The U.S. may sell F-35 stealth fighters to the United Arab Emirates, according to Israeli media. If true, it would be Washington’s reward to the UAE for that Persian Gulf nation’s recent decision to normalize relations with Israel.
By Michael Peck
“U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is set to sell F-35 fighter jets and advanced drones to the UAE in a secret clause that was part of the agreement to establish diplomatic ties between Israel and the Gulf nation,” says Israel’s Ynet news site, citing anonymous U.S. and Emirati sources. “The clause lifts long-standing Israeli opposition to the sale of the strategic weapons systems to other countries in the region,” it says.
Within hours after the initial news report, the Israeli government denounced the report as “fake news.” “The peace agreement with the UAE does not include any clause of this kind, and the U.S. has made clear to Israel that it will always ensure that Israel has the qualitative advantage,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.
Since the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, U.S. policy has been that Israel must always have better weapons than its enemies and neighbors, including U.S. allies that use American arms. While there has been occasional friction – such as the Reagan administration’s 1981 decision to sell AWACS radar aircraft to Saudi Arabia despite Israel’s opposition – that policy has mostly held true.
Egypt and Jordan, for example, signed peace treaties with Israel: in return, they got American arms such as F-16 fighters and M-1 tanks, but not the most advanced models. READ MORE HERE