Even better: Mandela, Annan may join Carter for meeting with Hamas

Speculate away: Whose idea was it to bring them on board? Their own? Carter’s and/or the Democrats’, seeking to use them as human shields from criticism in much the same way that Pelosi was planning to exploit Tom Lantos’s Holocaust experience for her proposed trip to Iran? Or is this an official production of The Elders&#153? How cynical I was in hindsight to have described them last year as a “repository of Absolute Moral Authority, whose periodic diktats will be received warmly by the left not necessarily for their wisdom but as a benediction for whatever cause it is they’re weighing in on.” I only hope they invite fellow Elder&#153 Mary Robinson along, as her credentials from having presided over the anti-Israel lollapalooza that was the Durban Conference are impeccable.

The Al Jazeera report makes a basic point I omitted in the Carter post last night, that talking to Hamas isn’t necessarily a costless endeavor: If you think, as local Arab leaders do, that it’s important to bolster Abbas’s leadership if only because his Islamist tendencies are less pronounced than Hamas’s, then this meeting is entirely counterproductive. Look for the quote from Colin Powell too, whose own invitation to join the Elders must surely be in the mail. Exit question: Does the man responsible for ending apartheid in South Africa really want to make nice with a group whose founding document makes destroying another country an element of its preamble? Follow the link if you’ve never read the Hamas charter and pick through it. It’s the jihadi articles (11, 13, 15) that get most of the attention but don’t overlook Articles 22 and 28, where the Nazi rhetoric really comes into full flower. Click the image to watch.