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U.S. and Britain Indicate Fear Israel May Enter Jordan if Regime Fails

August 15, 1958
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The attitude of Britain and the United States toward Israel’s role and Israel’s stake in the current Middle East crisis became clearer today following the address to the emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly by British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd and after a closed meeting yesterday between Israel’s delegation chief, Abba S. Eban, and United States Secretary of State Dulles.

The Anglo-American attitude toward Israel now centered on these two points: 1, Both Britain and the United States are warning the world that Israel will march into Jordan if the Amman Government falls; 2, The United States Government sees in the address of President Eisenhower yesterday no diminution in its plans to assist Israel economically, although Mr. Eisenhower’s proposal for a Middle East economic development agency was stated only in terms of Arab participation.

Britain’s focussing on Israel as the immediate threat to Jordan was emphasized by Mr. Lloyd in his Assembly speech this morning when he said regarding Jordan:

“I do not want to say too much about what might have happened or about the potential dangers of the situation. Those who have studied the developments in the Middle East since 1948 will realize what those dangers are without my describing them, and will agree how strong an interest we all have in preventing a situation being created in which there could be a real danger of war.”

All diplomats here interpreted these remarks to mean that Britain sent troops into Jordan to keep Israel from marching into Jordan. Mr. Dulles, who held a press conference with a group of selected correspondents at his hotel suite in New York some 12 hours before Mr. Eisenhower addressed the assembly Wednesday morning, was reportedly much more candid about the alleged danger from Israel than was Mr. Lloyd. Mr. Dulles reportedly said openly that Britain’s dispatch of troops to Jordan was necessary because Israel was ready to take over part of Jordan and thereby precipitate a possible World War.


In a 40-minute conversation with Mr. Eban yesterday, however, Mr. Dulles was understood to have emphasized America’s positive and constructive attitude toward Israel. He was known to have assured Mr. Eban that Israel’s share of economic aid in the Middle East would be assured through a bi-lateral agreement. Mr. Dulles reportedly envisaged a role for Israel in the economic sphere similar to the role assigned to other non-Arabic countries in the region.

The Eisenhower Administration is planning to enter bi-lateral agreements for economic aid with Turkey, Iran and Israel, it was understood, when and if an Arab agency for economic development is established in accordance with Mr. Eisenhower’s proposal to the Assembly. As far as Israel was concerned, it was known that Israel would be satisfied with such a bi-lateral arrangement.

As for Mr. Eisenhower’s point six in his Assembly speech, in which he urged “steps to avoid a new arms race spiral” in the Middle East, Israel was now known to have received assurances that the Eisenhower Administration does not envisage an arms embargo for the Middle East.

What the Administration intended to say through President Eisenhower’s point six was that, if the Arab states and Israel requested the United Nations to examine the armament situation in the Middle East, then and then only would the United States favor such a study. It was emphasized, however, that the request for a UN armaments study in the Middle East would have to originate with the Arab states and with Israel, and that none of these components of the Arab-Israel conflict could be left out.

It was felt here that no such request for an armaments study was likely to come from the Arabs. Israel, therefore, it was understood, was pursuing its own search for heavy arms from the Western Powers and, possibly, from other sources, as well, but not from the Soviet bloc.

President Eisenhower’s omission of any mention of Israel in his address here was regarded by informed diplomats as suiting exactly Israel’s own wishes, expressed to top members of the Eisenhower Administration. It was pointed out that Mr. Eisenhower also omitted mention of Turkey and Iran and that this omissions also was no accident.

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