The Arab Spring Strikes Again

Today’s Jerusalem Post is reporting that Egypt has terminated its supply of natural gas to Israel. The article reports that a senior Egyptian military official has stated that the deal is not cancelled, but halted because of a business disagreement over the transfer of payments.

A BBC story on the shutoff reported that Egypt supplies around 40 percent of Israel’s natural gas. Israel uses natural gas to generate electricity.

The article at the Jerusalem Posts reports:

“We have no information that the contract has been nullified,” one Foreign Ministry official said.

The official added that if the report was indeed true it would be a “grave development” with ramifications on the normalization of ties between the two countries under the 1979 peace treaty. But, the official added, this was not an agreement between governments, but rather between private companies and the Egyptian government.

Steinitz said he viewed with “deep concern the unilateral Egyptian announcement over terminating the gas deal with Israel, both because of its diplomatic and economic aspects. This is a dangerous precedent that diminishes the peace treaty” between the neighboring countries.

On March 23 the Los Angeles Times reported:

The Obama administration announced Friday that it intends to deliver all $1.3 billion in promised aid to Egypt’s military this year, despite calls from lawmakers and rights advocates to hold back money because of limits on political rights in the North African nation.

It seems to me that if Egypt cuts off the supply of natural gas to Israel, America should immediately cut off all aid to Egypt.

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