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

541. Pass Army Navy Air. Reference Deptel 3492 and Embtel 523.3 French Counselor4 here informed me that French Government has made no commitment to GOI re deliveries Mystere Mark IVs. He said Israel defense force no longer interested in acquiring Mark II because of doubt that it can compete with MIG 15 but has been making strenuous efforts obtain French Government concurrence delivery Mark IV Fs. Dayan, on recent trip Paris, obtained support French Minister of Defense5 but Middle East experts in Quai d’Orsay strongly oppose deliveries to Israel and so far Pinay has followed their advice. French Counselor opined that next step GOI would be to enlist support in French political circles of “powerful friends of Israel”.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 784A.56/11–2355. Secret. Received at 6:14 p.m. Repeated to Paris, Rome, Cairo, Ankara, and London.
  2. The Department in telegram 349, November 16, requested the Embassy in Tel Aviv to comment on reports that Israel had received from the French 12 Ouragan jet fighters, purchased 12 Mysteres Mark IVs, and ordered 15 Mysteres Mark IIs. (Ibid., 784A.56/11–1655)
  3. The Embassy in Tel Aviv reported in telegram 523, November 18, that it was reasonable to conclude that the Israelis at that moment had only 12 Ouragans. Precise figures were difficult to obtain, since the Israeli military authorities refused to reveal the number of aircraft they had on hand and had failed to honor the requests of the U.S. Air Attaché to visit Israeli air bases. (Ibid., 784A.56/11–1855)
  4. Jean Fernand-Laurent.
  5. General Pierre Billotte.