Why No F-15s for Israel?

Feb. 15 2016

Last fall, seeking to make good on a pledge of supplemental military aid from the U.S., Israel requested a new squadron of F-15s. The Pentagon reportedly has rejected the request, insisting that Israel spend the funds on the newer F-35s instead. While these are in many ways superior aircraft, Caroline Glick notes an important distinction: Israel expressly wished to install its own computer systems on the F-15s, but no such option is available for the F-35s, which depend entirely on a system ultimately controlled from the U.S. She writes:

By giving Israel no option other than purchasing more F-35s, which the Americans control—to the point of being able to ground—even after they are deployed by the Israel Air Force (IAF), and defensive systems jointly developed with the U.S. and built in the U.S., the Americans are hollowing out Israel’s ability to operate independently.

Clearly, by waiting for the next president to conclude Israel’s military-assistance package, Netanyahu is hoping that President Obama’s successor will give Israel a better deal. But the fact is that even if a pro-Israel president is elected, Israel cannot assume that American efforts to erode Israel’s strategic independence will end once Obama leaves office. . . .

This week India and Israel were poised to finalize a series of arms deals totaling $3 billion. The final package is set to be signed during India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel later this year. The deal includes various missile- and electronic-warfare systems. . . . Netanyahu should view India’s enthusiasm for Israeli systems as an opportunity to end the IAF’s utter dependence on . . . U.S. systems.

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More about: Barack Obama, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Israel-India relations, U.S. military, US-Israel relations

The Democrats’ Anti-Semitism Problem Involves More Than Appearances

Jan. 22 2019

Last week, the Democratic National Committee formally broke with the national Women’s March over its organizers’ anti-Semitism and close associations with the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Also last week, however, the Democratic leadership gave a coveted seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to the freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar—a supporter of boycotts of Israel who recently defended her 2012 pronouncement that “Israel has hypnotized the world” to ignore its “evil doings.” Abe Greenwald comments:

The House Foreign Affairs Committee oversees House bills and investigations pertaining to U.S. foreign policy, and it has the power to cut American arms and technology shipments to allies. So, while the Democrats are distancing themselves from anti-Semitic activists who organize a march every now and then, they’re raising up anti-Semites to positions of power in the federal government. . . .

There is no cosmetic fix for the anti-Semitism that’s infusing the activist left and creeping into the Democratic party. It runs to the ideological core of intersectionality—the left’s latest religion. By the lights of intersectionality, Jews are too powerful and too white to be the targets of bigotry. So an anti-Semite is perfectly suitable as an ally against some other form of prejudice—against, say, blacks or women. And when anti-Semitism appears on the left, progressives are ready to explain it away with an assortment of convenient nuances and contextual considerations: it’s not anti-Semitism, it’s anti-Zionism; consider the good work the person has done fighting for other groups; we don’t have to embrace everything someone says to appreciate the good in him, etc.

These new congressional Democrats [including Omar and her fellow anti-Israel congresswoman Rashida Tlaib] were celebrated far and wide when they were elected. They’re young, outspoken, and many are female. But that just makes them extraordinarily effective ambassadors for a poisonous ideology.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Congress, Democrats, Nation of Islam, Politics & Current Affairs