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

203. For Assistant Secretary Allen. Re your memo July 222 and Embassy despatch 154,3 Foreign Minister has informed Embassy that Jackson has been given proposals by Prime Minister to be taken immediately to Nasser of “Far-reaching character with specific suggestions designed to ameliorate situation”. Jackson also meeting with Ben-Gurion later this morning. Embassy endeavoring to arrange plane transportation to Cairo out of Kalandia this afternoon. At request both Jackson and Foreign Minister I am arranging to meet with him prior his departure to obtain precise information re proposals and will report immediately to the Department.4

Previous activities Jackson were reported by him to me yesterday as follows:

Held two and one-half hour conversation with Fawzi with no firm results other than development his interest in whole exercise.
Held hour-long conversation with Nasser, net result being development interest to desire continuation of exercise with definite hope Jackson’s return Cairo following visit to Israel; specific inquiry as to details Israel-held Egyptian prisoners and what pattern joint narcotic traffic control; strong and final dissipation Nasser’s confidence in “anyone in Israel”.
Sessions with Sharett,Ben-Gurion and Rafael held immediately on Jackson’s arrival here evening August 29 at behest Israelis. This produced intense, sharp questioning of Jackson regarding Nasser reactions to definite points transmitted by Sharett and Ben-Gurion.Sharett appeared in role of more agitated and emphatic questioner than Ben-Gurion and when subject Gaza raid February 28 discussed offered only defense. It was significant that when Jackson explained this action was basis Nasser’s complete abandonment confidence in Israel leaders,Sharett never removed his eyes from [Page 432] Ben-Gurion, who we assume promoted Gaza action in opposition Sharett.

Jackson was asked if he would return Cairo following day bearing message to Nasser. Matter seemed so urgent that offer was made to fly Jackson to Athens to make plane connections without delay—much depended on immediate delivery of message. But during night the thoroughly upsetting Egyptian raids forced change in Israel plan and execution message idea postponed.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/9–155. Secret;Niact. Received at 7:59 a.m. Repeated niact to Cairo.
  2. Elmore Jackson, the U.N. observer for the American Friends Service Committee, had met with Allen on July 22. According to a memorandum of the conversation by Wilkins, Jackson told Allen that he had met with Fawzi on July 15, immediately before Fawzi’s departure for Cairo, and that Fawzi had indicated that the Egyptians considered the time ripe for the commencement of talks between Israel and Egypt, for intensification of AFSC efforts, and for an “imaginative approach to the problem.” Jackson stated that he planned to visit Israel and the Arab States in August and could continue discussions with the Egyptian and Israeli authorities.Allen expressed interest and approved of Jackson continuing his efforts. (Ibid., 674.84A/7–2255)
  3. Dated August 19, it transmitted a memorandum of a conversation on August 12 between Lawson and Sharett, in which Sharett indicated that he planned to see Jackson in a day or two and “seemed genuinely interested” in Jackson’s visit. (Ibid., 784A.13/8–1955)
  4. See Document 253.