Pro-Israel think tank urges U.S. to cut military aid to Egypt to demonstrate that democracy is a top priority
By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
July 4, 2012
In an op-ed in the Atlantic entitled “The Real Reason the U.S. Should Consider Cutting Military Aid to Egypt,” Shadi Hamid suggests:
The U.S. could still withhold military aid to Egypt. Leverage, though, is a tricky thing. After the U.S. backed down on its last public threat to revoke aid, the challenge is making the SCAF believe that it really could lose the aid this time. Therefore, the best way to restore American credibility — and, with time, to restore leverage as well — is to actually follow through on the threat.
As for “the real reason” referred to in the title, the Atlantic’s summary puts it thus:
It’s not just about deterring the country’s generals from grabbing power — it’s about demonstrating that the U.S. is making democracy a top priority in the Middle East.
The Saban Center was established in 2002 with a pledge of nearly $13 million from the Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban to the Brookings Institution. Having once admitted to the New York Times, “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,” Saban told an Israeli conference in 2010 that establishing think tanks was one of his “three ways to be influential in American politics” — along with making donations to political parties and controlling media outlets — so that he could “protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship.”
So the next time someone claims that Tel Aviv feels threatened by the Islamic Awakening, they need to be asked why a think tank specifically set up to advance Israeli interests is urging Washington to pressure SCAF to hand over power to the Muslim Brotherhood.