The 510 documents that are published in this volume for the first time reveal the atmosphere of siege and isolation that pervaded Israel in 1956 as a result of the Egyptian threat.
The volume presents Israel's tremendous efforts to purchase defensive weapons from several European states and from the United States, efforts which were in vain in America and only partially successful in Britain, Italy and Canada. However, the close relations that developed between the French and Israeli defence establishments led to the opening of France's stores of weapons to Israel. It was thanks to this close relationship that France took Israel into its confidence regarding the French-British plan of attacking Egypt, a plan that evolved as a response to Egypt's nationalisation of the Suez Canal on 26 July. France proposed that Israel take an active part in this military campaign. The final talks between the three states took place in Sèvres, near Paris, between 22-24 October.
For the first time, this volume publishes the conclusions of the Sèvres conference (the Sèvres Protocol), in the original language – French – as well as in Hebrew translation.
Israel's military preparations for an operation against Egypt worried the United States, which urged Israel to avoid doing anything that would jeopardise peace in the Middle East. Israel did not comply but rather made do with evasive replies.
Other documents in this volume shed light on the U.S. mediation initiative between Israel and Egypt; on Israel's attempts to improve its relations with the Soviet Union and on the attempts of then U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld to bring calm to Israel's borders with its neighbours.
The volume ends on 29 October, the day the Sinai Campaign began; it is followed by Vol. 12 in the series, The Sinai Campaign: The Political Struggle, October 1956 – March 1957.
Editor: Baruch Gilead
Jerusalem, Israel State Archives, 2008
Two volumes: the main volume in Hebrew 880 + 67 pages; English companion volume 526 + LXXXIX pages, hard cover.
Each volume contains an introduction, list of documents and indexes.
Price: NIS 180. Discounts for students, civil servants, pensioners and libraries.