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Forget Egyptian Freedom, Levin wants Israeli Security

February 7, 2011

After weeks of protest in Egypt, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Michigan Senator Carl Levin finally released a statement on the civilian uprising.

Along with Senators Bob Casey (PA) and Chris Coons (DE), Levin sent out a Media Release on Friday (2/4) that tells us something about what some members of US Senate feel are priorities for the US during Egypt’s uprising.

The statement by Levin and company makes some vague comments about “international obligations:”

“With new freedoms, come new responsibilities for the future leaders and Government of Egypt. During this period of transition, we believe that the U.S. should send a strong message to key Egyptian leaders and members of the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood, that Egypt’s international obligations must be respected during a political transition and beyond.

However, with the next sentence Levin makes it clear where his allegiance lies:

“Specifically, it is imperative that Egypt maintains its historic commitment to peace with Israel, as agreed to in the Camp David Accords, and that the Egyptian military and security forces ensure security on the border with Gaza.”

Levin, Casey and Coons are echoing a long-standing position of the US government as it related to Middle East politics, in that Israeli “security” is the main priority. Their emphasis on Israeli security is interesting considering that recent WikiLeaks documents show that Israel undermined every opportunity at a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians.

It is also interesting that the statement by Senator Levin and his colleagues would emphasize the need for security on the border of Gaza. It has been more than two years since the Israeli assault on Gaza, which resulted in thousands dead and wounded Palestinian civilians. Naomi Klein said in a recent article that despite the international outrage of these war crimes, Israel has not been forced to change its behavior one bit. This is mostly due to the fact that the US continues to bankroll the Israeli occupation of Palestine and allowed the continued expansion of Israeli settlement.

However, there is one additional reason why Levin would be so assertive about Israeli security in the wake of the Egyptian uprising. Michigan Senator Carl Levin has been the second largest recipient of Pro-Israeli PAC money in Congress since 1990. He has received $1,390,594 in campaign contributions from Pro-Israeli groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. For more details on Levin’s relationship to these groups, check out an article from 2008 that breaks down the financial backing of Levin from Pro-Israel organizations.

 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    February 8, 2011 4:20 am

    Why is the Muslim Brotherhood included as part of “the opposition”?

  2. Jeff Smith permalink*
    February 8, 2011 12:45 pm

    I don’t fully know why Levin would include them, but he no doubt included them since they used to be on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist groups. This is kind of ironic, since the US was a financial supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s when the Brotherhood and the US opposed the secular/nationalist government of Nasser. There is an excellent book by Robert Dreyfuss which documents this, Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam.

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