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      Ex-Chief of Staff Mofaz Urges US to Halt Military Aid to Egypt

      Former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz calls on the Obama administration to halt all military aid to Egypt. “US policy is increasingly irrelevant.”
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 2/9/2011, 1:36 PM / Last Update: 2/9/2011, 2:11 PM

      The Obama administration should “immediately” halt all military aid to Egypt and neighboring countries, former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz told the Herzliya Conference Wednesday morning.

      He also termed American policy in the Middle East “weaker than ever” and that it is seen as increasingly irrelevant. "It is too early to estimate the extent of damage that [American] policies have caused in the face of the crisis in Egypt,” he added.

      Mofaz is also a former Defense Minister and currently is chairman of the powerful Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee.

      “I call on the United States to suspend immediately the military aid given to Egypt and other countries in the area and to convert it to civilian assistance, and condition the aid on improving the quality of life for civilians in this area, he declared.”

      The United States gives Egypt approximately $1.5 billion military aid every year, the largest amount to any country in the Middle East outside of Israel. Cairo has received more than $25 billion in military aid the past four decades.

      Mofaz openly questioned American-Israeli ties

      Following the Obama administration’s fence-sitting during the beginning of the crisis threatening Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and then coming out four-square for a change in the government, concerns have been raised among Jews in Israel and the Diaspora over the future of America’s friendship with Israel.

      The White House earlier this week tried to calm fears, saying that the close ties are unbreakable.

      However, Mofaz is not satisfied. 

      “Israel needs the support of the United States without reservation in order to achieve peace,” he declared. “Israel needs to re-examine the true readiness of the [Obama] administration to stand behind it commitment to the governments of Israel and the extent of its willingness to honor its obligations that were achieved in strategic dialogues between the two countries.

      “The United States must clearly define, without vacillating,” its relation to the Middle East, he added.