- About Israel
- News & Blog
- World Opinion
- Take Action Now
Not to toot our own horn, but we told you back in July that the Suez Canal would become an issue in Egypt’s ongoing difficulties. Now, David Schenker writes at the LA Times that it’s actually happening. After an attack on a Chinese vessel at the end of August, traffic through the canal is taking another hit as is the Egyptian economy.
Comments (9) »
Now the third pillar of the economy, Suez Canal revenue, which amounts to nearly $5 billion a year, is at risk. In 2012, more than 17,000 vessels transited the canal. Lately, fewer ships are utilizing the passage, and last year, revenue declined 5%. The first half of this year saw a 6.6% drop in traffic, prompting Egyptian authorities to raise fees.
Monday, September 23rd, 2013 at 8:52 AM | Stand For Israel
In the ongoing debate about what America’s role should be in Egypt, Washington Institute for Near East Policy Executive Director Robert Satloff writes that doing nothing is better, at this point, than doing something. Intervening by engagement or disengagement (the revocation of aid) would not serve U.S. interests at this point, Satloff writes.
Comments (4) »
Egypt’s military forced Obama, like his predecessors, to prioritize U.S. interests, and he, too, put interests first, values second. With all the generals’ faults, the chances for the emergence of effective, and eventually elected, civilian government may be greater with the military in control than with Morsi and the Brotherhood, but that should be recognized for what it is — a pretty low bar.
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 at 8:52 AM | Stand For Israel
Writing at The Weekly Standard, Lee Smith has an interesting take on the ongoing discussion over whether or not the U.S. should continue aid to Egypt. The $1.3 billion, he argues, isn’t the point. The point is that aid is a tangible symbol of the projection of American power which guarantees the peace treaty with Israel which guarantees a semblance of regional stability.
Comments (8) »
Unlike Americans on both sides of the debate who enjoy the luxury of large swaths of the globe separating them from the region, Israelis can scarcely afford the illusion of imagining that their security now rests with the army of Egypt. It rests with the peace treaty, which is underwritten less by the $1.3 billion in aid that the United States provides Egypt than by America’s ability to project power. Insofar as the White House believes it has little ability to shape the outcome in Egypt, it is telling, among others, the man who now runs the most populous Arab state that the United States is a bystander.
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 at 8:57 AM | Stand For Israel
Max Boot, writing at Commentary, notes that – while the attacks on Coptic Christian churches in Egypt that we’ve covered here at SFI are awful – the fact is that the Egyptian army is doing little to protect them because it suits the army’s purpose to have the world-wide Christian community angry at the Muslim Brotherhood.
Comments (13) »
The Egyptian military is eager to publicize attacks on Copts to delegitimize the Brotherhood as a pack of terrorists—a criticism that resounds especially loudly in majority-Christian countries such as the United States. But the army, while eager to denounce church burnings, is doing little to stop them.
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 at 8:42 AM | Stand For Israel
Ross Douthat, writing at the New York Times, presents an argument for a reassessment of the realpolitik that has governed U.S.-Egyptian relations since the Cold War in light not of who the good and bad guys on the ground are, but a novel approach: what exactly is the US getting for the dollars we’re spending?
With our military aid to Egypt, we are paying for stability — but it’s not at all clear that the Egyptian military’s recent strategy will actually deliver it. We are paying for influence — but not enough, apparently, to persuade the country’s new rulers to listen to us when the chips are down. We are paying to keep our other allies and clients in the region happy — but Egypt’s example is demonstrating to those allies and clients that they, too, can essentially dictate the terms under which we pay their bills. We are paying in order to project power in the region — but right now, we’re projecting the weakness of a creditor who needs his debtors more than they need him.
Comments (4) »
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 at 9:05 AM | Stand For Israel
Andrew Doran, who once served as executive secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO at the U.S. Department of State, has an opinion piece today on National Review Online. It’s on the surge of violence in Egypt and how a lot of it is affecting — or rather, directed at — Christians. During last week’s escalation, 32 Christian churches were completely destroyed, while many others — as well as Christian homes, businesses, and cars — were seriously damaged.
Here’s a chilling excerpt from Doran’s article:
Comments (9) »
The Muslim Brotherhood’s systematic and coordinated attacks against Christians in Egypt are reminiscent of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938, when Nazi paramilitaries systematically vandalized Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues and murdered scores of Jews in a disturbing foreshadowing of the fate of European Jews over the next few years. It is no accident that many Jews, including Barry Rubin and Jeffrey Goldberg, have been quick to raise the alarums over the persecution of Christians: They recognize the dangerous signs. “They have hatred in their hearts,” says Thabet of the Brotherhood, echoing observations commonly made of the National Socialists in 20th-century Germany.
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 at 1:34 PM | Stand For Israel
What should the United States do about the situation in Egypt? It’s a question very much on the minds of our political leaders in Washington and will impact the way other countries see us.
First, the United States annually gives Egypt about $1.3 billion in military aid and another $300 million in economic assistance. Over the weekend, the State Department announced that the U.S. would halt ongoing non-military programs in Egypt – effectively cutting off that $300 million. The Administration also cancelled an upcoming biannual military exercise but has, so far, left the remaining $1.3 billion that goes to Egypt’s army – the ones actually fighting in the streets – untouched.
Second, U.S. policy has been – to be polite – confused. We essentially forced former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to allow the Tahrir Square demonstrators on 2012 to remove him from office after decades of (for all his other substantial failings) friendship to the U.S. (more…)Comments (36) »
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 at 8:25 AM | Stand For Israel
Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed, writing in The Atlantic, details something we’ve mentioned many times: Egypt’s ongoing and violent political difficulties are part of a dangerous spiral of broader economic and food-insecurity problems. The combination of political chaos and lack of basic necessities means potentially ongoing violence and regional instability.
Comments (3) »
With some 40 percent of the population living on $2 a day or less, and rates of illiteracy and unemployment hovering around a third of the population, it was only a matter of time before economic grievances translated into political outrage. The trigger factor, though, was food–on which a quarter of Egyptians spend more than half their incomes.
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 at 8:19 AM | Stand For Israel
Charles Kupchan, a professor of international relations at Georgetown and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in the New York Times that American policy should push for Egypt to be governed responsibly – not necessarily democratically – and that rapid transition to self-governance is ill-advised.
Comments (8) »
Rather than cajoling Cairo to hold elections and threatening to suspend aid if it does not, Washington should press the current leadership to adhere to clear standards of responsible governance, including ending the violence and political repression, restoring the basic functions of the state, facilitating economic recovery, countering militant extremists and keeping the peace with Israel. At this fragile moment in Egypt’s political awakening, the performance of its government will be a more important determinant of its legitimacy and durability than whether it won an election.
Monday, August 19th, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Stand For Israel
Lee Smith, writing at the Weekly Standard, says we should be prepared for a foreseeable future of violence in Egypt and Western silliness with regard to Egypt. Though Smith goes off the rails a bit when he suggests former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak should be free and apologized to, we think we’ll point back at this article in a year and most of it will have come to pass:
Comments (4) »
Yesterday, interim Egyptian president Adly Mansour imposed a curfew on the country and, invoking law 162/1958, declared a state of emergency that is scheduled to last for a month. First enacted under Nasser in 1958, the emergency law, among other things, suspended constitutional rights, extended police powers and prohibited political activities. Aside from an 18-month suspension in 1967, the law applied up until May 31, 2012, when it was allowed to expire in the middle of Egypt’s first, and perhaps last, free presidential elections.
Friday, August 16th, 2013 at 8:15 AM | Stand For Israel