Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, senior advisrr Jared Kushner, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listen as President Donald Trump announces an agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel on August 13, 2020 in Washington, D.C.  (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Critics Say Trump Push to Sell Fighter Jets and Armed Drones to Emirates Confirms US-Israel-UAE Deal 'Was Never About Peace'

"Peace is not an arms deal to be made between anti-democratic regimes. It must be made between peoples."

Jake JohnsonAndrea Germanos

Middle East experts voiced fresh skepticism Wednesday about the supposed peace agreement the U.S. brokered between Israel and the United Arab Emirates after reports emerged that the Trump administration is ramping up an effort to sell advanced weaponry—including armed drones and F-35 stealth fighter jets—to the UAE.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Trump administration "has accelerated a push to sell the F-35 stealth fighter and advanced armed drones to the United Arab Emirates, at a time when the Gulf nation is working with the Trump administration on a historic plan to formalize diplomatic ties with Israel."

"American officials deny that the new push to sell the advanced weapons is a direct reward for the Emirates role in a diplomatic breakthrough, announced by President Trump last week, where the Emirates would become just the third Arab nation to recognize Israel," the Times reported. "But officials do not dispute that the new momentum on the arms sale—after years of stalled requests by the Emirates to buy the fighter jet—is linked to the broader diplomatic initiative."

According to the Times, Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, is spearheading the effort to sell American weaponry to the UAE, which is part of the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Yemen for years.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called reports that the U.S. is planning to sell F-35s to the UAE "fake news," but Trump acknowledged the potential weapons sale during a press briefing that same day, telling reporters that the Emirates "would like to order quite a few F-35s." Israel is currently the only country in the Middle East that possesses F-35s.

"They have the money," Trump said of the UAE. "It's the greatest fighter jet in the world, as you know, by far. Stealth. Totally stealth. You can't see it. Makes it very difficult."

"So, yeah, they'd like to buy F-35s," the president continued. "We'll see what happens. It's under review, but they made a great—a great advance in peace in the Middle East."

Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, said Trump's push to sell advanced weaponry to the Emirates just days after announcing the "peace" agreement between the UAE and Israel further demonstrates that the deal "was never about peace."

Foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal expressed a similar sentiment on Twitter earlier this week.

"Peace is not an arms deal to be made between anti-democratic regimes," Jebreal wrote. "It must be made between peoples."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Rights Group Urges Civilian Safeguards as Biden Sends Troops Back to Somalia

"A culture of impunity for civilian loss breeds resentment and mistrust among the population and undermines efforts to build a more rights-respecting state," Human Rights Watch's regional director asserted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Australian Progressives Hail 'Greenslide' Amid Big Left Wins and Morrison's Ouster

"People have backed the Greens in record numbers and delivered a massive mandate for action on climate and inequality," said party leader Adam Bandt.

Brett Wilkins ·


Omar Leads Charge Against Baby Formula Monopolies Amid US Shortage

Democrats urge the FTC to probe "any unfair or unsustainable practices, like deceptive marketing, price gouging, and stock buybacks, that may be weakening our nutritional formula supply."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Arbitrary, Racist, and Unfair': Judge Blocks Biden From Ending Title 42

"Only the coyotes profiteering off of people seeking protection have reason to celebrate this ill-reasoned ruling," said one migrant rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'This Is a War' for Democratic Party's Future, Says Sanders of AIPAC's Super PAC

"They are doing everything they can to destroy the progressive movement in this country," said the senator.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo