297. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel 1
Washington, October 31, 1968, 0255Z.
264289. Subject: F-4 Negotiations.
- Ambassador Rabin, accompanied by General Hod, Argov and Raviv called on Assistant Secretary Hart afternoon October 30 for next round in F-4 Phantom negotiations which were formally opened by Secretary and Eban October 22. Davies and Atherton also present.
- Hart opened conversation by asking Israelis to prepare draft proposal setting forth what they believed agreement on F-4s should contain.
- Rabin asked for clarification of this procedure. Noting that Israelis had only A-4 Skyhawk agreement to go by, he asked if this should serve as pattern. Israel could indicate its ideas on number of aircraft requested, which it had already set at fifty, on time of delivery and on credit arrangements. Were there other matters that should be covered?
- Hart said he would leave it to Ambassador to follow whatever model he thought most appropriate. Rabin said he would have draft [Page 584] proposal ready tomorrow morning, October 31, and asked what next stage would be. Hart said Israeli proposal would be studied at high level as expeditiously as possible.
- Pressing for further clarification Rabin noted that in previous such negotiations, once political decision had been taken detailed technical discussions had followed. General Hod was here for this purpose and undoubtedly additional experts would be needed. Rabin said he had hoped that U.S. would inform him in today’s discussion that political decision had been taken to supply fifty F-4s and that immediate detailed technical discussions would follow. What stage of negotiations were we now in? Hart said we were at the stage of having asked the Israelis for a draft proposal which we would then study.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12-5 ISR. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Atherton, cleared by Davies, and approved by Hart.↩