JERUSALEM — Despite strong U.S. support for several Middle Eastern countries politically, economically, and militarily, Israel remains the U.S.’s top ally in region.
During a Monday meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the U.S. made clear that its support for Israel takes precedent over its support for any other country in the Middle East. Pompeo stated that the United States would ensure that Israel retains military superiority in the region, a reference to Israeli reluctance over the U.S. plan to sell F-35 jet fighters to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which has recently concluded an agreement to normalize relations with Israel.
Pompeo added that Washington is committed to supporting the UAE militarily, as this is necessary to counter common Iranian threats, but will support the UAE in a way that maintains U.S. commitments to Israel.
Top White House adviser and son-in-law of U.S. President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, has publicly taken a softer stance than Secretary Pompeo, saying in a television interview on Saturday that the UAE has long sought to purchase the F-35 and the diplomatic normalization between the UAE and Israel should increase the likelihood of the sale happening.