To convince Israel and its supporters in Congress that the White House truly “has its back” with respect to threats posed by Iran, US President Barack Obama and top Cabinet officials have repeatedly flagged the fact that Israel is the exclusive regional recipient of the F-35, America’s premier stealth strike fighter.

“Indeed, Israel is the only nation in the Middle East to which the United States has sold this fifth-generation aircraft,” Obama wrote in a letter last month to Rep. Jerold Nadler, a New York democrat representing the largest Jewish district in the country.

Some military and political leaders in Israel are pushing to make that regional exclusivity permanent. […]