501.BB Palestine/9–1748: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Special Representative of the United States in Israel (McDonald)

top secret

100. For McDonald. We have had question de jure recognition Govt: of Israel under study for several months. On several occasions, I have discussed question with President and have also discussed urtel 104 Sept 121 with President.

No question has arisen re de jure recognition of State of Israel as state. Our recognition of State on May 142 was full and complete. Present question is conversion of de facto recognition of provisional govt to de jure recognition of permanent govt. In our opinion de jure recognition should be extended to a permanent govt which is based on will of people, which is in fact in control of country, and which is prepared to carry out its international obligations. Israeli authorities themselves decided to postpone their elections and themselves have designated their present govt as “Provisional”.

We do not agree immediate de jure recognition would strengthen PGI moderates. Such recognition would prejudge success their efforts and would, in effect, sanction a regime before it had been established. We consider prospect de jure recognition should stimulate and aid PGI moderates in retaining effective control of permanent govt.

As there has been no basic change in the governmental status of Israel since its proclamation on May 15, we consider immediate extension de jure recognition would subject us to charge that our recognition had been based on domestic political considerations in US rather than on development of governmental processes in Israel.

We consider premature de jure recognition would inflame Arab world and would make it difficult for Arab states to make those concessions for which Bernadotte has been striving in his efforts to obtain [Page 1409] equitable solution of Palestine question. We might expect, in addition, that Moslem states in UN would be strongly affected by premature step favoring Israel and that US and other Western powers would thereby have additional and increased difficulties with other important problems before UN.

We refer also to crucial situation in Berlin. Because of current developments there we do not believe we should take any unnecessary step such, as premature recognition which would aggravate unrest throughout Moslem world at this critical juncture.

We cannot too emphatically stress importance we attach to present efforts Mediator to secure peaceful adjustment Palestine situation under GA resolution May 14. We believe that we now have most favorable opportunity to persuade both parties in Palestine situation to cooperate with Mediator in his truce and mediation efforts. If these are successful many of other problems relating Palestine may be expected quickly to be solved.

In light foregoing we believe interests US and Israel would be best served by withholding for time being de jure recognition PGI.

  1. See footnote 1 to telegram to President Truman, p. 1392.
  2. Washington time.