US Jewish group opposes £18 billion in arms sales to UAE
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US Jewish group opposes £18 billion in arms sales to UAE

J Street urged US Senators to block the deal in a congressional vote later this week, despite Donald Trump describing the sale as good for Israel.

Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of Bahrain, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates sign papers during the Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony at The White House on Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA)
Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of Bahrain, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates sign papers during the Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony at The White House on Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA)

A major Jewish group in the US has said it opposes the Trump administration’s plan to sell £18 billion of weapons to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the coming weeks.

J Street, which supported Joe Biden’s successful Democratic presidential bid, urged US Senators to block the deal in a congressional vote later this week, despite Donald Trump describing the sale as good for Israel.

“The sale of a massive quantity of such destructive weapons systems to the UAE would only further fuel an escalating arms race in a region already suffering from destabilising wars that endanger civilians and undermine US interests,” it said. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a passionate advocate for Israel, has already said he would oppose it, suggesting that all 48 Democrats would do likewise, but Republicans have a slim majority. 

Critics of the arms sale say it gives highly sophisticated technology the UAE does not presently possess, including the F-35 fighter plane and armed drones, potentially to be used in military conflicts such as Yemen and Libya.

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