Events on the international and Middle East scene, the situation on the borders and Israel's ongoing conflict with the Arab states are the central issues reflected in 622 documents on Israel's foreign policy in 1953.
Changes at the White House upon President Eisenhower's assuming office in January 1953 brought about alterations in American policy, which began to focus on strengthening the status of the United States in the Arab states, in contrast to the previous Administration's discrimination in favour of Israel.
The documents describe Foreign Minister Sharett's visit to the U.S. and the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Dulles to the Middle East, and steps taken by the U.S. administration, such as turning down Israel's request for a loan, which caused much concern in Jerusalem.
Relations with the Soviet Union also deteriorated during the last days of Stalin's life, and accusations against his Jewish doctors caused a stormy reaction in Israel, culminating in a bomb throwing at the Soviet legation in Tel Aviv. Relations between the two countries were severed. Any renewal of ties was to be contingent upon Israel's pledge that it would not join anti-Soviet alliances and treaties.
Israel's relations with the Arab states centred on issues such as high-level talks about the division of the Demilitarized Zones between Israel and Syria; the project to divert water from the River Jordan, which led to complications in relations with Syria and the United States ; and finally the tension on the Jordanian border which led to the retaliatory attack on the village of Qibiya on 13 October 1953. The operation, which resulted in over 40 dead among the villagers, led to an outcry against Israel throughout the world. The U.N. Security Council condemned Israel, but demanded that both sides refrain from violent action.
Editor: Yemima Rosenthal
Jerusalem, Israel State Archives, 1995
Two volumes: the main volume 1,076 + 76 pages. English companion volume 578 + LXXXIII pages, hard cover.
Each volume contains a preface, a list of documents and indexes.
Price: NIS 180. Discounts for students, civil servants, pensioners and libraries.