A Washington-based Israeli diplomatic source revealed Wednesday that the current crisis in relations between Israel and the US over the sale of arms to China was deeper than either government was letting on, according to Army Radio.
Middle East Newsline reported that Washington planned to continue to suspend military ties and block certain arms shipments to the Jewish state after the two nations failed to hammer out an understanding that would put an end to the sale of advanced Israeli-made weapons to China.
US officials said the deal floundered after the Israeli delegation rejected American demands for greater control over Israeli negotiations with foreign militaries, including those of US allies India and Singapore.
Over the past year, Washington reacted to Israel-China military ties by boycotting several senior Israeli defense officials, holding up the shipment of night-vision and other crucial battlefield systems, and excluding Israel from participation in joint military projects.
“We have made our concerns about the sale and transfer of defense equipment and technology to China known to Israel,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters Monday.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee head Yuval Steinitz responded by saying, “There is no doubt that relationship with the United States is critical to Israel.”
“But, with all the enormous importance of US diplomatic, economic and military help, Israel must keep its independence and also some reciprocity in this relationship,” the senior Likud MK told Army Radio Tuesday.
Steinitz was alluding to the ongoing sale of advanced US weaponry to Arab nations still officially at war with Israel, and which pose an existential threat to the Jewish state.
Israel has asked Washington on numerous occasions to curb the sale of advanced missile technology and combat aircraft to hostile neighbors, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
While America's Arab clients have attempted to militarily exterminate the Jewish state no fewer than three times, China has never fought a war against the United States.
An analysis of the situation by Arutz 7 Wednesday noted the worrying double standard whereby Washington imposes sanctions on Israel for arms sales to China, but grudgingly looks the other way when France and Germany sell arms and nuclear components to China and Iran.