The first fruits of a peace deal. Israel agrees not to oppose the sale of F-35 warplanes to the UAE.

26 October 2020 By Paul Martin

Israel now says it will not work to prevent the sale of F35 jet-fighters to its new ally, the United Arab Emirates., which has become one of two Arab states lately to make peace with the Jewish State. Egypt and Jordan did so in 1979 and 1993, but most of the Arab world has not recognised Israel’s declaration of independence in 1947 and has technically been in a state of war ever since.

Israel has already received a first consignment of F-35s. However, many Israeli military leaders including ‘doves’ (those advocating flexibility in dealing with the Arab nations and the Palestinians) are strongly opposed to the sale to the UAE.

Speaking to correspondent.world during a half-hour webinar, former Israeli intelligence chief General Amos Gilead said any such sale to any Arab state would put Israel in peril.

“The fact that we do have the F35s and they do not helps our peace relationship regionally,” Gen. Gilead argued. “It gives us total air superiority and this deters any future threats.”

F-35 Variants
The F35 plane, pictured in https://www.f35.com/about

President Trump is anxious not only to boost his country’s air industry, but also to bolster the USA’s influence in the oil-rich Gulf. The USA, the UAE and Israel all see Iran and its proxies as the main threat there to Mideast stability.

“We’ve never had a dispute with UAE. They’ve always been on our side. And that process is moving along,” declared President Trump, adding: “I think hopefully rapidly.”

US soldiers stand next to an F-35A Lightning II stationed at the Emirati Al-Dhafra base, about 32 kilometres south of Abu Dhabi, last September. (AFP)

The US affirmed it would continue its key Mideast military principle: preserving Israel’s “qualitative military edge”. Under this doctrine, the United States consults with Israel on proposed sales of advanced arms to other countries in the region.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz met in Washington last week with US Defence Secretary Mark Esper. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu along with his Defence Minister, then declared:

“Since the US is upgrading Israel’s military capability and is maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge, Israel will not oppose the sale of these systems to the UAE.”

Before any F-35s can be sold to the UAE, the US Congress will still have to give its approval.

An August 2020 file picture shows an F-35 fighter jet pilot and crew preparing for a mission at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. (AP)

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