You can read and see many things in the American mass media, but there is one thing you will never find: what Israel wants from a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Either this information is omitted entirely and only Palestinian demands are mentioned or, at most, it is said to be something mysterious.
And yet nothing could be more easily ascertained. There is an official Israeli peace plan, approved by the government in July 2009. To ensure that violence and instability really cease, Israel wants and needs the following, as presented in that plan:
• Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Without this step, the aftermath of any peace agreement would be more decades of Arab effort to destroy Israel in all but name.
• Absolute clarity that a peace agreement ends the conflict and all claims on Israel. Otherwise, the Palestinian leadership and much of the Arab world would regard any agreement as a license for a new stage of battle using Palestine as a base for attacks and demands.
• Strong security arrangements and serious international guarantees for those arrangements. Have no doubt—these will be tested by cross-border attacks from Palestine.
• A demilitarized Palestinian state that will retain the large security forces already in place; enough for internal security and legitimate defense but not aggression.
• Palestinian refugees resettled only in the new Palestinian state. The Palestinian demand for a “right of return” to Israel is just a rationale for wiping Israel off the map through internal subversion and civil war.
Now that does not sound so unreasonable, does it? Nor does it sound as if Netanyahu or the current government (which includes the Labor Party, the main party of the left) are right wing or reject a two-state solution.