Egyptian Islamists are threatening to reconsider the peace treaty with Israel if the US continues to apply pressure on Cairo. Some US officials have intimated they will to cut billions of aid to Egypt because of Cairo’s crackdown on NGOs.
The President of the Freedom and Justice Party of Egypt Mohammed Morsi said if America continues to blackmail Egypt over the case of unlawful funding of NGOs, Cairo might alter the conditions of the 1979 US brokered Camp David peace treaty with Israel, reports RIA news agency.
This puts the Party which is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, in support of the policy of the Egyptian military junta.
“Egyptians will not tolerate any officials who decide to succumb to pressure and to cover up the accusations or interfere in the work of the judiciary,” the Muslim Brotherhood argues publicly in an e-mailed statement.
In this statement the Muslim Brotherhood backed the “nationalistic” stance taken by Egyptian officials over the NGO case.
The Brotherhood said the NGO case showed that part of American aid to Egypt “is being spent to destroy Egypt and ruin its society.”
“Anti-American sentiments are being encouraged both by the military, by the supreme court of the armed forces and by the Muslim brotherhood each for their own reason. So certainly there are those in Egypt who oppose American aid, they see it as a threat. I wouldn’t be surprised if the US itself decides to cancel it. Especially in the light if the fact that some 18 American nationals are now under Egyptian arrest and have been banned from leaving the country,” says Yaakov Lappin reporter from the Jerusalem post.
The conflict started with a crackdown on US sponsored NGOs in Egypt.
Authorities raided NGO offices and accused 43 employees (19 of them Americans, including the son of the US Transportation Secretary) of illegally using foreign funds to instigate unrest in the country. If convicted of the charges, the suspects will face from three to seven years behind bars.
All 43 have been barred from leaving the country.
American reaction was immediate and vehement.
US Senator Rand Paul proclaimed “We will not tolerate any country holding US citizens as hostages.”
Republican Kay Granger, the chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, was even more resolute on the “harassment” of Americans.
She said “Not one more dollar should flow to the government of Egypt until the secretary of state can assure the American people that this issue is resolved,” Granger said.
Hawks like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman rushed to join the rally, warning that the funds are in jeopardy.
In January, in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama recommended to keep aid to Egypt at the current $1.3 billion level.