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.