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Eli Lake

Israel’s New Friendship With the UAE Will Come at a Cost

The U.S. has long guaranteed Israel a military edge, but that may have to change.

Now the UAE wants some, too.

Now the UAE wants some, too.

Photographer: JACK GUEZ/AFP

Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, doesn’t understand why Israel would object to the U.S. selling his country the F-35 fighter jet. The UAE is one of the few Arab states that has never been at war with Israel, after all, and now it’s working to normalize relations with the Jewish state. What’s an advanced weapons system between new friends?

When asked this week at a conference sponsored by the Atlantic Council about Israeli objections to the F-35 sale, Gargash said it might have to do with domestic Israeli politics. He concurred with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks that the arms sale was not part of the normalization agreement. Nonetheless, he also said he expected that signing the agreement with Israel would remove any hurdles with the U.S. government on the sale of the F-35s.