Sen. Rand Paul's bill to cut off US aid to Egypt certainly was prescient, wasn't it? The bill failed in the Senate, 86 to 13, on account of heavy lobbying by AIPAC, the pro-Israel advocacy group which packs a powerful punch on Capitol Hill. To those unlettered in the intricacies of American foreign policy, this may seem counterintuitive: after all, why would a pro-Israel group lobby on behalf of giving $1.5 billion a year to a regime that has been a fulcrum of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in the region, and whose major political actors -- all of them -- are profoundly opposed to Israel's very existence?
The reason is simple: the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, in which the Egyptians agreed to recognize Israel, demilitarize the Sinai peninsula, and end their economic boycott of the Jewish state. Aside from providing Israel with a measure of basic security -- having a nation of some 80 million potentially quite hostile people looming large on its border is an understandable cause for nervousness -- the treaty also led to an informal regime of cooperation between the two countries, focused on keeping the Palestinians in check. Israel's blockade of Gaza is mirrored by the Egyptian blockade, which keeps Gazans confined to their Israeli-made cage.
In short, the 1979 treaty is the diplomatic and military framework within which the Israelis can continue to pursue their expansionist and racist project of creating a "Greater Israel" at the Palestinians' expense.
The pro-Israel media is busy whitewashing the worst massacre since Tiananmen Square. Michael Goldfarb's "Washington Free Beacon" ran a piece by tired neocon hack Bill Gertz warning that if we refused to embrace Egypt's murderous new rulers -- who have killed hundreds in just a few days, and jailed many more -- the Russians will be sending them military aid in our stead. Has anyone told "The Goldfarb," as he dubs himself on Twitter, that the Soviet Union is no more and the cold war is over? Guess not.
Murders? Jailings? Shooting a man carrying a wounded victim? The Goldfarb couldn't care less -- not when Israel's interests are involved. Commentary, the Pravda of the pro-Israel crowd, editorialized that the elected government headed by President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown "by popular demand." The Foreign Policy Initiative, which replaced Bill Kristol's Project for a New American Century as War Party Central , avers that, in the wake of the coup, "Egypt's democratic experiment will take time to mature"!