U.S. Reported Rejecting Israel’s Request for Grant of Arms

“The United States has turned down Israel’s request for a grant of arms or for a mutual aid pact at this time,” the authoritative Washington Post reported today.

“For some time the State Department has been considering some move to relieve the increasingly bitter feeling in Israel over the Eisenhower Administration’s Middle East policy,” the report said. “Arms aid is known to have been considered at length. Apparently as far as the Administration is willing to go now is to issue some form of statement reassuring Israel that it has no intention of upsetting what the State Department considers its policy of impartiality between the two hostile groups, Arabs and Jews.”

The newspaper added that while there was no comment from either the State Department or the Israel Embassy, “it was learned that the American position was made clear last Friday by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in a talk with Ambassador Abba Eban. This followed by only two days Eban’s statement to the United Nations warning the United States against what he termed ‘one-sided’ military aid to the Arab states which would upset the ‘precarious balance’ of power in the Middle East.”

Israel, said the Washington Post, “has been particularly upset over the United States agreement earlier this year to supply arms to Iraq.” It revealed that an American military mission is now in Iraq to determine what arms are to be supplied.

Israel’s Minister Plenipotentiary Reuven Shiloah met yesterday for over two hours with Henry A. Byroade, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, for a discussion of various “accumulated practical affairs.” The “Bat Galim” incident, Mr. Shiloah said, may have been mentioned but was not the subject of the meeting.

It was learned that no major issues were involved and that the meeting covered a different set of problems than the current discussions between Ambassador Eban and Secretary of State Dulles. The Eban-Dulles talks pertain to Israel’s security situation.

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