WASHINGTON (JTA) — The American Israel Public Affairs Committee urged the U.S. government not to cut assistance to Egypt.
“We do not support cutting off all assistance to Egypt at this time, as we believe it could increase the instability in Egypt and undermine important U.S. interests and negatively impact our Israeli ally,” AIPAC said in a letter to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), its top Republican.
The letter is the first public signal since the army coup that deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in early July that AIPAC is actively opposing efforts to cut aid to Egypt.
“As you know, Egypt is the largest Arab state in the Middle East and has played a vital role in advancing key U.S. interests in that region,” said the letter, read into the Senate record on Wednesday by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was opposing an amendment proposed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would cut aid to Egypt because of the coup.
“Citing just two examples, the government of Egypt has maintained the peace with Israel and is taking important steps to address the instability in the Sinai,” the letter said. “Events in Egypt are rapidly evolving, and we believe that for now the United States should avoid taking any precipitous actions against Egypt such as cutting off all assistance.”
Paul’s amendment failed 86-13.