For two years or more, I’ve nursed the idea that what the web needed was a place for progressives to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: an online forum. There are, of course, lots of forums where you can discuss the conflict: MideastWeb, Charlie Rose, Middle East Info. But the members are all over the map politically and one can get batted around pretty hard over there. I didn’t want my forum to be a shouting match. I wanted serious, in-depth discussion.
I turned to organizations like Peace Now, Israel Policy Forum, Tikkun and Brit Tzedek to see if they were interested in my idea. None were unfortunately. So the idea remained in the back of my mind until I read a post by Andrew Schamess in Semitism.net which suggested the same idea. I was almost dumbstruck that someone else had thought of precisely the same project as I. So I contacted Andrew and we became partners in the Israel-Palestine Forum.
Alas, Andrew had to drop out of the partnership when he became involved with JAMP, traveled to the West Bank on a medical relief mission, and returned home to tell the world about what he saw. I’m pleased to say that Andrew is with us in spirit on this and has already registered as a forum member.
It’s taken some doing to get this far, but I think we’re almost ready for launch and I wanted to let my readers know about this project in hopes that you’ll visit, read and post in the forum. I have the idea, but only you can make it become real. I hope you will share some of your hopes and dreams for the future of the Middle East there. When you visit, this is what you’ll find:
1. Forum: creating an online community for progressives to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
2. Israel-Palestine news: feeds from the world press covering the conflict (at least those publications that have a Middle East feed) including the BBC, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, International Herald Tribune, and Daily Star
3. Israel-Palestine blogs: feeds from 10 of the best blogs writing about the conflict including Semitism.net, RafahPundits, Lawrence of Cyberia, Aron’s Israel Peace Weblog, CalTzedek and Tikun Olam; also a Blogdigger search of those blogs writing on the subject
4. Essays: in-depth reportage, magazine essays, polls and research that provide a look at some of the deeper issues
5. Links: a directory of the online community dedicated to promoting Mideast peace
The site is still in formation. So tell me what you like and what you don’t. I’m especially interested in good content that should be there. Feed me links of stuff you think should be there. And most of all, register for the forum and join the progressive dialogue about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
William Bartlett says
Where is the Israel / Palestine forum? It says account has been suspended.