US Congressman: Israel Will Maintain Qualitative Military Edge Over Mideast Neighbors
i24 News – US Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) said on Tuesday that bipartisan consensus in Washington will ensure Israel will maintain its qualitative military edge (QME) in the Middle East and gave his assurance that the Jewish state’s security concerns are a top priority on Capitol Hill.
Speaking with Calev Ben-David, host of i24NEWS‘s flagship program “The Rundown,” the Jewish lawmaker shed light on a new bill he introduced in Congress that seeks to enshrine America’s commitment to Israel’s QME into law after numerous media outlets reported that the US is preparing to sell highly advanced F-35 fighter jets to the UAE.
“Given the historic [Abraham Accords] agreement with the UAE, with Bahrain … and subsequent discussions of the UAE and potentially others acquiring the most advanced military fighter on the planet, the F-35, we feel it’s important to reiterate this and show that Congress’ position is very clear: Israel must maintain a qualitative military edge,” said Schneider.
Signed on September 15 at the White House, the Abraham Accords officially normalize relations between Israel and its two Gulf Arab neighbors, the UAE and Bahrain.
But according to The New York Times, a condition the UAE demanded before agreeing to the deal was market access to the US military’s most advanced aerial vehicle, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to have secretly approved.
Schneider noted that although the bill still has a few hurdles to overcome in the House and Senate, he was confident that the legislation could move forward given the longstanding position “of the United States, the [Trump] administration, and the Congress” regarding Israel.
Schneider was also pressed on how, if elected, a Biden administration would approach Israel, and if Israeli citizens could be assured that it would not stray dramatically from the policies of the Trump presidency, which enjoys overwhelming support among the population.
“Israel has never had a better friend than Joe Biden. … He understands that Israel is the most important ally the US has in the region, or maybe the world. I have no doubt about this because I’ve talked to him about this … his record supports this,” the lawmaker said.
Schneider continued by noting that the overwhelming majority in the Democratic party, as well as in the Republican party, supports Israel and the US-Israel relationship.