WASHINGTON (Oct. 15)
The United States Government will ask Israel to enter a defensive arrangement for the Near East, although this invitation might alienate Arab states which will also be asked to join, it was indicated in government circles here today.
Under such a defensive alliance, Israel would co-operate–under a British command–with the Arab states, Turkey and Greece to protect the Eastern Mediterranean, it was stated. Discussions to this effect apparently took place today in Tel Aviv between U.S. Ambassador Monnet B. Davis and Israel Premier David Ben Gurion.
The State Department seems determined to protect Israel’s interest in whatever arrangements the Western Powers may reach with Egypt, which has been invited to become one of the founding members of a Near Eastern defense organization, it was learned here. This point of view was conveyed to the Israel Government by Ambassador Davis when he visited Israel’s Foreign Office this week-end.
At the present moment, the United States and Britain entertain the hope that they will succeed in bringing Egypt and Israel into an agreement. Continued Egyptian intransigeance would meet with stern measures from Washington, it is believed here. However, British circles are less confident of the possibility of bringing Egypt and Israel together, although it is understood here that the British Minister in Tel Aviv indicated that Britain is prepared to make strong efforts to bring about an Arab-Israeli peace.