Lexicon of Terms
US Secretary of State, William Rogers with Israel's Chief of Staff, Chaim Bar-Lev.
US Secretary of State William Rogers with Yigal Allon, Golda Meir, and Abba Eban.
The Rogers Plan was an American peace plan for the Middle East.
The American Secretary of State, William Rogers, initiated a plan for breaking
through the deadlock in Israeli-Arab relations since the Six Day War. The plan
was brought up in the middle of the War of Attrition, in December 1969, and it
included several principles: An Israeli withdrawal to the international border
with Egypt; setting, through negotiation, the status of the Gaza Strip and
Sharm el Sheikh and removing them from Israeli sovereignty; maintaining
Jerusalem as a unified city run by the three main religions; and securing a
safe passage for Israeli ships through the Suez Canal.
Egypt rejected the plan for being pro-Israeli. Israel also rejected it for not
attending enough to Israelís security needs, for not setting guidelines for
direct negotiations on a formal peace treaty, and for removing Israelís
governance over Jerusalem.
On December 18th the plan was expanded by Charles Yost, the United
States Ambassador to the United Nations, and it also dealt with the Jordanian
front. It also included minor adjustments of the borderline in its suggestion
for Israelís withdrawal to the 1949 Armistice Agreement border; the Arab
refugees were given an option between compensation or return to Israel; Israel
and Jordan were granted equal status of sovereignty on the civilian, economic,
and religious aspects of life in Jerusalem; and free passage was promised in
the Gulf of Aqaba. Jordan agreed to negotiate the plan, but Israel rejected it
on December 22nd.
Rogers initiated a second plan in June 1970, which suggested negotiations between
Israel and Egypt with the mediation of UN envoy, Swedish Ambassador Gunnar
Jarring, who had tried in the past to promote a peace process between the countries.
This series of negotiations was meant to correspond to the United Nationsí
Security Council Resolution 242 Ė bringing about a just and solid peace, based
on mutual recognition of the sovereignty, independence, and territory of each
country. Israel was to withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967. As a
first step in its implementation, Jarring suggested to renew the ceasefire
between Israel and Egypt. Israel rejected the plan on June 21st,
while Egypt Ė allegedly concerned about a further acceleration in the War of
Attrition Ė agreed to negotiations.
Egyptís willingness brought about an increase in American pressure on Israel. President
Nixon sent clarifications on the plan to Prime Minister Golda Meir stating
that: Israel will withdraw to agreed borders taking into account its security,
and not to the borders prior to the Six Day War, and the withdrawal will be
executed following the signing of a binding bilateral agreement; the solution
suggested regarding the refugees will not harm Israelís characteristic as a
Jewish state; the United States guarantees Israelís sovereignty, security and
territorial entirety; and the balance of arms will be preserved. The Israeli
Government gave its basic consent to the plan on July 31st 1970,
causing the Herut-Liberal Bloc to resign from the coalition.
The Israeli-Egyptian new ceasefire came into affect on August 7th, but
Israel suspended the Jarring talks shortly thereafter due to Egyptís violation
of the Ceasefire Agreement and stationing of anti-aircraft warfare alongside
the Suez Canal. The talks were renewed in early February 1971.
A third Rogers Plan, for an interim agreement across the Canal, was rejected by
Israel on October 4th 1971, numerous hours after it was submitted
for approval. The rejection was given due to the planís lack of reference to
future possibilities of conducting a peace process.
All versions of the Rogers Plan did not concern the Syrian front.
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