Thursday, July 7, 2016

35 - Report of Israeli Officials’ Meetings with Sir Evelyn Shuckburgh, November 1954

During his meeting with Shuckburgh, Gideon Rafael outlined his country’s ideas for the first steps towards a settlement. These he listed as six “don’ts” that would be required of the Arab states:
   ● Don’t cross the border.
   ● Don’t impose a boycott.
   ● Don’t adopt measures to weaken the Israeli economy.
   ● Don’t make declarations on the existence of a state of war.
   ● Don’t continue the inciteful propaganda.
   ● Don’t continue the policy of undermining the plans which the refugees will develop [for compensation or resettlement].

In exchange for the Arabs following such a policy, Israel would be ready “to match it with positive contributions” in three ways:
   ● implementation of a compensation plan,
   ● a free zone in Haifa port, and
   ● an international guarantee of the territorial status quo.

In Rafael’s opinion, the powers could help peacemaking “above all if they would openly commit themselves to the territorial integrity of Israel and as an additional contribution would exert all their influence on the Arab states to adapt themselves to the existing reality of Israel, and to open contacts with it even for only a partial settlement of [specific] problems.”

Several days later, Shuckburgh and Nicholls heard similar arguments during an after-dinner conversation with Director-General Walter Eytan – leaving the latter apprehensive that the British were considering an attempt to promote a Middle East peace accord largely at Israel’s expense.

SOURCES: Rafael’s talk with Shuckburgh and Nicholls, November 25, is reported in Rafael to Eytan, December 6, 1954, ISA FM 130.02/2403/12-a. See also Eytan to Elath, November 29, 1954, ISA FM 130.02/2410/10.