Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing for the West to adopt a new “Marshall Plan” for the Egyptian economy in order for the coup to succeed. He is being backed by US Republican Senator Rand Paul in his efforts. If successful, Netanyahu will regard the burying of the democratic process in the neighbouring country as the achievement of one of his most important strategic objectives.
The original Marshall Plan was America’s way of helping to rebuild Europe after the Second World War to stem the tide of revolutionary liberation. According to Maariv newspaper, Netanyahu’s plan proposes significant economic growth in the Arab world in order to prevent “radical” Islamic groups from rising to power.
The deputy head of Israel’s National Security Council, Eran Lerman, has been pushing the plan in recent meetings in Washington with Congress members. Netanyahu himself suggested such a plan during his own recent visit to the US; finance for the scheme would come from private sources, he claimed. The prime minister believes that Arab countries should be encouraged to have stable democracies free of Iranian influence and that the international community should work towards that objective. Maariv’s report claims that the Israeli officials are looking at possible funding for the project to come from Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Netanyahu hopes that his plan would see the emergence of a new Arab middle class, presumably more ready to do business with Israel. His thinking follows the logic behind US Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposal for massive financial investment in the occupied West Bank to boost the Palestinian Authority’s standing. “The capitalist West thinks that throwing ever more money at a problem will solve it,” said MEMO’s Senior Editor Ibrahim Hewitt. “The natural aspiration of a people to be free of economic, political and military occupation doesn’t register with Western governments for whom economic growth is the Holy Grail.”
The newspaper pointed out that the Israeli government is also preparing to ask the US Department of Defence for an increase in military aid on the pretext of potential threats from the popular uprisings in the Arab region.