One of my goals here over the past four years that I’ve been writing this blog has been to advance the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace. Besides this blog, I’ve also created an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Blog directory at Blogdigger and another site, Israel-Palestine Forum. The latter was meant to combine three elements: republishing essays on the conflict, providing feeds of Israeli-Palestinian peace blogs, and a discussion forum. There were aspects of each of the last two projects which did not satisfy me, especially not technically.
That’s why I’ve decided to use WordPress and the Feedwordpress plugin to create a new site which will aggregate many of the blogs I know devoted to Israeli-Palestinian peace. While I detest Pajamas Media and everything it stands for, it has had some success in organizing the pro-Israeli partisan blog world and its audience, thus making it easier for that audience to access the pro-Israel message. I’d like the new site to provide a progressive alternative. In the event of severe crises like the current Lebanon invasion, I’d like readers to have a ready source for finding the latest blogging from Israel, Lebanon or the Diaspora. In case a journalist or other blogger needs an online resource for their work, I’d like them to think of this site.
It will feature all of the blogs currently at the Blogdigger site and many of those displayed in my sidebar under ‘Mideast Peace.’ If there are any missing that you like please let me know. I’m not planning on featuring every single left of center blog. Just the ones I find most informative or interesting. But that should cover a lot of ground. There are no litmus tests. But I will give preference to those who have a vision of both sides realizing their aspiration for national self-determination. I plan to feature Palestinian, Lebanese, Israeli and Diaspora Jewish and Arab blogs. By the way, I know of no Israeli-Arab blogs. If anyone knows of any, please let me know.
I may have a few technical limitations. I may not be able to feature blogs which cover a variety of subjects (including the I-P conflict), but which do not break out the Israeli-Palestinian posts by category. The reason: I do not want to include every post published at such blogs since many posts would not be about the conflict.
One of my big issues right now is choosing a domain name. ‘IsraelPalestineblogs’ or ‘Ipblogs’ or ‘Ippeaceblogs’ are ones I’ve been considering. I’d welcome any other suggestions which would convey the site’s mission through a concise domain name. Please drop your suggestions via a comment here or an e mail to me.
If anyone with web design experience would be willing to contribute a site banner image I’d be grateful.
I like IsraelPalestinePeaceBlogs myself – if it isn’t taken. Call it what it is.
50,000 Iraqi Books
Here is an even more revolutionary idea.
There is a rich Arab literature, with famous and revered writers.
To imitate the Western blogging, Iraqis and Palestinians should be invited to write their story, maybe in whole books, to calm down the nerves and rage of the people.
It would be a start to an honest discussion among the ordinary people of Iraq, and a stimulation to positive social interaction, to adopt a good constitution, to modernize the tribal traditions. To liberate the nation from Islam.
A budget of 50 million dollars would allow a publisher to distribute 10k grants to the writers, and peace will follow.
Something like this is better than Edward Said poisoning his friends and enemies with “orientalism” from New York. Let us hear the real people.
Sam Harris could write a preface to each book.
Jake Hayman says
OneVoice is a grassroots, non-partisan Israeli-Palestinian group working to empower moderates to stand up against extremism and seize back the agenda for conflict resolution. At a time when extremists are once again dominating the agenda, its need to exist and to deliver could not be more crucial.
From OneVoice Youth Leaders, Saed Bilbeisi and Elad Dunayevsky
Dear International Friends of OneVoice,
There are rockets flying into Israel’s Northern towns as far down as Haifa as we write this, while the people of Gaza are in fear for their homes and lives, without electricity and running water. People are suffering, people are dying and people are afraid. It’s a crisis. We are writing to tell you though not to give up on us, or to give up on hope for an end to the conflict.
The situation today makes it very difficult to talk about conflict resolution – to see an end to the conflict. Sometimes it is easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel, at the moment the tunnel is dark. But this crisis and this conflict will end, and we say that with sobriety and rationality. As much as we feel helpless today, as rational people we must see any crisis as an opportunity to rise up and overcome the reasons that brought that crisis.
The situation will come to an end, when we do not know. In the meantime both people suffer so badly. Believe us that no-one is happy with this life. We want everyone around the world to know that we, and many friends and colleagues like us at OneVoice, are working to change this situation. We are ready. We are ready to do anything necessary to help end this situation. We have done so many activities and introduced so many people to OneVoice and it always gives them hope and energy. We can not and will not lose all of this however hard it is at this moment. We will strive to improve this life.
A resolution to the conflict may seem like a dream, but let us dream it and keep helping us do whatever we have to do to make it a reality. The day will never come when Israelis and Palestinians are prepared to accept living with this situation. How far we are from the day when we have a situation we will accept is hard to say, but we will work for it, even as the fighter jets and rockets go overhead, we will work for it.
Saed and Elad
Saed has been involved with OneVoice for around a year. He visits the OneVoice office to meet with other youth leaders and staff at least once a week and has even pioneered his own workshops on OneVoice in Ramallah, which have recruited many new volunteers. He spoke about OneVoice in Synagogues, community centers and campuses during OneVoice’s International Education Program tour to Canada.
Elad has also been volunteering for around a year. He uses his Arabic and Hebrew language skills to speak with both Arabs and Jews about the work of OneVoice and has served to educate and recruit activists in the Region and also in the US, where he spoke at over 10 venues on behalf of OneVoice during their International Education Program tour to New York.
Jennifer Collet says
I am simply overwhelmed by the ongoing conflicts in the region. Just when I think that it can’t get worse it does! I recently read a book The Religion War that gave me food for thought. It is a frenetically paced sequel to Scott Adams’s best-selling “thought experiment” God’s Debris, where the smartest man in the world is on a mission to stop a cataclysmic war between Christian and Muslim forces and save civilization. It is a brilliantly crafted, thought-provoking fable by the creator of Dilbert and it raises questions about the nature of reality and just where our delusions are taking us. The parallels between where we are today and where we could be soon are clear. It is not a difficult read and I urge you to take a look.