The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel had announced that they had reached a consensus to normalize relations, under the watchful eye of the United States of course. Well, now the veil is being lifted off the secret dealings of this deal, which the Palestinians have branded as the “Treaty of Betrayal.” For a long time now the UAE has been lobbying to buy new-generation military technology, including the F-35 fighter jets, from the U.S. And the Trump administration for its part was ready to make it happen. However, when the Middle East and Israel are in question, it’s a whole different ball game. Because American administrations are committed to maintaining Israel's military superiority in the region. It makes no difference whether they’re allies of the U.S. or whether they’ve signed a covert or overt agreement with Israel, this commitment is everlasting. One of the primary tasks of the "Israel Lobby" in the U.S. is to prevent any arms deals that could undermine Israel's military superiority in the region.
The Trump administration’s attempts to transfer infrastructural technology that would serve to develop Saudi Arabia’s nuclear capacity was also hindered by Israel and the U.S. congress. Trump has made no headway on the so-called Middle East Peace Plan which he branded as the Deal of the Century. For this plan to work, he needs Arab support. However Arab regimes were following a joint policy that said: “We won’t normalize relations with Israel until an independent Palestinian state has been established.” The Israel-UAE deal destroyed this partnership, in other words the “Arab solidarity.”
The Trump administration announced that many countries were eagerly looking forward to normalizing relations with Israel. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo organized a trip to the region to this end. However Pompeo returned empty-handed to Washington at the end of his visits, which included Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Sudan. In other words, Pompeo’s Middle East trip ended in fiasco.
The Trump administration’s F-35 sale to the UAE is up in the air for now. The reports that Benjamin Netanyahu knew of the plan to sell arms to the UAE was received with great surprise in Israel. According to reports, Netanyahu even concealed the F-35 issue from coalition partners, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Netanyahu, who has rejected the reports as false, defends that the U.S. is committed to keeping its promise to preserve Israel’s military superiority in the region. Israeli Agriculture Minister Tzachi Hanegbi for his part said that the U.S. is against selling even a bolt of the F-35s to "any country" in the region, including the UAE.
With Tel Aviv’s strong reaction, the UAE canceled the trilateral summit to be held with the U.S. and Israel. With the U.S.’s encouragement the UAE agreed to normalize ties with Tel Aviv. However it was left out in the cold when it was refused the arms it wanted for this exchange. According to reports in U.S. media, the unit in the Secretary of State responsible for overseeing arms exports was never informed about a possible F-35 sale to the UAE. Furthermore, the U.S.’s Middle East policy is being run by a very tightly-knit circle in the White House. Thus one of the criticisms always being thrown Trump’s way is that he deactivated channels dealing with diplomatic affairs.
Furthermore, arms exports are subject to the approval of the U.S. Congress. It has been expressed that the bipartisan U.S. Congress won’t do anything that would be detrimental to Israel’s military superiority. In other words Washington is maintaining its “Israel First” policy.
Despite all these developments, a report was published yesterday saying that the UAE’s economic boycott of Israel had ended. It went on to say that UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan had signed a decree allowing Abu Dhabi to conduct financial and commercial agreements with Tel Aviv.
Another development regards the meeting that was set to be held between Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli PM Netanyahu on Aug.31. With the pressure of Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, the crown prince had agreed to a meeting with Netanyahu. Bin Salman, whose reputation was tarnished with the barbaric murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, wanted the meeting to remain buried a secret until it actually happened. However, with the media getting wind of the gathering, the crown prince canceled his trip. If it hadn’t been revealed, the world would’ve witnessed Crown Prince bin Salman and Netanyahu breaking bread together.