NEW YORK, March 15, 2012 -- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon the Congressional delegation currently visiting Egypt, led by Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), to raise the issue of the Egyptian parliament demanding the cutting of ties with Israel, to condemn it, and to warn of an end to U.S. aid if this policy is adopted. The members of the Congressional delegation are Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV).
This week, the People’s Assembly, Egypt’s lower house, drafted a list of demands endorsed unanimously, calling for the deportation of the Israeli ambassador in Egypt, halting export of natural gas to Israel, and “reexamining” the Camp David peace accords with Israel. The unusually strong-worded statement reads, “Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend or ally of the Zionist regime which we consider the primary enemy of Egypt and its Arab people. [Egypt] will treat this entity as an enemy. The government is urged to reexamine its relations and agreements with this enemy.” The parliamentary recommendations, elaborated in eight articles, also include extending aid to the Palestinians; adopting “all forms of resistance” against Israel; and urging the Arab League to oppose the Judaization of Jerusalem (Elhanan Miller, ‘Egyptian parliament demands to cut ties with Israel over Gaza,’ Times of Israel, March 12, 2012).
The Arab Affairs Committee in the Parliament, chaired by Dr. Mohamed Al-Saed Idris, outlined a new policy which does not refer to ‘Israel,’ only to the ‘Zionist entity,’ ‘the enemy,’ the ‘imperialist entity’- standard terms of abuse in the Middle East for those who seek to destroy Israel. The Idris committee also criticizes America for its support of Israel; officially designates Israel as an enemy; and calls for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, the cessation of the export of Egyptian gas to Israel, freezing of economic agreements and the reinstitution of economic boycotts of Israel. It also calls for “all means of support” to Palestinian terrorist groups and “resistance in all its forms and manifestations” as “the strategic path to the liberation of occupied land.” It also calls for raising internationally the issue of Jerusalem and its “judaization.”
As Lt-Col. Jonathan Halevi points out, “The Arab Affairs Committee’s statement was unanimously accepted and applauded in Parliament and reflects the true perception of the Islamic elements in the Egyptian political leadership (which is also shared by the leftist organizations). In its eyes, Israel is the foremost enemy of Egypt and the Arab and Islamic world, and the peace agreement with it (the Camp David agreement) is considered a dead letter” (Jonathan D. Halevi, ‘The New Egyptian Parliament Takes Aim at the Camp David Accords,’ Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, March 15, 2012).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We urge Rep. Pelosi and the members of the Congressional delegation she is leading in Egypt to raise this extremely serious issue with the Egyptian government and to condemn the Egyptian parliament for approving this set of proposals for ending peace with Israel.
“The delegation is uniquely placed to convey a vital message - that if this set of policy proposals is adopted, the U.S. will immediately cut off funds to Egypt, which it has received for over three decades solely on account of the country signing a peace agreement with Israel.
“Egypt cannot expect to abrogate the 1979 peace treaty and retain the fruits of peace agreement, while depriving Israel all it gained under the treaty. Therefore, the Pelosi delegation should state that, if Egypt pursues this new policy, Israel may well retake the Sinai and its Israeli-developed oil fields, which it ceded under the terms of the peace treaty to Egypt.
“We also urge the Obama Administration and all Members of Congress to deliver a similar message to Cairo. Such a statement of U.S. resolve might induce the Egyptian government to stand firm in support of the Egyptian/Israeli peace agreement.”
About the ZOA
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is the oldest and one of the largest pro-Israel organizations in the United States. With offices around the country and in Israel, the ZOA educates the public, elected officials, the media, and college/high school students about the truth of the ongoing Arab war against Israel. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations through educational activities, public affairs programs and our work on Capitol Hill, and to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media, in textbooks, in schools and on college campuses. Under the leadership of such presidents as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Rabbis Abba Hillel Silver and Stephen Wise, and current President Morton A. Klein, the ZOA has been - and continues to be - on the front lines of Jewish activism. www.zoa.org.