Sunday, May 1, 2016

16 - M. Sharett to A. Eban, July 13, 1954

Last night Kane called on Perlin informed him behalf Pentagon:

AA. All Dayan expenses be covered by Zahal not by USA.

BB. Neither G2 nor any other dept of army have extended invitation to Dayan. Kane proceeded express personal regrets said message is confidential between him and IDF. He had not told Russell.

Today asked Russell see me Jsm, Eytan, Herzog present. Told him facts, said this is astonishing discourtesy. When we received Pentagon’s message as per your [cable no.] 605 which didn’t use words invitation or guest we said let us not stand on words but for Pentagon now to go out its way to emphasize absence invitation looks like trying to be deliberately offensive. As for expense, poor and needy as we are we can well manage foot bill of visit to US of our CoS but again fact Pentagon saw need rub this is unheard of. Referred reports today’s press to effect Pentagon mentioned in statement DC Dayan be traveling commercial planes adding assumed no army planes could be spared and this was extent American hospitality such guests. Recalled you cabled us that replying press questions Pentagon stated general be its guest during visit and wondered how this squared with position now revealed. Slashed at procedure of waiting with above message till Dayan landed NY and said had this been received prior departure trip would have been canceled immediately. Concluded if message withdrawn it would be forgotten if not offences will stand and smart. Russell visibly pained gave vent personal regrets embarked may have led this rejoinder. Herzog pointed out communique issued week before arrival. Self finally said: “I was in favor of Dayan’s trip I now wish he had never gone as way this been handled by US make us feel he is there under false pretenses utterly distasteful to govt of Israel. If US govt doesn’t want this to mar record our relations it will know what to do.” On this we parted. He promising report at once. Russell on way out told Herzog he [had] known nothing of all this. Strongly feel unless this outrageous message and style reception rectified visit should be terminated soonest. How do you account for all this?