Last week the United States provided Egypt with four new F-16 fighter jets, considered top-of-the-line military aviation equipment. This action begs the question of whether Egypt deserves such firepower and generosity on behalf of its U.S. counterparts. As expected, the shipment sparked large protests within the pro-Israel community and among the Republican Party. For the most part, these protestors contend that sending such high-tech equipment to Egypt is a breach of friendship with Israel, demanding that the United States not send taxpayer goods to enemies of our friends. However, when looking at the bigger picture, one realizes that Egypt is actually one of Israel's only allies in the region and have earned the generosity and trust of the United States and Israel.
During the Arab Spring, Cairo was chaotic, leaving many to fight for power. This struggle for power put Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood at the helm. This result was unsatisfactory for Americans and Israelis, as they feared an imminent war between Egypt and Israel. Nevertheless, months have passed and peace between the two countries persists. Many like Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) contend that the outdated and misinterpreted rhetoric on behalf of Morsi designates him as an enemy of Israel. In reality, the statements in question were made by Morsi before he took office. Since he has taken office he has toned down the rhetoric and exhibited cooperative and helpful behavior. Morsi used such strong rhetoric to garner support among his radical constituents.
When Morsi took power, his behavior has been consistent with that of an ally of Israel. When war broke out between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, it was Morsi that allowed for an expedited solution and cease-fire to commence. In this case, Morsi could have sided with Hamas and decided to help them militarily as opposed to brokering a cease-fire, yet he did not.
Another example of Morsi's amicable behavior is his willingness to honor the long-standing treaty Egypt has with Israel. If Morsi was actually geared towards the destruction of Israel, like Iran or Hamas, then he would take this opportunity to attack. Yet he did not. This leads rational thinkers to conclude that the rhetoric has passed and reality has set in.
In that reality, peace in the Middle East is contingent upon the cooperation of Egypt and Israel. There is a basis to this relationship, a peace treaty that both sides contend will stay in place. Therefore, the United States must build off this foundation and support both countries. This includes sending aid and assistance to Egypt, just as the United States does with Israel, because Egypt has after all the chaos kept its promises. Instead of focusing on the rhetoric, Gohmert and others of his ilk should focus on Morsi's actions and look ahead to what is best for the region, not what will stir up more trouble and more unwarranted favoritism.