Given that Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet already comprises a well-visited website, and two near-daily email listservs, why start a blog?
There are several reasons why I’m setting this up. First, a blog provides an opportunity to reflect “out loud” in a way that neither the website nor the email list does. Posting and editing the former is a bit of a chore, and as a result it only gets updated every other month or so. The latter is often done in a bit of a rush each day, with material posted when there’s a free moment or as it comes to our attention. Second, a blog provides more opportunity for editorializing—something I’ve resisted doing on PRRN (where the website format would make it awkward), or in FOFOGNET/PALDEV (where readers typically don’t want to wade through my reflections before they get to the news). Moreover, FOFOGNET and PALDEV only go out to a professional audience, whereas the PRRN blog will be available for anyone to read.
The PRRN blog will also be open to comments—at least, to start with. I’m well aware that the Arab-Israeli conflict generates more ill-informed, insensitive, hateful, and even racist/anti-Semitic comments than any other topic on the internet, and for that reason all comments will be moderated. If you post something and it doesn’t appear, it might mean that I’ve been busy… or it might mean that I think the comment doesn’t deserve inclusion. (Trolls and hate-spammers who don’t like that policy are welcome to get their own website, where they are welcome to include whatever they want.)