V-22 Osprey.(Fas.org)

His months-long acrimonious nomination battle over, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pulled back the curtain on Monday and showed his real feelings about the Jewish State…by confirming an unprecedented arms deal between the United States and Israel.

This includes anti-radiation missiles designed to destroy enemy air defences, advanced radars for its fleet of fighter jets, KC135 refuelling aircraft and Osprey V22 transport aircraft.

The KC135 are capable of being used in a long-range operation by Israel against Iran. The sale of V22 would also mark the first time the planes have been released to any country outside America.

Mr Hagel said President Obama had made “not only maintaining but improving Israel’s [military] qualitative edge a top priority”.

V-22s, by the way, are those planes that take off vertically.

The real news here is how weary the United States and Israel appear to be about the sanctions and diplomacy track in the efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Given the deal’s unprecedented nature and reach, I’d say this is a very strong and very public message.

US in major arms deal with Israel [BBC]