One need not be a scholar to understand the folly of John Quigley’s Aug. 17 op-ed favoring cessation of American military aid to Egypt. As an ardent supporter of Palestinian nationalism, he informs us that the Camp David agreement, which laid the basis for the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement, ending three decades of open Israeli-Arab warfare and persistent nuclear tensions between the Cold War superpowers, “has been disastrous for the cause of peace in the Middle East.”
Although one may question Israel’s commitment to Palestinian statehood, negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, whose leadership was once vocally committed to Israel’s destruction, have effectively abrogated Israel’s international legal claim to the West Bank and Gaza. These moves, however motivated, have been considerably less disastrous for regional peace than renewed interstate war.
Quigley’s piece, rather, is little more than thinly veiled nostalgia for a violent past of imagined Arab unity to which no sane person would return. One may as well wish the United States had canceled the Marshall Plan to facilitate a return to a time when Germans were determined to liberate Alsace-Lorraine from French occupation. There are many reasonable arguments for canceling aid to Egypt, but Quigley’s is not among them.
Taub Center for Israel Studies, New York University
(Editor’s note: Zellman is a Spokane native.)