884A.00 TA/4–451: Telegram

The Ambassador in Israel (Davis) to the Department of State


610. Depcirtel 562 Mar 221 and Embtel 585 March 27 re Israel request grant in aid.2

While Emb lacks statistical data necessary to make adequate analysis relationship amount requested to actual econ needs, the fol observations are submitted as of possible interest:

Immigration policy is basic in official and public thinking here and there is no doubt govt is committed to maintain present high rate of immigration at least until Iraqi and Rumanian situations liquidated.
In absence marked change for better in its relations with Arab countries, Israel will not be inclined lessen present rate expenditures for defense purposes.
Although amount requested large for country this size, it is not believed sufficient enable Israel achieve econ equilibrium, but on contrary wld be in nature of stop-gap specifically for next fiscal year. Further requests are accordingly to be expected.
Emb believes drains on economy for immigration and mil expenditures together with limited prospective income will make some aid essential if Israel is to maintain roughly present living standards. In other words, decline in such standards is probable if aid not forthcoming despite loans and remittances expected from abroad and anticipated increases in natl income.
Emb believes further that decrease in living standards wld be exploited by extremist opposition elements.
Note frankly appeals for help in financing ambitious immigration program, and manner of making request for grant clearly shows that govt believes fate of request depends on public and congressional support which Amer friends of Israel can muster. Subject has not been mentioned since notice given personally by FonMin (Embtel 585 Mar 27) and no further query is anticipated.

  1. Not printed.
  2. In this telegram the Ambassador had in part reported that the Embassy had received a copy of the Israeli note requesting aid (see footnote 2, p. 606) and that the Embassy would comment on the request following discussion of the matter with Mr. McGhee (in Israel). (884A.00 TA/3–2751)