Do As I Say, Not As I Do

From the Mail and Guardian comes the news that the Bush administration is urging Arab governments to fund Hamas:

The United States is urging Arab states to continue funding a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, even though Washington is threatening to cut its own aid. Western diplomats said on Monday that President George Bush’s administration has already contacted Arab governments that give the Palestinian Authority support and requested them to continue their funding.

The US position behind the scenes contrasts with its public stance, in which Bush has said he will cut aid to the Palestinian Authority unless Hamas renounces violence and stops demanding the destruction of Israel.

The US plea to the Arab world is because it does not want the West Bank and Gaza to descend into chaos as a result of choking off aid. It also fears that if it stops funding the Palestinians, countries such as Iran or Syria could step into the breach, enhancing their image in the Islamic world just as Washington seeks to isolate them.

In other news, Sharon’s Kadima Party officially launched its electoral campaign today.