The 580 documents in Volume 9 deal with several issues which occupied Israeli policy makers in 1954: the negotiations between Britain and Egypt on British evacuation of its forces from the Suez Canal region and the transfer of its military bases to Egypt; the attempt to set up a British-American defence system in the Middle East; the Soviet Union's increasing support of the Arab states, reflected in another veto in a vote on Israeli matters at the U.N. Security Council. In contrast to all these problems, it also records improved relations with France, which gradually became Israel's chief weapons supplier.
Another important theme is tension along the borders, especially with Jordan and Egypt, marked by violent incidents, among them the murder of passengers on the winding desert road at Ma'ale Akrabim, en route from Tel Aviv to Eilat. The documents reveal the efforts of PM and Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett to implement a policy of restraint in response to these incidents and his success in preventing a military operation in the demilitarized zones in the north of Israel after a coup in Syria in February 1954.
Talks were also held with Egypt in an attempt to overcome bilateral problems: border tensions, the restrictions on the passage of Israeli vessels in the Suez Canal and through the Straits of Tiran; the affair of the "Bat Galim" vessel detained by Egypt; and the exposure of a Jewish sabotage network in Egypt, whose members were caught and tried. The talks culminated in an exchange of messages between Sharett and President Nasser on an overall agreement between the two countries, which came to nothing due to tension over the trial of the members of the Jewish sabotage network.
The volume also contains documents about Israel's relations with Burma; correspondence with Nehru in an unsuccessful attempt to establish diplomatic ties with India; and Israel's willingness to accept the People's Republic of China's request to establish diplomatic ties; however, the request was ultimately turned down since Israel feared damaging its relations with the United States.
Editor: Naomi Barzilai
Jerusalem, Israel State Archives, 2004
Two volumes: the main volume 977 + 60 pages. English companion volume 615 + 89 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.