786.56/12–2952: Telegram

No. 536
The Ambassador in Israel (Davis) to the Department of State1


1039. Reference Embtels 7862 and 993.3FonMin Sharett asked me to call at his residence late afternoon December 26. He received me in presence director4 and took up once more subj reftels. He expressed “grave disquiet” over arms policy of western powers and ME, which he feels affects adversely prospects for peace, Israel’s security, and plans for area defense. He said immediate source of concern was report from Israel Embassy Washington re conversation with Deputy Assistant Secretary Jernegan who had stated it impossible comply with Israel request obtain US jets at nominal price or receive free military aid, and indicated at same time USG might find it necessary extend military aid to Egypt.

FonMin stated that inference to be drawn from above is that tripartite declaration is no longer “sheet anchor of peace in area”, since implication of declaration that there shall be no change in balance of power in area will be invalidated by British jet deals and proposed US military aid. He remarked that concerted action by powers apparently abandoned since British action re jets taken without prior US knowledge; and complained that nations which opposed direct negotiations in UN are not being subjected to pressure to make peace, but on contrary are actually rewarded by having arms put into their hands. He mentioned further absence of action re Suez blockade encourages Naguib to continue on his present course.

FonMin concluded with statement that seriousness of position make it impossible for Israel Government to keep silent, and that in circumstances matter would be discussed in cabinet meeting and [Page 1087] public statement on subject would be made. Summary of official release published in morning papers follows.

  1. Repeated to London, Cairo, Baghdad, Beirut, and Damascus.
  2. Document 517.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Presumably the Director of the American Division of the Israeli Foreign Office.