A member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security team is seen on stage as Netanyahu speaks at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, May 23, 2011.
Jason Reed / Reuters

Soon after U.S. President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, his administration announced plans to sell five AWACS, sophisticated surveillance planes valued at $8.5 billion, to Saudi Arabia. It was to be part of the largest foreign arms sale ever. Those following the debate over the recent Iran deal would not be surprised at the reaction: hawkish Senators Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) said that the deal should be stopped. And even the dovish Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) called it “one of the worst and most dangerous arms sales ever.” Meanwhile, Israeli leaders fretted about the potential

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