A United States Republican congresswoman blocked the planned cash transfer of $450 million to the Egyptian government On Friday.
Texas congresswoman Kay Granger, who heads the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, released a statement that read, “this proposal comes to Congress at a point when the US-Egypt relationship has never been under more scrutiny, and rightly so. I am not convinced of the urgent need for this assistance and I cannot support it at this time. As chair of the subcommittee, I have placed a hold on these funds.”
Granger also discussed Egypt in a newsletter to her constituents earlier this month, “as I have said since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, we need to know exactly who we are working with before we provide assistance to a government that has not yet demonstrated they are a partner of the United States.
That is why I put strict conditions on any funding for Egypt including requirements that they must fulfill their commitment to the peace treaty with Israel and that they must protect freedom of religion.”
Professor of Political Science at the American University of Cairo, Dr Walid Kazziha, saied he sees the influence of Israel as key to the current decision to withhold funds from Egypt. “The present Israeli government is upset with Egypt, and this decision points to the influence of Netanyahu on the American congress.”
Kazziha added that, “Egypt is being punished because it removed Mubarak. Egypt has to be punished from an Israeli point of view.”
Egypt has seen a number of violent attacks in the Sinai peninsula aimed at both their security forces and those of Israel. Kazziha believes that those lapses in security are one of the main reasons the US and Israeli governments are wary of sending aid to Egypt.
Kazziha also added that, “Israel in the US is very keen on minimising the effects of the Arab Spring. Their final analysis is that the Muslim Brotherhood, or any other party that comes to power will be reopening the question of Israel’s relationship with their Arab neighbours and their relationship with the Palestinians. Israel has enjoyed the best of times and now that will have to change.”
Granger has previously cosponsored a number of bills that concern Israeli interests, including one that asked Palestinians to, “cease efforts to circumvent the negotiation process, including efforts to gain recognition of a Palestinian state from other nations, within the United Nations, and in other international forums.” Another supported Israel’s right to, “use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”