The Washington Times reported that members of Congress are apprehensive due to the opening of the Rafah Crossing, and few members of Congress, according to the newspaper, wish to offer aid to Egypt, which permits people and goods to infiltrate freely into Gaza, which is controlled by “terrorists.” This means tying American — as well as international aid — with strengthening the siege on the Gaza Strip; this is evidence that the U.S. is still unable to read the true state of the region and isn’t able to distinguish between things as they were before the Arab Revolution and things as they are afterward.
The U.S. quickly set out to convince the G8, which announced from France that it is committed to aid Egypt and Tunisia with an amount of money of more than $20 billion. These are merely promises similar to those made at the French conference when, in 2007, 90 countries pledged to assist the Palestinian Authority with more than $7 billion, which would be presented over the course of three years and which would be set aside for the development and expenses of the Palestinian Authority’s institutions. Then came the promises of Sharm al-Sheikh in 2009, in which 70 countries promised to offer $4.5 billion in order to rebuild the Gaza Strip. And as you see, the billions of France and Sharm al-Sheikh didn’t arrive. And as soon as Israel prevented the taxes that were due to the [Palestinian] Authority from being sent for only a month, the [Palestinian] Authority became unable to pay the salaries of its employees. And just as America pressured the Palestinian Authority without giving it the promised billions, it has tried to play the same role with Egypt and Tunisia, because it wants Egypt to be a follower, not a strategic player in the region. So [Egypt] resumes the blockade of Gaza, maintains the flow of gas to Israel and does not violate the Camp David Agreement. And particularly with regard to the Egyptian military presence in the Sinai, it also prevents Iranian ships and any ships that belong to “the Axis of Evil” from passing through the Suez Canal.
With the outbreak of revolutions in the Arab world, the U.S. proved its failure to protect its agents in the region. It was not able to provide protection or a safety net for the past Egyptian regime; it was uprooted without any response from the White House. And after the Jan. 25 revolution, the influence of the Egyptian street on the Egyptian leadership became greater than outside pressures. Consequently, the satisfaction of the Muslim Brotherhood and the rest of Egypt’s political parties with the domestic and foreign policy of the Egyptian leadership is the only guarantee of its continuing to rule. Consequently, returning to the blockade of Gaza and diminishing the sovereignty of Egypt by not letting it control its own borders and military presence and other things that the U.S. wants will incite the Egyptian street and lead it back to Tahrir Square.
Edited by Heidi Kaufmann