Recent events between the Israeli military and Hamas in Gaza Strip have brought me back to 2006, sitting in evening lectures given by a very intelligent professor named Kenneth Fuellhardt. The class was Cultural Geography, one that I mistakenly thought was required for my major. It was, in fact, one of those good mistakes, for this class was the most fascinating 3 hours a week in my educational career.
In it, the main theme was the difference between states and nations. A nation is, simply put, a group of people sharing common beliefs, traditions, culture, language, etc. A state is just an arbitrary political boundary around a given land mass. America, by definition, would be a nationless state, while Kurdistan is a stateless nation. Israel is a perfect example of a nation state.
These two terms, often, are used synonymously, yet this does such an awful disservice. For the difference between them is vast, and the sooner world leaders become aware of this fact, the better off the world will be.