White House delaying sale of 50 F-15 fighter jets to Israel – Wall Street Journal

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Israeli F-15 fighter jets escort an American B-52 bomber through Israeli airspace en route to the Persian Gulf on September 4, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli F-15 fighter jets escort an American B-52 bomber through Israeli airspace en route to the Persian Gulf on September 4, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Amid accusations from Jerusalem that the Biden administration was holding up weapons shipments to Israel, the Wall Street Journal reports that the White House has not moved ahead with the sale of 50 F-15 fighter jets despite Congressional support for such a move.

The State Department was expected to formally notify Congress of the $18 billion sale after two top Democrats removed their objections last month but hasn’t yet done so.

The State Department tells WSJ that there is no policy of slowing down weapons transfers.

“We are looking tactically at the timing. It is not a question of whether,” says the official. “It is a question of when.”

Democrats Sen. Ben Cardin (Maryland), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Gregory Meeks (New York), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, removed their objections almost a month ago under heavy pressure from the Biden administration.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a video on social media berating the Biden administration for supposed holdups in the supply of arms to Israel. Reportedly in response, the White House canceled high-level talks between American and Israeli security officials in Washington, DC.

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