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

No. 61

[Here follow four paragraphs dealing with the concern over the waning interest of Western Jews in the State of Israel, expressed by Israeli chiefs of diplomatic missions at their conference in Israel from July 17 to 23; and with the arrival in Israel on July 31 of six American Zionist leaders to discuss Israel’s difficult economic situation.]

[Page 962]

Comment: The decision of the Israel diplomats and the hurried visit of the American Zionist leaders bespeak larger issues than the mere failure of an appeal for funds. Both are further indications that the powers that be in Israel are seriously preoccupied with the momentous question of the future of the State. While it is too early to state with any degree of certainty, it is likely that the Korean crisis has acted as a catalytic agent, and that as a consequence the solution that is Israel is now in the process of being cleared of certain impurities. It is known that since the beginning of hostilities in Korea, many Israelis have come to the conclusion that should a world war result, Israel would be left to fend for herself.

One general fact is undeniable: without the unwavering and increasing support of Western Jewry, the future of the state is in peril. Israel’s immediate economic future looks increasingly bleak. The waning interest in the State amongst Western Jewry spells disaster and has apparently brought home to the Government the dire necessity for a complete reexamination of its basic policies.

It could be that Israel’s leaders have at last recognized the ultimate folly of pursuing policies (strict West-East neutrality, socialism which belabors free private enterprise, etc.) which run directly contrary to the personal interests of the very people from whom Israel is demanding greater and greater sacrifices. The Foreign Minister’s recent redefinition of Israel’s West-East neutrality policy, wherein he carefully pointed out that Israel’s policy would better be defined as one of “non-identification” than of neutrality in its strictest sense, and the even more startling hint of a basic change in policy outlined in one of the Embassy’s most recent Top Secret messages to the Department can only mean that Israel’s leaders have realized that certain existing: policies no longer serve the best interests of the State.

Any reassessment of foreign and internal policy which might be taking place within the Israel Government has resulted not from a sudden ideological change of heart—it has always been generally recognized that the majority of Israel’s officials and civilians are essentially pro-Western in outlook and sympathy—but rather it has resulted from the ultimate realization that the hand that feeds will not submit indefinitely to being bitten. End comment.

For the Ambassador:

Richard Ford

Counselor of Embassy