- People are born with certain inalienable rights;
- Among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and
- People consent to government in order to protect these rights,
If so, then Hamas can always torpedo a truce between the Palestinians and the Israelis, at least so long as Arab governments, including the PA, continue to use hatred of the Jews to distract their people from their own failure to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If demography is really the Palestinian's friend, then Hamas can win, or at least convince itself that it can win, simply by preventing peace until such time as the Palestinians so greatly outnumber the Israelis that Israel's position becomes untenable. Of course, by preventing peace Hamas also keeps the Palestinians poor, so it's a self-reinforcing cycle.
So what can Israel do? It can decide to simply absorb the rocket attacks. This is, in fact, what it decides periodically, until the burden on its populace becomes too great. Since I think that this is an immoral abrogation of the basic responsibilities of government, I'm less than happy with this tactic.
It can wipe out Hamas. I'm generally skeptical of the "fighting terror only creates martyrs and recruits" argument. Al Qaeda has found that we can make enough martyrs to limit the number of recruits, or at least prevent them from doing anything constructive with the recruits they do get. But the Israelis, who have been calling and texting people living near their targets and telling them to seek shelter, including members of Hamas, are not willing to do what it takes to wipe out a popular movement mixed into a civilian population. This is another indication that, contrary to most people's expectations, the US -- following the Declaration of Independence -- is more ruthless than the Israelis.
The other possible solution is OJ's argument that the Israelis should let Hamas govern, with the expectation that it will fail. This is similar to the Anbar Awakening, in which seeing the future that AQ was trying to bring about up close and personal drove the Sunnis into alliance with us. The problem with this is two-fold. First, Hamas already has some experience delivering social and civil services. Second, whenever Hamas gets in trouble with the people, all it need do is lob a few rockets into Israel, leaving us back where we started.
There is another solution, of course. The federal government owns or managers 86% of the land in Nevada, some 61 million acres. Israel is less than 5.5 million acres. Let them make another desert bloom.