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Thirty-five Republican members of Congress are calling on House leadership to “withhold all U.S. aid to the Egyptian government” until its new Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president agrees to abide by “Egypt’s treaties, promote peace with Israel, and continue to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.”
The letter, organized by Rep. Joe Walsh (R., Ill.), a vocal critic of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, urges leaders on both sides of the aisle to “re-think the more than $2 billion in aid that it gives the Egyptian government every year” in light of the election of Mohamed Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated leader, as president.
The lawmakers are worried that Egypt’s newly elected government “will not view America’s foreign aid package in the same way,” according to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Free Beacon.
“Many members of the Muslim Brotherhood have a history of supporting terrorism, and current party leaders have made no conscious move to abandon that legacy,” the letter states. “President-elect Mursi has spoken noxiously about American policy in the Middle East, referred to Israelis as ‘tyrants,’ and expressed doubts that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by terrorists. The President-elect has also been quoted as stating that he favors normalizing relations with Iran, including expanding areas of political and economic cooperation in order to create a balance of pressure in the region.”
The lawmakers’ greatest concern lies with Israel, Egypt’s next-door neighbor. Since the Muslim Brotherhood assumed control, foreign policy experts and others have worried that Israel’s delicate peace treaty with Egypt will be obliterated.
“Of greatest concern are reports that President-elect Mursi revealed that the Camp David Peace Accords with Israel ‘will be reviewed,’” the lawmakers write. “Not only do these statements put Egypt squarely opposite U.S. policy in the region, but they also violate the explicit understanding in the annual U.S. aid package to Egypt.”
The members also note that at a time when America’s finances are in disarray, aid packages to unstable nations must be reassessed.
“Every tax dollar that goes to propping up a government directly opposed to American interests is a tax dollar wasted,” the lawmakers write. “That money should instead be put towards paying down our national debt or providing tax relief to struggling American families.”
Walsh said that Egypt must maintain a peaceful relationship with the Jewish state. “Israel is a critical strategic partner for the U.S. in the Middle East. Only a strong, secure Israel will bring lasting peace to the Middle East.”
“We would like to continue an open, working relationship with the new Egyptian government,” Walsh said in a statement to the Free Beacon. “But it must choose to work with the United States to continue to promote peace and stability in the region. Any future foreign aid packages must be contingent on these actions.”
In addition to Walsh, the letter’s signers include: Reps. Bill Posey (R., Fla.), Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), Bill Johnson (R., Ohio), Jim Jordan, (R., Ohio), John Fleming (R., La.), Tim Walberg (R., Mich), Joe Pitts (R., Pa.), Phil Roe (R., Tenn.), Tim Griffin (R., Ark.), Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.), Tom Graves (R., Ga.), Tom Price (R., Ga.), Cynthia Lummis (R., Wyo.), Pete Olson (R., Tex.), Scott Garrett (R., N.J.), Paul Broun (R., Ga.), Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.), Jeff Landry (R., La.), Jeff Miller (R., Fla.), Francisco Canseco (R., Texas), Michele Bachmann (R.,Minn.), John Duncan (R., Tenn.), Vern Buchanan (R., Fla.), Diane Black (R., Tenn.), Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.), Tom Rooney (R., Fla.), Lynn Westmoreland (R., Ga.), Richard Nugent (R., Fla.), Sean Duffy (R., Wis.), Alan Nunnelee (R., Miss.), Howard Coble (R., N.C.), David Schweikert (R., Ariz.), Mo Brooks (R., Ala.), and Louie Gohmert (R., Tex).