I’ve noticed that in perusing the web for news, information and opinion about the Mideast conflict, there are many individual sites. But there are few sites which act as a compendium or directory for all the others. So to answer this need, I’ve compiled a comprehensive (well, as comprehensive as possible) list of online American Jewish and Israeli resources devoted to Mideast peace. I’ve created three sections: one devoted to organizations; one to weblogs and the last to media and research resources. No such list as this can be truly comprehensive. Organizations may have been left out unintentionally. Organizations whose mission appears anti-Zionist have also been omitted. If you feel I have left out a significant peace resource, please let me know (and include a URL) and I will add it.
Now that I have this megaphone I’d like to note two serious deficiencies in the online Mideast peace community:
1. Why aren’t there more bloggers blogging on Mideast peace in a sustained fashion? I would like to compile a list of all such bloggers and I know the list below only scratches the surface. If you know of other blogs devoted to peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians let me know. I would also urge every blogger interested in the subject to cross link to the blogs listed below so that we can mutually strengthen traffic to our sites and the peace message we espouse.
2. While several organizations below maintain forums at their site for discussion of the conflict, few attract a broad membership. Mideast Web’s forum membership, composed mostly of Jews, sustains a high level of invective and vitriol (at least that was so when I was briefly a member a year ago or so–the site owner tells me that this is no longer the case). The Middle East Information Center’s forum members, from a mix of ethnic and religious backgrounds, run the gamut from anti-Zionists to hard-right pro-Israel hacks. Charlie Rose’s website also maintains a discussion board with a Mideast Peace section. The New York TImes.com website also has a Mideast Forum. But a number of these forums contain a coterie of young, male, testosterone-enhanced hard-right members who seem to enjoy verbally intimidating anyone who advocates strongly on behalf of Mideast peace.
I’ve proposed to several peace organizations (Brit Tzedek V’Shalom was one of them) that they initiate such a project. But none have been willing or interested in doing so. In none of the forums I’ve visited have I found serious, in-depth analysis and interchange concerning the conflict (Tikkun is the exception here, though its discussion groups are based around pre-formulated topics and members cannot create new discussion topics). Speaking as someone who spends a good deal of time on the web, I’d like to be able to communicate with likeminded people regarding a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I regret to say that “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
Mideast Peace Organizations
The Abraham Fund Initiatives:
A New York and Jerusalem-based non-governmental organization working to advance coexistence, equality and cooperation among Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.
American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam:
The American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam is dedicated to dialogue, cooperation and a genuine and durable peace between Arabs and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis by encouraging, supporting and publicizing the projects of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, the “Oasis of Peace.”
Americans for Peace Now [APN]:
Founded to help Shalom Achshav and to build an informed and empowered pro-peace American public
With voices calling for vengeance louder than the voices calling for reconciliation–Brit Shalom/Tahalof Essalam – the Jewish-Palestinian Peace Alliance: an organisation by Jews and Palestinians, undertakes systematic, informed, serious, persistent and efficient activity for peace.
Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace:
National organization of American Jews deeply committed to Israel’s well-being through the achievement of a negotiated settlement to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories documents and educates the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combats the denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and helps create a human rights culture in Israel.
Find Common Ground:
Seattle-based interfaith group which recently hosted a well-attended University of Washington symposium with Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh.
Foundation for Middle East Peace:
Dedicated to informing Americans about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and assisting in a peaceful solution that brings security for both peoples.
Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal drafted by Yossi Beilin, Amram Mitzna, Yasser Abed Rabbo and other political leaders
Gush Shalom ("The Peace Bloc"):
The ‘hard core’ of the Israeli peace movement
Israel Policy Forum:
Supports active and sustained American efforts aimed at resolving the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors. A return to negotiations in the Israeli-Palestinian arena is a critical component of the war against terrorism and of the struggle for a secure Israel
Jewish Peace Fellowship:
Affiliated with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a Christian pacifist activist group, JPF supports a non-violent, equitable resolution of the ME conflict.
Jewish Peace Lobby:
American Jewish organization which seeks to promote a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its central focus is US foreign policy through which it promotes policies strengthening the long-term security of Israel as well as the vision of a humane Israel which protects democratic values and human rights. It endorses policies which promote the rights and well-being of the Palestinian people. To these ends, it regularly engages US policy makers as well as Israeli and Palestinian policy makers.
Jewish Voice for Peace:
Israelis and Palestinians. Two Peoples, One Future
A progressive Zionist organization that educates Americans about issues of civil rights and peace in Israel, and promotes the values of peace, pluralism and democracy in Israel. Affiliated with Israel’s Meretz political party.
NEVE SHALOM/WAHAT AL-SALAM:
A village in Israel established jointly by Jews and Palestinian Arabs of Israeli citizenship and engaged in educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples.
New Israel Fund:
Works to strengthen Israel’s democracy and to promote freedom, justice and equality for all Israel’s citizens.
New Profile: Movement for the Civilization of Israeli Society:
Anti-war, anti-militarist site dedicated to the idea that Israelis do not need to live in a soldiers’ State and in a state of perpetual war.
The Parent’s Circle:
Bereaved Israeli and Palestinian parents who have lost loved ones through Israeli-Palestinian violence
Peace in the Middle East:
An open letter from American Jews to our government
The first and primary goal of PEACE NOW has been to press the Israeli government to seek peace – through negotiations and mutual compromise – with our Arab neighbors and the Palestinian people.
The People’s Voice (HaMifkad Ha-L’umi)
The People’s Voice is an Israeli-Palestinian civil initiative that aims to advance the process of peace. It will launch a public process whose goal is to
influence the leaders on both sides, including a mass signing of a
joint Statement of Intentions that is based on the "two states for two
The leaders of the initiative are Ami Ayalon and Dr. Sari Nusseibeh together with public councils and field activists.
Pursue the Peace
An organizaiton of Seattle-area Jews supporting a just Israeli/Palestinian peace
Rabbis for Human Rights is the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, giving voice to the Jewish tradition of human rights. We promote justice and freedom, while campaigning against discrimination and inhumane conduct. The North American affiliate is at http://www.rhr-na.org/id5.html
Seeds of Peace
Empowers children of war to break the cycle of violence. Seeds of Peace is dedicated to preparing teenagers from areas of conflict with the leadership skills required to promote coexistence and peace.
The organization focuses primarily on the Middle East, but its programs have expanded to include other regions of conflict including the Balkans, South Asia, and Cyprus.
Israeli soldiers who pledge their commitment to the security of Israel, but declare that they will take no part in missions intended to prolong the occupation
Israeli Youth Refusal Movement; REFUSE TO SERVE THE OCCUPATION!
The Shalom Center:
A network of American Jews who draw on Jewish tradition and spirituality to seek peace, pursue justice, heal the earth, and build community.
The Shefa Fund:
Encourages American Jews to use tzedakah to create a more just society, and in the process, to transform Jewish life so that it becomes more socially conscious and spiritually invigorating
People from many faiths and traditions, called together by TIKKUN magazine and its vision of healing and transforming our world.
Washington Institute for Near East Policy:
A public educational foundation dedicated to scholarly research and informed debate on U.S. interests in the Middle East
West-East Divan Workshop
Edward Said’s and Daniel Barenboim’s “all-Mideast” orchestra composed of Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish and Muslim musicians who make music around the world and attempt to live out a life of collaboration and tolerance.
Mideast Peace Media and Research Resources
Presents Israeli and Palestinian viewpoints focusing on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and peace process. Produced, edited and partially written by Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian, and Yossi Alpher, an Israeli. Its goal is to contribute to mutual understanding through the open exchange of ideas. Bitterlemons.org aspires to impact the way Palestinians, Israelis and others worldwide think about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Common Ground News Service – Middle East:
Provides news, op-eds, features, and analysis by local and international experts on a broad range of Middle East issues
ICG’s work in Israel, the occupied territories and with Israel’s Arab neighbours focuses on new, comprehensive political and diplomatic strategies to address the sources of conflict, and deal with those factors within Israel and Arab societies hindering the achievement of sustainable peace.
Middle East Information Center
An information resource helping us to better understand the conflicts in the Middle East. We focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict because it is arguably the single most important source of tension in the region
Massive compendium of facts, figures, historical background and resource links to the Middle East conflict
Israeli, Palestinian, and Middle East News and Research Resources:
Media links and other research tools
Jewish Critique of Politics, Culture, & Society
Mideast Peace Weblogs
Aron’s Israel Peace Blog
Aron was raised Orthodox, made aliya and served ten years in the Israeli Army. Reading his excellent blog is just like being thrown right into the Israeli political, moral maelstrom
Aspasia was one of the great dissenters of world history. In ancient Athens, she opened a school of rhetoric and philosophy that welcomed men and women. She introduced salon culture to the city and counted amongst her contemporaries Socrates, who claimed he learned from her the art of rhetoric, the playwright Euripides, the philosopher Anaxagoras, and the sculptor Pheidias. When Aspasia married Pericles, the great statesman, his opponents charged her with impiety (the age-old slur of the malcontent), and spread rumors that her salon was a bordello. She successfully defended herself and her reputation.
Bert de Bruin ( Yonathan Dror Bar-On ), is a former Dutch historian, who specialized in modern Jewish history and in history of the Middle East, and who in 1995 emigrated from the Netherlands to Israel. He currently is working on his doctoral thesis, on the subject Jews and non-Jews in Post-Liberation France, 1944-49.
Head Heeb: Knocking Down 4,000 Years of Icons
A remarkably lucid and comprehensive blog devoted to international relations with a strong focus on the Mideast conflict.
Lawrence of Cyberia
Diane Mason’s blog boasts thorough, in depth analysis of the conflict with sympathy & criticism levelled at both sides. The author masterfully explores Haaretz, using it to plumb the depths of Israeli negative stereotypes about Palestinians.
Searching for a Rainbow:
Notes on life in Israel, baseball, kids, etc