The NYT lays out two options that Israel has for resolving the conflict in Gaza:
Ms. Rice could encourage Israel to increase the strikes against Hamas in the hopes of destroying its leadership in Gaza. But Israel tried that with Hezbollah in Lebanon and failed, leaving Hezbollah leaders to assert when the war was over that they had stood up to Israel.
Ms. Rice’s other alternative — encouraging Israel to negotiate a cease-fire with Hamas — has pitfalls, Middle East experts say, because that would further legitimize Hamas, which the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization. Martin Indyk, the former United States ambassador to Israel, said such a cease-fire would further undermine Mr. Abbas and make it look like Hamas is the entity with which Israel and the West should be negotiating.
My humble suggestion:
c) see a, except for this time negotiate Fatah’s permission to do it…and don’t fail. Hamas doesn’t have 1/2 the credibility or 1/10th the support (right now) as Hezbollah did. Don’t know if this would solve the problems permanently, and am quite sure the media fallout would be bad…for a while. But it really can’t get much worse, and the (b) alternative would be MUCH worse.