Phantom Financing

(December 11 1968)


This document records the effort by one of Israel's supporters, and a friend and adviser of President Johnson, to improve the terms of the sale of Phantom jets to Israel.


Mr. President:

I forward this working level information on the history of Phantom financing-about which you will no doubt be hearing from Abe Feinberg, etc.

Abe Feinberg came in yesterday to complain again that Clifford is offering only $60 million in credit to the Israelis in a sale of fifty aircraft, whereas the Iranians received $100 million in credit in a sale of thirty-two.

I have reported Feinberg's view to Clifford; but it seems clear that only the President's intervention is likely to alter the Defense Department terms-if you wish to do so.

I pointed out to Feinberg that Eshkol had told you he would be delighted to pay cash on the barrel-head. Abe acknowledges this but says the Israeli foreign exchange position has deteriorated and Israel should not now be treated worse than rich Iran.

Walt


Source: Walt Rostow, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs to President Johnson, "Information Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant to President Johnson," Smith, Louis J. (Ed.). Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, V. 20, Arab-Israeli Dispute 1967-1968. DC: GPO, 2001, p. 689. Abe Feinberg was Chairman of the Executive Committee, American Bank and Trust Co., New York City.