The International Day of Peace, observed each year on 21 September, is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. The theme for this year's Day is "Youth for Peace and Development". We support the International Day of Peace and see the Arc as a tangible example of the important link that exists between peace and development. What's more, the Essay Contest we are currently hosting for college students from around the world provides an opportunity for young people to participate meaningfully in the global debate about Middle East peace.
Project Updates and Related News
$1,000 prize available for the student who writes the strongest memo arguing for the inclusion of the Arc in Middle East Peace Talks
Friends of the Arc announces a $1,000 prize for the best essay by a college or graduate student, in the form of a policy brief to President Barack Obama, on the topic of the usefulness of RAND Corporation’s Arc concept for the current Middle East negotiations. Submissions should respond to the following prompt:
With the resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, many observers doubt that more purely political discussions will finally produce a comprehensive peace settlement; they suggest that some paradigm-changing idea is needed to break the deadlock. You have been asked to brief President Obama about the Arc project. Prepare a policy brief making the case that the Arc plan is just such a compelling idea, and that with U.S. support, it could help negotiators achieve a breakthrough for peace.
Submissions are due October 8, 2010, at 6 pm ET and should be no more than 1,000 words in length. Before crafting their submissions, participants should view the 30-minute Arc video and other resources at www.friendsofthearc.org. College and graduate students from any country are eligible to apply.
The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and will be featured on our website. FOTA reserves the right to post all essays on its website and to send one or more to President Obama. For all competition details, please visit www.friendsofthearc.org/essaycontest
In a recent post at the Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan asks his readers to, "Imagine what the $8 billion thrown into corrupt hands in Iraq could accomplish in Palestine." This morning, Christopher Tucker took up Sullivan's challenge in a Huffington Post piece:
"Sullivan is right to ask his readers to imagine what $8 billion could buy, and the Arc demonstrates what such an imaginative exercise can produce: a powerful and inspiring vision not only of the infrastructure for a successful Palestinian state, but of a new path to help reach the long-sought peace that must accompany it.
In a review of the Arc in Foreign Affairs, Carl Brown writes:
It offers a model of the most efficient settlement and transportation configuration for this small and densely populated land. It is one of those rare planning documents, enriched with comparative data and meaningful illustrations, that both instructs and persuades.