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Mr. Carter Goes to Terrorland

As if the Democrats needed another cringe-inducing moment, former President Jimmy Carter is planning to meet with Hamas — the terror organization — which has taken a lead role in attacking Israel.

On an extended middle East jaunt, Carter plans to make stops in Israel, the West Bank, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan — a nine-day trip set to start Sunday. While in Damascus, Carter wants to meet exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.

Hamas has a long list of offenses. It may run a hospital or two, but it is terror through-and-through and a former American president will be seen to be honoring terrorists with what amounts to a diplomatic visit.

The U.S. State Department is trying to dissuade the former president, promising to fulfill its duty to provide logistical support for the trip, but refusing in any way to be involved in the planning of a meeting with the Hamas leader.

Barack Obama has spoken out against the Carter trip. Obama is on the record refusing to meet with Hamas because it is not a recognized government and because it refuses to recognize the right of Israel to exist.

Bill Clinton has said he did not have the greatest relationship with Jimmy Carter, but even with both Clinton and Obama putting distance between themselves and Carter, this ends up making Democrats in general look bad. After all, these are the people who afford Carter so much respect as the party elder, protector of elections and builder of houses for the poor.

Rep. Eric Cantor of Florida, the only Republican in the House who is Jewish, said "This type of meeting will only be misconstrued in the region as a sign of legitimacy for Hamas terrorism."

How can it been seen otherwise?

Perhaps wisdom will prevail and Carter will back off. But frankly, is it his style to bend? Not really. More and more the Israelis feel he is biased toward the Palestinian cause and this is the kind of incident that sets widespread opinion in stone.

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