24. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State1
Tel Aviv, June 18, 1958—10 a.m.
1136. Re Deptel 893.2 Embassy foresees following problems US–Israel relations in FY 1959:
- Future status Israel enclave on Mt. Scopus which is likely to provide continuing source GOI–HKJ–UNTSO friction and possible major incidents such as those of May 1958.
- Probable continuing GOI pressure some form US financial support Jordan River diversion south of Lake Hula either in or out of DZ, with special reference US decision assist HKJ in East Ghor diversion project.
- While status quo free navigation Gulf of Aqaba which has received US support quiet now, there is possibility of flare up this area in event Egypt or Saudis threaten active measures to close Gulf.
- Israel’s June 15 announcement of purchase of French Vautour light bombers gives public confirmation of a redressing of air power balance long suspected by western observers. GOI will continue efforts to obtain strategic striking force to match Egypt’s Iliushin 28. US deliveries of jets to Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq will be exploited in support of Israel’s procurement efforts.
- In event of continuing evidence Nasser military and political buildup, Israel will seize any opportunity to press for firmed US guarantees, as evidenced by manner in which GOI welcomed recent extension of Eisenhower Doctrine which was not however deemed strong enough commitment to satisfy Israel.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.84A/6–1858. Secret.↩
- Telegram 893, May 28, noted that a new policy on the Middle East was being considered and asked for comments on the major problems in the area and additional programs that might contribute to their solution. (Ibid., 611.80/5–2858)↩