June 19, 1967 – President Johnson Addresses The Crisis In The Middle-East.
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In an address before the Department of State Foreign Policy Conference for Educators on June 19, 1967, President Johnson declared that recent events had proved the wisdom of five principles of peace in the Middle East. The first and greatest principle, he stated, was that “every nation in the area has a fundamental right to live, and to have this right respected by its neighbors.” Second was “another basic requirement for settlement: justice for the refugees.” Third was that “maritime rights must be respected.” Fourth, the conflict had demonstrated “the danger of the Middle Eastern arms race of the last 12 years.” As an initial step to deal with this problem, he proposed that the United Nations immediately call upon all of its members to report all shipments of military arms into the area. Fifth, he declared, the crisis underlines the “importance of respect for political independence and territorial integrity of all the states of the area.
President Johnson: “There are some who have urged, as a single, simple solution, an immediate return to the situation as it was on June 4. As our distinguished and able Ambassador, Mr. Arthur Goldberg, has already said, this is not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities.
Certainly, troops must be withdrawn; but there must also be recognized rights of national life, progress in solving the refugee problem, freedom of innocent maritime passage, limitation of the arms race, and respect for political independence and territorial integrity.
But who will make this peace where all others have failed for 20 years or more?
Clearly the parties to the conflict must be the parties to the peace. Sooner or later, it is they who must make a settlement in the area. It is hard to see how it is possible for nations to live together in peace if they cannot learn to reason together.
But we must still ask, Who can help them? Some say it should be the United Nations; some call for the use of other parties. We have been first in our support of effective peacekeeping in the United Nations, and we also recognize the great values to come from mediation.
We are ready this morning to see any methods tried, and we believe that none should be excluded altogether. Perhaps all of them will be useful and all will be needed.
I issue an appeal to all to adopt no rigid view on these matters. I offer assurance to all that this Government of ours, the Government of the United States, will do its part for peace in every forum, at every level, at every hour.
Yet there is no escape from this fact: The main responsibility for the peace of the region depends upon its own peoples and its own leaders of that region. What will be truly decisive in the Middle East will be what is said and what is done by those who live in the Middle East”.
Here is that address as it was broadcast on June 19, 1967.