FT.com / Home UK / UK - Only a deal with Hamas can bring peace to Israel: "Regardless of whether or not Israel's incursion into the Gaza Strip and its massive retaliation against Lebanon achieve its military objectives, one thing is clear. Israel's two-front war has dealt a mortal blow to the 'convergence plan' for the West Bank, the raison d'être of Ehud Olmert's government and Kadima, his ruling party. Three months after its inception, the Israeli government has been left without a political agenda. Oddly enough, only Hamas can save it from prospectless political agony. The case of Hizbollah is different. In Lebanon, it is the credibility of the international community that brokered and legitimised Israel's withdrawal that is at stake.
Disengagement and the dismantling of settlements in the West Bank is a far more formidable task than the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza of Ariel Sharon, former prime minister. But if disengagement in Gaza - a compact strip whose border with Israel was never questioned - ushered in such a state of war, what are the chances that a similar undertaking would succeed in the West Bank? Here, a much more subtle, fluid and ambiguous division of responsibilities with the Hamas government - which has been discarded as a partner - is required."