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

3746. Ref: State 199836.2 For Under Secretary Rostow from Ambassador.

Cabinet meeting just concluded has decided to despatch Foreign Minister Eban to Washington, London and Paris leaving here 0300 hours Wednesday, May 24. Public announcement will state trip for purpose participation UN deliberations.
This decision follows strong representations I made in accordance your reftel in which I drew fully upon your conversation with Ambassador Dal (State’s 199747).3 Aside from emphasizing gravity of situation from our standpoint and our determination implement and abide by our obligations by action within and without the UN, I particularly reiterated Israeli commitment to US which we regarded as firm that they consult before embarking on unilateral action. Main purpose Eban’s visit is to continue such consultation and he hopes highest levels US Government will be available to him.
I believe that our conveying strong sense of US recognition its involvement in Israel’s problem at this time has had major effect in buying time. Whether unilateral Israeli action was imminent in matter of hours I suppose only history will reveal but my impression is that it was and that it has now been postponed for several days, although I am aware of possibility postponement is wishful thinking my part. In any case it has been made clear to me that further decisions as to Israeli action will depend on outcome Eban’s talks primarily Washington, but also London and to lesser extent Paris, and he has been told to be back in Israel by end of week.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL ARAB–ISR. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 6:37 p.m.
  2. Telegram 199836 to Tel Aviv, May 23, conveyed instructions from Eugene Rostow to Barbour to explain that U.S. views on the gravity of the situation had been fully and forcefully set forth in Cairo and Moscow. It stated that the Department expected the problem to be handled along the lines of the President’s letter to Eshkol (Document 30) and Rostow’s letter to Harman (Document 36). (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Office of the Executive Secretariat, Middle East Crisis Files, 1967, Entry 5190, Box 10, Arab/Israeli Crisis, By Post)
  3. Not found.