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Question About Future of Gaza and Criticism of Am. to Israel

(June 2, 1949)

Mr. Mark F. Ethridge to the Secretary of State

top secret

Lausanne , June 2, 1949—4 p. m.

Palun 181. Consult Rusk for distribution.

1. Reftel 717, May 31.1 I regret McDonald is apparently refraining from using his influence with Israeli Government to underline President’s and Department’s approved position regarding Palestine as set forth in Deptel 682, May 24. We need all help we can get, particularly in Tel Aviv.2

2. I also regret apparent importance which McDonald attaches to Herlitz’ remarks. Miss Herlitz recent graduate Eytan’s civil service school, is acting chief of North American Section of Foreign Affairs; and while it may be assumed she speaks officially, I doubt if as much weight may be given her remarks as those of Ben-Gurion, Sharett, Comay (all whom must be available in Tel Aviv) and Eytan.

3. In this connection, it is clear from record Ben-Gurion first mentioned Gaza strip proposal which was subsequently officially presented by Eytan in Lausanne (reference Paluns 133 April 20, 142 May 9, 160 May 20 and 162 May 21 [23]3).

4. What is date and source of information Egypt willing relinquish Gaza strip? This has always been considered possible by me and some Arabs but chief of Egyptian delegation, who has spoken to me with greatest frankness, has never even hinted at it. Any possibility of developing this project at present was torpedoed by Eytan’s release to press of official proposal to PCC. Egyptians could hardly be expected acquiesce under such circumstances.

5. No comment on point 3 with which I agree. I might add same problem confronts Arabs and UN as well.


  1. Not printed: it repeated telegram 408, May 31, p. 1076.
  2. President Truman read the first paragraph of Palun 181 on June 13; for his reaction, see footnote 2, p. 1125.
  3. Palun 162 not printed, but see footnote 2, p. 1036.

Source: U.S. State Department