United States House of Representatives
Egypt/Israel Peace Treaty Should NOT Be a Model for Future Agreements
March 31, 2009
Mr. Speaker: I rise in reluctant opposition to H Res 282. I do so not because I oppose our recognizing peace as preferable to, and more productive than, war. On the contrary, too seldom do we celebrate and encourage the end of violence and warfare on this Floor so I welcome any such endorsement of peace in international relations. However, I cannot agree with the final “resolved” clause of this resolution, which states that:
“… the House of Representatives calls for recognition of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel as a model mechanism upon which partner nations may build to overcome longstanding barriers to peace and effective mutual cooperation.”
What the resolution fails to mention, and the reason we should not endorse the treaty as a model, is that at the time the peace was being negotiated at Camp David the United States committed itself to an enormous financial aid package to both Egypt and Israel in exchange for their accession to the treaty. Over the past thirty years, the United States taxpayer has transferred to – some might say “bribed” – Israel and Egypt well over 100 billion dollars as a payoff for their leaders’ signature on the treaty. Particularly in this time of economic hardship, where so many Americans are out of work and facing great financial challenges, I hardly believe we should be celebrating that which increases the strain on taxpayers. I believe we should cease all foreign aid to all countries, as it is a counterproductive and unconstitutional transfer of wealth from US taxpayers to governments overseas.
I do believe we should, where possible and without meddling, encourage nations and regions at war or in conflict to work toward peace. But I also believe we should lead by example: that we should demonstrate by our actions the benefits of friendly relations and trade with all nations which seek the same. I strongly oppose the idea that we should bribe the rest of the world to do what we demand. Therefore, while I celebrate the achievement of peace between Egypt and Israel, I do not believe this “model” to be productive or in the best interests of the United States. I urge my colleagues to reject this resolution.
(emphasis added by editor)