Egyptian ‘Rebel’ Group Rejects Peace, Aid

Egypt not so welcoming these days. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Egypt not so welcoming these days. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It’s unusual when a group of people want to tear up a peace treaty and end more than a billion dollars in annual aid, but that’s exactly what the Tamarod movement is doing. After gathering millions of signatures protesting former-President Mohammed Morsi that led to the mass protests and removal of Morsi by the army, Tamrod (“Rebel” in Arabic) has turned its attention to Israel and the United States.

That’s right folks, with Egypt in flames and hundreds dying in the streets, this populist movement is now calling for the peace treaty with Israel to be annulled and US aid to Egypt to end, according to Daily News Egypt. This is bad news for you—as it could lead to a surge in regional tensions and oil prices.

This campaign to end US aid to Egypt and cancel the peace treaty with Israel might not matter so much, except that Tamarod helped give a face to popular opposition to the previous government. That led to millions protesting and a military coup to throw the old regime out. How many Egyptians back the anti-US, anti-Israel effort? We’ll soon find out.

According to Daily News Egypt, Tamarod is gathering signatures calling for a referendum on the two foreign policy issues. It’s animosity toward the US is because Tamarod is claiming the Americans have supported terrorists and interfered too much in Egyptian affairs.

In a similar link to the Israel peace treaty, Tamarod wants to redo treaties to enable Egypt to defend its borders.

The US is already under internal pressure to suspend aid to Egypt after the military coup. The US provides over a billion dollars for “security aid” to Egypt, which doesn’t look so good with the army killing demonstrators (albeit potentially violent ones).

The problem is that the aid to Egypt helps convince the Egyptian army to keep the peace with Israel, and right now the Egyptian army is at least partially indebted to the US. Hence the US has a effectively bought an ally. No money, no ally.

Why does this matter to you? Because if the Israel peace treaty is canceled, tensions in the Middle East would soar. Similarly, without US aid to the Egyptian army, the potential for a violent counterrevolution from Islamists is entirely possible. Considering Egypt is a major trade route for global oil via the Suez Canal, oil companies are not going to appreciate all that anxiety and uncertainty.

That could lead to higher oil prices, even if nothing major happens, and therefore higher gas prices.

It’s doubtful the Egyptian army would want it’s own budget to lose a billion dollars a year, but Tamarod could turn on the army if the protest referendum gets enough signatures. In addition, the next civilian government in Egypt could implement these plans.

In short, this is another twist in the Egyptian political crisis. And it’s not good for Israel, the US, or you.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, August 18, 2013)

What do you think?