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Israel silent on massive US-Saudi arms deal

Israel, which prides itself on being the world’s biggest enemy of terrorism, accepted with equanimity the massive US arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

On May 20, US President Donald Trump signed a deal unprecedented in scope to sell Saudi Arabia $110 billion worth of arms and military equipment and an additional $350 billion over the coming decade. The mammoth agreement, inked by Trump with the Saudis, did not cast a pall over the royal reception accorded to the presidential family in Israel. It’s hard not to remember the Israeli reaction to the 1981 decision by President Ronald Reagan to sell the Saudis five Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS). Back then, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin raised a stink, the pro-Israel lobby group American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington went into overdrive, and the media reported a severe crisis in Israel’s ties with the United States.

So why has Israel, the great enemy of terrorism, changed its attitude toward Riyadh? After all, Saudi Arabia has not stopped backing Islamist, anti-Israel terror groups. Former President Barack Obama declared that the Saudis were disseminating radical Wahhabi ideology. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote that the Saudis were the main source of funding for al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other terror organizations. German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel demanded that the Saudis stop funding radical mosques.

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