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Sunday
Jan232011

Jewish Journal Covers the Arc Win

Now that the Arc has won international plaudits, most recently at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, members of the Jewish community continue to affirm the “innovative master plan for a Palestinian state.” These were the words of Rob Eshman, a blogger on JewishJournal.com, as he praised the Arc’s growing prominence. In addition to celebrating the various features of the Arc such as its elegant simplicity, sustainable design, and potential economic benefits for the region, Eshman underscores perhaps one of the best features about the Arc: its price tag. As he puts it, the Arc is estimated to cost “about the same amount the international community pays to keep the peace in Bosnia—over $700 per person per year,” so why shouldn’t the U.S. and its partners invest at least the same amount to help end what has been the most pernicious conflict in modern history?

 

Eshman also points out that one of the original donors for RAND corporation’s research on the Arc project was a Jewish businessman named Guilford Glazer. Why was Glazer interested in such research? Though Israel’s concerns have long been security-related, Israelis and the Jewish community in general understand that their security depends on the viability of a future Palestinian state; thus, it is in Israel’s best interest to ensure that Palestine is a stable, prosperous state rather than a hotbed for radicalism.

 

The Arc would further jump-start Palestine’s economy, provide immediate and plentiful job opportunities for Palestinians, and serve as a sustainable means to connect all Palestinian cities into a coherent national unit. We don’t have to wait for a comprehensive “grand bargain” between Israel and Palestine—we can begin building the Arc now. As international support mounts and as the Jewish community begins to back the plan, we must now urge American leaders to take concrete action to bring the Arc to life.

 

Please join Friends of the Arc in congratulating Suisman Urban Design for their win, and take this moment to email your friends about this amazing accomplishment.  Please have them join us on Facebook and Twitter.  And please help raise awareness about how the Arc could catalyze peace, prosperity and security in the Middle East.



Wednesday
Jan122011

Parag Khanna Calls for the Arc

Author Parag Khanna Calls for the Arc’s Implementation in His New Book – “How to Run the World – Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance” which was just released on January 11th, and now available for download at Amazon.  Further, Khanna, has said in his recent article in Foreign Policy:

 

“Palestine needs the RAND Corporation’s proposed “Arc” of road and rail corridors to link the West Bank and Gaza into an integrated unit.  While the White House remains obsessed with “security guarantees” that rest on empty or short-lived gestures of goodwill, it should instead be focused on infrastructure, which is the pre-requisite to peaceful co-existence rather than an afterthought. Nation-building is as much physical as institutional; independence without infrastructure is impossible.”

 

See Khanna today at his book launch at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC and ask him about the Arc.  Or see him tonight at Politics and Prose.

 

Help urge other thought leaders who are big supporters of the Arc concept to go on the record.  Forward this to blog post to them, and ask them to join us on Facebook and Twitter.  But, also, please help raise awareness about how the Arc could catalyze peace, prosperity and security in the Middle East, and send to all your friends and colleagues.

Tuesday
Jan112011

Sometimes, It Takes Persistent Work to Prepare for a Fleeting Moment

Jim Thomson, President/CEO of RAND Corporation, recently posted his thoughts on  RAND's Middle East research in general with special focus on the Arc project, putting the project’s current momentum in historical context.  Friends of the Arc agrees with Mr. Thomson.  RAND, as one of the most esteemed, non-partisan think tanks, has a long history of research that benefits both national security and civil society.  The Arc, which offers peace, prosperity and security for Palestine and Israel demonstrates the best of RAND.  All of the hard work put into the development of the Arc concept has prepared us for exactly the kind of policy window that has opened up right now.  Read more on Thomson’s thoughts here.  Help spread the word about the Arc, and encourage your friends and colleagues to become a Friend of the Arc on Facebook!

Sunday
Nov072010

The Arc Wins “Future Project of the Year” at the 2010 World Architecture Festival 

Last week Suisman Urban Design and its Palestinian Arc project were awarded first prize for “Best Future Project” at the 2010 World Architecture Festival. The festival is the world’s largest international architectural competition and, according to the U.K’s Independent newspaper, “the world’s biggest architectural event.”

Doug Suisman accepting the 2010 Future Project of the Year award in Barcelona The Arc won over 235 projects that were shortlisted from 55 countries at this year’s event held in Barcelona. The Swedish magazine Arkitektur reported, “The greatest jubilation in the festival hall was heard when the winner in the category of 'Future projects - master planning' was presented. Winner Suisman Urban Design, in its Arc project for Palestine, has produced a stunning vision of infrastructure for a future Palestinian state.” The three judges – from the U.S., England, and China - were unanimous in their decision. They concluded: “The Arc excels in translating a complex context into a clear and powerful diagram...it is rigorous, practical, and believable...an example of architecture and masterplanning helping to promote a political solution.”

This award and the enthusiasm with which the Arc's success was greeted by a group of leading architects, architecture critics and urban planners further demonstrates the power of the Arc vision and its ability to inspire people to believe that a future Palestinian state living in peace, prosperity and security with Israel is possible. We believe that the Arc represents the best avenue towards a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, by first building the integrated infrastructure necessary for peace, prosperity and security, and by providing the stakeholders and the larger world community with a tangible vision of a viable, prosperous Palestinian state.

The Arc project includes calls for action that can be started now. 100, 300, and 1000 day plans have been presented that allow for rapid implementation, and real-world impacts in short timeframes.  The Arc project would create over 160,000 jobs for Palestinians, directly contributing to an upward spiral of prosperity. 

Please join Friends of the Arc in congratulating Suisman Urban Design for their win, and take this moment to email your friends about this amazing accomplishment.  Please have them join us on Facebook and Twitter.  And please help raise awareness about how the Arc could catalyze peace, prosperity and security in the Middle East.

Friday
Nov052010

Palestinian Ministry of Transport and RAND Corporation Take Next Steps Toward Infrastructure Planning

While the world is paying close attention to Prime Minister Fayyad’s efforts to lay the institutional groundwork for a Palestinian state, his efforts to lay the physical infrastructure for a new Palestinian state have received less attention in the press.  Yet, while peace talks stall, progress continues towards the realization of the Arc concept of a national infrastructure plan for an integrated and prosperous Palestine.  The Palestinian Ministry of Transportation recently signed a Letter of Intent with the RAND Corporation to move forward on the planning of a national transportation master plan and announced this progress on their website in a Arabic language press release.  An English translation of this press release can be found here.  These are exciting times, and this progress is illustrative of the power of the Arc vision, even in the face of another round of collapsed peace negotiations.  Peace and security cannot be achieved without prosperity.  And, prosperity cannot be achieved in Palestine without first laying the infrastructure needed to support it.  The Obama administration could make a dramatic move towards that prosperity by throwing its weight behind the Arc. 

Palestinian Ministry of Transport and RAND Corporation Take Next Steps Toward Infrastructure Planning