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Kerry fears Hamas cooties

I see that American officials in Israel are outraged that U.N. staffers had the temerity to hand John Kerry, who was touring Gaza recently, a letter purportedly from Hamas to U.S. President Barack Obama. And the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman himself has now caught the vapors: Kerry turned the letter over to the U.S. ...

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US Senator John Kerry (R) visits on February 19, 2009 the destroyed American International School in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, that was bombed during Israel's 22-day offensive on the Palestinain enclave. Kerry made a rare visit to the war-ravaged Gaza Strip, but stressed this did not reflect a change of policy towards the territory's Islamist rulers listed by Washington as a terror group. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

I see that American officials in Israel are outraged that U.N. staffers had the temerity to hand John Kerry, who was touring Gaza recently, a letter purportedly from Hamas to U.S. President Barack Obama. And the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman himself has now caught the vapors:

Kerry turned the letter over to the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem on Friday and his spokesman told FOX News that the Democratic senator was not aware that the letter was from Hamas when he accepted it from an official with the U.N. relief agency.

Kerry told FOX News that he never read the letter because it was sandwich among other promotional papers the U.N. gave him. A State Department official confirmed to FOX News that it was from Hamas and is now under review.

A potential concern was whether such a letter would violate the United States’ policy toward Hamas. Obama has said his administration will not engage in diplomatic talks with Hamas unless the group renounces terrorism and affirms Israel’s right to exist.

This is all rather silly. What’s the harm in accepting a letter? There’s no obligation to do anything with the information. And shouldn’t U.S. officials at least be interested to see what Hamas, or those claiming to be its representatives, have to say? Even if its clear that Hamas has no intention of recognizing Israel anytime soon, this policy of pretending that the group doesn’t exist — even as it steadly takes over the Palestinian territories — is completely baffling to me.

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

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