Israel Demands More US Arms to Counter F-35 Sale to UAE

Unable to veto arms sales, Israel hopes to secure more arms

Israeli officials are reportedly increasingly resigned to the reality that the US will be selling F-35s to the United Arab Emirates even if they object. This turned out particularly embarrassing as the UAE believed they were promised these sales as part of the Israel peace deal, only for Israel to try to undermine it.

Hoping to get something out of this process, Israel is expecting to shift focus toward demanding that the US give Israel more advanced weapons in the name of qualitative advantage that the US insists it will ensure Israel retains.

This is not an uncommon path for US arms sales in the Middle East to take, though Israel would’ve done much less harm to its new relationship with the UAE if they had just demanded US weapons from the start, instead of publicly trying to sabotage the sales.

Since Israel already has its own F-35s, it’s not clear what they will seek in return from the US. It may be air defense systems that would counter the planes, or they may want more in something more usable.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.