The United States, Israel, and nuclear desalination: 1964-1968

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-925
Number of pages22
JournalDiplomatic History
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
FEASIBILITY AND FINANCING: 1965–1966 By the end of 1964, the United States had made no commitment to financing the project, the cost of which Israel’s technical team in August estimated at $200–250 million.43 A few U.S. officials called for a generous allocation to Israel for desalination, to be granted in addition to funds already designated as support for that country. But Komer and David Bell, director of the Agency for International Development (AID), thought that funding for desalting should be part of regular U.S. assistance to Israel, with no additional sum granted for the project.44 In late 1964, representatives of five U.S. offices met to coordinate action regarding both domestic and international desalination projects. Kenneth Holum, assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior, and James Ramey, an AEC commissioner, intended a “hard-headed business approach.” This meant that they would relate financial investment in the Israeli project to the technological information that the United States might derive from it.45 In early December, Philip Sporn, the prominent engineer upon whom the Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy had called to evaluate the development of nuclear electric generation, told the Israelis of the “chill” that had overtaken the U.S. view of plans for their desalination project.46

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natural sources.57 On August 9, Harman cabled Eshkol that there was no chance of U.S. funding unless Israel made clear its own commitment to the project.58 Four days later he urged Eshkol and Golda Meir, the foreign minister, not to allow Israel’s campaign to obtain combat aircraft from the United States to displace from the agenda the matter of desalination.59

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History

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