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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Read more at Caroline Glick

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

 

Palestinian Acceptance of Israel as the Jewish State Must Be a Prerequisite to Further Negotiations

Oct. 19 2018

In 1993, in the early days of the Oslo peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under Yasir Arafat accepted the “right of the state of Israel to exist in peace and security.” But neither it nor its heir, the Palestinians Authority, has ever accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, or the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. Robert Barnidge explains why this distinction matters:

A Jewish state for the Jewish people, after all, was exactly what the [UN] General Assembly intended in November 1947 when it called for the partition of the Palestine Mandate into “the Arab state, the Jewish state, and the city of Jerusalem.”

Although the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state does not stand or fall on this resolution—in declaring the independence of Israel on the eve of the Sabbath on May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council, [the precursor to the Israeli government], also stressed the Jewish people’s natural and historic rights—it reaffirms the legitimacy of Jewish national rights in (what was to become) the state of Israel.

The Palestinians have steadfastly refused to recognize Jewish self-determination. [Instead], the PLO [has been] playing a double game. . . . It is not simply that the PLO supported the General Assembly’s determination in 1975, rescinded in 1991, that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” It is that that the PLO leadership continues to speak of Jews as a religious community rather than a people, and of Zionism as a colonial usurper rather than the national liberation movement that it is.

The U.S. government, Barnidge concludes, “should demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace and security as a Jewish state” and refuse to “press Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians unless and until that happens.”

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: Israel & Zionism, Peace Process, PLO, US-Israel relations, Yasir Arafat