56. Handwritten Note Prepared by the Ambassador to Israel (Lewis)1

Vance, Lewis, Saunders, Barak/Dayan— + Carter, et. al.

CV —I’ll try to see if there is a way to handle the Jerusalem letter in a less open way.

[Page 203]

Dayan —This letter in this form will just be the end of the Conference. Jerusalem too sensitive. Had it been about Gaza, well, possibly. (grimaces.) But you’re not insisting on stating your views now on settlements, etc.

Barak (after talking to Begin)—OK we accept “shall govern themselves”—but want it clear in the minutes of the meeting that Israeli interpretation of the phrase will by [be?] “shall govern themselves through their autonomous institutions.”

(Mondale & Jordan + Dinitz enter)

Dayan: (Restates position on letter to Mondale).

(Dayan & Barak insist none of them heard Pres. talk last night about this letter—if so, would be impossible.)

( Carter enters)

JCSadat this morning said he could accept placement permanence of UN forces in Raffah, if GOI had perm. UN observers on their side & be flex. on Jerusalem. I said they can’t be. He said perhaps he could delete, if exchange of letters. We can word them as moderate as possible, re-endorse UN resolutions we have voted for.

MD—Argues against any restatement of US position.

JC—I can’t go back on my promise to Sadat. I’m willing to let Barak & Cy work on wording, however.

MD—OK. But let me review problem of “occupied territory” language. Reviews Mt. Scopus, Hadassah, Wailing Wall, Jewish quarter history. They took it, we took it back. We have our position—& when time comes we’ll negotiate about it. But for you to propose to restate

I have nothing to suggest.But for first time at Camp David, we’ve been presented with a statement of your position—we didn’t come here to argue with you over Jerusalem.

JC—Well. I understand your position. Sadat has frequently said here that he doesn’t contemplate return of all East to Arabs.

But we need to work on this.

Barak: Why doesn’t Sadat state his position in his letter, & express in it your position? And you just send it to us.

CV —Maybe we could merely refer to statements made by Yost, Scranton, & Young.2

Discussion Dayan/Carter—re definitions of East Jerusalem, etc.

Carter —You can’t deny us right to state our position. We might qualify our statement re Holy Places, etc.

[Page 204]

I’m willing to work with you, but can’t violate my promise to Sadat.

MD—But not at Camp David! Had we known we had to argue here with you over Jerusalem, we wouldn’t have come! This for first time, 4 hours before the end, we’re presented with US position which will be totally negative.

All our agreements over settlements are not nearly as important as this letter over Jerusalem.

MD—makes distinction again re certain places in East Jerusalem.

JC—Sit with Carter & draft. If can’t accept, then let’s adjourn.

MD—I don’t know. Perhaps only referring to this point might sell. I really don’t know.


JC—Do you agree that UN observers on your side would also not be withdrawn without SC approval?

Ezer—Yes. 3

JCSadat doesn’t want El-Arish, when under Egyptian flag, for negotiations.

JCSadat has given on internat’l waterway. Won’t accelerate dip. rel. beyond 9 months initial completion of withdrawal.

MD—What happens after Camp David?

JC—Re Oct. 24 deadline, if Knesset agrees to remove settlements, he will extend. If not, he will go to UNSC.

Sadat wants get Knesset debate over before negotiations. Meanwhile, make arrangements. Begin said 2 weeks. MD said perhaps, but could go a little longer.

  1. Source: Department of State, U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, Principal Officer Program Files, Lot 85F104, Personal for Ambassador Lewis—Sensitive Notes 1978. No classification marking. See footnote 90, Document 28.
  2. References are to Charles W. Yost, who served as Representative to the United Nations from January 1969 until February 1971; William W. Scranton, Representative to the United Nations from March 1976 until January 1977; and Andrew Young.
  3. At the top of the page, Lewis wrote that Weizman entered the room at 2:05 p.m.