Wednesday, February 15, 2012

COMMENTARY: US Must Ignore Threats by Egypt to End Its Peace Pact with Israel

Essam El-Erian -- a high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker -- said this week that if the United States cuts its aid to Egypt, the Brotherhood will consider changing the terms of Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Congress last December approved $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt for fiscal year 2012. That assistance, however, is contingent upon Egypt "supporting the transition to civilian government, including holding free and fair elections, implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association, and religion, and due process of law."

Egypt's current military government -- which has ruled Egypt since the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 -- has failed to set up a democracy in Egypt. In fact, Egyptians have fewer rights under the military government than they had under Mubarak.

If Egypt's military government continues to deny Egypt's citizens the rights they deserve, the U.S. should stop its military aid to that nation.

Threats from a Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker or other Egyptians to end Egypt's peace agreement with Israel should have no effect on the U.S. decision to stop its aid.

The United States has never been blackmailed by a nation to change its foreign policy -- and it certainly will not be blackmailed by Egypt today.