780.5/1–950: Telegram

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


16. Re Amman Legtel 4 to Department, January 5 [4]1 reporting prospective Samir and Ben-Gurion meeting, Shiloah2 at residence [Page 678] January 8 said Abdullah at end of January 2–3 talk had suggested next meeting be in Israel between BG and Samir, after latter’s return from Tehran. Shiloah replied Sharett would then be back. Abdullah assented Samir talk with Sharett. No date yet fixed. Dayan3 may be Israel’s regular spokesman with TJ if Shiloah goes Geneva.

Meanwhile, Shiloah has sent Samir letter4 reporting Israel cabinet’s “firm refusal of kilometers-wide corridor” but expressing willingness continue talk.

New subject: Shiloah questions wisdom of policy he attributes to UK of “rearming Arab states for domestic security”. He cited that French arms to Zaim5 and his successors had not aided Syrian domestic security. He argued that tanks and jet planes supplied by UK to Egypt have “no relation to domestic security”. He deplored “seeming USG acquiescence if not support this policy”.

Comment: Embassy position would be stronger such discussions if we knew more precisely Department’s present position. Depcirtel September 7, 6 a. m.6 does not fully clarify. Would appreciate more precise statement. End comment. Pass Army, Navy, Air.

Sent Department 16, repeated Baghdad 2, Beirut 1, Damascus 2, Jerusalem 1, Jidda 1; Department pass Amman 1, Cairo 4, Army, Navy, Air.

  1. Not printed; but see footnote 6, p. 666.
  2. Reuven Shiloah, Political Adviser to the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Brig. Gen. Moshe Dayan, Commander of the Southern Israeli forces.
  4. Dated December 29, 1949; for text, see telegram 5, January 16, from Amman, p. 691.
  5. Husni Zaim, President of Syria, whose government was overthrown on August 14, 1949, by a military coup. For documentation on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vi, pp. 1630 ff.
  6. Not printed; but see editorial note, ibid., p. 1365.