Finally, Johnson wanted to make sure that any policy he adopted didn’t harm him domestically.
President Johnson: I’m friendly to these people, and I want to help them. But . . .
As our people see it, if they [the Israeli government] really, sincerely, genuinely feel that we oughtn’t to sell these planes to Jordan, and we oughtn’t to sell these tanks (we’re giving them as little as we can get by with; Nasser has got their feet to the fire)—well, we won’t do it. I’ll just say that, and I’m prepared to do it.
And I’m telling [Averell] Harriman to tell the prime minister that. Because I think it’s something that’s got to be settled with him . . .
Feinberg: With the prime minister of
President Johnson: Yeah. Yeah.
And now he’s [Harriman] going to say, “Now, you all decide this.”
We have indications from our Jewish population in the
Now, our judgment is we oughtn’t to do it. Our judgment is we oughtn’t to let this little king go down the river. He’s got a million-and-a-half people, and he only controls a third of them—two-thirds [are] against him.
But he is the only voice that will stand up there. And if you want to turn him over and have a complete Soviet bloc, why, we’ll just have to—and we’ll get out of the arms business. We just . . .
And we think that . . . We’ll have to get out of supplying
But we’ll fight that when we come to it. We’ll deprive
We think it would be better to give them [
But I’m not prepared to take on the New York Times and [former White House counsel] Mike Feldman and everybody else. [Feinberg chuckles.] I’m going to let them make the decision.
But it’s got to be in or out. If we go in—[then] of course, we’ve got to be some help to
The only reason I’m helping