According to the press, Jerusalem goes against the White House and stands with the Egyptian army.7:02 AM, Aug 21, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is gung-ho for the Egyptian army’s bloody campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood. This, the Journal reports, “has pulled Israel into ever-closer alignment with those Gulf states.” Yes, concurs, the New York Times, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE support “the Egyptian military and sought to push back against Western entreaties that it temper its actions against the Brotherhood and the ousted government of President Mohamed Morsi and his supporters.”
We know the Arab Gulf states support Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s putsch because, as the Times and Journal report, they’ve given or pledged a total of $12 billion to Egypt. There’s no similar evidence that Israel backs the junta—unlike the Gulf states, Jerusalem has given no money. There is no official statement from the government of Israel that it supports the army, nor are there even any sourced quotes to substantiate the rather extraordinary claim that both articles make: Israel and the White House are at odds because while Obama is quietly considering the moral and strategic consequences of being seen to support Sisi’s crackdown, the Jewish state is cheering on a pogrom.
Nonetheless, according to the press, the same dynamic is at work closer to home, where America’s pro-Israel community also wants to see Sisi prevail, regardless of the bloodshed. The Egyptian army has a new best friend in Washington, says a story in Foreign Policy. Even with Washington’s $1.3 billion package coming under “global criticism,” AIPAC—the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—“is actively pushing for continued U.S. aid to Egypt.”
Peter Beinart at the Daily Beast finds the whole matter repulsive. “Israel,” he writes dejectedly, “wants the military to remain in charge.”
To be sure, some former Israeli officials do. Ehud Barak recently said on Fareed Zakaria GPS that, “the whole world should support Sisi.” Similarly, Ex-Mossad chief Danny Yatom argued that, “there is no question that Israel prefers the army to the Muslim Brotherhood and a secular regime over a religious regime.”
However, no one currently serving in the Israeli government is on the record for supporting Sisi against the Brotherhood. And for good reason—Israel, regardless of how it may reckon the morality of its neighbors, is not a superpower but a small state of some 6 million Jews and a million and half Arabs with virtually no ability to tinker with the internal mechanisms of other Middle Eastern countries. Accordingly, Israel keeps its head down, hoping for the best and planning for the worst, because, as one Israeli official told the Times last week: “Anything we say will be held against us. . . . If we condemn the violence we will be accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.” And if they don’t, he explained, “then it looks like Israel is in cahoots with the Egyptian Army.”
Israel has one key interest in Egypt, maintenance of the peace treaty. The treaty, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Face the Nation last month, has “been the cornerstone of peace between us and our neighbors, and it's also been the cornerstone of stability in the Middle East. And our concern, through changing administrations—first Mubarak changed; Morsi came; now Morsi went, and we will see what develops in Egypt.”
2:40 PM, Jul 11, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
On Tuesday, Egypt’s interim government named a new prime minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, an economist who served briefly as the interim military government’s finance minister after former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February 2011. Beblawi is a good choice, insofar as he seems to understand that one of Egypt’s core economic problems is that the government cannot afford to subsidize so many goods, from vital foodstuffs like bread and cooking oil to fuel.
8:55 AM, Jul 10, 2013 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
The spirited debate over suspension of aid to Egypt has given rise to a good argument over how to encourage progress in Egypt toward stable, responsible, and democratic government. We know what we would, as Americans, like ideally to see there: respect for civil liberties such as freedom of speech and press, an independent judiciary, religious freedom, free elections, and so on. And we would like to see an end to violence, whether by the state or by political and religious factions. We would like to see a system based on law, rather than on mob action or military fiat.
"The $1.5 billion question."9:24 AM, Jul 8, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As we've learned over the last few days, there is a lot hanging on the meaning of the word "coup." Or, more precisely, the answer to this question: Was Egyptian President Morsi removed from office by a military coup?
3:31 PM, Mar 13, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Today Sen. Marco Rubio introduced the Egypt Accountability and Democracy Amendment, legislation blocking “economic support funds and new foreign military financing” “unless economic reforms and human rights safeguards are adopted, while also initiating a more thorough, longer term reevaluation of U.S. military assistance to Egypt.”
7:44 AM, Mar 5, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Mara Liasson and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
9:41 AM, Jan 29, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a statement, President Obama announces that he's "approved an additional $155 million in humanitarian aid for people in Syria." The Syrian regime, as Obama states, "has waged a brutal war against the Syrian people—murdering innocent men, women and children, in their homes, in bread lines, and at universities."
"$220 million to date" given to Syrian refugees.4:19 PM, Jan 25, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The United States has given another $10 million in aid to help Syrians, the State Department announced today.
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:05 PM, Jan 3, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with Bill Kristol, hosted by Michael Graham:
6:51 PM, Dec 12, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The State Department announced today that it had increased aid to help with humanitarian situation in Syria. Today's announcement stated that an additional $14 million of aid would be given, pushing the grand total of aid to Syria to $210 million.
1:34 PM, Dec 12, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
As Salon reports, President Obama is trying to raise money on his campaign website by suggesting that he is more pro-Israel than the Republican presidential candidates. Because if you care about Israel, the Obama campaign wants to suggest, you're going to support the president over the current crop of Republicans (Romney, Perry, and Gingrich, in particular) who "all say they would cut foreign aid to Israel--and every other country--to zero."
A bottom-up approach like that exercised by Marines in southern Helmand could build a sustainable foundation for success.11:30 AM, Jul 2, 2010 • By FRANK BIGGIO
One year ago today, approximately 2,000 Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade loaded into dozens of U.S. Army helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division or manned guns in a ground convoy vehicle to begin “Operation Khanjari,” moving into the heart of insurgent-controlled territory in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
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