501.BB Palestine/5–249: Telegram

The Ambassador in Israel (McDonald) to the Secretary of State


323. Two hours prior receipt April 29 of Deptel 250, April 28, Ford1 and I talked at Foreign Ministry about almost identical subjects. [Page 967] Share distressed2 Israel’s desire to make conciliatory statement but was embarrassed by Colonel Zasuk’s insistence “rectify” international frontier under guise armistice negotiations, thus endangering peace.

Later, April 29, at Kaplan3 tea for Export-Import Bank experts, I talked with Shiloah of Foreign Office who said Israel is puzzled by Department’s suggestion “conciliatory gesture about boundaries” because if there is to be no independent Arab state in Palestine and no one considers such possibility, hence Israel’s yielding on boundaries could only mean parceling out Palestine territory among neighboring Arab states, a result never contemplated in November 29 GA resolution. In reply, I urged my desire prompt talk with Sharett and Ben-Gurion together.

April 30 morning, when I took General Donovan4 to Sharett’s residence, I told latter of contents of Deptel 250, April 28, and my wish confer with him and Prime Minister. Foreign Minister agreed try for early date but said absence Prime Minister Jerusalem attending Zionist action SG committee and coming May Day and Independence Day celebrations during first half this week make such conference difficult. I am continuing to press for it soonest.

I believe Israel officials because of their realization of national advantage of close US cooperation and ultimate cooperation with Arab states’ desire meet President and Department’s views as far as Foreign Minister and Prime Minister consider politically possible. I will continue utilize every formal and informal opportunity press US views in hope securing desired statement soon. Am hopeful on Jerusalem and refugees but pessimistic on boundaries.

  1. Richard Ford, Counselor of Embassy in Israel.
  2. These two words should read “Sharett stressed” (copy in Tel Aviv post files, lot 56–F 31, 350 Israel).
  3. Eliezer Kaplan, Israeli Finance Minister.
  4. Maj. Gen. William J. Donovan, until 1945 Director of the Office of Strategic Services; at this time on an extended tour of the Near East.