Hoping to work out a resolution, the administration sent
President Johnson and Dean Rusk, 28 Feb. 1965, 6.50pm
WH6502.06 PNO 17, 6898
Dean Rusk: [reading from proposed telegram for Averell Harriman to present to Prime Minister Eshkol] “ . . . Our deep concern about unification of Arab world behind Nasser with close working relationships with Soviet bloc is greatest threat to Israel we can imagine. The fact that it would be deeply injurious to U.S. interests in Near East, including the security of Israel, seems to us to require that we and Israel would together to head it off. We agree to a private visit to
President Johnson: I had this feeling—I don’t know if it’s any good, but, God, I hate to transfer all those Jews into
Do you think that we could say to Averell to strike out the “sympathetically,” and say, “We pledge to give you x tanks, and give them the x tanks, plus the little [unclear] tanks—without any planes? It seems that the basis of his [Eshkol’s] objection is that [saying] “we view sympathetically” doesn’t commit us.
President Johnson: And that he wants a commitment.
It seems that we might, without great danger, raise the ante a little bit to what the Germans are giving them, and say if the Germans don’t complete it, we’ll complete it, plus 20 or something.