For more than 20 years, Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet has circulated a near-daily digest of news and other items on the Palestinian refugee issue to several hundred subscribers in foreign ministries, aid agencies, international organizations, NGOs, research institutions, and elsewhere. Today, however, will be the very last FOFOGNET Digest.
FOFOGNET (or the “Friends Of the Friends Of the Gavel NETwork”) was originally established in 1996 to support aspects of the multilateral Refugee Working Group in the Middle East peace process. It continued long after the end of the multilaterals, after the broader collapse of the peace process, through several failed efforts to resurrect negotiations, and during crises affecting refugees in Lebanon, West Bank, Gaza, Syria, and elsewhere.
The situation of Palestinian refugees, sadly, remains as adverse as ever. The Syrian civil war, and multiple wars in Gaza, have had devastating social and effects. UNRWA is short on resources. Palestinians, refugees and non-refugees alike, continue to be denied their most basic of rights. There is little or no prospect for political progress in resolving the underlying Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the next several years—on the contrary, the trajectory of the conflict is one that is likely to make it ever-harder to resolve.
I find myself doing less and less work on the topic, which is one reason for discontinuing FOFOGNET. Another is the ready availability of other news aggregation tools which can take its place.
I would like to offer my thanks to those who have contributed material over the years, as well as our subscribers. Special thanks are due to IDRC for supporting FOFOGNET and Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet in its initial years, to Roula el-Rifai, and to Chloe and David Brynen (who have assisted me extensively over the years in finding and posting material).
A searchable archive of all FOFOGNET materials from September 1998 to August 2013 can be found at the McGill University listerv archives here. Anyone can search this.
The FOFOGNET archives for August 2013-April 2016 can be found accessed via Google Groups. You’ll need to have been a list subscriber to access this.