ACTION ALERT: No US Gifts to Egypt to Buy US Arms

September 27th, 2023 - by Sara Haghdoosti / Win Without War

Egyptian president Abdel-Fatah al Sisi

Act Now to Say US Foreign Policy Isn’t Pay-to-Play!
Sara Haghdoosti / Win Without War

(September 26, 2023) — A groundbreaking indictment contains allegations that Senator Menendez accepted bribes — hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gold bars — to advance the interests of a known human rights abuser.

For YEARS, activists and human rights groups have questioned and challenged US military aid to the Egyptian government under president Abdel-Fatah al Sisi, which looks like up to $1.3 BILLION in “foreign military financing” annually.

Congress could have turned off the funding stream at multiple opportunities — and we now know at least one reason they didn’t: Senator Menendez, as the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair, allegedly worked behind the scenes to keep the funds flowing.

Recent funds include an additional $235 MILLION that the Biden administration greenlit to Egypt earlier this month. With just days left in the fiscal year, those tainted hundreds of millions of dollars could slip through — and send a troubling signal that the US government is open for pay-to-play.

That is, unless activists like you, who believe in justice and accountability, speak up now. With Senator Cardin — who has questioned military aid to Egypt in the past — stepping in as Chair on Senate Foreign Relations we have a unique opportunity to remind the world that US foreign policy is NOT up to the highest bidder.

Sen. Bob Menendez chairs the Foreign Relations Committee.

ACTION: Tell Congress to withhold the remaining
$235 million of “security“ assistance for Egypt

“Foreign military financing” effectively gives foreign governments US-taxpayer-funded grants to buy US-made weapons and military equipment. This “security” assistance enables governments to suppress dissent and ignore human rights in too many countries across the globe — and when it comes to Egypt, abuse by the current government is well documented.

A 2020 report from our own State Department highlighted the Egyptian government’s significant human rights violations, including forced child labor, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, and torture.

Now, add in allegations of a corrupt US Senator who happens to Chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to the story.

Friday’s indictment includes shocking details alleging Senator Menendez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as gold bars in bribes, payments towards his mortgage, and at least one luxury car, all in exchange for using his influence to benefit the Egyptian state. The allegations also include claims he shared sensitive personnel information of US embassy workers in Cairo to the Egyptian government — an act which would potentially not only compromise those workers’ personal safety, but also US national security.

The charges against Menendez reek of corruption and a lack of accountability, but they’re merely the latest in a long line of potential crimes, conflicts of interest, misdeeds, and negligence when it comes to US foreign policy — and we won’t change course by sitting on the sidelines.

Corruption and allegations like these eat away at the very pillars of US foreign policy: justice, accountability, and democratic values.

While calls for Senator Menendez to resign grow, there’s a chance that the ill-gotten gains — hundreds of millions of dollars in US “security” assistance for the Egyptian government— could go through. Voices like yours can help ensure Congress acts fast to withhold the remaining $235 million, and it’s time to speak out!

ACTION: Allegations that Senator Menendez took bribes to greenlight “security” assistance are cause for alarm — and action. Call on Congress to withhold funding slated for Egypt now.

Building a world where US foreign policy isn’t up for the highest bidder won’t be easy, but together, we’re resetting a failed status quo of US foreign policy that prolongs war and human suffering worldwide.

Thank you for working for peace,
Sara, Eric, Shayna, and the Win Without War team