The unspeakable tragedy that unfolded in the sixth Israel-Arab war should force us to focus on what peace might look like. The building blocs are clear, but they are threatened particularly by those who stop thinking when it is most needed. The building blocs are:
 The UN Resolution 194 and UN Security Council 242, demanding the return of Palestinians who so want, and the withdrawal of Israel to the borders before the June 1967 war.
 The resolution by the Palestine National Council of 15 November 1988, thereby accepting a two state solution.
 The proposal by Saudi Arabia in 2002 that Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders in exchange for recognition by all Arab states.
Putting the building blocs in place we get two states side by side, with East Jerusalem and most of the West Bank reverting to Palestine (Israel has already withdrawn from Gaza), the Golan Heights to Syria, and some minor border problems solved, sometimes through creative adjustments. No big revolution. Only common sense.
But there are also minimum and maximum demands on both sides.
Palestine has three minimum, non-negotiable demands:
– a Palestinian state in line with  and  above, with
– East Jerusalem as the capital, and
– the right of return – as a right, numbers to be negotiated.
Israel has two minimum, non-negotiable demands:
– recognition of the Jewish state, Israel,
– within secure borders
All five goals are legitimate, and compatible.
The Palestinian legitimacy rests on continued residence, and the Jewish legitimacy on territorial attachment in their cultural narratives, and their residence in the past. It does not rest on their suffering at German and European hands. Any territorial bill on that basis would have to be placed at the feet of Germany.
The demands are compatible because they can be bridged by a two states solution with the 1967 borders, to be spelt out below.
But there are also maximum goals: an Eretz Israel defined by Genesis between the two rivers Nile and Euphrates (or something in that direction), and on the Palestinian/Arab/Muslim side no Israel at all, erased from the map. Their incompatibility is obvious. But they are also illegitimate. There is more than a de facto basis for a Jewish state, even if never anything with that extension.
How strong are the maximum demands? A major tragedy is that the war strengthened the maximalists, not only the "hatred". On the Israeli side some will feel the borders cannot be far enough out, at least where disarmament of anyone hostile to Israel is concerned. And their numbers were increasing by the days and weeks of war. On the Arab/Muslim side some will feel that the solution to Israel is no Israel at all; their numbers no doubt also increasing.
The two maximalist positions are emotionally and intellectually satisfying, being simple, easy to understand. And spell nothing but endless war. The Arabs have to accept some Israel state, but not the overextended, belligerent state of today. And the Jews have to understand that settler colonialism and occupation and continued expansion will never bring Israel secure borders. The road to security passes through peace. There is no road to peace that passes through security in the sense of eliminating people-supported Hezbollah and democratically elected Hamas. What perhaps might work against smaller and less firmly rooted groups will no longer work.
And new groups will be coming up all the time. Governments may be bribed or threatened into acquiescence, people never. Israel is supported by increasingly hesitant Western governments, some of them out of settler colonialist solidarity: USA, UK, Australia. Palestine is supported by the Arab and Muslim worlds. Maybe 1.3 billion and increasing, as against 0.3 billion and decreasing.
Hence, an in-between peace position must be made equally compelling. There is the 1967 possible meeting point, with mutually agreeable revisions, and the idea of two states with capitals in a Jerusalem that could become a confederation of two cities, East and West. But two demands still have to be met: the Israeli demand for security and the Palestinian for the right of some, limited, return.
However, Arab recognition is only a necessary, not sufficient condition for positive peace. Sovereign states may recognize each other and still go to war. They must be woven together in a web of positive interdependence making sustainable peace desirable to both.
Since Israel wants secure borders, why not focus on the border countries, Lebanon, Syria, a recognized Palestine, Jordan and Egypt? Imagine the five border countries and Israel start considering a Middle East Community, along the lines of the European Community, as a major carrier of sustainable peace in the region? Using the highly successful formula that accommodated Germany to accommodate Israel?