32. National Security Action Memorandum No. 2901


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Meeting Israeli Arms Requests

Before deciding on whether or how to meet Israel’s current request for tanks, the President desires a thorough review of all aspects of this problem, leading to a coordinated interdepartmental recommendation not later than 1 May 1964.

Among the aspects he wishes reviewed are: (a) likely Arab reactions and their consequences; (b) various means of offsetting such reactions; (c) likely Israeli reaction if we refuse to meet their request or postpone the issue; (d) the likelihood that Israel could satisfy its needs elsewhere; and (e) the likely course and consequence of Israeli missile development, and the desirability of an effort to turn Israel aside from this course, including ways and means of doing so.

The review should also assess various alternative ways of dealing with this matter, such as limiting the size of any sale, postponing such a sale to a more propitious time, or encouraging and perhaps helping Israel to meet its needs from other suppliers. Finally, it should include an analysis of what cooperative measures we might reasonably ask of Israel in return for our responsiveness in meeting its arms needs.

[Page 76]

I suggest that we prepare a paper in time for discussion of this matter in the Standing Group on 28 April, prior to final approval by the Secretaries of State and Defense and submission to the President.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration,RG 59, NSAM Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAM 290. Secret.