The act of creating a state, much like creating a work of art, is a process replete with hope that often concludes in the artist’s disappointment.
Like any other state, or man-made creation for that matter, Israel has not embodied the exact hope of its creators. In its short time in existence, it has suffered through poor policies and irreconcilable decisions. Its leaders have been flawed with human passions and beliefs. It has endured the cycles all developing countries experience. In spite of its failings, it has also managed to achieve an array of accomplishments beyond even the hopes of its founders. From barren desert, both metropolises and forests have sprouted. Companies ranging from Intel to Teva Pharmaceuticals have developed business facilities within this small state. It has become a “city upon a hill” for both gay and women’s rights in the Middle East. Advances in fields ranging from medicine to environmental conservation to innovative technology have been birthed and shared globally by the best minds of Israel.
Palestine, in its intangible spirit, will be a state for the Palestinians that shall provide for a multitude of opportunities. Ramallah and Gaza City will follow in the paths of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and become booming technological capitals, constantly producing stunning advancements. The Palestinian people will be able to experience a rational sense of national pride. All those who choose will feel a sense of comfort and safety within Palestine. It will join the ranks of the greatest democracies in the world. Unfortunately, for now this is only a dream.
A Palestinian state today would be marred by a dichotomy of governance ranging from the Palestinian Authority, a moderate actor, to Hamas, a terrorist group that calls for the destruction of Israel and the elimination of the Jewish people. More importantly, there is no united call for peace. There are a majority who simply want to live their lives without threat; sadly, they are silenced by an irrational minority who only want to see blood flowing through the streets. The state would inevitably collapse unto itself; and with it would come the destruction of any hope for a Palestinian future. No artist would deign to create such a work. Nonetheless, there is hope, if we employ the past few months as a jumping board for progress: and not as an anchor.
Let us use this time of coalescence from another war to progress as a global people. Let us engender discussion that does not result in irrational theory, militant outcries, and even deplorable violence. Let us expand our knowledge and our horizons. Let us not rely on the same sources and flawed arguments; expand from hugging Electronic Intifada and The Times of Israel as if they were both gospel. Let us realize that we can unite in the hope that one day Israel and Palestine will benefit from one another. Let today be the day that rationality triumphs over bedlam. Let the day come that the relationship between Israel and Palestine becomes the model for future state relationships.
An artist’s final work will often disappoint; nonetheless, disappointment does not indicate failure. Israel is, and hopefully one day, Palestine, will be, the proof.
Pollack and Jacobs are members of the class of 2016; Fraiman is a member of the class of 2015; Vitrebi is a member of the class of 2017.