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US aid to Egypt is not for Egypt but Israel, JJ Goldberg explains

Israel/Palestine
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At the Forward, JJ Goldberg gets to the bottom of US policy: he says US aid to Egypt cannot be withheld because it’s “bad for the Jews.”
 

the course of action that seems self-evidently proper to right-minded Americans — punishing the Egyptian military, ending military cooperation, suspending aid — will almost certainly have a catastrophic impact on Israel’s peace with Egypt….

America’s billion-dollar-plus annual aid package to Egypt does not exist for Egypt’s benefit, but for Israel’s. It’s the carrot, or bribe, that keeps Egypt faithful to its peace treaty with Israel, despite its enormous unpopularity on the Egyptian street. That treaty is critical to Israel.

I think Goldberg is right; and this is the reason that the US will not suspend aid. I have often stated here that the US supported a dictatorship in Egypt for decades because of US support for Israel– that the self-determination of 80 million Arabs counted for nothing when it came to the US determination to maintain a Jewish garrison state that was established by war and preserved by force.
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57 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    August 16, 2013, 11:10 am

    There we have it. Apparently when a jew say these things its ok, if a non jew would say this, it would be called antisemitism.

    On topic – Nasty that US support this new dictatorship in Egypt just because of israeli interests.
    How many massacres do we have to witness before any western state say enough is enough?!

  2. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    August 16, 2013, 11:11 am

    This is news? Certainly no one in his or her right mind didn’t think it was anything other than a bribe for the Apartheid state’s benefit.

  3. gingershot
    gingershot
    August 16, 2013, 11:31 am

    How come there is an Israeli Lobby-pushed War Against Syria and an Israeli Lobby pushed-Egyptian Coup taking place right now?

    Could it have anything to do with the Israeli Lobby’s desperate efforts to ignite some sort of conflagration in the Middle East going, in order to prop up the Apartheid Israeli state, at this crucial juncture?

    Once Netanyahu and his Lobby in the US couldn’t get Iran – they went for Plan B.

    Until Israeli Apartheid is dealt with – there will always be a TROVE of problems in the Middle East taking our eyes off the ball. Israel and her Lobby wouldn’t and won’t have it any other way

    In Syria the Lobby used Saudi Arabia and Qatar – for Egypt they used Saudi Arabia and the UAE

    Gee – without this Israeli Lobby-desired mayhem – the whole world might be focused on ending these phony peace talks and rather supporting Palestine with taking the Israelis to the ICC

    Until Israeli Apartheid is ended – there will always be a TROVE of problems in the Middle East that seem to crop up at the most opportune times, taking our eye off the ball on getting to the root of the problem – Israeli Apartheid and the Israeli Lobby/Israeli-generated US Foreign policy oriented at keeping it alive. The Israeli Lobby wouldn’t and won’t have it any other way

    Without the massive ‘US support’ (read Israeli Lobby-generated policiies) for both Syria (thru the bases in Jordan, etc) and the massvie ‘US Support’ for Mubarak and the Egyptian Military and against Iran – the whole MIddle East picture would be ENTIRELY DIFFERENT

  4. upsidedownism
    upsidedownism
    August 16, 2013, 11:33 am

    “US supported a dictatorship in Egypt for decades because of US support for Israel”

    Perfectly correct. The US is at war with Egypt. On the one side are the Egyptian people, and on the other side are the US supported military dictatorship, the USA, and Israel.

    This has all happened to Egypt before. The British position in the 1880s was the same as the American position today. British and European investors financed the Suez canal for their own benefit; the only Egyptian beneficiaries were the semi independent Ottoman viceroy (Khedive) and his cronies; the people of Egypt benefitted little from the canal. Egyptians came to realize there country was being used by foreigners in conjunction with a corrupt local elite, and a revolted led by a leader called Orabi. The British sent in the troops, arrested Orabi, and put the Khedive back in power.

    Morsi is a 21st century Orabi; the US doesn’t have to send in troops as of yet, because the Egyptian military are just like so many mercenaries; but who knows, maybe Israel/USA will intervene militarily in a more obvious fashion to ensure that Egypt is run for western/Israeli interests, rather than for that of the Egyptian people.

  5. seanmcbride
    seanmcbride
    August 16, 2013, 11:46 am

    How many billions (trillions?) of dollars have American taxpayers spent since the 1950s to the present to make the world safe for Israel and Jewish nationalism?

    The multi-trillion dollar failed war against Iraq was instigated primarily by neoconservatives (most of them Jewish nationalists) who were convinced that invading and crushing Iraq would be good for Israel (and “good for the Jews”).

    The entire Global War on Terror, and its associated wars and expensive “homeland security” (domestic police state) programs, has been spearheaded by pro-Israel neoconservatives and neoliberals in both the Republican and Democratic Parties.

    The American economy has been severely damaged by these policies and the American middle class continues to collapse. Domestic programs for Americans are shrinking; infrastructure is crumbling. A small group of billionaires and hectomillionaires continues to acquire ever greater wealth and near dictatorial control of the American political system.

    When will the leaders of these disastrous policies finally be held accountable for their deeds? And when that moment arrives, will it be too late to restore America to its former greatness?

  6. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    August 16, 2013, 11:46 am

    Nothing to do with the US wanting the Suez in compliant hands, nope. The US doesn’t care about it’s system of world trade or the Suez’s role as “gateway to India” as it’s been referred to for centuries, it’s just about Israel.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      Tuyzentfloot
      August 16, 2013, 11:53 am

      I think so too. The US actions are guided by more than just Israel, and certainly in Egypt. This is a case of overstretching the model. Egypt’s military (or military economic complex) are aligned with the US so it makes sense to choose their side.

      • Marco
        Marco
        August 16, 2013, 1:20 pm

        If it was about the Suez, why would the aid have come only after the 1979 peace treaty with Israel? And remember, the U.S. under Eisenhower rejected the war on Egypt over Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez.

        No, this is about Israel and all of the defense interests which tie into it as a result of our military sales to Egypt since the peace treaty. Egypt is not an oil rich country. There’s no inherent reason why we would have to support the military except in order to help strangle the Palestinians and prevent the regional hegemony of Israel from ever being challenged.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        August 16, 2013, 5:43 pm

        I was not thinking about Suez but it’s an element. Egypt is a significant player and therefore it’s in the interest of the US to keep them well aligned. And the Mubarak regime was and is much better suited for that than a democratic system. That general argument is valid whatever the background is. I think this CFR article gives a nice list of why the US thinks Egypt is strategically interesting http://www.cfr.org/egypt/strengthening-us-egyptian-relationship-cfr-paper/p8666 . Now one can always trace back the whys and say in the end it’s about Israel, and there are good reasons to say that, but I think that’s an ugly style of thinking. It’s like those reasonings where whatever you do in the end it’s all about getting laid. It simplifies the world into a caricature.
        Obviously the US aid to Egypt was part of the Camp David agreement. Also obvious is that the US thought Egypt was worth it. They thought Egypt was a player to be reckoned with.

      • Real Jew
        Real Jew
        August 16, 2013, 8:08 pm

        I absolutely agree with Marco. The Suez has NOTHING to do with US aid to Egypt. The obvious support as Marco stated was the simultaneous timing of the peace treaty and aid to egypt. In addition if US aid to egypt were to be ended, access to the canal would still be granted as it benefits egypt to be an international travel route.
        Another example could be made of Jordan who also signed a peace treaty with Israel and immediately began reaping the benefits through economic and military support from US, as well as trade open market ect

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 19, 2013, 10:44 pm

        Egypt is a significant player

        Egypt is really no more important than any other state. There’s a good opinion article from Time Magazine on that subject. See Bobby Ghosh, Viewpoint: “Egypt No Longer Matters” — It’s time for Washington to recognize that Cairo is not the center of the Arab world. http://world.time.com/2013/08/18/egypt-no-longer-matters/

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 19, 2013, 11:33 pm

        The Suez has NOTHING to do with US aid to Egypt.

        Of course not. Our Congress refused to underwrite the construction of the Aswan dam and Nasser turned to the Soviet Union for his funding and arms deals. I don’t remember any insurmountable trade or transportation disruptions, or any other dire consequences for Americans. So it simply never occurred to our government to give any large sums of money or arms to the Government of Egypt before the Camp David Accords.

        The same holds true for Israel before President Johnson approved the sale of the F-4 Phantom aircraft. How did we manage to get along without any of these so-called strategic allies before that?

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 19, 2013, 11:59 pm

        Egypt is really no more important than any other state.

        Interesting article, with which I agree largely.

        I think it is important given that it has 80 million people and shares a border with Israel and hosts the Suez. Israel, the US and Saudi Arabia seem to think it’s important.

    • seanmcbride
      seanmcbride
      August 16, 2013, 12:09 pm

      How is it in the American interest, and consonant with American strategic objectives, to alienate the Egyptian people in order to make the world safe for Greater Israel?

      Witness the fruits of our policies on the daily news: we have pushed Egypt to the breaking point by trying to prop up authoritarian regimes through billions of dollars of bribes — it may be on the verge of civil war.

      Israel, and the Israel lobby, have been in the forefront of supporting the Egyptian military coup — a development which Barack Obama doesn’t even dare to describe as a coup — no doubt out of fear of offending his chief financial backers in the Democratic Party.

      How was the Iraq War in the American interest? How would an Iran War be in the American interest?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      August 16, 2013, 12:21 pm

      Oh, that pays part of it. But the US had that same interest before it started paying the bribes. The bribes didn’t start as a way of keeping Suez open; the bribes came about because of the peace treaty.

      • just
        just
        August 16, 2013, 8:06 pm

        “America’s billion-dollar-plus annual aid package to Egypt does not exist for Egypt’s benefit, but for Israel’s. It’s the carrot, or bribe, that keeps Egypt faithful to its peace treaty with Israel, despite its enormous unpopularity on the Egyptian street. That treaty is critical to Israel.”

        This is true. So are you Woody.

    • libra
      libra
      August 16, 2013, 4:18 pm

      Dan Crowther: …Suez’s role as “gateway to India” as it’s been referred to for centuries…

      And let’s not forget the Nile’s role as “gateway to Nubia” as it’s been referred to for millennia.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        August 19, 2013, 4:21 pm

        The MW comment sections – where Oil and (now) Strategic Waterways aren’t important in world politics.

        OK!

        The Suez is an interesting case, because it’s the waterway the US Fifth fleet takes to get to it’s port in Bahrain – almost the entire fifth fleet goes through every year, I’m sure the Panama Canal has nothing to do with US/Panamanian relations either, you guys are funny. Notice I didn’t say Israel wasn’t a factor, just that it isn’t the only one.

      • American
        American
        August 19, 2013, 5:12 pm

        Dan Crowther says:
        August 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm
        The MW comment sections – where Oil and (now) Strategic Waterways aren’t important in world politics.

        OK!>>>>>>>>

        For you to suggest that Suez is a factor in contnung aid to Egypt then you have to assume several things; ….1) that the US anticpates some day a full scale war in the ME and 2) that it expects Egypt to be on the ‘opposite side ‘ and 3) most absurd, it ‘s tryng to ‘premptively’ bribe’ them not to close the canal to us as an enemy when we go to war

        And… “If” that is what the US ‘contingincy” planning was it would have had no reason to have “built” up the Egyptian military force only to have to go against it.
        So either the US expects that in any war Egypt will take it’s side and handle the canal in accordance. and thats why we have been paying them.
        Therefore we have no need to bribe them on the canal.
        OR…..we have been payng Egypt billions and trainng their miltary wthout being certain who’s side they would take in a ME war just for the Israel peace treaty.
        I think that simple logic tells you why we are payng Egypt.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 19, 2013, 7:28 pm

        The MW comment sections – where Oil and (now) Strategic Waterways aren’t important in world politics. . . . The Suez is an interesting case, because it’s the waterway the US Fifth fleet takes to get to it’s port in Bahrain

        The Suez Canal has been closed during armed conflicts in the past. So believe me, the US Fifth fleet operational planners and logisticians have contingency plans for the use of alternate routes and lines of supply sitting on the shelf. You should also remember that it was the oil companies in the 1970s who started building supertankers that were too big to go through the Suez Canal in the first place, because it was a better business proposition. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20052361

        The container shipping companies have built vessels too big for the Panama Canal and already have announced plans to deliberately build monsters too big for the Suez Canal too. See How much bigger can container ships get? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21432226

    • American
      American
      August 16, 2013, 4:55 pm

      The Suez is not a problem for the US or Egypt—–Egypt has absolutely no reason or incentive to shut it down–quite the opposite, they have every reason to keep it open. That isnt even an issue.
      If they did lose their minds and try to shut it down e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e –and not just the US would fall on them.
      If you remember it wasnt the US that tried to ‘seize’ the Suez, it was the brain fart of Israel and France —and Eisenhower threatened to blow them out if they didnt get out.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 16, 2013, 6:09 pm

      What makes you think Egypt would want to block the Suez if aid were to stop?

      It’s an important source of revenue for Egypt. Why would they give that up? Even when it was feared Bin Laden might get his hands in oil resources, he admitted that they still have to sell the stuff to someone. They can’t drink it.

  7. upsidedownism
    upsidedownism
    August 16, 2013, 11:59 am

    I appreciate that the Suez canal has diminished in importance, Dan. I only wanted to make the point that, just as was the case of British in the 19th and 20th centuries, , the US is working in its own interests (of which Israel is paramount), in conjunction with an Egyptian junta, against the interests of the bulk of the Egyptian people.

    What the Suez canal once was for the British Empire, Israel is now for the USA.

  8. seafoid
    seafoid
    August 16, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Israel is a court player who needs the King to put lots of policies in place to give the impression that Israel is independent.

    The funding of the Egyptian army is one of the most important policies. It’s insurance for Israel. But the Egyptian Army has created a dreadful mess so anything could happen.

  9. Krauss
    Krauss
    August 16, 2013, 12:29 pm

    Rand Paul did make an amendment to end U.S. aid to Egypt and he got support from McCain and Lindsay Graham(the usual donkeyfellating bunch) initially but they then turned around and opposed it.

    What was remarkable about McCain’s justifications about doing so, was that he mentioned the word “AIPAC” multiple times in his rationalization, that AIPAC thought XYZ and thus it must be right.

    McCain was essentially saying, whatever AIPAC wishes, I will do. But that, as remarkable as it is, is still Washington at the end of the day. Who is surprised?

    What annoys me more is that when I read about this, like in Foreign Policy magazine, they dont even mention AIPAC at all, as if this was some arcane intellectual debate and McCain just randomly changed his mind.
    I guess the justification for withholding this information is the fear of anti-Semitism, after all, why does America’s foreign policy in the Middle East depend so much, in the words of Goldberg, upon ‘what’s good for the Jews’.
    (Except that Goldberg here makes the mistake that Israel = the collective embodiment of Jews, which is usually a mark of an anti-Semite according to Zionists like himself during times of crisis like the Gaza war. But now it’s fine all of a sudden.)

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      August 16, 2013, 5:48 pm

      Rand Paul did make an amendment to end U.S. aid to Egypt

      It was a non-germane amendment to the Transportation/HUD Appropriations bill, not the State Department And Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. Those are not allowed in the House versions. See Basic Training: The Germaneness Rule http://rules-republicans.house.gov/Educational/Read.aspx?ID=27

      So it would have required reconciliation with the House version and a second vote on that portion of the budget, even if it had been adopted.

      Rep. Ros-Lehtinen chairs the Foreign Assistance Appropriations committee in the House, and is also the AIPAC echo chamber. Without mentioning the fact that existing law requires an immediate cut-off, she has re-introduced draft legislation on Egypt from last year that would condition assistance on future democratic reforms. The existing law conditions restoration of funding on certifications that any necessary reforms have already taken place. Her bill would allow funding to continue for 120 days with phased reductions, unless the Secretary of State provides an initial certification, and subsequent recertifications every 180 days. So her bill amounts to a waiver of the existing requirement for an immediate cut-off. It kicks the can down the road, while maintaining the appearance of actually doing something about the problem.
      http://ros-lehtinen.house.gov/press-release/only-leverage-united-states-has-over-egypt-power-purse-%E2%80%93-conditioning-our-assistance

  10. Cliff
    Cliff
    August 16, 2013, 1:23 pm

    Of course.

    Israel and Zionism destabilize the region along with radical Islam and American imperialism.

    Why would an ordinary Arab (not a employed member of the Israel Lobby like Walid Shoebat/Wafa Sultan/Nonie Darwish/etc. etc.) who isn’t a Jewish colonist be supportive of Jewish colonialism?

  11. Hostage
    Hostage
    August 16, 2013, 1:32 pm

    Dan please explain how you can describe the actions of General Sisi as being “compliant” with the publicly stated positions on the use of force coming from Obama or McCain and Graham during their recent visit? Both sides of the aisle said that a political solution was necessary and that the status quo was unacceptable. Now we have this display of unnecessary violence against demonstrators. It’s pretty obvious that US influence over the situation has almost completely waned, and that Sisi has way too many US-supplied toys at his disposal already.

    Morsi never posed any threat to commerce through the Suez Canal, so I can’t imagine what you’re babbling-on about on that score. The Israelis would be thrilled to ship containers overland from Eilat to Haifa if the Canal were closed and they have a plan with the Chinese to do that anyway. You seem to be pounding square pegs in round holes, just like JJ Goldberg.

    Egyptians are not going to decide to go to war with Israel, simply because some US arms shipments and spares or sub-assembly supply contracts are suddenly stopped. Nobody is giving the Egyptian Generals vast sums of money under these programs in the form of bribes that they can spend somewhere else. The primary beneficiaries of these programs are the constituencies here in the US where the materials and manufacturing jobs are located. Egypt already has 240 F-16s and 1,000 M1A1 Abrams tanks that are more than adequate in number to look after any of its needs.

    None of those weapons are supposed to be deployed anywhere near Israel in any event, under the explicit terms of the agreement annexed to the Camp David Accords. Nothing in those agreements requires Egypt to close its border with Gaza.

    Whatever leverage the US is using to obtain Egyptian cooperation in the Gaza closure, it is covert or off-budget and not part of the regular foreign military assistance appropriation that we are talking about cutting-off.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      August 16, 2013, 1:48 pm

      Please, look what US do instead of what they say, of course they dont want to be seen to be in support of the military junta now killing people in the streets but that is what they do. You really think US cares about human rights?

    • Danaa
      Danaa
      August 16, 2013, 2:13 pm

      Hostage, this is another masterpiece of a reply from you. Sorry to have to embarrass you with another compliment. Just bear with it, OK? or add to the cookie jar….

    • Dan Crowther
      Dan Crowther
      August 16, 2013, 2:41 pm

      Hostage – if you want to reply to me, reply – I don’t always notice these down the thread original posts that reply to me, I don’t want you to think I’m avoiding you.

      As for: Dan please explain how you can describe the actions of General Sisi as being “compliant” with the publicly stated positions on the use of force coming from Obama or McCain and Graham during their recent visit? Both sides of the aisle said that a political solution was necessary and that the status quo was unacceptable. Now we have this display of unnecessary violence against demonstrators. It’s pretty obvious that US influence over the situation has almost completely waned, and that Sisi has way too many US-supplied toys at his disposal already.
      ——————————————————————————-

      I’ve read too many histories of the US OK’ing just these types of atrocities (the East Timor example is especially comparable, as they waited for the US diplomats to end their trip to Indonesia before starting the massacres, they waited because they were told to wait by the US -and were given full approval) to think the US gov’t’s sensibilities are somehow offended by the egyptian military’s actions.

      It’s waaaaay to early to tell if Sisi and Co. really are being compliant, but there’s no reason to think they aren’t, and again, the US time and again has shown despots around the world that if you do your part within the US dominated system, and keep your country wide open to western capital, you can do what you like to your population. You’re right, Morsi didn’t even hint at a nationalization plan, but where the MB has been a “necessary” partner for the US, the Egyptian military is a wholly owned subsidiary of washington, why wouldn’t the US want it’s “guys” in charge?

      I don’t deny Israel is a big consideration here, but it’s not the only one – I mention the canal because it’s so obvious.

      And once again for everyone – the reason Egypt got American aid wasn’t totally because of the peace treaty with Israel, it was that they showed themselves to be good fighters, a worthy ally. Folks want to overlook that fact with Israel as well, as if the US should have no interest in partnering with states that kick the crap out of their adversaries in less than a week.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      August 16, 2013, 3:01 pm

      You really think US cares about human rights when they support the killers?

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 17, 2013, 11:01 am

      Both sides of the aisle said that a political solution was necessary and that the status quo was unacceptable.

      That’s pretty meaningless and vacuous when both sides of the aisle refuse to do anything about it. It reminds me of the mealy mouthed statement fom the State Department calling for restraint every time Israel carries out a “little shoah” on Gaza

      It’s pretty obvious that US influence over the situation has almost completely waned, and that Sisi has way too many US-supplied toys at his disposal already.

      While I agree that their control of the situation has waned, it’s doubtful their influence over the Egyptian military has. The military is practically an arm of the Pentagon.

      Nobody is giving the Egyptian Generals vast sums of money under these programs in the form of bribes that they can spend somewhere else.

      Perhaps not directly, but all those weapons do mean that the military has ultimate control of Egypt, even if they don’t always act on it. The army controls 20% of Egypts GDP, and it’s clear that it’s monopoly on violence has a lot to do with that. Thus there is no chance of Egypt going to war with Israel – as that would threaten the gravy for the kings of Egypt.

      Whatever leverage the US is using to obtain Egyptian cooperation in the Gaza closure, it is covert or off-budget and not part of the regular foreign military assistance appropriation that we are talking about cutting-off.

      It might not be officially on the record, but it stands to reason that there is a pretty clear understanding that this is what is required of them. Why else would they have cracked down on Gaza as soon as Morsi was removed?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 19, 2013, 11:44 pm

        That’s pretty meaningless and vacuous when both sides of the aisle refuse to do anything about it.

        They haven’t refused to do anything about it. McCain got on a plane and delivered the message in person. The fiscal year is almost over and this year’s money has already been spent. When the Congress returns from its recess in September, they will have to discuss next years budget. Many of the members, including McCain, were on the Sunday talk shows saying that the aid will be stopped.

        Nobody cares what Obama has to say on the subject, since the President’s budget is always DOA anyway. It really isn’t a matter of stopping an appropriation, its going to be difficult to get any Egyptian aid bills out of the committees for a vote on the floor in the first place.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 19, 2013, 11:54 pm

        They haven’t refused to do anything about it. McCain got on a plane and delivered the message in person.

        And Obama distanced himself from McCain and Graham. McCain is a lose canon who has a habit of inventing his own interpretation of US foreign policy. Sending him as some kind of messenger is bad joke.

        Many of the members, including McCain, were on the Sunday talk shows saying that the aid will be stopped.

        One can only hope, but this will be politically motivated, not because of any constitutional or legal requirement. Again, the Simington Amendment should have put and end to aid to Israel decades ago.

  12. hophmi
    hophmi
    August 16, 2013, 1:43 pm

    I think JJ is dead wrong. Bloodshed and lawlessness in Egypt is not good for Egypt or Israel, which now has to deal with a major security threat in the Sinai.

    And frankly, Phil, if you think that Egypt gets no benefit out of Camp David, you’re fooling yourself. It has been to Egypt’s great benefit that they haven’t fought yet another dumb war against an IDF that would soundly defeat it if it ever happened, and that would result in a lot of dead Egyptians.

    The notion that US support for the Egyptian dictator was because of Israel is belied by basic facts. There has been a dictatorship in Egypt for many years, and until the 1970s, it was supported by the USSR. Was that for Israel too? The argument would have a modicum of credibility if Egypt had any kind of democratic history to speak of. It does not.

    The US supports the junta because it’s been in the US interest to have a government friendly to it, and the Egyptian people apparently cannot be relied upon to elect such a government. Plain and simple. Same reason we support dictatorships across the Middle East. We’re afraid of what would happen to our interests in the region if the people got the vote. And that has been true for far longer than Israel’s existence.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 19, 2013, 8:50 pm

      I think JJ is dead wrong. Bloodshed and lawlessness in Egypt is not good for Egypt or Israel, which now has to deal with a major security threat in the Sinai.

      You are right Hop, but you are conflating what is good for Israel/Egypt with what the leaders of Israel want.

      There has been a dictatorship in Egypt for many years, and until the 1970s, it was supported by the USSR. Was that for Israel too?

      No, that was during the Cold War, when Egypt’s dictators were looking to either side for a sponsor. America turned down Egypt’s overtures and Russia said yes.

      That all turned around between 1967 and 1979.

      The US supports the junta because it’s been in the US interest to have a government friendly to it, and the Egyptian people apparently cannot be relied upon to elect such a government.

      And the reason the Egyptian people apparently cannot be relied upon to elect such a government is because the hostility the Egyptian people have towards the US for it’s absurd policies towards Israel.

      The reason we’re afraid of what would happen to our interests in the region if the people got the vote is because we know we have pissed them off so much.

      . And that has been true for far longer than Israel’s existence.

      Not true. Before Israel existed, and into the 60s, the US enjoyed a great deal if popular support in the Aran world.

  13. gamal
    gamal
    August 16, 2013, 2:48 pm

    “Whatever leverage the US is using to obtain Egyptian cooperation in the Gaza closure, it is covert or off-budget and not part of the regular foreign military assistance appropriation that we are talking about cutting-off.”

    The Egyptian state has a great interest in smashing a peoples militia that has proved unbreakable, tough and pragmatic, as well as prone to gaffes and tactical missteps, their situation is so difficult its hardly surprising.

    All regimes in the region nurse an antipathy to “populist” armed insurrectionary groups, recall that Iran was instrumental in securing the American occupation of Iraq by joining the states in the neutralization of popular resistance and returned the political drama there to bureaucratic control. There are legitimate reasons to be concerned about those intent on armed and political resistance, sure.

    But what is really striking in Egypts case is the demonization of Hamas and the MB as terrorists, others can decide whether the labeling of groups as this or that is a moral imperative or not its the discourse that interests me.

    For those concerned about Islamophobia in the states get an Arab friend to translate some of the stuff out there on the Arab news sites, some of my compatriots would put not only the most extreme Zionists to shame but I suspect Brevik himself would be shocked by the raw exultation in this slaughter that many so called liberals and secularists are indulging in, and cheering for its continuation.

    As to the conflation of Hamas the MB and Al Qua’ida, I link below to an article that might help, allow me to assert that Al Q is not an Egyptian org, despite the elevated status of Zawahiri, from the article,

    The author has a dry wit that elicits the same kind of amusement any of the the MB, AlQ, Hamas, and an-nahda are one statements I am seeing on the net, Egyptian Hasbara at its best, they are not similar either organizationally or in terms of theory and praxis, Islamist are very fractious and prone to schismaticism, Bin Laden was endlessly whining about their argumentativeness and infighting, a transnational rabble, Islam is by its nature a discursive tradition unsuited to forming monolithic masses (shockingly), ALQ is little more than a name and internet video outfit. Egyptians find these Saudi’s etc uncouth and risible, and resent their ostentation and economic domination, ALQ in Egypt is unthinkable.

    “Banna did not share the Wahhabi view that most Muslims were idolaters.

    Banna also differed from the Wahhabis in his political ideas. He lived during Egypt’s phase of constitutional parliamentary government and his writings reflect that context’s influence. He maintained that constitutional government meshed with Islamic principles because it ensured a ruler’s accountability to the people. He lamented the failure of the Egyptian constitution of his day to establish Islam as the fundamental basis for public life, but did not regard constitutionalism as contrary to Islam. Wahhabi doctrine does not support constitutional rule. Whereas Banna denied the legitimacy of hereditary monarchy in Islam, Wahhabi ulama have supported the Saudi monarchy.

    A salient element in Banna’s notion of Islam as a total way of life came from the idea (current since the mid-nineteenth century) that the Muslim world was backward, and the corollary (current since the early twentieth century) that the state was responsible for guaranteeing decent living conditions for its citizens. He argued that the government had the duty to minimize unemployment, guarantee a minimum wage and health care for workers, and ensure the fair distribution of wealth. Such notions are alien to Wahhabism.”

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/the-difference-between-wahhabis-and-muslim-brothers-by-david-commins/

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 19, 2013, 9:01 pm

      net, Egyptian Hasbara at its best, they are not similar either organizationally or in terms of theory and praxis

      I like that Gamal, Egyptisn Hasbara. Taxi’s been a fountain of it on these forums of late.

  14. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    August 16, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Aid to Egypt was always about Israel.

    Al Jazeera best coverage of what is going on in Egypt. Sure would like to see a run down of how much $ each top Egyptian military honcho makes in salary and investments in contracts.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 19, 2013, 9:03 pm

      Al Jazeera best coverage of what is going on in Egypt.

      Which is why it is being banned.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        August 19, 2013, 11:41 pm

        Indeed. Important to encourage folks to provide links to Al Jazeera via their FB pages, etc. Go wide

  15. American
    American
    August 16, 2013, 4:39 pm

    “”the reason Egypt got American aid wasn’t totally because of the peace treaty with Israel, it was that they showed themselves to be good fighters, a worthy ally. Folks want to overlook that fact with Israel as well, as if the US should have no interest in partnering with states that kick the crap out of their adversaries in less than a week.”….Dan

    I dont think thats accurate….’if’ the US had thought Egypt would be a military asset to us in the ME it would have taken in Egypt way before the I-E peace agreement, back when Egypt was looking for military assistance after WWII and the beginning of the Cold War when Egypt made entreaties to Russia for assistance.
    Neither is what you claim about Israel. Israel couldnt have kicked the crap out of Egypt or anyone…in fact they almost didnt….you evidently havent read about how Isr was losing it and screaming for US supplies and planes and etc. and sitting in Kissingering’s office 24/7 telling him it was the end for Israel if they didnt get it.—and getting it was the only thing that saved their ass.
    And for all the billions we have put into Isr ‘s military the US has never once used them for any military purpose.
    For gawds sake – get real—the US even had to pay them ‘extra money’ during the Gulf war and Iraq for their ‘safety’ defenses because they claimed there might be some retaliaton on them for the US wars.

  16. OlegR
    OlegR
    August 16, 2013, 7:12 pm

    /that the self-determination of 80 million Arabs counted for nothing when it came to the US determination to maintain a Jewish garrison state that was established by war and preserved by force./

    Because what really would benefit the self-determination of 80 million Arabs
    is another series of major clashes with the IDF in the Sinai desert.
    Though come to think of it if they are shooting at us they won’t have time to gun down their civilians at the streets of Cairo so from that perspective maybe you are right.

  17. Hostage
    Hostage
    August 16, 2013, 7:47 pm

    It’s waaaaay to early to tell if Sisi and Co. really are being compliant

    My point exactly. You are essentially complaining that the rest of us here are blind, just because we don’t see anything in your crystal ball yet.

  18. Patrick
    Patrick
    August 16, 2013, 7:51 pm

    Phil’s (and JJ Goldberg’s) point is echoed in a NY Times report where Israel’s security is immediately brought up by an official with ties to the White House as a prime reason not off aid to Egypt:

    “Given the deep schism in Egypt, this official said, the White House is still skeptical that cutting off aid would compel the generals to return the country to a democratic transition. And it could destabilize the region, particularly the security of Israel, whose 1979 peace treaty with Egypt is predicated on the aid.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/world/middleeast/obama-statement-on-egypt.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  19. Citizen
    Citizen
    August 17, 2013, 5:05 am

    Any clear sign from Egypt that it was no longer going to honor the 1979 peace treaty with Israel and all US aid to Egypt would stop immediately, no matter how many government contractors and their employees would be out of a job. That McCain and Graham initially backed the call to cut off aid to Egypt as US law specifically required it shows only that they forgot to double check with AIPAC first. Both old, hasty, half senile Gentile whores, they were reminded ASAP by AIPAC who was their boss. They hastily switched sides, waving their refreshed AIPAC notebooks in everybody’s face. Disgusting. In McCain’s case, the apple fell not an inch from the tree of forbidden USS Liberty crew fruit.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      August 20, 2013, 12:00 am

      Any clear sign from Egypt that it was no longer going to honor the 1979 peace treaty with Israel and all US aid to Egypt would stop immediately, no matter how many government contractors and their employees would be out of a job.

      That’s already been done and the Saudis have guaranteed to make-up for any aid the US decides to cut. See:
      * The Reuters report “Egypt’s Rebel Campaign launches petition to cancel US aid, Israel peace treaty” – The Rebel Campaign, which spearheaded the 30 June mass protests, calls for the restoration of Egyptian sovereignty in petition targeting foreign aid and Camp David http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/79334/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Rebel-Campaign-launches-petition-to-cancel-.aspx
      * “Egypt’s Tamarod movement: Cancel peace deal with Israel”, Protest movement gathers citizens’ signatures calling to cancel 1979 peace accords with Israel, and to refuse US aid to Egypt http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4418907,00.html

      That McCain and Graham initially backed the call to cut off aid to Egypt as US law specifically required it shows only that they forgot to double check with AIPAC first.

      Nope, McCain is blaming the White House for not acting, and he was calling for an aid cut yesterday and today on the news talk shows. See Calls grow louder in Congress to make good on threat, cut aid to Egyptian military http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/18/mccain-ayotte-call-cutting-aid-egyptian-military/?page=all

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 20, 2013, 12:58 am

        P.S. The Daily Beast and Haaretz have reported that: “U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy told The Daily Beast on Monday that military aid to Egypt has been temporarily cut off. Spokesman for the senator, who heads the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee was quoted in the report as saying that it is the senator’s understanding that “aid to the Egyptian military has been halted, as required by law.”

        According to the report by The Beast’s senior national security correspondent Josh Rogin, “the Obama administration has decided to temporarily suspend the disbursement of most direct military aid, the delivery of weapons to the Egyptian military, and some forms of economic aid to the Egyptian government while it conducts a broad review of the relationship.” http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.542414

  20. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    August 17, 2013, 8:24 am

    As usual, everyhing is about Israel, egyptians getting massacred for Israel.

  21. mcohen
    mcohen
    August 17, 2013, 8:37 am

    A Billion dollars

    Divide that by 365

    3 million a day

    i am sure that jewish interests could come up with that sort of cash

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 19, 2013, 8:33 pm

      i am sure that jewish interests could come up with that sort of cash

      As they say, it much cheaper to bribe a politician than buy an F16.

      And in any case, the 3 billion I’d just the tip of the iceberg. The real figure is closer to 6 times that amount. Also you have to add another 3-4 billion to keep the bribes flowing to Jordan and Egypt.

      So no, they won’t come up with 15 million per day, year after year.

  22. Hostage
    Hostage
    August 17, 2013, 10:36 am

    And it could destabilize the region, particularly the security of Israel, whose 1979 peace treaty with Egypt is predicated on the aid.”

    Neither Israel’s nor Egypt’s peace treaty was predicated on unconditional aid or arms sales of any kind. The treaty required the two states to establish the normal relations that exist between countries at peace with one another. In fact, the treaty is full of qualified language on every subject that requires on-going congressional approval or funding, including stipulations in which the United States reserved the right to impose restrictions on weapons supplied by it to any country. The Memorandums of Agreement which set forth the full understandings of the United States and the parties with regard to the subject matters covered between them does not include a requirement for on-going US arms sales or foreign assistance payments to Egypt or Israel. http://muqtafi.birzeit.edu/InterDocs/images/284.pdf

    If anything has destabilized the region, it has been the failure of the United States and the parties to implement and enforce the terms of the treaty on the arrangements regarding the withdrawal of the Israeli armed forces from the West Bank and Gaza and the guarantees in Article 7 on the Enjoyment of Human Rights.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      August 17, 2013, 11:04 am

      In fact, the treaty is full of qualified language on every subject that requires on-going congressional approval or funding, including stipulations in which the United States reserved the right to impose restrictions on weapons supplied by it to any country.

      Seriously Hostage, do you really expect us to believe that? There is also the Symington Amendment, that requires the US to terminate military aid to states that produce nukes, but that language has not restricted any weapons supplies to Israel.

      If anything has destabilized the region, it has been the failure of the United States and the parties to implement and enforce the terms of the treaty on the arrangements regarding the withdrawal of the Israeli armed forces from the West Bank and Gaza and the guarantees in Article 7 on the Enjoyment of Human Rights.

      More specifically, it was the failure of the Carter administration, by allowing the Israelis to get away with insisting that the treaty only applied to the Sinai and not the he West Bank and Gaza.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 20, 2013, 12:11 am

        Seriously Hostage, do you really expect us to believe that?

        I was responding to a comment which incorrectly claimed that Israel’s peace treaty was predicated on Egyptian aid. It wasn’t, and I gave you a link to the treaty. It quite naturally was not predicated on giving billions of dollars of arms to Israel’s potential adversaries.

        It was mainly devoted to the specific limitations on the numbers of weapons and Egyptian army units that could be deployed in the various zones that were established in the Sinai peninsula.

        If you want to swallow the current media talking points, be my guest.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        August 20, 2013, 12:17 am

        There is also the Symington Amendment, that requires the US to terminate military aid to states that produce nukes, but that language has not restricted any weapons supplies to Israel.

        By way of analogy, if a commentor here ever claims that the Symington Amendment is predicated on the basis that Israel is allowed to receive military aid and to produce nuclear weapons, I’ll give you a link to it and point out that it is not true.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        August 20, 2013, 12:38 am

        By way of analogy, if a commentor here ever claims that the Symington Amendment is predicated on the basis that Israel is allowed to receive military aid and to produce nuclear weapons, I’ll give you a link to it and point out that it is not true.

        That’s not the debate we’re having Hostage.

        We both agree that the Symington Amendment is predicated on the basis that Israel is allowed to receive military aid and to not produce nuclear weapons, but the US government avoids this conflict by playing along with the nuclear ambiguity game and playing dumb.

        As I said, the Symington Amendment should have led to the cut off of aid to Israel decades ago.

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