By Caroline B. Glick

As the leadership of Israel and the U.S. lose their collective will to reconcile themselves to the reality of war, it falls on the shoulders of private citizens to tell them that they are wrong

On Sunday Palestinian Hamas Authority Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar was in Teheran meeting with his boss, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad reportedly devoted the meeting to reminding Zahar that jihad is the only path for the Palestinians, and demanding that Hamas redouble its attacks against Israel.

This report tells us little we don’t already know about Hamas and Iran.

Since last year, Hamas leaders Zahar and Khaled Mashaal have been traveling to Iran to meet with Ahmadinejad and commanders of Iranian intelligence and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards units on a monthly, twice-monthly and even weekly basis.

This meeting merely served to remind us what has been clear for months, namely, that Iran today is the leader of the global jihadist axis. More interesting than the meeting is how Iran and Hamas’s chief enemies — the United States and Israel — have responded to the war the Iranian-led jihadist axis is waging against them.

Two words aptly describe the Bush administration and the Olmert government’s responses to the escalating war. They are respectively: appeasement and capitulation.

The Bush administration’s decision to negotiate directly with Iran over the genocidal mullocracy’s race to achieve nuclear capabilities represents the White House’s clearest renunciation of everything that President George W. Bush claims to have been fighting against since the September 11 attacks.

The Iranian regime, with its openly stated intention to annihilate Israel; its active participation in the war against US-led forces in Iraq; its support and sponsorship of other terror forces fighting US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan; its active subversion of pro-Western regimes throughout the Middle East; its support for anti-US regimes and political forces throughout the world; and its race to acquire intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of attacking the continental US, represents everything that Bush pledged to bring down in the aftermath of the attacks on the US five years ago.

THERE HAVE been many attempts to rationalize, justify and excuse the move.

Some say it is a result of political distress. It is hard to see why Bush would think that attempting to appease America’s worst enemy will placate his political support base. But more important than the reasons for his policy reversal are the content and consequences of his new position.

In providing an opening to Teheran, the Bush administration has adopted the policy that former president Jimmy Carter forced down the throat of the Clinton administration in its dealings with the North Korean Stalinists in 1994. Twelve years ago, Carter invited himself to North Korea to “defuse” the crisis the North Koreans had fomented by openly developing nuclear weapons. Since then-president Bill Clinton had no policy for dealing with North Korea, he allowed Carter to negotiate the deal that Bush is now offering Teheran.