THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
January 22, 2006
The Washington Post

U.S. Funds Enter Fray In Palestinian Elections

Bush Administration Uses USAID as Invisible Conduit

by Scott Wilson and Glenn Kessler

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- The Bush administration is spending foreign aid money to increase the popularity of the Palestinian Authority on the eve of crucial elections in which the governing party faces a serious challenge from the radical Islamic group Hamas.

The approximately $2 million program is being led by a division of the U.S. Agency for International Development. But no U.S. government logos appear with the projects or events being undertaken as part of the campaign, which bears no evidence of U.S. involvement and does not fall within the definitions of traditional development work.

U.S. officials say their low profile is meant to ensure that the Palestinian Authority receives public credit for a collection of small, popular projects and events to be unveiled before Palestinians select their first parliament in a decade. . . .

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Enver Masud, "Abu Mazen: Israel's New 'Security Subcontractor'?," The Wisdom Fund, January 6, 2005

Peter Baker, "The Realities of Exporting Democracy," Washington Post, January 25, 2006

Aron Heller, "Israel Ponders Response After Hamas Win," Associated Press, January 26, 2006

Steven Erlanger, "Hamas Routs Ruling Faction, Casting Pall on Peace Process," New York Times, January 27, 2006

"Hamas under pressure to recognise Israel as Fatah protest turns violent," Independent, January 28, 2006

"Hamas stands its ground as West demands change," The Times, January 28, 2006

"Mashaal: Hamas ready to form Palestinian army," Haaretz, January 28, 2006

Jim Muir, "Hamas win sparks soul-searching," BBC News, January 28, 2006

Anatol Lieven, "The Gap Between U.S. Rhetoric and Reality," International Herald-Tribune, January 30, 2006

Khalid Mish'al, "We will not sell our people or principles for foreign aid," Guardian, January 31, 2006

Adam Entous, "Israel halts tax payments to Palestinians," Reuters, February 1, 2006

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Chris McGreal, "Israel unveils plan to encircle Palestinian state," Guardian, February 8, 2006

Laura King, "The Face of Hamas Rule May Not Include Its Own," Los Angeles Times, February 11, 2006

Donald Macintyre, "Israel 'has annexed Jordan Valley and shut out Palestinians'," Independent, February 14, 2006

[The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again--Steven Erlanger, "U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster," New York Times, February 14, 2006]

"Hamas takes power vowing no talks," BBC News, February 18, 2006

[Senior figures linked to the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government took part in two days of talks in Texas. The meeting was chaired by Edward Djerejian, 65, a former US ambassador to Israel and Syria, who was briefed by the US State Department before it began.--Uzi Mahnaimi, "US holds secret talks to weaken Hamas," Sunday Times, February 19, 2006]

Scott Wilson, "Israeli Cabinet Freezes Funds," Washington Post, February 20, 2006

Leonard Doyle, "Israeli 'ruler-in-waiting' plans to starve Hamas," Independent, March 2, 2006

["They are not asking anything of Israel, that they recognise the 1967 borders or even the choice of the Palestinian people [in January's election].--Chris McGreal, " IsHamas leader accuses west of hypocrisy over threat to withhold cash," Guardian, March 8, 2006]

Jimmy Carter, "Colonization of Palestine Precludes Peace," Independent, March 9, 2006

[Israel exists and Hamas1s recognition or non-recognition neither adds to nor detracts from that irrefutable fact. But 40 years after the 1967 war, a Palestinian state does not exist. The politically consequential question, therefore, is whether Israel recognises a Palestinian right to statehood, not the reverse.--Henry Siegman, "The issue is not whether Hamas recognises Israel ," Financial Times, June 7, 2006]

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