251. Diplomatic Note From the Israeli Ambassador (Harman) to Secretary of State Rusk 1

The Ambassador of Israel presents his compliments to the Honorable the Secretary of State and has the honor to inform him that he has been requested by the Government of Israel to renew its sincere expression of deep regret for the tragic accident in which, at the height of hostilities in the area, the USS Liberty was hit by Israeli fire. The Government of Israel deeply regrets this tragic accident.

The Ambassador of Israel has been instructed to inform the Honorable the Secretary of State that the Government of Israel is prepared to make amends for the tragic loss of life and material damage.

The Ambassador of Israel expresses once again in the name of the Government of Israel its deep condolences to the Government of the United States and its sympathy to all the bereaved families.

The Ambassador of Israel avails himself of this opportunity to renew to the Honorable the Secretary of State the expression of his highest consideration.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR. No classification marking. Telegram 210130 to Tel Aviv, June 10, states that Harman had given the note to a Department official that morning. It also states that Congressional and public opinion were incensed over the attack on the USS Liberty, and that Eugene Rostow had informed Harman that morning of the great U.S. concern over the incident, “for which we can find no satisfactory explanation.” (Ibid.)