245. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State1

198.GOI’s reply General Burns’ cease-fire proposal transmitted Embtel 1962 contained no surprises and appears consistent with the considerations set forth Embtel 190.3

Burns’ proposal may have caused some momentary embarrassment to GOI upon its receipt because it was apparent that no government here could accept such a formula in face fact Egyptian marauders were at time receipt still committing murders well within Israel territory. Reply appears designed (a) avoid outright rejection, (b) keep spotlight on basic Egyptian responsibility events past week end, (c) reserve for GOI freedom of action to follow such policy decisions as it may have already made.

Embassy attaches some significance unusual action GOI yesterday in permitting photographs of murdered civilians and scenes of incidents, which were widely printed in today’s papers. Difficult to believe that GOI would have followed this course if it had decided to rely diplomatic means to reduce Egyptian-Israel tensions.

At this juncture,Nasser’s militant tactics past week appear to have (a) served as catalyst bringing together various political groups previously dispersed and at odds over election campaign and its results and, (b) provided GOI with enough evidence to support its position of righteousness to point where world opinion would be [Page 430] confused in case outbreak hostilities and world Jewry probably united in support Israel cause.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/8–3155. Secret; Priority. Received at 7:03 a.m., September 1. Also sent priority to Cairo, Jerusalem, London, and Paris.
  2. See Document 242.
  3. Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/8–3055)