Pro-Israel think-tanker calls for ‘aid conditionality’ to encourage Egyptian democratisation
By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
July 26, 2012
In a July 20 opinion piece, Shadi Hamid claims there’s a need for “aid conditionality” to rescue the troubled democratic transition in Egypt. Hamid, a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, argues:
In short, if the goal is to pressure recalcitrant governments and encourage real, sustained democratisation, then the current strategy will not do. First, when it comes to Egypt, the US and the European Union should coordinate policy and seriously consider temporarily suspending military aid. Second, any future economic assistance should depend on demonstrating progress on key political indicators, including transfer of power to civilian rule and respect for civil society. Those benchmarks should be clearly defined and announced in public as part of a broader public diplomacy strategy. SCAF’s violations have been and continue to be rather egregious. In the span of one week in June, it reinstated martial law, dissolved a democratically elected parliament, and imposed an eleventh hour decree which stripped the presidency of its powers. If this is not a red line for the United States and Europe, then what is?
As you note Hamid’s clear preference for civilian over military rule — i.e. rule by the Muslim Brotherhood — bear in mind that the think tank he works for was specifically established “to protect Israel.”
Maidhc Ó Cathail has written extensively on Israel’s key role in U.S. democracy promotion.