 11, 1977, p. A8)
  5. Kilometer 101, a U.N. checkpoint located along the Cairo-Suez road in the Sinai, was the place where Israeli and Egyptian military officials attempted to negotiate a separation of forces after the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War. On January 24, 1974, the first disengagement agreement between Israel and Egypt was signed at Kilometer 101 even though the agreement had been reached on January 18 during Secretary Kissinger’s shuttle diplomacy between Israel and Egypt the previous week. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXVI, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1974–1976, Documents 10 and 16.
  6. Adopted on May 28, 1964, the Palestinian National Covenant or Charter established the Palestinian Liberation Organization and set forth the central tenets of the organization. In the ensuing years, the PLO added several amendments to the covenant, most notably in July 1968, when seven new articles were added.
  7. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967, contains two key principles: 1) the withdrawal of Israeli forces “from territories occupied” in the June 1967 War; and 2) the end “of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area.” It is printed in Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, Document 542.
  8. The Arab League Summit Conference, held at Rabat, Morocco, in October 1974, was attended by leaders from 20 Arab countries. On October 28, the conference voted unanimously for the creation of an independent Palestinian state anywhere “on Palestinian land that is liberated” from Israeli control. Additionally, the conference recognized the PLO as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.” (Henry Tanner, “Arab Leaders Issue Call for a Palestinian State; Arafat Given Main Role,” New York Times, October 28, 1974, p. 1)
  9. In December 1948, Arab representatives met in Jericho and agreed that the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both controlled by Transjordan at that time, should be annexed to Transjordan.
  10. Rabin discussed this initiative with Kissinger and President Ford in January 1976; see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXVI, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1974–1976, Document 257.
  11. The green line refers to the boundaries established in 1949 by the armistice agreements made between Israel and its Arab opponents (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon) that ended the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  12. Reference is to the second Egyptian-Israeli disengagement agreement, reached in September 1975.
  13. On February 14, the State Department rebuked Israel for drilling in the Gulf of Suez for oil, which the State Department deemed an illegal act and “not helpful to efforts to get peace negotiations under way.” (Bernard Gwertzman, “U.S. Rebukes Israel on Sinai Oil Drilling as Vance Takes Off,” New York Times, February 15, 1977, p. 1)
  14. One of the provisions of the second disengagement agreement was the establishment of an Egyptian-Israeli Joint Commission to consider problems arising from the agreement. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXVI, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1974–1976, Document 226.
  15. A memorandum of conversation of this meeting has not been found.