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

710. Thoroughly agree (Deptel 4812) we should take fullest advantage intermediary technique and in view deteriorating situation areawise no time should be lost. I had not thought (Embtel 6873) discouragement in either use of talks or their ultimate effectiveness. In fact my attitude just contrary and I have let no opportunity pass to encourage Ben-Gurion not insist on face-to-face talks with Nasser but adopt wide open enthusiasm for getting settlement talks started direct or through intermediary and without any pre-talk conditions. This he apparently agreed to do in conversation with Streibert [Page 26] (Embtel 6144) and now direct with you. Now we seem to be in position to test sincerity both leaders and fix clearly burden of irresponsibility.

Purpose Embtels 6765 and 687 was to supply useful important factual intelligence as to how widely this highly sensitive information held here. It gave as well views of Rafael on efficacy of proposed operation—not unwillingness Sharett to agree to talks with intermediary despite his “foot-dragging” attitude while in Washington on general effort to negotiate settlement. That developed I believe from natural desire to negotiate from greater strength which he hoped would come from receipt of arms.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86/1–1356. Top Secret; Alpha; Limit Distribution. Received at 8:36 a.m., January 14.
  2. Document 16.
  3. Document 11.
  4. Vol. xiv, p. 871.
  5. Document 8.