In Cairo last week, Hamas’s chief, Khaled Mashal, gave a fiery speech calling for violent jihad against Israel. With approving nods from his hosts — aides to Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader whom Egyptians elected their president — Mashal exclaimed, “Resistance [ACM- “resistance” is the Islamist euphemism for “terrorism”], not negotiation, is the path to the restoration of rights…. Nothing will restore the homeland but jihad, the rifle, and self-sacrifice.”
Hamas, it is worth reminding ourselves, is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. It has long been a designated foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law, and many sympathizers are serving long prison sentences here for providing it with material support. Nevertheless, Hamas leaders are now regular guests of the Brotherhood-led Egyptian government, given Cairo as a platform for war cries against our ally, Israel.
There is nothing new about Hamas’s ceaseless jihad against Israel, about the Brotherhood’s assiduous support for that effort, or about Hamas’s popularity among Egyptians. There is something new and extremely disturbing about American efforts to support a regime that so ardently backs Hamas. Yet, the Egyptian press reports that the Obama administration is frantically working the phones to attempt to persuade lawmkakers to unblock $450 million more in economic aid (specifically, debt relief) that the president promised Morsi without first clearing it with Congress.
Personally, I don’t understand why Congress makes any concessions to the administration while the president directs his underlings to make expenditures Congress opposes (e.g., $165 million for the white elephant Thomson state prison in Illinois, where it is suspected Obama would later transfer Gitmo detainees), or while the president makes recess appointments when there is no recess, or while the president is in violation of various congressional statutes. With impeachment rightly reserved for truly heinous executive behavior, the power of the purse is the main weapon the framers gave the people’s representatives for reining in a lawless, imperial president. Congress ought to be slashing the administration’s funding, not entertaining new demands.
But even if Congress won’t defend its institutional turf, why would lawmakers even consider giving another dime to Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood is America’s enemy. Morsi came to power demanding the return of the Blind Sheik — serving a life sentence in the U.S. for terrorism offenses — to Egypt. Since he has been in power, the regime has failed to protect our embassy, and its constituent assembly is currently writing a sharia constitution that fails to protect the rights of women and minorities. And material support to Hamas is Morsi’s official policy.
Maybe we can’t stop Egypt from going down this path, but why on earth would we even think about paying for it?