August 19, 2013—New York—AJC urges the U.S. government and the European Union to proceed with great care in responding to the unfolding events in Egypt, and not withdraw financial aid from the country.
“U.S. and European aid to Egypt isn’t a gift and it isn’t a favor. It’s a strategic investment in the fight against terror and extremism, in the stability of the most populous Arab state, and in regional peace,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
“Ending Western aid now would send exactly the wrong signal—encouraging the Muslim Brotherhood in its ongoing campaign to destabilize Egypt, its enlistment of Hamas terrorists and Sinai-based jihadists in the struggle against the transitional regime, and its rejection of calls to halt violence and participate peacefully and constructively in the political process.”
Harris expressed sorrow over the loss of life in the ongoing strife, but placed the responsibility on the Muslim Brotherhood for fostering a climate of violence and confrontation.
“An extremist group that hijacked Egypt’s emerging democracy and was forced from office by an outpouring of tens of millions of citizens cannot be allowed to continue wreaking havoc—sacking public institutions, destroying dozens of Coptic churches, desecrating mosques, unleashing a wave of both targeted and random killings, and trying to hold the country hostage to its radical agenda,” he said.
Harris stressed that simply winning an election, as the Muslim Brotherhood did last year in Egypt, does not necessarily constitute a victory for democracy, as the increasingly autocratic measures adopted by ousted President Mohamed Morsi revealed. Harris recalled the Palestinian election of Hamas in 2006, which resulted in the terrorist organization—an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood—seizing control of Gaza, and imposing dictatorship over the local Palestinian population.
Ever mindful of the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, AJC called on the transitional government in Cairo to begin to make good on its promises of political reform, pluralism, transparency, and the protection of universal human rights. “The world is watching Egypt, and should work with Egyptian authorities to assure a return to stability, and the pursuit of the democratic path created by the revolution of 2011,” Harris said.