Middle East peace process and the Israeli shopping lists

A breakthrough in the current stalemate between Israel and the Palestinian authority may result in new defence grants from the USA to Israel.

According to Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak, these extra funds may amount to $20 billion and that has already brought the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to rearrange their previous shopping, or rather wish, lists for new systems.

It is clear that if these grants are approved, the main beneficiary will again be the Israeli Air Force (IAF). This is almost an axiom – the IAF is first in line for any extra budgets.

Will that automatically increase the number of F-35s that will be procured? It may, but this will without any doubt ignite a heated debate about the need for additional stealth fighters. The signed contract is for 20 F-35s.

While the IAF wants as much F-35s as money can buy, many experts claim that even without putting the delayed deliveries in the equation, the extra funds should be channeled to other systems .

September is the forecast time for the Israeli decisions about its next moves in what is referred to as the peace process. The wish lists will be ready by that time.

As this date approaches, we can expect pressures from the IAF, ground forces and navy. Such a bonanza is a unique opportunity for the commanders to make some of their dreams come true.









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