UPDATE: 5 pm Israel time Saturday:
The situation on the Syrian border along the Israeli Golan Heights continues to degrade. Intense fighting has been reported all day with some of it spilling over into Israel in the form of mortar shells. A similar situation is occurring along the Jordanian border where a number of Jordanian policeman were killed yesterday in fighting in and around newly established refugee camps.
The New York Times has reported that the U.S. Defense Department will authorize a deal this week that will permit Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel to purchase advanced weapons from American businesses. It is the second largest weapons deal ever in the Middle East.
Insofar as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are concerned, the thought that the arms deal will help those countries deal with a possible threat from Iran apparently outweighs any thought of “democratic change” as a result of the so-called “Arab Spring.” After all, the Saudis and the UAE are ruthless monarchies that do not hesitate to stamp out any semblance of democratic movements.
Not only this, but Saudi Arabia and the UAE are two of Israel’s most aggressive enemies–Saudi Arabia in the form of the virulent anti-Zionist Wahabism it disseminates around the world, and the UAE in the form of its overt assistance to Hamas–and most recently its fund-raising drive to “de-Judaize” Jerusalem.
On the Saudi side, the military deal includes among other items, precision missiles that can be fired at “distant land targets”. This comes on top of the gigantic, 29.5 billion dollar sale of F-15 aircraft to the Saudis that was orchestrated by the Obama Administration in 2010. For the UAE, 26 F-16 jets will now be made available, along with the same precision missiles being received by the Saudis.
What does Israel get out of this deal? Essentially four items, the first three of which have a connection to a possible future attack on Iran:
1. new missiles that can supposedly eliminate a country’s air defense radar
2. advanced radar that be installed on Israeli aircraft
3. the KC-135 refueling tanker aircraft
4. the V-22 Osprey troop transport aircraft (the Osprey has been beset with problems throughout its development and use with many describing it as “overpriced” and “unsafe”).
In sum, your humble servant finds the continued arming of Israel’s enemies to be cause of great concern. More on this tomorrow.