Jack Cohen – Paradigm Shift in the Middle East
The Trump Administration is in the process of selling F-35 fighter jets to the UAE. Until now, Israel has been the only country in the Middle East which has received these advanced jets. This is because the US is required by law to maintain Israel’s “qualitative military edge” (QME) overall and every Arab enemy. But, now that the UAE has signed a deal normalizing ties with Israel, and there will be direct commercial flights and business deals between the two countries, the USA has said that there is no reason not to sell the planes to the UAE as they have long requested. It is important to note that this sale is not a part of the USA-Israel-UAE normalization deal, but is a consequence of it.
At first PM Netanyahu and some other Israeli officials protested this sale to Pres. Trump, but after some discussions, the protests have abated. The argument is that the UAE in no way would use these planes against Israel, but needs them to counter the threat of Iran. Further, it is hoped that Israel will share its experience and expertise with these planes with the UAE and in effect become allies against the threat of Iran. It is clear that these Arab countries have no fear of any threat from Israel, but are significantly afraid of the threat from Iran. By being able to have its eyes and ears and even its own planes stationed in the UAE and Bahrain, this will give an enormous strategic advantage to Israel by being 1,000 km closer to Iran.
These sales and the Israeli lack of negative reaction to them represent a sea change in the relationship of Israel and the Arab countries. Even if some of them have not yet normalized relations with Israel, they no longer consider Israel an enemy. When the Palestinians requested an emergency meeting of the Arab League of 22 countries to discuss the normalization of relations of the UAE and Bahrain with Israel, it was denied. When the Palestinians requested a rejection of the normalization from the Arab League, it was denied. We are now in different territory, but, many have not yet realized this.
The Palestinians that have always depended on Arab support for their rejectionist position can no longer do so. The EU and some European countries that have generally supported the Palestinians have not yet caught up. The Western left have not realized that the rug has been pulled out from under them, how can they oppose Israel if the Arab countries themselves accept Israel? It is reliably predicted that Sudan, Oman, Morocco and eventually Saudi Arabia will join those countries normalizing ties with Israel. There has been a paradigm shift in the Middle East, a veritable earthquake, and everyone must adapt to it.