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April 5, 1963

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Assistant Secretary State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Talbot and the President's Deputy Special Counsel Feldman

WashingtonApril 5, 1963.


Mr. Feldman telephoned today to say that when Deputy Defense Minister Peres of Israel had called on him in the White House they were walking along a corridor and "bumped into" the President who later said he would like to see Mr. Peres. At a subsequent meeting the President asked Peres what danger points he saw in the Near East. According to Feldman, Peres said that the major danger point could arise in Jordan, where officials are not loyal to the King who consequently could be upset. There were three possibilities. 1) If there should be outright intervention by theUAR, this would certainly call for a reaction by Israel. 2) If the King should be overthrown by internal subversion this would be very difficult for Israel which would have to watch the situation very carefully and take what measures would be necessary. 3) If the King were assassinated and succeeded by a purely Jordanian Government, Israel probably would take no action as it supports the idea that each Arab country should choose its own government.

In response to another question by the President, Peres according to Feldman, said that the UAR is the only Arab country that Israel really fears. He launched on a discussion ofUAR rockets, etc. The President, Feldman said, took the opportunity to say that the United States is very very concerned about any proliferation of nuclear weapons and that he, the President, would strongly hope that Israel would not develop or obtain this kind of weaponry. In reply Feldmansaid that Peres had given an unequivocal assurance that Israel would not do anything in this field unless it finds that other countries in the area are involved in it.

President Kennedy and Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Shimon Peres discussed the possibility of UAR intervention in Jordan. Peres stated that "the UAR is the only Arab country that Israel really fears."

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Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 11/7/63–11/17/63.


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