381. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel 1

11414. 1. Ambassador Harman called on Assistant Secretary Battle afternoon July 20. Referred to current state of suspension in USG handling of routine GOI military requests for ammunition, spare parts, etc. Said Eban intended raise this with Secretary July 15 but had not gotten around to it, though he had mentioned it to Walt Rostow. GOI hopes suspension can be unscrambled soon as possible. It would hope these “routine” supplies could be viewed as normal replacement items and considered apart from question of new equipment requests. Battle replied he was well aware of GOI view. Noted that matter complicated for us by Congressional attitudes on worldwide arms sales. Told Harman we would try to unscramble this soon as possible.

2. Harman then raised what he termed procedural request stating GOI wishes to send “couple of military people” to Washington for secret discussions on area military situation and related subjects. He noted there are at least two recent precedents (Rabin visit of 19632 and Weizman visit of 19653). Harman stressed that on those occasions publicity had successfully been avoided or played down, and said GOI would do likewise in this instance if we wish. Asked by Battle for names of people GOI had in mind to send, Harman replied they would be similar people to those involved in earlier visits and that names could be given once visit agreed in principle. Re timing, Harman said GOI thinks it very important have this fairly soon. Battle said he would discuss proposal with Defense and let Harman have reaction soon as possible.

3. Harman said he wished underline point made by Eban at July 15 lunch that GOI would take very negative view of any U.S. arms supply to Jordan at this stage. Said GOI wants to make sure there is no misunderstanding in Washington as to its position. Battle responded that he wanted make sure GOI in considering this question has given thought to alternatives for Jordan. There is definite Russian offer of arms to Jordan. Consequences of no U.S. sale must be weighed very carefully. [Page 701] Harman reacted with general comment that GOI believes it will not know until some time has passed just what it is dealing with in Jordan. He added that GOI ready to talk with King Hussein or his people, preferably with King himself, at any time. There is strong feeling in Israel that it must deal direct with King or otherwise signals might be misread. Asked by Battle if that meant GOI rules out UN or other negotiator, Harman simply repeated that it is feeling of GOI that it must find “a direct route” to assess the situation.

4. Harman mentioned he expects return Israel for short period in week or so.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR/SANDSTORM. Secret; Nodis; Sandstorm. Drafted by Wolle and approved by Battle.
  2. Reference is to U.S.-Israeli talks November 12–13, 1963; see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. XVIII, Documents 359 and 360.
  3. Reference is to U.S.-Israeli talks October 12–13, 1965; see ibid., 1964–1968, vol. XVIII, Document 246, footnote 2.