Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bending Toward Justice

If President Obama is looking for a way to excite us with an American vision for a Palestinian state--one that can be started on even before core issues are (entirely) resolved, and which implies what is plausible about peaceful integration with Israel and Jordan--he could do worse than publicly get behind the RAND Corporation's ARC project, which has been refined significantly since its introduction four years ago. Largely the brainchild of urban planner Doug Suisman and RAND's own Ross Anthony, and promoted tirelessly by Chicago attorney Art Winter (all of whom I am proud to call friends), the ARC is a design for a transportation and basic infrastructure corridor which, as I suggested in The Hebrew Republic's conclusion, mirrors the Beersheva to Haifa/Galilee transportation arc on the Israeli side.

The current proposal skirts still contentious issues, such as the status of East Jerusalem, and the plausibility of building as long as Area C remains entirely in Israeli hands. But I defy you to watch this short video and think about the state the same way again.

5 comments:

Leonard said...

The ARC project is part of larger Rand proposal, How to Build a Successful Palestinian State, first presented in 2005, and largely ignored. It's the most exciting and most hopeful possibility around. Much thanks for putting it out there.

Leonard Beerman

Potter said...

The New York Times did a big spread on this at the time.The headline (promoted by Rand) was that this is for the day after peace because obviously peace is needed to realize it. Meron Benvenisti, my favorite cynic, called this a fable for adults. But I am buying it as very exciting and having the ability in this apparently long still visionary stage to be transformative.

It shows, like the Geneva Initiative, that where there is a will there is a way, that there are solutions to so called insurmountable problems. It also proves once again that it takes an artist's mind, a "beginner's mind", to come up with solutions when those more deeply involved can see only the roadblocks. The blocks and solutions to peace are real, though, and really psychological, in hearts and minds, not so much physical/geographical.

People don't look forward for fear of the unknown- they find more comfort in looking backward even clutching at past horrors. But if the future can be made to look alluring, as this plan does- then maybe people will more and more hook onto it, and let go of their neuroses. Evolution is happening but it is excruciatingly slow. In the last five years since this was proposed have we gotten beyond nodding heads?

The Day After Peace:Designing Palestine

Bella said...

A lovely dream, an incredible video -- makes me what to live there. But the Palestinians have always been against practical solutions that would make everyday life better. And how would Hamas take to subsuming their grand plan under this master plan?

hammeruk14 said...

Well will Obama really get behind and support this and will the settlers et al (those who support their cause politically) actually allow this to happen?

I think this in principle is great and would be embraced by Palestinians. Is there any such feedback from Palestinian groups on all sides on the "ARC" project.

I do love the Torah/Biblical/Quranic references!

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