Talk:1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramle/Archive 3

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Change from guideline to order

I'm not sure we ought to do this. Morris is clear in calling the Shertok thing a guideline or policy or "policy guideline," not an order. That is how he translates Shertok's word for it. Shertok himself writes, "I hope the aforementioned policy will be carried out" (Morris 2004, p. 430). Would he have written that of an order? Also, were politicians in a position to give orders as such to IDF troops? They could impress upon them that govt policy is X or Y, but it is left to the senior military commanders to issue the actual order.

In this case, we know the Shertok "guideline" was issued to Danny HQ. But we don't know that it was ever passed further than that. We also know that it was ignored by the troops. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:57, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't have a source saying that the "guideline" did not come from Sharett, but both sources I have (one of which, David Tal, cites the number of the original document in the archive, probably the same as Morris) clearly state that the order was given by the Operations Directorate in the General Staff (i.e. Yigael Yadin, although it doesn't say that specifically). It was sent in a telegram to the Danny HQ. There doesn't seem to be any ambiguity about this, and I believe it was written before (in the article or on talk) that the word Morris translated was hora'a, which means order, and is binding.
Maybe he referred to a similar general guideline issued by Sharett, then re-issued by the General Staff? That would almost explain the feeding vs. defending issue. Anyway, the entire section has to be re-written, because the chronology is wrong. This "guideline" was issued before Sheetrit's intervention, while the article clearly implies that it was after. See comment below. —Ynhockey (Talk) 04:45, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Do you have a source for the timing that contradicts what the article says? We say Sheetrit arrived in Lydda on July 12, saw that expulsions were being prepared, went back to talk to Ben-Gurion, and the two of them hammered out this guideline or order. I spoke to a friend about the translation, and he said that "hora'a" is "instruction," but not a military order; Morris has it as a "guideline." Our section says:

The Israeli cabinet reportedly knew nothing about the expulsion plan until Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, minister for minority affairs appeared unannounced in Lydda on July 12. He was shocked when he saw troops organizing expulsions. Kiryati Brigade commander Ben-Gal told him that the IDF was about to take men of military age in Ramla prisoner, and that the rest of them, and the women and children, were to be "taken beyond the border and left to their fate." The same was to happen in Lydda, Sheetrit said he was told.[92]

Sheetrit returned to Tel Aviv for a meeting with Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, who later met with Ben Gurion to agree on guidelines for how the residents were to be treated, though Morris writes that Ben Gurion apparently failed to tell Sharett that he himself was the source of the expulsion orders. The men agreed that the townspeople should be told anyone who wanted to leave could do so, but that anyone who stayed was responsible for himself and would not be given food. Women and children were not to be forced to leave, and the monasteries and churches must not be damaged.[8] Neither the original guidelines from Sharett and Ben Gurion, nor the summary from Operation Danny HQ, said that mosques should be left untouched along with monasteries and churches; Morris writes that this may have been a simple oversight.[93] The Sharett order was passed to Operation Danny HQ at 23:30 hours on July 12, ten hours after the expulsion orders were issued ..."

SlimVirgin talk|contribs 04:51, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
1) About hora'a—it does mean instruction, in the context of operational instructions, such as a user manual for operating a scanner ;) in a military context, it means order. Again, I invite you to take a look at a a dictionary (write either order or הוראה). I guess it could mean 'instruction' too in this context because it's not that much different from 'order'. Check my source provided somewhere above (Order 01.0105) about hora'a being binding. This is mainly why I oppose the word "guideline", which directly implies something non-binding.
2) About the chronology: I have struck out part of the original comment, because it is not necessarily true, however, the general idea still stands. In order words, maybe the order came after Sheetrit's intervention, this is not clear. However, Morris is the only one that links the two. In the David Tal source (see notes I added to your Lydda2 page), it first gives the outline of the Operations order, and after that talks about Sheetrit. It says that Sheetrit's intervention caused the [expulsion] order to be cancelled (does not mention the Operations order), but this was irrelevant as the residents had already started leaving. This is a fairly clear indication that the two are not related, or at least we don't know if they are.
Oren provides the full text of the Operations order, but does not mention Sheetrit at all (because he does not discuss the expulsion order), which strengthens David Tal's text, that Sheetrit's intervention was about the expulsion order. Therefore, I don't think they should be written in a way that clearly links them.
3) You still haven't addressed the issue of "feeding" vs. "defending". So far I have two sources confirming that the word was "defending", not "feeding", so the article (and Morris) appear to be incorrect. I think this is a fairly important point.
Ynhockey (Talk) 02:33, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm getting very confused, sorry. First thing -- we can't change what an historian has said, even if we think he is wrong, unless we have another historian who says otherwise. Then we say A say X but B says Y. So can you give a source that contradicts Morris, and say exactly what the source says? Sorry, but I'm just not following.
As for instruction/order, it wasn't a military command. It was an instruction ("guideline") from three politicians. So maybe that is why Morris chose that word? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 04:20, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
1) It seems like a fairly clear order to me. Both of my sources (Oren and Tal) clearly state that it was a telegram from the Operations Directorate to the Danny HQ. Does Morris deny this? I would be interested to read what Morris actually says, but the source appears to be subscriber-only. Please send it to me in any way you wish, it would really help (I think this is a fair request considering it is used as a source 12 times).
2) For the source that contradicts Morris, and what exactly it says, see User:SlimVirgin/Lydda2. I will elaborate shortly, with a brief translation.
3) You have still not touched on the feeding vs. defending issue (unless I misunderstood your comments?) If this is the issue you were talking about, then, again, see User:SlimVirgin/Lydda2 which already has the information you requested, including the full text.
Ynhockey (Talk) 05:03, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Regarding food/protection, I sent you that thing about the mixed-up Hebrew words mentioned in Morris 1986.

Morris 2004 (pp 430-431) says more or less the same: According to Shertok's letter to Shitrit of 13 July, point 2 said: "A warning must be issued that anyone remaining behind does so on his own responsibility, and the Israeli authorities are not obliged to supply him with food." BG passed on a variant of this to General Staff/Operations, which passed it to Danny HQ. Point two of the text Danny HQ received was: "To warn that we are not responsible for feeding those who remain." Elsewhere people talked of BG saying that, whoever stayed, Israel would or would not be responsible for their "maintenance," which fits more with feeding than protection. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:07, 31 May 2009 (UTC)


I remove from the background the references to Lebanon as well as the ones of the volunteers of Saudi Arabia (400-800), Yemen or Soudan. This is unrelevant for the article. 4 Arab countries actively and significatively participated to the war. More, if we talk about Arab volunteers, we should mention the Mahal and this will make the background uselessly complex. Ceedjee (talk) 12:39, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Allegations of rape section

I am now slowly going through the article again. There is still a large number of issues, and I hope to address each one of them separately, and slowly. A major one came up when I read the Allegations of rape section. If you read it, you will notice that its substance is two unrelated quotes from two unrelated sources about the possibility of rape during the conquest of Lydda. With all due respect to the allegations and their respective authors, there shouldn't be a section (or an article) made up entirely of loosely-related quotations. I therefore suggest trimming the section to report the actual information/allegations: That according to Amos Kenan, there was rape that the women were too afraid to complain, and that the Israeli government did not consider it a major issue. Then the information can be merged into another section. I suggest instead making a section with broader scope—Allegations of misconduct. There can be other things there, like unnecessary violence. A witness account I have (Yitzhak Tishler) mentions for example that many soldiers used excessive violence for no reason. —Ynhockey (Talk) 15:19, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

I would be even more strict than Ynhockey here.
Of course, rape is a unacceptable crime. But there were 2 (a few) rapes in events where nearly all the 50k-70k inhabitants of an area were expelled and during which all in all nearly 1000 died (how many heavily injured, permanently disabled ?). It is wp:undue.
Let's not even talk about 'misconducts'. In more of the fact that is we talk about 'misconduct' during a war period, we should also refer to 'good conduct' and referring to good conduct in the context of these events is also wp:undue or poved.
I think -but it is just a guess- that historians gather material about rapes during '48 exodus because rapes (with pregnant women and children murders) are an element associated with 'ethnic cleansing', such as during Bosnian wars.
Maybe a few words about the 'ethnical cleansing' polemic around the events could be gathered here instead. Most Palestinian historians state so. Pappé is well known too. In France, some historians analyse the events as an ethnic cleansing too. With his euphemism, Some (eg Morris) writes that the same events would today be called 'ethnic cleansing'.
Ceedjee (talk) 17:26, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
The issue of rape during the expulsions is obviously at least as important as the looting, unless we're going to adapt Zisling's position. I've dealt only with the rapes mentioned in relation to Lydda and Ramla; there are many more. Rape is underreported in any society, but especially in a Muslim one, so it would be somewhat obtuse of us to imagine that, if 24 are known about (a figure cited by Morris), only 24 occurred. In addition, it was discussed in cabinet and mentioned by Ben-Gurion so it's not a side issue in terms of reliable sources.
What I didn't get into is the view that much of the fleeing from other areas was in part due to the fear of rape. It's not mentioned specifically in relation to Lydda so I didn't want to open it up. Suffice to say that rape and the fear thereof is regarded as a major issue in general regarding the exodus.
I agree it would be good to mention the views regarding ethnic cleansing, and Plan Dalet (summary style), but I was concerned about length -- and also that when I last included a reference to Plan Dalet, it was removed as POV, so I left it out. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:13, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Never heard that fear of rape was a potential cause of the exodus. But I may have missed it. But, as you point out, I read too that such events was certainly kept silentious due to dishonnour.
  • I agree for the length. It is already too much long, per my point of view. But I leave this up to you. There are longer and there are shorter articles (FA or not) in wikipedia.
Ceedjee (talk) 13:50, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
In that case, the allegations of rape section and the looting section can be merged into a general misconduct section. The looting is much better-documented and should get the lion's share of the section, but there's also excessive violence. If no objections are raised, I will begin working on a draft for the new section. —Ynhockey (Talk) 08:56, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I object. It will look like an attempt to hide it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 09:35, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
It seems there are 3 different opinions here. :-)
I think :
  • looting is relevant because it is linked with the potentially future important question of the dedommagements of the Palestinian Refugees.
  • rape is undee - in comparison with 1000 deaths and given it is not used as an argument for anything by whoever...
  • 'misconduit' is an euphemism.
  • (the article is FA but too long)
Ceedjee (talk) 11:46, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree that as it currently stands, the section is undue weight, but the question is what to do with it specifically. What do you suggest? —Ynhockey (Talk) 12:21, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
The article is 77 kilobytes of text, which is not too long for FA. The rape issue is mentioned by several reliable sources and the section is short. There's enough material in sources to make it considerably longer; in fact, enough for its own article. It's an important issue and there's no need to shorten it still further. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 13:22, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the section is not too long, given the notable sources. It is a very serious issue in this context. Ian Pitchford (talk) 16:58, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I concur that the rapes are undue-problematic. The argument mentioned above - that there must have been more unreported - fails to consider that the unreported (if any) are counterbalanced by the fact that most (if not all) of the rape claims are unverified by independent accounts. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 18:40, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
You're engaging in OR with the talk of unverified rapes. We repeat what the historians say, period. Witnesses talk about it, academics write about it, the cabinet discussed it, the prime minster mentioned it. It would be odd of us not to. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:47, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
You're engaging in OR by claiming that there were more unreported rapes. I'm counterbalancing your OR with my OR. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 18:52, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm simply repeating what the sources say. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:56, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Really? Where are there sources that there were other rapes? All we have so far is that it would "somewhat obtuse" of us to imagine that there were no more than 24 rapes. That's not much of a source.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 19:03, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
This page had become pretty civilized without your barbs. If you want to know what the sources say, please read them yourself. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:11, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Chill. If you have a source re more unreported rapes then please provide the source. If you don't, let's move on. There's apparently a consensus that the section is WP:UNDUE-problematic.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 19:16, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Until your intervention the discussion was quite collaborative despite the fact different points of views were expressed.
If you don't have access to the sources, how can you give a fair analysis of the wp-due or wp-undue status of the information to be added. And so, isn't your added value poor and your intervention counter-productive ?
I (and Ynhockey too) thank you to support our analysis (based on your confidence in our judgement ?). But that would be even better if you could base this on your own readings and study of the topic.
This controversed section is very small in a very long article. Based on their know-how of the topic, some claim it is undue (Yan - I), others not (Slim - Ian). The result (keep - delete - merge - reformulate) will have extremally little influence on the core of the article. It is just a question of stylistic compromise.
So, let's keep to good mood and move forward.
Ceedjee (talk) 07:24, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

(outdenting) Having read the section in question, I can see no reason why it should be integrated with other sections into one big "misconduct" section. Each of these three sections is long enough to sustain itself, if you run them all together you are either going to have a very long section, or else you will have to substantially trim the enlarged section, and it seems to me that most of the extant information is legitimate. Gatoclass (talk) 08:37, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I understand (and agree with) your rationale.
But what do you answer to the points I underlined :
  • are "a few" rapes wp:due in comparison with the expulsion of 50k people and the death of 1000 (among which several hundreds massacred ?)
  • same for the looting of civilians on their way to Ramallah in comparison with these crimes and the full looting (and expropriation) of both cities ?
  • if these "misconducts" are due, shouldn't we talk about "good-conduct" per wp:npov ?
  • what is important in these rapes so that we talk about them ? Did they have any consequence ?
Ceedjee (talk) 13:46, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I added a sentence with Lila Abu-Lughod's view that the fear of rape was one of the major reasons Palestinians fled their villages. [1] They would hear stories about rape in other villages, and they would leave. Women were regarded as property to a large extent, and the rape of a woman was tantamount in many cases to the destruction of a family, an attack not only against her, but against her husband, children, parents, siblings, and perhaps even the whole village. That it amounted to the destruction of a family is the reason the sources see it as massively under-reported. If 24 were reported throughout that period, it's difficult to imagine how many took place. It directly addresses the IDF's ideas about its "purity of arms," which was one of the new state's selling points after the war. I could write about that too, but I'm very conscious of the length issue. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:48, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Also, Ceedjee, to reply to your point about the need to describe good conduct, we have Cohen's opinion in the "Sacking of the cities" section that most of the troops behaved decently. We say that some refused to take part. We say that the Third Brigade was forced to hand over its loot. And we quote Rabin saying some of the troops required special training afterwards to help them get over what they'd been involved in. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:58, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
In regards to Ceedjee's comment, I might add that I think it would be a questionable assumption to make that only "a few" rapes took place based on Amos Kenan's comment alone, where he states that "At night, those of us who couldn't restrain ourselves would go into the prison compounds to fuck Arab women ... Note that he doesn't say "One night ... some of us went" or "On one or two occasions, some of us went ..." His choice of language indicates that those "who couldn't restrain [them]selves" committed rape on several occasions, perhaps even systematically. Given that Kenan was also a platoon commander, it seems he knew about these excursions and did nothing to stop them, which suggests, if not outright endorsement, then at least tolerance of these crimes by those in command. One must also remember that the perpetrators are highly unlikely to be disposed to recording them for posterity. It would therefore be quite naive, I think, to assume that only "a few" rapes occurred. Gatoclass (talk) 01:25, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
@Gatoclass : you miss the main point in what I write... In other words : why would any of such (alleged or not) personnal crimes have any wp:due weight in the context of an (alleged or not) state's crime ?
@SV. : Lila Abu-Lughod... A professor is wp:rs when (s)he synthetises the current know-how, even outside his/her field of competence. But a professor of anthropology is not a wp:rs sources when (s)he reports fact nobody else reports. It is just a mind that is given, based on nothing but personal convictions of this Professor, out of the context of her competences. Her mind would better fit an historiography section.
@SV : On the other way, I think you are right in the context of the Purity of arms. But than I would merge all these sections under this title. The material would better fit this topic and this topic is wp:due because this is one of the founding myth of Israel and because it has specifically and widely been debated by scholars. (I think you are aware of this : Killings and massacres during the 1948 Palestine War#"Purity of arms").
Ynhockey may finally not be happy with that but we could merge all these sections (as he suggested) under the title "purity of arms", summarize the material (lenght) and add a sentence about the controversy...
Complex issue. Ceedjee (talk) 06:19, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Just one point on the above, rape by soldiers is war crime and state officials can be, and have been, prosecuted for failure to prevent soldiers from raping women. It is not just a "personal crime" Nableezy (talk) 06:37, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
In the current context, perpetrators were prosecuted when caught. It was not a war crime. That was not Scebrenica. Ceedjee (talk) 07:51, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe the question is relevant in any case. This is not an article about a "state crime", it's an article about the "Exodus from Lydda and Ramla". The rapes and other crimes that occurred are simply part of the event, whether state sponsored or not. Gatoclass (talk) 07:02, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Except Abu-Lughod's mind, which is not relevant because not wp:rs for this topic, I don't remember reading any cause/consequence link between rapes (or fear of rapes) and the exodus. (We could check here Causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus - done : the word "rape" is not used even once in the article). In the case of Lydda, that would be even more strange given the exodus was the consequence of an expulsion order and organised in a few days. But there may be other sources I don't know.
(nb: I wonder if you realize what picture this gives of the Palestinians too : one of the main cause of the exodus of 700k people would have been the fear (of men) that their women/property could be raped... It is somewhere between racism and angelism... This image doesn't fit the fact that all villages had private militias and with the hard struggle of Dec-March. -> Exceptional claims require exceptional sources.)
Without such sources, it is wp:undue. The core of the topic is the expulsion of 50-70k people, the death of 1000 people (among which several hundreds massacred, a 50 km long death march of most of them and the looting of 2 cities.
Rapes occured indeed. Relatively, I don't think it is more relevant that information, eg, about the location of counter-attacks of the Arab Legion during that period, which is also an event of the exodus.
BUT, I think the fact rapes occured can have its place in a section called "purity of arms".
Ceedjee (talk) 07:51, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Again, I don't see the relevance of the "cause/consequence" angle. Neither the rapes nor the looting were causes or consequences of the exodus, they were simply part of the event in question, and a notable part given that numerous sources have addressed them. The only possible concern might be one of WP:UNDUE, but given the length of the article, and the notoriety of some of these events, that wouldn't strike me as a very persuasive argument.
My larger concern is that the article as a whole is beginning to resemble a whitewash, with many paragraphs cited to a single article written by two persons of obscure standing named Kadish and Sela, who appear to have taken positions very much at odds with the generally accepted account of this event. In that light, I find talk of further excisions of content whose effect will be to tilt the scales even further toward a particular POV, to be somewhat alarming. Gatoclass (talk) 09:27, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Ceedjee, to address your point above that Abu-Lughod is writing about an issue otherwise not discussed, below is Lughod quoting a survivor, and a comment from Morris suggesting it's a pertinent issue:

Nobody talks about rape. But it is almost always present. It's there: 'we left because of massacres, fear of massacres, fear of rape, rape.' The men in the village will not talk about it. At Deir Yassin, the women talked to British interrogators about rape, that this was the worst that happened and please don't talk about it. The society could not talk about it (Abdel Jawad in Sa'di and Lughod 2007, p. 35). [2]

There were also several dozen cases of rape, a crime viewed with particular horror in Arab and Muslim societies. The fear of rape apparently figured large in the Arab imagination, and this may in part account for the dispatch of women and girls out of active or potential combat zones and, in some measure, for the headlong flight of villages and urban neighborhoods from April on (Morris 2004, p. 592).

I have to say that Morris's last point (about the dispatching of women and girls) is somewhat contradicted by the fact that elsewhere (I believe Ramla), Arab militiamen were reportedly preventing women from leaving, because the flight of women tended to lead to their menfolk joining them. Still, there may have been (and very likely was) a disparity between the desires of the militiamen to stay and fight, and the wishes of ordinary residents, who likely put the safety of their families first. As you say, a complex issue, but I believe a legitimate one to discuss. I would have no objection to putting the three subsections "Looting of the refugees," "Sacking of the cities," and "Allegations of rape," under a new "Purity of arms" subsection, though I'd want it to stay in that same place chronologically. But we could contextualize it within a "purity of arms" discussion, if you feel that'd be more NPOV. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 09:49, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
With respect, I think the "purity of arms" suggestion is POV, as it places the events in question in an Israeli frame of reference. Gatoclass (talk) 10:05, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Re Ceedjee: I don't like the Purity of Arms title, but will accept it as long as the content of the section is good. In light of the content, the title seems like a fairly unimportant point to be arguing about. The section needs to be NPOV though. So far it appears that some details have been conveniently left out, like in the Keinan account, he also said that the rapist was found dead plowing an Arab field, which appears to be an honor killing. Anyway, a lot of interesting information can be gathered from Yitzhak Tishler's account, the text of which I provided here (Hebrew), where he talks about looting and the refugees. —Ynhockey (Talk) 10:04, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Which details have been left out?
Gatoclass is right about placing this within an Israeli frame of reference, if we adopt the "purity of arms" idea. By the way, just to be clear, my suggestion is that we retain the current subsection titles; I'd have no objection to subsuming them under a "purity of arms" discussion, except for Gatoclass's point, which we need to think about. But I wouldn't want to see the current subsection titles (looting, rape, and sacking of the city) lost entirely. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:11, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Plan Dalet

(...) Plan Dalet (summary style), but I was concerned about length -- and also that when I last included a reference to Plan Dalet, it was removed as POV, so I left it out. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:13, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I remember removing a reference to Plan D (but I don't know if it is what you refer to here.) I argued that Plan D had nothing to deal with the events. Later, I found (by don't remember where) a historian referring to this anyway and I doubted. I am not a wp:rs source but I keep my mind. What would plan D make here ? Plan D was written in march, as a guide to the Haganah offensive (and maybe more ?) at the eve of the Arab invasion... We are 4 months later, in a completely different context... Commanders followed Operation Larlar's and Operation Dani's plans. Does the Plan D talks about Lydda and Ramle "offensive" ? I am perplexed...
Ceedjee (talk) 10:11, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Some historians argue that Plan Dalet was the blueprint for the ethnic cleansing (as they see it) that followed, in which they include Lydda and Ramla. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:16, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
That is not right. ;-)
Some historians say that Plan Dalet was a blueprint for (what they consider to be) the ethnic cleansing of Palestine... Right. But only for the part that occured/would have occured during April and May. See the article about Plan D written by Walid Khalidi. Check p.8 in his article and look for Lydda or Ramle in Annex C...
When you read the opinion that "Plan D was a blueprint for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine", it is not written but it is assumed it only concerns the 2nd (and most important) wave.
The same historians -but also others who disagree with them for this analysis of Plan D- talk about expulsions and ethnic cleansing for the 3th and 4th wave. But then, they use other material or facts for their analysis.
Ceedjee (talk) 13:50, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Ilan Pappe reliance

this guy has been discredited. Also, I notice a lack of works cited from non-"New historians" or lack of ones without obvious pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel bent.Tallicfan20 (talk) 08:12, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

This has been discussed before in the archives here and on RSN. There is a clear consensus that he satisfies WP:RS, even though you may not like what he says. No need to re-hash old arguments. --NSH001 (talk) 18:00, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Map showing Lydda and Ramla

Can anyone please find a map to put in the article? --Jim Fitzgerald (talk) 19:11, 9 August 2009 (UTC)


I would like to begin work on getting this ready to be a featured article candidate. To do that, I would like to tighten the writing, streamline it for flow, and get it down to somewhere around 80 kbs, possibly less, including footnotes.

I would do my utmost to be neutral, in the sense that I'd be trying my best to read it through the eyes of the FA reviewers, rather than through my own. What I'd like to end up with is an article that a reasonably well-educated person, who knew nothing about the Israel-Palestine conflict, would understand, would be willing to read to the end—without feeling too bored to continue—and would come away feeling he'd learned something from, without the sense that he'd been subjected to propaganda from either side. That would be my aim.

I don't intend to add anything new, by the way. I would be working with the text as it is now.

Does anyone object to me trying this? It obviously won't work if people are reverting while I'm editing. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:31, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

One objection: This article is made up entirely of sources on one side of the political spectrum (unless you consider Benny Morris, who has been called both), so working with the text as it is now while maintaining neutrality is contradictory. I presented a plethora of material on User:SlimVirgin/Lydda2, which you have not shown any interest in, so if you wish to get this article to FA quality, I believe you should first look at the materials and use the relevant parts, or request the relevant information (since it's in Hebrew, other than the specific points I presented). I was hoping to work on the article a while ago, but per WP:OWN issues mentioned before, I didn't. Therefore, I fully expect you to use all available materials to write this article, and only then work on trimming it. —Ynhockey (Talk) 22:41, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
P.S. There's also a book by Alon Kadish, called Kibush Lod (Capture of Lod) dedicated almost entirely to the subject of this article. Unfortunately, I was not able to acquire this book after long searching, but do believe that any FA on this subject would be incomplete without perusing such a relevant book. I will try again to find it if I can. —Ynhockey (Talk) 22:45, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
The problem with a lot of the sources you were recommending is that they pre-date the opening of the archives, so they really are superseded. We also can't add much more when what we need to do for FA is shorten the article. And finally, we need to use English-language sources, unless there's something in the Hebrew sources not in the English ones, but is there?
My question is really whether you object to my editing the article as it is to improve the writing, tighten it, and make sure it's MoS-compliant. I understand that you'll oppose at FA, and that's fine, but I'm hoping you'll allow the attempt to be made, at least. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:56, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
For example, this was source material from Elhanan Oren that you recommended, but I'm not sure what I was meant to do with it. What in that material is relevant, important, or differs from our article; who is the author; and when was he writing? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:06, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
The above post is not entirely correct, on several counts:
  1. The "opening of the archives" does not appear to be relevant for many of the sources currently used in the article, as there is no evidence that (other than Morris), any of the cited scholars and historians heavily relied on the archives (this can easily be seen from their own citations). Moreover, certain Israeli historians had access to the archives before their "opening", such as Netanel Lorch who created the IDF archives, as well as Jeuda Wallach, Mordechai Bar-On, etc. although these particular historians did not publish extensive research on Lod AFAIK.
  2. Many of the sources used in the article, especially Spiro Munayyer, but some others, are actually primary accounts of what happened there. It seems totally unfair to include a plethora of Arab accounts (Munayyer, Abu-Lughod, Habash, al-Wazir, etc.) but not a single Jewish account except a brief one by the late Amos Kenan, which is a highly controversial one not backed by any other source. I provided several pages of a detailed account by Yitzhak Tishler, who wrote a book about his experiences in the battles of Malkiya and Operation Danny, and says a lot of interesting and relevant things that are not in the article. Why the one-sidedness?
  3. You have entirely ignored the point about Kadish's book, Capture of Lod, which is AFAIK the only book in existence dealing exclusively with the subject of this article. I cannot see a complete article on this subject without this book—it would be like excluding Melman's book in the article on Abu Nidal (to give an example you could identify with).
  4. About the notes I left on /Lydda2: All of these are things which I found missing in the article, or otherwise interesting/relevant. As the primary author of this article, I'd expect you to at least address all of the notes in detail, if not include them. I am not a regular at FAC (and don't wish to be any time soon), but if most FAs on Wikipedia are written by just one editor with sources that the one editor was able to procure, this does not say much about the quality of our FAs (unfortunately). The idea is to get sources from the whole spectrum, and in this case, you don't even need to try hard, I found the sources that were missing for you. Oren's main work was compiling Ben Gurion's diaries, but as I said before, he provided the first and most detailed account on Operation Danny, including Lod, until new research in the 2000s. Even if it's a problem using some of his findings that directly contradict research based on original materials not available at the time (and there are maybe 1–2 such cases, out of 16 notes), his research is invaluable for the historiography of Danny, and historiography analyses are today integral parts of any good military history article.
  5. Trimming the article isn't that difficult—about half of it can be moved to Operation Danny, where the information is more relevant (especially the "Situation of Lydda and Ramla"). The aftermath section is also too large, as well as "allegations of rape" (should be reduced + merged per earlier discussion). I do not object to constructive non-controversial edits to any article, but there's a big difference between improving an article for better flow and MOS-compliance, and claiming an FA.
Ynhockey (Talk) 01:04, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
(1) Just to repeat my question: regarding the material you posted at this page, what in that material is relevant, important, or differs from our article (please be specific); who is the author; and when was he writing?
(2) Re-evaluating the use of primary sources would be one of the things I would do for the FA rewrite.
(3) Bear in mind that this is not meant to be a military history article. It is about what happened to the people. The military aspects are there to explain what happened to the people, who ordered it, and why. But this is a people-centered article.
I'd appreciate a specific answer to (1). SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:13, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I couldn't sworn that we discussed Oren at least twice in the past... but I will answer yet again:
Elhanan Oren is an Israeli historian with a doctorate in the field, who was the chief military historian during and after the Yom Kippur War. Like Netanel Lorch who compiled the first ever history of the 1948 war, and basically set the dates for when it started and ended (used until today), the same task was given to Oren for the Yom Kippur War—only apparently his report contained a lot of information that was either classified or otherwise undesirable for the army, so the army didn't publish it, especially under pressure from Ariel Sharon, until 2004.[3]
His other research including, most notably, two works: compilation of the diaries of Ben Gurion (1982), and the book BaDerekh El HaIr (On the Road to the City) in 1976, which is the book we're discussing here. It deals solely with Operation Danny. Oren definitely had full access to the IDF archives as the chief military historian, but he does not cite these documents in the book, probably because the archives weren't open to the public at the time so it would be a pointless citation. See my previous reply for the reasons why I believe that access to the IDF archives has zero relevance in this case.
About specific points: Each of the notes presented is something either completely missing, or different from the article (and a few are clarifications). I am perplexed as to why they were all ignored until now. For example, isn't: Some of the refugees preferred to stay away from paved roads, and strayed to the battles in/around Jimzo an interesting and relevant fact? Or this one: The refugees were directed to Beit Nabala and Budrus, although some preferred to take the unpaved and low-quality pass to Barfiliya and suffered especially, which is different from what it says in the article about the paths that the refugees took (although these are not contradictory—all the options need to be discussed/added).
Finally, I'd appreciate it if you didn't concentrate on just the notes by Oren—there are 7 equally interesting and relevant notes from David Tal, published in 2005, a respected historian with credentials who cites the archives. —Ynhockey (Talk) 01:54, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
P.S. I'm not sure what you meed by "keep in mind that this is not ... a military history article". In fact, I completely agree, and am trying to keep the military history part as much out as possible. However, more than half of the article is already military history—exactly those parts which I thought should be removed in the above reply (moved to Operation Danny). —Ynhockey (Talk) 01:54, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

1. They are in Hebrew, so I can't read them, and most of our readers can't read them. We're also only supposed to use non-English sources when no English source carries the same information. Is that the case here? No one knows.

2. For FA, we need to make sure the key sources and issues are discussed, not everything and everybody, or it would be too long. Can you present some evidence from other historians that Oren is a key source?

3. He would seem to be a primary source, yet you've been arguing there are too many primary sources already. What I would prefer to do is cite other historians citing Oren, if you can recommend any. I intend to do the same with all or most of the other primary sources.

4. I'm still not sure which points of his you see as important e.g. "Some of the refugees preferred to stay away from paved roads, and strayed to the battles in/around Jimzo." Significance for this issue? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:21, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

A relevant point: The 2005 paper of Kadish and Sela that is cited 15 times in the article says that it is "drawn from and expands on" the 2000 book "The occupation of Lod, July 1948" by Kadish, Sela and Golan. So we shouldn't be concerned that the book is not cited here directly. Kadish&Sela also cite Oren's book as a main source for their reconstruction of the battle. Morris (2004) also cites both books, and so does Gelber. So the reason specific information from those sources didn't get into our article might be that those three English sources didn't consider it significant enough to mention. Also Oren's official status is a concern. Comparing him to Lorch (largely responsible for the now-discredited traditional account) is hardly confidence building. Zerotalk 03:34, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
As Zero says, Oren is a key source because he is largely cited by other historians writing about the topic, notably David Tal and Alon Kadish, Yoav Gelber and Benny Morris (despite having criticized him directly). I believe that, if they find his work credible enough to cite extensively, there's no reason we shouldn't, and let some interesting facts slip through the cracks. I also don't understand your assertion that he's a primary source. This is a person with a doctorate in history, and his research on Operation Danny was not done as part of his official duties.
About the specific fact: actually I listed two and you only related to one, but the significance is simple: part of this article is telling a story, the exodus from Lydda and Ramla. It is our job not to omit important parts of it. The fact that refugees strayed into another battle after getting out of the first seems pretty important to me. It is also relevant because of the second fact:
The refugees were directed to Beit Nabala and Budrus, although some preferred to take the unpaved and low-quality pass to Barfiliya and suffered especially—is very important in light of that. Not only is it different from what the article says (but not contradictory), it also describes the general path of the refugees vs. the path that some preferred to take themselves, where they got into a battle. Again, seems fairly important. I await your response on this point before moving on to the other couple dozen notes which you have also been ignoring. —Ynhockey (Talk) 11:43, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
If he was there, and involved, and he worked for the IDF, he's a primary source. But if the other historians use him as a source, I'm happy to cite them citing him, if we haven't already, so by all means direct me to them; for example, for the point you make above about the path they took. For FA, we must include the key issues and sources, but obviously not all of them, which would be impossible.
We're also straying off the question I raised above, namely whether anyone objected to my getting this ready for FA. Whether or not a point of Oren's needs to be included can be dealt with later. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 16:40, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Oren wasn't "there", he was in the IDF about 20 years after the war, and researched Danny outside of his IDF service. By comparison, Aref al-Aref, who is cited several times in the article, was there, and I don't see you objecting his inclusion. Moreover, all the Israeli sources used in the article "worked for the IDF"—will you discount them too on that basis?
About your question, again, I'm waiting for you to start working on the article again, and doing the things you proposed, especially removing much of the primary material and making the article MOS-compliant. This is quite unrelated to FA (which "can be dealt with later"), and I can only shudder if the FA star is the only motivation behind the editing. —Ynhockey (Talk) 21:44, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I'll leave you to shudder. I'm not going to start the work unless there's a reasonable chance of being allowed to finish it, because the point would be to get it to FA status. Hence the question. But you've given your views, and they are noted, so thank you. I'd also like to hear from uninvolved people, and I've asked a few to comment either onwiki or by email. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 21:54, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Dear all,
I have already given my mind long time ago about the FA status : positive. Since thne, the article evolved even more. So, I go on supporting it gets this.
I cannot read this once more right now but maybe in the following days.
At this stage, I would suggest :

  • to correct the map of the are according to Ynhockey's comments at the time ;
  • to try to remove details in the article : in some sections, they are some paragraphs that are not much relevant and that could be deleted ;
  • I opposed to the section about the rapes. Today, I don't know any more. Some material currently there makes me thinks today the section is relevant.
  • I disagree with Ynhockey about his claim that only one-side sources are used : with Morris-Gelber-Sela (MGS), we have all the current Israeli analysis on the topic. Palestinian historians are used too. It is not important to know if Oren is 1st or 2nd source : it is an old source and MGS-team know their work and use it ; that is enough from my point of view.
  • I'd like to point out that we can all be considered 'specialists' in comparison with the usual reader ; let's not forget the article is not dedicated to readers such as us but to people who would be interested by the events.
  • I remind that Morris has been criticized in his first book of '88 about the exodus for not pointing out enough the context of the events : a war ; in his revisited version of '04, he claims he agrees with this critic but answers anyway that the topic was the exodus and not the war. He "corrected" this in publishing in '08 a book about the war. I think that for the npov of this article we should take care of this and point out the context (a military operation initialy targeting an area potentially threatening both Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem) ; this is currently the case and I think we should not reduce this section.
  • To avoid long and tiring debate, I'd propose that Ynhockey gathers all his comments and the facts he would like to see added at once in a new section of this talk page.

Once more, congratulations to the authors for this work. Ceedjee

Thank you. That's you too, you know. :) SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:50, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree to a large extent on all of Ceedjee's points. If Ynhockey could give a definitive list of issues to be addressed we can take it from there. The language of the article needs to be much tighter and more specific in places, e.g., references to actions by "Arabs", "Arab forces" and such like should be removed and replaced by "Transjordanian", AHC, Holy War Army etc as appropriate. Other than that the only essential changes are those required in the MOS for FA status. --Ian Pitchford (talk) 10:29, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Point 1: Path of refugees

It would help if Ynhockey could be specific about what he feels should be included that isn't. It's fine to make a vague suggestion that something is missing, but let's have more details on what the substance of the missing material is.

I plan to make some copyediting changes in the next few days. I don't know anything about this issue, so I will not change anything substantial, but will focus on the writing. If I inadvertently tread on content toes, let me know, because that won't be my intention. Grace Note (talk) 11:33, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Hi Grace Note! The notes can be found here. Moreover, I have discussed several specific notes as a start with SlimVirgin, and was promptly ignored. I believe this is fairly counter-productive, as I had spent hours analyzing the source material and compiling the notes. If you want a specific one to discuss now, here's a relevant one:
The refugees were directed to Beit Nabala and Budrus, although some preferred to take the unpaved and low-quality pass to Barfiliya and suffered especially.
This should be included in the article, as part of the path of the refugees. —Ynhockey (Talk) 11:52, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
You still haven't said why. Would you mind creating a separate section, or a subpage, and listing which claims you think should be added, plus the sources, plus a clear reason why it needs to be added? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:52, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
1) I prefer to discuss each case separately, because there are about 2 dozen of them.
2) The question should be asked differently: How is part of the article's main body, the flight of the refugees, namely, the path of the flight, not important? It's common sense. Do you believe that we should avoid stating where the refugees went? Or state only part of their path? If so, why? —Ynhockey (Talk) 13:01, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Three people have suggested you create a separate section and list your concerns, because we're not going to know what they are otherwise.
Regarding this one (a) the source is discredited, and (b) it's not obvious what difference it makes. Why do you want us to go into additional detail about this point? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 13:11, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
I have made a separate section for this issue per your request. I will make more sections and/or arbitrary break for the convenience of the other editors.
1) About the source being "discredited"—says who? The only historian who criticized Oren was Morris, himself criticized by many historians (including "Old" and "New" historians), and even Morris did not criticize Oren's fact finding. In fact, Morris cites Oren extensively. Other than Morris, you are the only person I know who said anything bad about this.
2) Because instead of irrelevant hyperbole which still comprises ~2/3 of this article, I want more details about the actual topic, 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramla. WP:FACR states: (b) comprehensive: it neglects no major facts or details and places the subject in context;. The path of the refugees is a major fact for the given topic. I am frankly disturbed by your statement of "it's not obvious what difference it makes". <sarcasm>Maybe we should remove the details about which units assaulted Lydda/Ramla as well? Because after all, most readers of this article won't be able to identify any of these units anyway...</sarcasm> Again, more facts about the actual events, less peripheral information. —Ynhockey (Talk) 13:27, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Okay, then can you find a secondary source, a modern historian, who cites this fact from your source? That way, we know it's notable enough to mention. That's what I've done with the other IDF sources. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 13:32, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Oren is a published author with a doctorate in the field. In fact, according to Haaretz, the battles in Lydda and Ramla were the subject of his doctorate! What more do you want? I am under no obligation to provide a second (not secondary) source for every fact only because you don't like it. Moreover, I am sure these facts can be found in Alon Kadish's book about Lod, which you also don't seem to care much about, giving preference to Arab sources like 'Aref al-'Aref, a person of dubious academic credentials and a clear conflict of interest. I only wish you would apply the same standard to all the sources you used. Did Benny Morris do a doctorate research on Lydda and Ramla? Did Shlaim or Pappe? Or Benvenisti, Lustick, Masalha or Khalidi? —Ynhockey (Talk) 14:25, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
This article can't reflect the Israeli government or IDF POV from the 1950s and 1960s, for obvious reasons, namely that it's now a tiny-minority POV. Therefore, if you want it to be included, please find a modern historian who includes it. If it's really notable, that won't be hard, in which case I'm fine with including it. But we need someone other than a Wikipedian to tell us (a) this is still regarded as correct, and (b) it's worth mentioning because of xyz. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 14:31, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
The only problem with your theory is that Oren wrote his book in the 70s, after his retirement from the IDF, based on a doctoral thesis for a university. I find your assertion about tiny minority POVs amusing too, as all the most prominent historians in the field came from Israeli universities, or are faculty in Israeli universities, including Morris, Pappe, Karsh, Shlaim, Kadish, Segev, and others who didn't do special research on Lydda/Ramla. If you have a problem with Oren as a source, take it to RSN please. —Ynhockey (Talk) 11:15, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand your point about all the historians being Israeli. I can only repeat: please provide a modern source showing that the point by Oren that you want to include is an important one. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 11:21, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
An I can only repeat: we don't discount sources based on your own POV. If you have an issue with Oren's book, On the Road to the City, as a reliable secondary source, please take it to WP:RSN. —Ynhockey (Talk) 13:34, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Point 2: Historiography

It appears that an historiography section has been written, but it is far from neutral—half of it is not relevant to the exodus from Lydda and Ramla in any way (especially the overtly long Morris quote), and it feels like it was designed solely to prove a point against "Old historians". It even nitpicks a quote from Anita Shapira (a vocal opponent of "New" historians) that appears to contradict her usual views. In fact, about 2/3 of the section deals with the debate about "Old" vs. "New" historiography, instead of the historiography of the 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramla, which I remind everyone, is the topic of this article. In addition, the section refrains from discussing two key researches (and as far as I can tell, the only two) into the events in Lydda and Ramla—Elhanan Oren's doctoral thesis, and Alon Kadish's book. The section also makes no mention of specific historiographical debates, such as what happened at the mosque. —Ynhockey (Talk) 13:44, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

By all means write a historiography section yourself, and we can compare them, perhaps use the best of both. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 14:18, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Especially for you (although I'll need to source a few statements, reword some stuff, and some information from the main article would need to be transferred here):


During the first decade following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, most of its historiography dealt with recounting the military events, with little attention paid to the political arena. This culminated in the book Toldot Milhemet HaKomemiyut (History of the War of Independence), published in 1959 by the IDF's history branch, headed by Netanel Lorch.(cn) The book dealt briefly with the exodus from Lydda and Ramla, and said that residents of Lydda had violated the terms of their surrender, were afraid of Israeli retribution, and left voluntarily. In his book The Edge of the Sword (1961), Lorch wrote that residents had even requested safe conduct from the IDF.(Morris 1987)

A detailed history of the events in Lydda and Ramla was written by Israeli historian Elhanan Oren, also a former member of the IDF history branch, in his doctoral thesis for the Tel Aviv University. This served as a basis for his 1976 book, BaDerekh El HaIr (On the Road to the City).(Haaretz) Oren stated that:

As the refugee question turned into a political grinding axe for the Arab states, an accusation arose against Israel, that it employed a deliberate expulsion policy, and the example of Lydda–Ramla was brought up more than once as proof. Not here is the place to discuss the exodus and exile of the Arabs in the War of Independence in full.(Oren 1976, p. 126)

Oren directed his readers to other books that, according to him, dealt with the issue in more depth.(Oren 1976, p. 305) He did, however, discuss the looting in the cities, basing a significant part of his account thereof on the memoirs of a soldier and later officer named Yitzhak Tishler, published in 1970.

The opening of the IDF archives to the public, and release of many original documents from the 1948 Arab–Israeli War throughout the 1980s, ushered a new era of research into its history, including the events in Lydda and Ramla.(Morris 1987) A group calling itself the New Historians emerged that, based on this new information, sought to challenge the collective memory of the war and its course.(Bar-On, p. 209) A prominent New Historian, Benny Morris, wrote that Israel's pre-1980s history of what happened in Lydda and Ramla was "less than honest".(Morris, 1987) In 1986, he published research on the events in Lydda and Ramla in the Middle East Journal.(Morris 1986) Morris also criticized Elhanan Oren's book for failing to note that the residents of the two cities were expelled, and portraying the IDF in an overtly positive light.(Morris 1987) He again made this criticism in his book, The Birth of the Palestine Refugee Problem. Oren countered that Morris ignored the Arab goals in the war, and judged the events by the end result of the war.(Haaretz)

According to Morris, an unlikely Israeli person to acknowledge publicly that the residents of Lydda and Ramla had not simply fled, but had been expelled, was Yitzhak Rabin in the manuscript of his 1979 memoirs, Pinkas Sherut (Service Notebook). The text was erased from the manuscript by an Israeli government censorship board, but it was published in October that year after Rabin's translator leaked it to The New York Times.(Morris 1987) Further Israeli research was done by Alon Kadish, Avraham Sela and Arnon Golan, and published in the form of the book Kibush Lod (Conquest of Lydda) in 2003. On the Arab side, Spiro Munayyer published a detailed personal account of the events in the Journal of Palestine Studies in 1998.

Link for convenience: User:Ynhockey/Historiography of 1948 Palestine exodus from Lydda and Ramla

Thanks for doing that. The problem is that it doesn't tell the reader anything about the sharp change in views from the 1970s to the 1980s, and the reason for the change. It also doesn't explain why the section dwells at length on Oren. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:43, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
That's because there's no secondary source saying that this change was relevant to Lydda or Ramla. Now, I admit that the release of the documents was probably what exposed the expulsion order, but this is quite irrelevant to "New historians", as there are quite a few historians who did research based on archive material who aren't "New historians", notably Kadish, but also David Tal, Yoav Gelber, and many more who did research on other aspects of the war. However, you have a point and there should probably be a brief mention of the archives being opened and documents being released, which enabled more in-depth research (and I have a source for this, might be hard to find though).
About Oren: While I avoided saying that his research was the very first serious one to deal with the events at Lydda and Ramla (no source for this), that's basically how it is. He was the first historian who wrote a serious paper about Operation Danny and the battles in Lydda and Ramla, which the exodus is part of. It is therefore fitting to discuss at-length his research and why he dedicated only one paragraph out of a 319-page book (~0.06%) to the refugees. However, this only seems so long given the current version of what I wrote. As I said in the "disclaimer" above, this is not the complete version—indeed, a historiography section should discuss major historiographical disputes. Therefore, in addition to what I wrote, there should also be a paragraph for each major controversy, for example, what happened at the mosque, who issued the order, etc. When that is done, the Oren discussion will seem very small by comparison.
What my most important concern was for the previous version was simply that there is no place here to discuss the historiography of the 1948 Arab–Israeli war in general. It's simply irrelevant. About a dozen books have been written about this alone (one of which I have), and a number of academic papers. I'm sure we can write a good article about that at a later point, but it has nothing to do with the 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramla, the topic of this article. —Ynhockey (Talk) 11:52, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
P.S. What makes this operation almost unique is that the brigades that participated in it didn't have a "Brigade book"—a series of books by Ma'arakhot Publishing which serve as by far the most detailed accounts of the military actions during the war. Had Yiftach, the 8th or Kiryati had such a book (they were published in the 50s and 60s), this discussion could have been much more interesting. But the fact that these books don't exist for these brigades is another thing that emphasizes the importance of Oren's book as the first serious research on the subject. —Ynhockey (Talk) 11:59, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
FYI: I added some stuff to the section, factoring in some of your concerns. "Bar-On" refers to: The Beginning of the Israeli Historiography of the 1948 War (2001). I am also removing the images from the comparison below, because we're comparing text. Relevant images should be returned in the main article. —Ynhockey (Talk) 13:21, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Who is your source for your historiography? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:13, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I provided the sources in the text, in parentheses, except the parts marked as "(cn)" (citation needed). What exactly are you referring to? —Ynhockey (Talk) 17:01, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Which source has written about the historiography in the terms that you wrote about it? Which source has included the material you included, or highlighted the material you highlighted? Which historian is the basis of this, for example:

Oren stated that:

"As the refugee question turned into a political grinding axe for the Arab states, an accusation arose against Israel, that it employed a deliberate expulsion policy, and the example of Lydda–Ramla was brought up more than once as proof. Not here is the place to discuss the exodus and exile of the Arabs in the War of Independence in full"(Oren 1976, p. 126)

Oren directed his readers to other books that, according to him, dealt with the issue in more depth.(Oren 1976, p. 305) He did, however, discuss the looting in the cities, basing a significant part of his account thereof on the memoirs of a soldier and later officer named Yitzhak Tishler, published in 1970.

SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:13, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I thought that was obvious. It's a direct quote from Oren. —Ynhockey (Talk) 17:29, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I wasn't clear. For a historiography section, we want to know what historians are saying about the historiography, not what I'm saying or you're saying. I found sources who discussed the meta issues, and I used those sources for my section, sticking closely to what they say. You don't like that section and want to write your own. Therefore, you need to find your own sources who have discussed the meta issues. It can't be you discussing Oren, or you deciding what to highlight. That's OR.
Who has written this, for example: "During the first decade following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, most of its historiography dealt with recounting the military events, with little attention paid to the political arena." I think most historians would disagree with you there, because this is your idea that there is such a thing as apolitical history. For most historians, "recounting the military events" would include expelling tens of thousands of people and using them to clog up the roads to thwart an enemy advance, for example.
But the point is, for everything you write in your historiography section, you need to find sources who have said those things. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:54, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure you understand what needs to go into a historiography section. It's basically two things: 1) Which major historical works were published on the events and what impact they had, and 2) What major historiographical debates exist on the issue (I didn't include this for a lack of time). Your version includes neither, and it's largely irrelevant (4 out of 6 paragraphs—#1, 3, 5, 6) don't discuss Lydda and Ramla at all!
My version is by no means final, it's a draft (that's why a couple statements might need a source). But even so, it's infinitely better than a section that discusses aspects of the historiography of the war that are 100% irrelevant to Lydda and Ramla. If you want to make this about the historiography of the war in general, for every source you can provide criticizing "Old historians", I can provide one criticizing "New historians". What relevance does it have to the topic of this article? None.
If you are so strongly opposed to my version, I suggest removing the section entirely until we can reach an agreement (or shortening it to the one relevant parts, half of paragraph 2 and par. 4). —Ynhockey (Talk) 11:27, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't know how to make this clearer. You're engaged in OR. If you want to write about X, you need to find sources who have written about X; you can't just decide what to write yourself. If you want to write about the historiography, you need to find sources who have written about the historiography; you can't just decide for yourself what that consists of. Please read WP:NOR. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 04:14, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
That's a very odd interpretation of policy indeed. But fine, let's have it your way. Please go ahead and remove all the irrelevant parts of your historiography section, and I will add the relevant parts from Bar-On's book about historiography, and the Haaretz article. Then perhaps we can work on adding the major debates. —Ynhockey (Talk) 09:10, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
That's the perfectly standard interpretation of the OR policy. I can't see how it could be interpreted differently. Everything in my historiography comes from articles discussing it, so I won't be removing anything, and I can't keep responding to this, because it's not productive. The bottom line is: please provide reliable sources, preferably modern historians, for everything you say. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:04, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
SV, since your version is now in the article, and not mine, every issue with your version is more relevant. The problem is, it includes material that's clearly irrelevant to the article, and a few WP:REDFLAG claims. It is therefore a violation of both WP:NPOV and its derivative, WP:UNDUE. Other than the direct quote from Oren, and the CN parts, every single statement I provided (spanning several paragraphs) is sourced back to sources discussing the historiography. If you have no further comment, I will feel free to edit the section accordingly. —Ynhockey (Talk) 10:41, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

I would really appreciate if this could be discussed more efficiently, instead of all this back and forth. Which parts of that section are not sourced to historians discussing the relevant historiography? Please be very specific. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:47, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Not a problem. There are two main issues:
  • The mutual criticism of historians who aren't specific to the topic:
    • "—who wrote what he calls the 'Old History'—" (if we want to label everything, why not label Morris first, himself highly controversial?)
    • "Ian Lustick writes that Lorch admitted in 1997 that he left his post because the censorship made it impossible to write good history." (is there a source relating this to specific inaccuracies in Lorch's work, or just a general irrelevant statement?)
    • "Other histories were written by intelligence officers such as David Kimche, or military commanders such as Yigal Allon." (of Lydda and Ramla? I think not)
    • "Israel's prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, famously told the Knesset in 1961 that the Palestinians had left on orders from Arab leaders or in response to radio broadcasts from other Arab states." (also misleads the reader that Ben Gurion said this specifically about Lydda and Ramla)
    • "Historian Anita Shapira writes that Ben-Gurion not only led the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, he also wrote its history, and his version of events was almost completely accepted in Israel until the 1980s; anyone who challenged it was treated as a pariah." (again irrelevant to Lydda and Ramla, also a WP:REDFLAG and WP:UNDUE claim as Shapira is a well-known critic of "new historians")
    • "According to Morris, a series of myths lay at the heart of the pre-1980s history: [long quote from Morris]" (irrelevant to Lydda and Ramla)
    • "A group calling itself the "New Historians" emerged in the 1980s. ... though he argues, as does Morris, that they were unplanned." (2 paragraphs of 100% irrelevant content)
  • A number of WP:REDFLAG claims, source misinterpretations and falsehoods:
    • "Another employee of the history branch, Lt. Col. Elhannan Orren, wrote a detailed history of Operation Danny in 1976" (he did not write this as an employee of the history branch, and another source demonstrates that this was actually his doctoral thesis)
    • "Baderekh el Ha'ir (On the Road to the City) that made no mention of expulsions." (claim that introduces the POV of one historian, or what he decided to highlight from Oren's book. This can easily be solved by directly quoting Oren, even along with this claim)
    • "Morris writes that the first person to acknowledge publicly that the residents of Lydda and Ramla had not simply fled" (not what the source actually says. Where does Morris say that Rabin was the first person to say this? I thought John Bagot Glubb was the first)
Ynhockey (Talk) 11:54, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
These issues are discussed by modern academic sources in relation to Lydda and Ramla, and vice versa. If you're seriously trying to argue that the issue of the New Historians and the opening of the archives aren't relevant to Lydda and Ramla, then I don't know what to say to you. Also, please read the source material, as it answers a lot of your questions. Finally, even above, you're engaged in OR (wanting to replace Morris's view of Oren with Oren himself). Please read the OR policy carefully. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:14, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Do you mean to tell me that 2/3 of our historiography section should be "background"? That's exactly the problem with this article as a whole—too much background, too little on the event itself. If you want to write about the war, I suggest you start at the article 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Also, I am quite familiar with WP:OR, however, I get the impression that you might not have read WP:NPOV in a while, which I encourage you to read. No other policy should override WP:NPOV (and its sub-policies like WP:UNDUE), which you insist on blatantly violating. —Ynhockey (Talk) 12:33, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Side by side

Ynhockey SlimVirgin
During the first decade following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, most of its historiography dealt with recounting the military events, with little attention paid to the political arena. This culminated in the book Toldot Milhemet HaKomemiyut (History of the War of Independence), published in 1959 by the IDF's history branch, headed by Netanel Lorch.(cn) The book dealt briefly with the exodus from Lydda and Ramla, and said that residents of Lydda had violated the terms of their surrender, were afraid of Israeli retribution, and left voluntarily. In his book The Edge of the Sword (1961), Lorch wrote that residents had even requested safe conduct from the IDF.(Morris 1987)

A detailed history of the events in Lydda and Ramla was written by Israeli historian Elhanan Oren, also a former member of the IDF history branch, in his doctoral thesis for the Tel Aviv University. This served as a basis for his 1976 book, BaDerekh El HaIr (On the Road to the City).(Haaretz) Oren stated that:

As the refugee question turned into a political grinding axe for the Arab states, an accusation arose against Israel, that it employed a deliberate expulsion policy, and the example of Lydda–Ramla was brought up more than once as proof. Not here is the place to discuss the exodus and exile of the Arabs in the War of Independence in full.(Oren 1976, p. 126)

Oren directed his readers to other books that, according to him, dealt with the issue in more depth.(Oren 1976, p. 305) He did, however, discuss the looting in the cities, basing a significant part of his account thereof on the memoirs of a soldier and later officer named Yitzhak Tishler, published in 1970.

The opening of the IDF archives to the public, and release of many original documents from the 1948 Arab–Israeli War throughout the 1980s, ushered a new era of research into its history, including the events in Lydda and Ramla.(Morris 1987) A group calling itself the New Historians emerged that, based on this new information, sought to challenge the collective memory of the war and its course.(Bar-On, p. 209) A prominent New Historian, Benny Morris, wrote that Israel's pre-1980s history of what happened in Lydda and Ramla was "less than honest".(Morris, 1987) In 1986, he published research on the events in Lydda and Ramla in the Middle East Journal.(Morris 1986) Morris also criticized Elhanan Oren's book for failing to note that the residents of the two cities were expelled, and portraying the IDF in an overtly positive light.(Morris 1987) He again made this criticism in his book, The Birth of the Palestine Refugee Problem. Oren countered that Morris ignored the Arab goals in the war, and judged the events by the end result of the war.(Haaretz)

According to Morris, an unlikely Israeli person to acknowledge publicly that the residents of Lydda and Ramla had not simply fled, but had been expelled, was Yitzhak Rabin in the manuscript of his 1979 memoirs, Pinkas Sherut (Service Notebook). The text was erased from the manuscript by an Israeli government censorship board, but it was published in October that year after Rabin's translator leaked it to The New York Times.(Morris 1987) Further Israeli research was done by Alon Kadish, Avraham Sela and Arnon Golan, and published in the form of the book Kibush Lod (Conquest of Lydda) in 2003. On the Arab side, Spiro Munayyer published a detailed personal account of the events in the Journal of Palestine Studies in 1998.

Benny Morris writes that Israeli historians during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s—who wrote what he calls the "Old History"—were "less than honest" about what had happened in Lydda and Ramla, in part because they relied on censored IDF documents and interviews with primary sources, and in part because they felt Israel was fighting for its survival and should not be weakened by having its image blackened.[1]

The IDF's official history, Toldot Milhemet HaKomemiyut (History of the War of Independence), written by employees of its history branch, and published in 1959, said that residents of Lydda had violated the terms of their surrender, were afraid of Israeli retribution for that reason, and left voluntarily. The head of the history branch, Lt. Col Netanel Lorch, wrote in The Edge of the Sword (1961) that residents had even requested safe conduct from the IDF.[1] Ian Lustick writes that Lorch admitted in 1997 that he left his post because the censorship made it impossible to write good history.[2] Another employee of the history branch, Lt. Col. Elhannan Orren, wrote a detailed history of Operation Danny in 1976, Baderekh el Ha'ir (On the Road to the City) that made no mention of expulsions.[1] Other histories were written by intelligence officers such as David Kimche, or military commanders such as Yigal Allon. Israel's prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, famously told the Knesset in 1961 that the Palestinians had left on orders from Arab leaders or in response to radio broadcasts from other Arab states. Historian Anita Shapira writes that Ben-Gurion not only led the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, he also wrote its history, and his version of events was almost completely accepted in Israel until the 1980s; anyone who challenged it was treated as a pariah.[3]

According to Morris, a series of myths lay at the heart of the pre-1980s history:

The essence of the Old History is that Zionism was a beneficent and well-meaning, progressive national movement; that Israel was born pure into an uncharitable, predatory world; that Zionist efforts to achieve compromise and conciliation were rejected by the Arabs; and that Palestine's Arabs, and in their wake the surrounding Arab states, for reasons of innate selfishness, xenophobia, and downright cussedness, refused to accede to the burgeoning Zionist presence and in 1947 launched a war to extirpate the foreign plant. ... Poorly armed and outnumbered, the Jewish community in Palestine, called the Yishuv, fought valiantly, suppressed the Palestinians gangs .. and repelled the "five" invading Arab armies. In the course of that war, says the Old History—which at this point becomes indistinguishable from Israeli propaganda—Arab states and leaders, in order to blacken Israel's image and facilitate the invasion of Palestine, called on or ordered Palestine's Arabs to quit their homes and the "Zionist areas"—to which they were expected to return once the Arab armies had proved victorious. Thus was triggered the Palestinian Arab exodus ...[1]

Morris writes that the first person to acknowledge publicly that the residents of Lydda and Ramla had not simply fled, but had been expelled, was Yitzhak Rabin in the manuscript of his 1979 memoirs, Pinkas Sherut (Service Notebook). The text was erased from the manuscript by an Israeli government censorship board, but it was published in October that year after Rabin's translator leaked it to The New York Times.[1]

A group calling itself the "New Historians" emerged in the 1980s. The 30-year rule of Israel's Archives Law, passed in 1955, meant that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of government documents were released throughout the 1980s. Almost all the Foreign Ministry's papers from 1947 to 1956 became available, as did documents from other ministries, including the Prime Minister's Office. The opening of the archives triggered new research into the events of 1948, which was around the time the "New Historians" were born. Morris argues that their age meant they had weaker emotional ties to the stories that surrounded Israel's creation, and a degree of intellectual distance.[1]

Between 1987 and 1993, four Israeli historians, three of them Oxbridge-trained, published a series of books that changed the history of the exodus from Lydda and Ramla, and of the Palestinian exodus in general, making it clear that there had, indeed, been expulsions: Simha Flapan's The Birth of Israel (1987), Benny Morris's The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 (1988), Israel's Border Wars, 1949–1956 (1993) and 1948 and After: Israel and the Palestinians 1994); Ilan Pappe's Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: 1948–1951 (1988) and The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947–1951 (1992), and Avi Shlaim's Collusion across the Jordan (1988) and The Politics of Partition (1990).[4] Their work is not without its critics, most notably Israeli historian Efraim Karsh, who writes that there was more voluntary Palestinian flight than Morris and the others concede, but regarding events in Lydda and Ramla, Karsh has acknowledged that there were expulsions, though he argues, as does Morris, that they were unplanned.[5]


Does anyone mind if I move this to 1948 Arab exodus from Lydda and Ramla? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:52, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

I'd prefer your former suggestin : 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramla (maybe with capitals at the right place) in reference to 1948 Palestinian exodus. -Ceedjee.
Right, that makes sense. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:56, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't really mind either way, but would like to ask a question: what's wrong with the current title? —Ynhockey (Talk) 00:50, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
It's not descriptive enough, and it's an issue that would be raised at FA, I believe. I'll move it to Ceedjee's suggestion in the meantime. It can always be undone if there's an objection. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:34, 22 September 2009 (UTC)


An issue was raised during a recent FA that images on the Commons had to be PD everywhere, not only in the country of origin. Or at least I think that's what was said. The point seems to be that the Commons has stricter criteria. I'm therefore going to restore the local images that we used, where the date is 1948, in case that makes them non-Commons compliant. I'm explaining that here in case anyone sees me doing it and wonders why. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:35, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

The discussion on commons ended with no consensus, so you don't need to do this. —Ynhockey (Talk) 11:54, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Do you have a link to that discussion, by any chance? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:57, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

I need to track down more information for this image from the Lod city council site. I'm told they may have taken it from a book by Ora Veckert(?) -- someone has given me that as the transliteration, but I can't find it anywhere. Could any of the Hebrew speakers on this page help to track it down? It's a nice image to use as the lead, but we won't get it through FA unless we know more about it. The main Lod council page is here. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:29, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Veckert, Ora (1977). Lod: Historical Geography. Tzrikover Publishing.

Ynhockey (Talk) 10:47, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. No sign of it anywhere. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 09:47, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
P.S. The caption on the Ramla refugee image is wrong. The refugees there are clearly stationary, as is described in the article—the IDF put effort into transporting these refugees out, even by requisitioning vehicles for the task. The caption should therefore be changed to what we know about the picture, namely, Refugees in Ramla. —Ynhockey (Talk) 11:08, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Do you mean this image? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 09:47, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes. —Ynhockey (Talk) 12:41, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Other problematic images are: this and this, uploaded to Commons by Ynhockey, taken from Lod City Council. The site doesn't say what they are. I recall that it used to, but it doesn't now, which means we have no way of showing what they were, or how old they are. That means they'll likely be deleted from the Commons. Ynhockey, can you look through the site to see if they're described anywhere, and add links to the image pages if they are? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:21, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

You can see the original captions here (doesn't work with some browsers). Using the direct link is pointless as you can modify the caption there yourself, like this. —Ynhockey (Talk) 12:47, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm not getting anything with the first link. If the FA reviewers can't see that it is what we say it is, there will be objections, that's the thing, plus a request to the Commons to delete them probably. Can you post here what the original captions say? Also, would you mind doing the same for the lead image? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:50, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
The website is unfortunately viewable only in Internet Explorer, but that doesn't prevent 96% users from viewing it properly (anyone who has Windows XP and higher also has IE). I will translate the caption for the convenience of the readers in a bit. —Ynhockey (Talk) 13:07, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Lead image

Is anyone willing and able to clean up this image? We may have to use it as the lead if we can't confirm the caption for the woman accepting the cigarette. Also, the images need alt text if anyone is so inclined. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 14:11, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Thoughts on this article

SlimVirgin asked if I would peer review the article, so I thought I'd drop by, give the article a read through, and provide some of my (informal) thoughts on the content:

  • I don't know that the lead image is the most appropriate for an article about a Palestinian exodus, that some described as a "death march" (and which apparently involved some massacres). I think a better image would be one showing the actual exodus. As an aside, is there a source for what the picture actually shows? This doesn't seem to have a caption, and I can't tell if this is an Israeli soldier accepting a cigarette, or buying a sandwich (I think that's a sandwich in her hand, at least...), or any number of a dozen other possibilities that come to mind.
  • If the image is kept, I would change "A woman soldier" to "A female soldier", though that could be an issue of American versus British English.
  • "The people of Lydda walked 17 kilometers (10 miles) to Barfiliya in temperatures of 30–35 °C (86–95 °F), from where the Arab Legion helped them reach a refugee camp in Ramallah some 50 kilometers (30 miles) away" - I'd suggest removing the word "from" to make the sentence clearer.
  • "Eyewitnesses also say people were killed by Israeli soldiers for refusing to part with their valuables" - I think I would change the "say" to the past tense "said" or "reported".
  • "Throughout 1947, Jewish and Arab militia had been attacking each other on roads and villages near the cities" - I think "milita" should be "militias".
  • In the Strategic importance of Lydda and Ramla section, I note that the first sentence of the first paragraph sounds more like historical background on the town, and the first two sentences of the second paragraph sound more like events leading up to the incident. I'm not saying move them to other sections or rename this section, per se, but I think it's something to think about. Those sentences feel a bit "shoehorned" in right now to me.
  • "Israel mistakenly believed the Arab Legion, Jordan's army, had a substantial force in the area..." - I'm aware that Jordan was controlled by the British during this period, but I'm not sure that "Jordan's army" is the best description for the Arab Legion here.
  • "They write that, by the time of the Israeli invasion, the militia in Lydda numbered 1,000 men equipped with rifles, submachine guns, 15 machine guns, five heavy machine guns, 25 anti-tank launchers, 6–7 light field-guns and 2–3 heavy ones, and armored cars with machine guns." - I believe that "five" should be "5", to match the style of everything else listed.
  • "Against this, Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi writes that the only troops defending Lydda were 125 men from the Arab Legion, the rest of them volunteer civilian residents under the command of a retired British Arab-Legion sergeant." - I don't know that this statement actually conflicts with the one before it (regarding the "Against this" phrasing). Both descriptions can be accurate - 125 Arab Legion forces, and volunteer civilian residents (who may have been the "1,000" militiamen the Israeli historians described. I would remove the "Against this".
  • "The local militia also stopped women and children from leaving, because their departure had acted elsewhere as a catalyst for the men to leave too." - needs citation.
  • "Kadish and Sela write that it was common for Palestinians to leave their homes under threat of Israeli invasion, in part because they feared atrocities, particularly rape, and in part because of a reluctance to live under Jewish rule—what Kadish and Sela call an unthinkable idea.'" - There's an odd hanging quote at the end of this sentence. I'm not sure what the direct quote is supposed to be exactly, but it should be fixed and cited inline.
  • "signalling the desire of Abdullah I of Jordan to stake a claim in the parts of Palestine allotted by the UN to an Arab-Palestinian state" - citation needed.
  • In general, the Lydda's defenses section is a bit schizophrenic, and could benefit from some tidying.
  • "Israel's 89th (armored) Battalion" - this wording feels odd, with "armored" in parentheses and "battalion" capitalized. Please verify that this is the correct style to use when describing military units.
  • "Moshe Dayan led a jeep commando column into the town..." - shouldn't this whole blockquote'd section be wrapped with double quotes?
  • "Khalil Wazir, who later joined the PLO and became known as Abu Jihad..." I would change this to something like "Khalil Wazir, who would later found Fatah..." as that seems more notable than either his joining the PLO or changing his name. Again, I think the blockquote cited to him should be wrapped with double quotes, though someone should check the MoS.
  • "Gelber describes what followed as the bloodiest massacre of the war." Does this massacre have a name, or an article on Wikipedia? Should it be linked to, or added to the Israeli response section as a "Main article"?
  • "Muhammad Nimr al-Khatib writes that 1,700 were killed, which Morris regards as an exaggeration." - citation for Morris' review of the claim would be good.
  • "Aref al-Aref writes that 179 were killed." - this person should be identified as whatever they are, be it Israeli soldier, Palestinian eyewitness, or historian.
  • "They said to go to the mosque and take the corpses out from there..." - this blockquote has an end quote but no begin quote.
  • "and Palestinian resident to fix the problem" - I think resident should be pluralized to residents here.

Taking a break here. Finished the first two sections - if I have time will look through the rest later. ← George talk 05:42, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

This is very helpful, George, thanks. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:31, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
You changed one of the sentences to say: "One of the key issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is whether the refugees ought to have the right of return, an issue with the potential to destroy Israel as a Jewish state." While accurate, I would change the second half of that sentence. The concept of "destroying Israel" has a lot of baggage around it. What about something like "One of the key issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is whether the refugees ought to have the right of return, an issue with the potential to displace Judaism as the majority religion in Israel." Or something to that effect, describing the demographics shift, rather than "destruction". ← George talk 00:16, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
What you say is true, but religion as such is not the key issue. There are Israeli Jews who want to see an entirely secular state, and religious Jews who don't want a Jewish state at all. I'll perhaps try to reword it to remove "destroy," or I'll source it to one of the historians and phrase it the way they do. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:49, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Image review

I've asked Nuclear Warfare to review the images in the article, because it seems that several we're claiming as PD are not, and will have to be used as "fair use," or not at all. He has asked me to list the images here, and he'll take a look.

Claimed as PD on the Commons

Believed PD in the U.S.
  1. File:St Georges Church Lydda.jpg, Lydda, January 1920, Commons.
    Needs a link to the version in the LoC Prints and Photographs collection. The Flickr version doesn't indicate that it is part of the Matson Collection. NW (Talk) 16:14, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  2. File:Moshe Dayan croped.JPG, U.S. govt, Commons.
    Seems to be fine. NW (Talk) 16:14, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  3. File:Bill Clinton, Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat at the White House 1993-09-13.jpg, White House 1993, Commons.
    Very famous picture; looks good. That could probably be cropped and tilted some, but that's a different issue. NW (Talk) 16:14, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  4. File:Anita Shapira.jpg, 2006, has reportedly been released, Commons.
    Needs a better source than "Shapira Family"; the uploader on hewiki should be contacted to see if they can provide an OTRS confirmation. NW (Talk) 16:14, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  5. File:Benny morris.jpg, 2007, released by the author, Commons.
    Good. NW (Talk) 16:14, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  6. File:Downtown area of Lod, Israel 00262.JPG, 2005, released by the author, Commons.
    Good. It would be nice if the timestamp could be edited out, but again, separate issue. NW (Talk) 16:14, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Believed PD in Israel or elsewhere
  1. File:Declaration of State of Israel 1948.jpg, Israel, May 1948, Commons.
  2. File:LyddaAirportCapture.png, Lydda, July 1948, Commons.
  3. File:Ramla prisoners of war, July 12-13, 1948.png, Ramla, July 1948, Commons.
  4. File:IDFSoldierInLyddaOrRamla.png, Lydda or Ramla, July 1948, Commons.
  5. File:LyddaDahmashMosque.png, Lydda, July 1948, Commons.
  6. File:YitzhakRabin1948.png, 1948, Commons.
  7. File:YigalAllon1948.png, 1948, Commons.
  8. File:Bechor-Shalom Shitreet.jpg, 1949, Commons.
  9. File:RefugeesEscortedFromRamlaOperationDanny.jpg, Ramla, July 1948, Commons.
  10. File:Aharon Zisling.jpg, 1951, Commons.
  11. File:LodFirstCityCouncil.jpg, Lod, April 1949, Commons.
  12. File:Glubb pasha 1954.jpg, 1954, Commons.
  13. File:Man see school nakba.jpg, 1948, has an OTRS ticket, Commons.
    Good. NW (Talk) 00:04, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  14. File:LodTransferOfControl.png, Lod, April 1949, Commons.
  15. File:Kingabdullahbinhussein.jpg, taken before 1951, as he died then, Commons.
  16. File:RuinsOfLydda.png, Lydda, July 1948, Commons.

  1. Any image that was still copyrighted in its home country as of January 1, 1996 is still copyrighted in the United States. See Commons:Commons:Deletion requests/PD Israel images (Almog) for example. NW (Talk) 00:04, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
So the above are Commons-compliant? They were taken from 1948 to 1954, in what is now Israel, and are PD there. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:11, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
They would not be Commons or enwiki complaint, actually. Because the servers are located in the United States, US copyright law applies no matter which project it is hosted on. We respect Israeli copyright law on Commons voluntarily, but not on enwiki. Any images above would have to be used as fair use to not be deleted. Can you tell me which images you would like deleted? I'll be happy to do so for you. NW (Talk) 02:02, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I'll take a look through them tonight or tomorrow, NW, decide which ones I want to claim fair use for in this article, and then send you a list of the rest, if that's okay. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:13, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Sure thing; take your time. NW (Talk) 22:30, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Local copies tagged as PD

  1. File:George Habash (cropped).jpg, 1980, local copy cropped from File:Arafat Darwish Habash.jpg, Commons.
  2. File:Zochrot at the former Lydda ghetto.JPG, 2003, released by the author. Has an ORTS ticket, local copy.
    This is fine. NW (Talk) 00:05, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  3. File:Dawsonfieldcamels.jpg, Jordan 1970, local copy.
  4. File:Palestine-20-48.png (local copy), this is a modified version of File:Map of Jewish settlements in Palestine in 1947.png, Commons.
    For the rest of the images, see my comment in the above section. NW (Talk) 00:05, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Claimed as fair use

  1. File:Refugees from Lydda.jpg, July 1948.
    Seems to meet the fair use criteria. NW (Talk) 00:06, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
  2. File:Ismail Shammout's Where to ....JPG, claiming fair use, 1953, local copy.
    If the following statement: "The image has iconic status among the Palestinian people." is true, then this should be fine. NW (Talk) 00:06, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:05, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

  1. File:Transfer of control from the military governor to the first mayor, Pesach Lev, Lod, April 1949.jpg
  2. File:Israeli fighter accepts cigarette from an Arab resident, Lydda, July 1948.png

1948 war

SlimVirign, I'm not following how this edit fixed the text. Best I can tell it replaces the 1948 War with the 1948 declaration of independance. Please clarify. JaakobouChalk Talk 15:39, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I am further concerned that SlimVirgin felt the need to replace the proper character for the en dash with the HTML phrase. What's the point? —Ynhockey (Talk) 17:03, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I just looked at this article for the first time in a long while, and I was going to mention how strange it was that there was no mention in the lede of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Seems that if a mass flight and expulsion take place following a conquest during a war, it's kind of worth mentioning the war. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 22:47, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I'll add it in a way that doesn't mess up the writing. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 04:11, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Historiography section

I have just read this section.
I think it is quite good (not to say perfect for wp) for what concerns Israeli historiography.
But what about the Palestian and Jordanian historiographies ?
I don't like these critics who just come and say something is not good. I could look for the information and add it myself but I don't have time. So I underline once again this article is excellent and I provide this link where material could be found : [4]. This book edited by Shlaim deals with the different arab historiographies of the war. Some comments should be found about the Jordanian (and Glubb) way to refer about the events...
Cheers, (talk) 20:28, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Good idea, and many thanks for the link. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 21:08, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Canadian Monkey was a sock

Canadian Monkey (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has been identified as one of a series of sock-puppets of banned sock-master Isarig.

Isarig's past contributions are listed here under Former user 2, see Community Sanctions Noticeboard Isarig, Community Sanctions Noticeboard consensus, Community Sanctions Noticeboard Resolution, Community Sanctions Noticeboard Isarig, ANI: Isarig violating terms of mentorship for community concerns about the operation of this account. The extensive discussions culminated in compulsory mentoring, 1RR and an Israel/Palestine topic ban on the 30th August 2007.

In December 2007, Isarig (who had continued to edit outside the I/P topic) confessed to operating the sock-puppets Teens! and Clintonesque and was granted the right to vanish according to this deletion log and Isarig is no longer with us, wherein it is said "The user have been explained not to come back editing again as per WP:RTV, a thing they agreed to."

Full list of the sock-puppets now known to have been operated by Isarig:

Canadian Monkey -> click here for link to 3,193 edits

Mr. Hicks The III -> click here for link to 3,197 edits

NoCal100 -> click here for link to 2,668 edits

Lover Of The Russian Queen -> click here for link to 916 edits

Millmoss -> click here for link to 274 edits

I am Dr. Drakken -> click here for link to 106 edits. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Hadashot Livkarim -> click here for link to 68 edits, some likely conentious eg this and this and this.

AbetterWay -> click here for link to 21 harmless edits on IBM Thinkpad 380, Shu-turul, Sriram Raghavan and Mirawdale

Fistook -> click here for one harmless edit to Ma'alot massacre on 27 March 2009.

Oh, Those Russians! - > click here for one harmless edit to Ahlam Shibli on 22 June 2009.

Some of these accounts have been repeatedly subject to accusations of editwarring and disruptive editting.

As regards current efforts to improve 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramla, this notification may lead editors to examine this diff which may have been an effort to introduce distortions to the encyclopedia. (talk) 13:46, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Lead lacks NPOV

Among other minor issues, the last two paragraphs of the lead deal almost entirely with the Israeli perspective on these events. The Palestinian POV is not mentioned, even though this is considered to be one of the greatest catastrophes of the war, with two major urban areas emptied of their Arab inhabitants in the course of a few days and large scale massacres, one of which took place in a mosque. Additionally, the language used to describe the death march seems rather tepid : "they walked" - when in fact they were forced out of their homes not of their own volition and were shot at along the way to keep then going. (Not to mention that many were stripped of all their valuables.) These issues need to be addressed if the article is going to be sent to FAR. Preferably prior to that, since I've seen how once it is there, editors become resistant to any largescale changes from "involved" editors. Tiamuttalk 11:11, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Tiamut, for this article to be FAC-ready, it would need so much copy-editing that it'd practically be a rewrite, so no worries in that regard. The last two paragraphs say:

According to the Israeli army, their actions averted an Arab threat to Tel Aviv, helped them gain control of the road to Jerusalem, and, by clogging the roads with refugees, thwarted an Arab Legion advance.[5] The exodus accounted for one-tenth of the overall Arab exodus from Palestine, known in the Arab world as al-Nakba ("the catastrophe").[6] One of the key issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is whether the refugees ought to have the right of return, which Israel views as a threat to its identity as a Jewish state.

Until the late 1970s, Israel's historians maintained that the Palestinians had been ordered to leave by their Arab leaders, or had simply fled. In the 1980s, newly released Israeli government documents showed that residents had, in fact, been expelled from Lydda and Ramla by the IDF. The documents triggered a reassessment of Israel's role in the events of 1948 by a group of Israeli scholars known as the "New Historians."

The first sentence is Israeli army perspective. The last paragraph is about how the Israeli perspective has changed, and that's important to mention, because it has changed radically. I don't see the other two sentences in the first para above as Israeli perspective. Is there something you think should be added? SlimVirgin TALK contribs 11:56, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, for one, I would add a sentence, somewhere above those two paragraphs, on how there were widespread allegations, by both Palestinians and Israelis, of massacres, indiscriminate killing, rape, expulsions, and looting carried out by Israeli soldiers.
I would also add that the inhabitants of 25 other Palestinian villages in the vicinity were expelled over the same time period, and that there were orders to use live fire against anyone who returned.
I would further add that the homes of the Palestinian refugees were given to Jewish immigrants partially due to a housing shortage but also to make it harder for the refugees to return.
Perhaps also a mention of how Palestinians who lived through the experience, such as Khalil al-Wazir and George Habash, went on to become leaders in the Palestinian national movement might be worth including.
Just a few ideas. I plan to be more involved in the editing of this article in the days and weeks to come. I stayed away after the shenanigans by the socks of NoCal100 resulted in an out of process page move. I still think the Lydda Death March could be covered in its own sub-article (as could the massacre at the Dahmash mosque, etc.). I'm not thrilled about the current title either. As you once suggested previously, the most common name for the events of 1948 is the Nakba and not "1948 Palestinian exodus", but given the lack of consensus on a name change for the parent article, I guess we will have to live this one for now. Tiamuttalk 16:04, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I added something about the empty homes. [5] SlimVirgin TALK contribs 16:45, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I added something abut the widespread allegations of massacres, indiscriinate killings, etc., about the 25 other villages empited at the same time, and some minor wording changes such as "forced to walk" instead of "walked" and "quite a few" instead of "just a few" (per Morris). You can see the changes here. Tiamuttalk 21:11, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

FAC-ready ?

Just here above, SlimVirgin wrote : "Hi Tiamut, for this article to be FAC-ready, it would need so much copy-editing that it'd practically be a rewrite, so no worries in that regard."
Could you clarify your point. Is this a problem of style or a problem of content ? Are some points unclear ? What are the issues (globally) (talk) 08:01, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I just saw this. Lots of problems, content mostly, and length. Would need a thorough going over, and not sure I can face it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:53, 17 August 2010 (UTC)


Marokwitz, I'm currently tightening this article in the hope of shaving several hundred words off it to slowly get it to FA standard (whether submitted or not), so I'm likely to remove the material you added today. [6] We can't keep adding more details from particular perspectives, especially not in any of the background sections. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 21:29, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Part of preparing the article to FA standard is representing all points of view, and this article in it's present form is biased toward the Palestinian viewpoint. Despite commendable efforts by you, some remaining examples include missing mention of the attacks mounted from Lydda on the nearby Tel Aviv Jerusalem road since the start of the war (as noted by Morris), the article incorrectly implied that the name Lod is a new one while it is actually the Hebrew name of the city since biblical times. Another example is that the article includes no mention of the Jewish history of Lydda, including the Jews being driven out in 1921, etc. I would oppose making this a FA unless some work is done to maintain neutrality. Marokwitz (talk) 11:34, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome to oppose, but I need to shorten this, not lengthen it. I also want to avoid the interminable background detail that plagues Israel-Palestine articles, about who did what first, and who was where first, and who started it. The background needs to be as brief as possible to paint a very broad brushstroke before moving on to the main issues, the invasion and expulsions. We give neither the Arab nor the Jewish history of Lydda: if people want to look that up, they can go to the main article. As for road attacks, we say: "Throughout 1947 Jewish and Arab militias had been attacking each other on roads near the cities," which makes clear that attacks were coming from both sides. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 11:42, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec)I agree with Markowitz. Tightening the article is a noble cause, but you can't sacrifice NPOV. I checked a random edit [7] and found you removed the fact there was intense fighting at the southern entrance to Lydda, giving the reader an impression that Dayan's forces were shooting at everything for the heck of it. This is unacceptable. That's not tightening the text, it's removing pertinent information. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 11:54, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
What does that sentence add to that particular context, the part of the article where it was mentioned? I am not going to do the usual I/P thing, where every single tiny factoid that could possibly be mustered in favour of some POV is added. It has made 99 percent of Wikipedia articles on the conflict unreadable. We have already said there were Arab fighters. We have already said the local residents were armed. There is no need to keep on saying it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 11:58, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
It adds the information that there was heavy fighting in the southern entrance to the city, and doesn't leave the reader with the impression Dayan was shooting at stuff for no reason like it does now. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 12:14, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Hebrew name

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Where does this source [8] say it's a Hebrew name? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 11:48, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

"I need to shorten this, not lengthen it" - it doesn't work that way, sorry. Wikipedia is based on consensus, not the decisions of a single author. Please discuss here rather than state your final decisions. Regarding your question, perhaps this source is more explicit on the matter of etymology: [9], the word is "of Hebrew origin" , Lydda is "the Greek form of the name, (Acts 9:32,35,38) which appears in the Hebrew records as LOD a town of Benjamin. Marokwitz (talk) 12:06, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Could you find a better source, please, preferably academic? Wikipedia FAs are based on high-quality sources and good writing. That's what I'm trying to maintain here. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:09, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
What's wrong with using a biblical dictionary as an academic source for purposes of etymology? Marokwitz (talk) 12:13, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Neither of these sources -- NetBible: Lydda and International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, LOD; LYDDA -- say it is a Hebrew name that I can see. If you want that to be in the article, it must have a good source, and not If it's correct you can surely find an academic source for it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:16, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

These websites are reliable sources. If you want a printed source, see "Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Lydda'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary", 1901. Marokwitz (talk) 12:22, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Websites are not good standards for FA. Anyway, as far as I know, I do confirm Lod is the Hebrew name of Lydda. I try to find a reference from an academic source (related to these events, which is even better.)
I find this quite anti-Israeli to mention this. That gives the feeling that Israel wiped the names of all Arab villages and give them their hebrew name, particularly in this case. I try to find a source for this too. Maybe in Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine but I wonder why you insist to have such information...
Noisetier (talk) 12:35, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Can you quote where they say Lod is a Hebrew name/word? I can't find that in either of them. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:28, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Smith dictionary : "Lydda, the Greek form of the name ( Acts 9:32 Acts 9:35 Acts 9:38 ) which appears in the Hebrew records as LOD a town of Benjamin, founded by Shamed or Shamer. ( 1 Chronicles 8:12 ; Ezra 2:33 ; Nehemiah 7:37 ; 11:35 ) It is still called Lidd or Lud" source: "Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Lydda'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary", 1901 Marokwitz (talk) 12:34, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

The article says in several places that the city became known as "lod" only after its capture - that's incorrect. You can check out archives of Hebrew language newspapers from the 1920s-1940s and see it was called that long before. Here is one example —Preceding unsigned comment added by Far but no Cigar (talkcontribs) 16:12, 25 November 2010 (UTC)


I've been in touch with an academic historian about this article, someone familiar with the topic, and he has very kindly read the article in some detail and has given me a review. I'm following his advice wherever possible (consistent with NPOV), which means following mainstream modern historiography, emphasizing the points historians emphasize. I ask you all please to allow that to happen. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

With all due respect, that's not how things work around here, as I'm sure you know. I'm happy you want to improve this article, but you're not going to get a free pass to change whatever you like in whatever way you like just because you say you're in touch with an academic historian. You are of course welcome to balance his POV with the rest of the published POVs out there. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 12:17, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin - Wonderful. The support of academic is a great added value. Would you mind emailing this to me ?
@No More Mr Nice Guy - To respect NPoV, people must be aware of all the different POV's... The best way is certainly to ask to academic historians to give their mind and to follow their advices. The POV of wikipedia editors is irrelevant. Noisetier (talk) 12:23, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Noisetier (talk) 12:20, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec, to No More Mr Nice Guy) It's the way things have to work when preparing an article for FAC. This article can't be edited by partisans, because people with strong feelings on both sides are going to dislike it. You will want to stress there were Arab fighters, and that it wasn't really a massacre, but a battle. The other side will want to stress the Lydda death march angle. The truth lies in the middle, nuanced and tricky to tease out. You can't just add sentences that you happen to spot somewhere. You have to be familiar with all the academic source material (including the sources not mentioned in the article) so you have an overview of the issues mainstream academics stress. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:24, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just to clarify what I'm doing. I'm going to tighten the writing down to, if possible, under 7,000 words. I'm then going to start going through it to compare it to the 14-page review I have from the academic, to make sure we're emphasizing the right things and using the right sources. So there may be changes at that point, including the removal of some of the primary sources. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:34, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps remove or drastically shorten the Historiography paragraph, it's about a general topic not directly relevant to this article . Marokwitz (talk) 13:06, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I would make spin-off articles whenever possible. Since this article began as being about the Lydda Death March itself, I'd make an article about that to begin, copying everything we have on that topic here over there and then summarizing it here. I'd do the same for other distinct sub topics, sch as the massacres, etc. Tiamuttalk 13:21, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
This article is not too long, and I would advise against changing it to summary style. The new articles are very likely to be challenged as a POV fork. Marokwitz (talk) 13:28, 25 November 2010 (UTC)


The reference is given in the article: Morris 2008, p. 473, footnote 85. [10] Were you not able to find it there, Marokwitz? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 13:35, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

You are right, I didn't notice the second citation. Sorry. But notice that Morris uses the word "apparently", and other sources do not attribute this poem specifically to this incident, do you have a more definitive source? Marokwitz (talk) 14:01, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what you're reading. Morris 2008 doesn't use the word apparently. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 14:30, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Hmm. The 2004 version of his book, which I assumed to be the same, used the word "apparently" when referring to the poem. I currently don't have the 2008 version, but I trust you. I'll self revert. Marokwitz (talk) 14:55, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
They're two separate books, not versions, and neither one says "apparently" that I can see. Which page are you looking at in 2004? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:16, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
It is in Page 489: "The poem, apparently about the 89th Battalion's July raid on Lydda". I don't think that the poet ever said explicitly which atrocities he referred to. But if Morris 2008 says so, then I guess he knows. Marokwitz (talk) 15:28, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
He's clear in 2004, p. 426 and 2008, p. 473 that it was about Lydda. Please don't remove or tags things like this. As I said above, I'm in the process of checking text-source integrity for the FAC, because sources were moved during previous editing. It's probably going to take several days or maybe even a couple of weeks. If you can't find a source for something, please post it here on talk, and I'll get to it soon enough. I know the sources, and so it'll be relatively quick for me to find them. But having to repeatedly post on talk about material that's being removed means I can't do that checking. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:38, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

RS: Rabin signed the order

Marokwitz has removed material added citation needed tags about Rabin signing the order to expel from Lydda. However, the statement appears to be true, according to RS

  • The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan, p. 65, published by Bloomsbury
  • Targeting civilians in war by Alexander Downes, Cornell University Press, p. 202
  • Jerusalem Report February 9 2004 p. 21 Benny Morris states clearly that Rabin signed the order.

It would be nice if Marokwitz reverts.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 14:40, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

What did I remove exactly? I only tagged these statements as needing a citation. Marokwitz (talk) 14:49, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what I was thinking - sorry. I've struck the remove comment. I was looking at the sum of your edits and had a brain fart. Anyway, the citations are there. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 15:09, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
The Jerusalem Report cannot be used as it is written from an Israeli POV. Chesdovi (talk) 14:53, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it is explained in 2008's Morris book : 1948. A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. Could you check ? Noisetier (talk) 15:33, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Was this article renamed?

Both the peer review and talk page archives are red links somehow. Tijfo098 (talk) 15:58, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Ramla became Ramle at some point, but the archives were not moved accordingly. Tijfo098 (talk) 17:03, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Amir Hanhan

  • Factual error: This article says that Amir Hanhan was shot for refusing to part with his possessions, and the article categorized this as "looting". Other testimonies, however, say "fearing that they steal it from him, he refused to be searched". This seems to be the common account. Not "looting". See for example: [11] [12] [13]. Even George Habash himself (hardly a RS) said "It seems that our neighbor, Amin Hanhan, was hiding some money; so he didn't accept to be searched.". Marokwitz (talk) 11:03, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for addressing this issue. Marokwitz (talk) 08:37, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Historiography section

There are problems here foremost among them the massive space accorded to Benny Morris and his writings on the New Historians. This seems to be only tangentially related to the subject of this article. Particularly since the document declassifications of the 1990s did not inclde information on Ramle and Lydda ("for reasons of "security," significant portions of the documents-addressing Israel's 1948 expulsion of over 50,000 from Ramle and Lod-remain classified."

Cutting out much of Morris would be a good start. Tiamuttalk 18:18, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I'll take the lack of response as an okay to proceed? Tiamuttalk 07:50, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd appreciate if you wouldn't remove material, Tiamut. I've put the article up for peer review, and I'd like to hear what uninvolved editors think of it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:17, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I won't remove anything else. Am I permitted to modify or add material? Or is this article now off limits? Tiamuttalk 12:50, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Rabin and Allon

Our article did not mention that Rabin was Head of Operations or the operations officer instead sing the word "deputy" and saying Allon headed the operation or was the commanding officer. I added that Rabin was Head of Operations (per this source). Other sources call him "the operations officer of Operation Dani" or "Allon's operations officer" [14] [15]. The relationship between the two needs to be defined in line with the language used by the sources. The article currently sidelines Rabin's central role in the events of that day focusing more on his recollections and Allon's dismissal of their veracity. Tiamuttalk 18:43, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Allon was one of 12 General Staff brigadiers during the 1948 war. He was the Commander of the Southern Front which was made up of 3 Palmach battallions, of which one was headed by Rabin, who was a Palmach officer. [16] It is therefore incorrect to call Allon the commanding officer and Rabin his deputy. We should explain that Rabin was a Palmach officer, in command of one the three Palmach brigades under the general command of Allon, in his capacity as General Staff brigadier and Commander of the Southern Front. Terminology in the article should be changed to reflect this. Rabin was "Head of Operations" or "operations officer" for the Lydda-Ramle operation and Allon his commanding General. Tiamuttalk 19:09, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, you reverted my addition of the descriptor "Head of Operations" for Rabin. Do you object to that description? Would you prefer "operations officer" (used by Morris)? Calling Rabin Allon's "deputy" withot specifying his proper role in the events is insufficient. We might also want to mention that Rabin was the commanding officer of the Harel Brigade, one of the 3 Palmach brigades under Allon's command as brigadier general, until Allon appointed him his operations officer for Operation Dani. Tiamuttalk 07:54, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
I added operations officer to the Operation Danny section. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 08:24, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. What are yor thoughts about including information about Allon and Rabin being part of the Palmach and their positions as General Staff brigadier and commander of the Harel Brigade respectively? Tiamuttalk 10:00, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
What do you feel it would add in terms of significance? There comes a point where these military details pass over most people's heads and reduce readability. Is it not enough to say Allon was in charge of the operation, and Rabin was his operations officer? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 10:19, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
I think letting the reader know that Rabin was a commander of the Harel Brigade under the general command of Allon just prior to the operation is relevant background material. Also, the sources I've read indicate Allon appointed him operations officer after taking command of Operation Dani on July 7 (our text says Rabin was assigned without noting it was Allon who assigned him). Also, adding a link to Palmach and noting both were members of that paramilitary group is something most readers would understand. This information is much more relevant than many other things mentioned in the article (such as, for example, the info I removed on Adolf Eichmann being exected in Ramla in 1962). No? Tiamuttalk 13:02, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
I've tried to write the article for people who know nothing about the Arab-Israeli conflict. That's difficult, because there's a certain vocabulary that can't be entirely avoided. But I've tried wherever possible to keep that vocabulary to a minimum, and to explain it where I'm able to without introducing more confusion. For that reason I've tried not to go into detail about which paramilitary groups were active in or near Lydda, and which ones the Israelis had been part of pre-Israel. I focused only on who actually fought (or was otherwise involved) in Lydda and Ramla during the period of the invasion.
That's the reason I added Eichmann -- to give the reader who knows nothing about these places a small foothold. I added Saint George of Lydda for the same reason. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:26, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Adding "many refugees from Arab lands" to the lead

Chesdovi, I had something similar in the lead earlier (from Europe and other Arab countries), but I removed it because it made a political point and looked odd—the political point being that Jews were expelled from Arab lands too. But that has nothing to do with what happened at Lydda and Ramle per se.

Also, I wasn't sure that the Jewish immigrants were only from Europe and other Arab countries between 1948 and 1951. So I removed it because of the POV issue and the uncertainty. Before we can even think about adding it, we would need a better source than the one you added, which seems to be an otherwise unpublished essay on a website. [17] SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:12, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

What has the fact that "Nearly 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel between 1948 and 1951" hace to do with L&R "per se". How many of these 700K settled in L&R? Further, if you feel it necessary to mention the right of return in regard to L&R, it would be only fair to mention the plight of the Arab Jewish refugees too, not just the threat to Israel's identity. It is not just the identity issue, some regard that the "population exchange" neturalises any Arab claim to return. (Sorry I did not manage to revert, just saw your message now.) Chesdovi (talk) 13:26, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I had a look at the existing sources, and one of them does say that most of the immigrants who moved into Lydda and Ramle were from other Arab countries and north Africa, so we can add something like that to the lead. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:38, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Done. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 06:51, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

"al-Ludd became known as Lod in 1948"?

I recently added reliable sources to the article demonstrating that Lod was always used as the Hebrew name of al-Ludd, and it did not "become known as Lod" in 1948. I changed the text to a more neutral assertion, that al-Ludd is today known by its Hebrew name, Lod. This information was immediately removed by SlimVirgin, under the misleading edit summary "tidied writing, rmvd repetition". The current wording is biased. The locality was called Ludd (in Arabic) and Lod or Lud (in Hebrew) before 1948 and is still known by these names today. I am adding a POV tag until this dispute is resolved.Marokwitz (talk) 14:54, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

The article already says in a footnote that Lod was the biblical name, Lydda came from the Greek and was widely used, al-Ludd or al-Lydd the Arabic. What is the link, in your view, between the etymology of the names and the 1948 Palestinian exodus from the towns? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 16:07, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't [see] any information on how the city was known as "Lod" prior to '48, the important detail added by Marok. The pertinence of this background information is quite clear.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 16:34, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't understand your first sentence. Could you explain what the connection is between the etymology of names and the 1948 Palestinian exodus? We could add the heiroglyphic name too, because the Egyptians seem to have been the first to have written about Lydda, but I would like to know what that has to do with the 1948 exodus. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 16:41, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
corrected. sorry.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 16:44, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I still don't understand it. Could you answer my question? I can understand why you might want to add the heiroglyphic, Arabic, biblical, and Greek names to the article about Lod, and explain it all there. But I can't see the relationship between those names and the Palestinian exodus in 1948, the topic of this article. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 16:49, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
No problem. Since the article includes information about allegations that Israelies caused the "exodus", information on the Israeli/Jewish connection to the city is peritinent background information. I hope this clears things up. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 17:13, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
My edit was done per the recommendation of Noisetier, who commented above: "I find this quite anti-Israeli to mention this. That gives the feeling that Israel wiped the names of all Arab villages and give them their hebrew name, particularly in this case." Spot on. Clearly, Marokwitz, Noisetier, Brewcrewer, Far but no Cigar, think that "al-Ludd became known as Lod in 1948" is non-neutral. Furthermore, reliable sources were provided which state quite clearly that Lod was known as Lod before 1948, so it cannot have also "become known as Lod in 1948", could it? Marokwitz (talk) 17:23, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
That the Egyptians called it
Q1 t
(for example) in 1465 BCE, and the Arabs called it al-Ludd in the 6th century BCE, and the Bible called it Lod in whenever, and the Greeks called it Lydda in whenever, has no bearing of any kind on whether the Palestinians fled or were expelled, and what the consequences of that were.
It was known as Lydda all over the world. It became known as Lod all over the world after 1948. Please discuss further details in the articles about the towns. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:34, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Seems like Marokwitz's position is not unreasonable. Can we find a more neutral wording to create consensus? - BorisG (talk) 17:38, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've asked the same question three times now, and I'd really appreciate a reply. The lead sums up the most important points about the causes and consequences of the Palestinian Arabs leaving Lydda in 1948, and whether they jumped or were pushed. What is the link between that and the Egyptians calling it A, the Arabs calling it B, the Jews calling it C, and the Greeks calling it D, thousands of years ago? It's in a footnote because Marokwitz wanted that, but what is the relevance to the lead of this article?

Also (separate issue), is it a Hebrew word? It is one of the names found for Lydda in the bible (as the footnote says), but what is the sense in which it's exclusively Hebrew? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:02, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

You wrote "al-Ludd became known as Lod in 1948". This is simply not true, and needs to be fixed. Since there are some sources backing this incorrect assertion, I didn't remove it. Instead I slightly rephrased, removing the word "became" and left a neutral "Ludd is now known by its Hebrew name, Lod". Why are you making such a big deal about it? Are you trying to emphasize, as Noisetier mentioned, that "Israel wiped the names of all Arab villages and gave them a Hebrew name"? Well, not all scholars agree, and to balance that POV, it might be relevant to note that according to other reliable sources, the names "Lydda", "Lod" and "Ludd" are basically different pronunciations of the same name, which is derived from the original Hebrew name "Lod". It is also notable, that the name "Lod" has been used when referring to this locality in Hebrew, from biblical times, through Roman times when it was a Jewish city, through the early 20'th century when Jews lived there alongside Arabs, and it is still known by this name today. The Israelis didn't "rename it" as part of their evil schemes, and if some "new historians" said that they did, they still cannot change the simple and well documented fact, that Jews lived in Palestine, and Jews lived in Lod until they were driven out by the 1921 riots (another relevant fact missing from this article), and those Jews called their city, in Hebrew, "Lod". Marokwitz (talk)
I'm going to follow the academic source, not what editors on this page say. The source is Haim Yacobi, lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University. He writes that its name was changed from Lydda to Lod, its biblical name. [18] I have added biblical name to the footnote, along with details of the Arabic and Greek. That is all that is needed.
I want to avoid all the usual I/P stuff about who-was-there-first. It's irrelevant. The town was widely known as Lydda, then after 1948 it became widely known as Lod. Further discussion about the ins and outs belongs in the article about the town, not in the article about the 1948 Palestinian exodus. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:25, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
A-E vulture here. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the problem as I don't think the article is implying cultural wrongdoing but here's a possible compromise: could the offending phrase be changed to something like "known in Hebrew as Lod and Ramla" or even "now known as Lod and Ramla" or something along those lines? In theory, if you speak Arabic you still call it "al-Ludd" (just like I pronounce the s in Paris despite my French friend's insistence that it's "Par-ee") and if you spoke Hebrew you were probably calling it Lod all along. Personally I like the idea of referring to it as
Q1 t
or perhaps whatever it was in proto-Canaanite. Sol (talk) 06:05, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Sol, I agree, that's exactly the wording I proposed. Marokwitz (talk) 06:35, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The first naming of the town was apparently in heiroglyphics. I did spend a bit of time trying to find out what it might be, but gave up after a couple of days. I was hoping to be able to add a big picture of a bird, or whatever, to the first sentence :) SlimVirgin talk|contribs 13:40, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
"are now known by the Hebrew names Lod and Ramla" perhaps. Gatoclass (talk) 07:01, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that would be perfectly acceptable. Marokwitz (talk) 07:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I've made an edit along those lines, and also moved the sentence to a more appropriate location in the lead, in order to maintain the chronological sequence of events. Gatoclass (talk) 08:13, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Arbitration case against me

  • Hi, I would like to point participants of this talk page to the relevant discussion at WP:AE#Marokwitz, where the user SlimVirgin is trying to XXXXXXXXXX (deleted), well, you judge yourself. Marokwitz (talk) 21:17, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Kadish and Sela

I am going to add this reverted info back this reverted info back. It was added from a reliable source, and I believe this opinion should be represented in the article.--Mbz1 (talk) 02:59, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Agree. The one editor (you know who you are) who keeps on removing it, please explain on this talk page your basis for removal. thanks.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 17:57, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Lead issues

Since this article is apparently being prepared for FAC, I have a couple of issues regarding the lead myself.

Firstly, the text:

  • " ... The military action occurred within the context of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, triggered when five Arab states invaded the area the day after Israel declared its independence on 14 May." - I'm really tired of reading this kind of boilerplate which is spread across practically every article about the war. For one thing, it's a matter of opinion what "triggered" the war. For another, Lydda and Ramle were in the proposed Arab state, that can hardly be called an "invasion".


  • " ... They saw the creation of Israel as inextricably linked to the Holocaust and the survival of the Jewish people" - POV. If someone made these claims, they should be attributed, not presented as if they were established facts. Gatoclass (talk) 07:14, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
See the end of the paragraph for the source. It isn't disputed by any historian, so in-text attribution seems unnecessary. As for the first sentence, do you have a better way of expressing it, without getting into detail? The key points are that the Lydda-Ramle action was part of an Israeli military response to an invasion by five Arab states, part of a war. It's important to make that clear. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 13:35, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
No, I haven't tried to come up with an alternative for the first sentence yet, I'm just pointing out what I see as a problem. One alternative might be to just say it occurred during the '48 war and leave it at that.
As for the other sentence, it strikes me as apologetics and doesn't even make sense. How can the first generation of historians have seen the creation of Israel as "inextricably linked to the Holocaust" when modern Zionism got its start way back in the late 19th century, half a century before the Holocaust occurred? Gatoclass (talk) 15:36, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
We're writing it for a general readership, so we have to offer a brief context (declaration of independence + invasion by Arab states = war). Regarding second point, this is what the academic source says in terms of explaining why early historians distorted the material. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 15:42, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Writing for a general readership doesn't mean one has to make misleading statements. As for Shapira, I think she's far from an ideal source and I'm sure I've read other sources which would contest such claims. Gatoclass (talk) 15:54, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
It isn't misleading; it's accurate. What is misleading about it? And Shapira is a good academic source who has directly addressed this issue, and I haven't found anyone who would disagree. Morris makes the same points.
I'd appreciate if we could stick to discussion of what the sources say, so if you have an academic source that contradicts Shapira, by all means post it here and we can try to work it in. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 16:04, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) On reflection, I don't think it's going to be very productive to have a prolonged discussion about what may or may not be wrong with current wording. It would probably be more useful if I came up with some alternatives for discussion instead. I might see if I can find the time over the next day or two. Gatoclass (talk) 16:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Gatoclass, are you really suggesting to say "One alternative might be to just say it occurred during the '48 war and leave it at that." leaving alone that the war was started by Arabs? And how does it matter to what state the towns were designated? Should have Soviets stop the war after they kicked Germans out of their borders?--Mbz1 (talk) 16:26, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if comparing Palestinian civilians living in villages to the Wehrmacht's invasion of Russia is the best analogy. I think Gato's got a point, let's see what he turns up. Sol (talk) 17:33, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
What are you talking about? I have never tried "comparing Palestinian civilians living in villages to the Wehrmacht's invasion of Russia". I posted my comment in response to Gato's " For another, Lydda and Ramle were in the proposed Arab state, that can hardly be called an "invasion"." He meant that Israeli response to Arab invasion could not justify fighting in "Lydda and Ramle" because allegedly they were in designated Arab state, and I explain that during any war started by aggressors, no army in the world will stop fighting on their borders, but will continue to fight the aggression on enemy's territory as well. There was fighting there and civilians got killed. The most responsible were Arab states that started aggression against Israel,and that should be mention in the lead --Mbz1 (talk) 18:00, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
No one cares what SlimVirgin, Gatoclass, Sol, or Mbz1 think about this. All that matters is what the historians say, so could we please confine discussion to that? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:27, 6 December 2010 (UTC)


I am following the academic source (who discusses this issue exactly) by saying the towns became known after 1948 by their biblical names. If you want to add Hebrew, please produce an academic source who discusses that within the context of the name change, per NOR: "To demonstrate that you are not adding original research, you must be able to cite reliable published sources that are both directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the material as presented." SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:09, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Would the people pushing a POV please stop to think about what they are writing? The word "L plus O plus D" is not a Hebrew word; it is the English transliteration of a sound, more or less the same sound as Ludd. That is even more so with Ramle/Ramla, the same sound. These are transliterations, written in the Roman alphabet. This is the English Wikipedia. All that matters for our purposes is that the town was written as Lydda in the English-speaking world, then after 1948 it was written as Lod. How Israeli Jews or Palestinian Arabs or Israeli Arabs or Arabs in other countries referred to it is not the subject matter.
If you want to create an article on the etymology of these words, please do, but the lead of this article is not the place for this lack of clarity. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 17:23, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Good point. Maybe we should stop splitting hairs here. - BorisG (talk) 18:07, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Lead infobox picture

Since the main event here in body count terms is the exodus, I find the picture in the lead weird. The article is not called "the befriending in Lydda" or "the smoking party in Lydda". Perhaps File:Exodus_from_Lydda_and_Ramla.jpg is more appropriate? Also the infobox would look better to my eyes if it were narrower (less wide and slightly longer). Tijfo098 (talk) 14:13, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

That file is so blurry, almost impossible to see anything. How about File:RefugeesEscortedFromRamlaOperationDanny.jpg ? Marokwitz (talk) 14:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
If you're going to change any images, please make sure you're fully conversant with the image policies and how they apply here, because that's a major issue at FAC. Not everything on the Commons should be there. None of these images are free or PD in the United States. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 14:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Marokwitz's picture proposal seems fine to me. Tijfo098 (talk) 15:28, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Kadish and Sela citiations lack page numbers

Please supply page numbers for each citation. --Frederico1234 (talk) 14:20, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Editing: Kadish and Sela in lead

Brewcrewer has now added a new sentence to the end of the lead. [19] We don't even know at this point who Kadish and Sela are. And the material bears no relation to the rest of the lead. This is terrible editing, and I can't revert it. At some point this issue will have to be dealt with, perhaps by ArbCom. There's no reason that a tiny number of partisans not familiar with the material should be able to halt article development like this. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:24, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Since their writing is used a fair bit here (and not just in the [disputed] lead), it would be useful to introduce them. Avraham Sela has a short bio here, and Kadish was also employed by HUJ at one point. I guess Benny Morris would include them among the New Old Historians (see the intro to Making Israel ISBN 9780472115419; sorry there's no google books preview), because they're both Israeli academics, and Morris says that by and large the New Historians did not come from that milieu. Of course, "New Old Historians" is POV, so it needs some careful wording. Another description of Sela comes from Avi Shlaim (Shlaim, A. (2009). "The Debate about 1948". International Journal of Middle East Studies 27 (3): 287–304. doi:10.1017/S0020743800062097.  edit) who also authored chapter 5 in Making Israel (which seems to be the same text), who calls Sela an Israeli orientalist, among the most critical of Morris for his methods, e.g. not resorting to Arab sources enough (interesting point), although according to Shlaim, Sela concedes (p. 135 in Making Israel) that making use of those sources would not have changed the main conclusions of Morris's study on the causes of the Palestinian exodus; this concession is cited from two article of Sela in Haaretz from 4 and 11 October 1991. Tijfo098 (talk) 21:55, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
They're used in the article, and that point is already in the article. But it's completely inappropriate just to tack it onto the end of the lead, where they are not known, and the issues raised in that sentence have not been mentioned. This article is being edited by people who have not read either the article or the sources! That's too silly for words when something's being prepared for FAC. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:02, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Also, Kadish and Sela's 2005 MEJ paper triggered some letters the editor [20] disputing some aspects of their version. Tijfo098 (talk) 22:23, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Theirs is a minority view. Some of their previous work was financed/published by the IDF or the Ministry of Defence (I forget which). I've added it throughout only for balance. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 22:28, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I haven't been following most of the other discussions on this page lately, but would like to say that I don't see the relevance of the publisher here. All serious military historians in Israel were published at some point or other by the Ministry of Defense (including Yoav Gelber and *gasp* Benny Morris). Alon Kadish, moreover, is a professor in the department of military history in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[21]Ynhockey (Talk) 22:56, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is going from bad to worse. The lopsided balance of casualties, and the mosque? Where did Morris say that? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:12, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

From [22]: "This article takes issue with two major claims:

A. [...]

B. The IDF conducted a massacre of defenseless prisoners of war in the al'Umari Mosque on July 12, 1948, after Lydda had surrendered. (4)

As to the massacre, it is noteworthy that other than a number of rather doubtful Arab sources, there is no first hand evidence, Arab or Jewish, of a massacre. Accepting the IDF estimate of 250 deaths, Benny Morris attributed them to massacre, a claim subsequently endorsed by Arabs." Tijfo098 (talk) 23:19, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Where does Morris say what you attribute to him in the lead?
Tijfo098, please explain this kind of editing to me. You add something to the lead of an article being prepared for FAC (taking it over four paras in violation of LEAD). The edit summary indicates that you're not familiar with the topic: "It seems to be a major controversy, so perhaps lead-worthy." You use one historian as a source for what another easily available historian says, which is pointless. It's even worse when they disagree with each other, because why would you trust that interpretation rather than going straight to the source?
I don't understand the motivation. Should I wait until Special Theory of Relativity, which I know nothing about, is being prepared for FAC, then pounce on it, adding stuff to the lead because "it seems to be a major controversy," but I'm not quite sure? I'm sorry if this sounds aggressive (yes, it does, and is), but I'm at a loss. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:25, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict) I don't have Morris's 1988 book, but in his 2007 one (Making Israel) he writes (p. 23):

Jewish atrocities—far more widespread than the Old Historians have indicated (there were massacres of Arabs at Dawayima, Eilabun, Jish, Safsaf, Hule, Saliha, and Sasa besides Deir Yassin and Lydda)—and the drive to avenge past Arab misdeeds also contributed significantly to the exodus.

So, it doesn't look like Kadish and Sela are misrepresenting Morris in their refutation. Tijfo098 (talk) 23:27, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

That's not what you wrote, and you know it isn't, so why not answer the question? You wrote: "Benny Morris concluded that the lopsided balance of casualties is due to a massacre at the Lyadda [sic] mosque. " Where does he say that? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:46, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay. Tijfo098 (talk) 00:12, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Tijfo, please, that's almost worse. Have you read the lead, or any other part of the article? There's a huge discussion about it in the article. It's already mentioned in the lead (we just don't use the word massacre). It's not only Morris who says it. And it's not just the mosque deaths, which are not the main issue. Please explain why you're editing the article without being familiar with the topic, when you surely know that precision is needed at FAC for articles like this. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

K&S are not the only ones to remark Morris's Lydda account. Downes [23] cites a passage from Morris that describes the events at the mosque in Morris's own words, which seem to be from [24]:

In the confusion, dozens of unarmed detainees in one mosque compound, the Mosque, in the town centre, were shot and killed. [...] [T]he mass exodus from both towns, which began a few hours later, must be seen against the backdrop of the massacre.

It's true that Morris doesn't use the word massacre about the event at the mosque itself, at least not in that passage, but he surely called the whole Lydda operation (before the expulsion order) a massacre on that very page, and he does it in a few other places in his works, like the other quote I gave above. So, K&S are not disputing some straw man, but something that Morris actually wrote.

I don't feel strongly that this is an important enough element for the lead, but since quite a few others editing here did feel that way (they reverted you some three times), I thought that a bit more context would be better that the "out of left field" version before my first edit [25]. I know quite well that you'd rather have the whole issue out of the lead. Tijfo098 (talk) 01:10, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

It's already in the lead. We already discuss the deaths. We touch on the contentious historiography. The mosque issue is hugely confusing, with every source who writes about it saying something different, so we can't get into it in detail, especially not in the lead. It doesn't change the fact that overall X number died that day (the mosque being only a small part of it), and later during the march. And we explain that. Please read the article carefully. Then read the final paragraph of the lead, and you'll see how nonsensical it is.
I'm sorry to write so frankly, but this is very frustrating. I've been reading and writing about this off and on since May 2009, sometimes very intensively. I've been in touch with professional historians about it. I've had one professional historian who works in this area write a long review of it for me. And I know what's required at FA. The article languished for months with no one paying any attention to it, yet as soon as I start to make the final round of copy editing for FAC, a bunch of people who I can tell haven't read the article or the sources start changing it along POV lines. It's almost POINTy. It's the reason people are reluctant to try to write anything decent for Wikipedia. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I understand your frustration. Wikipedia is probably not the best place for personal essays. Perhaps consider publishing your work in a scientific journal. In Wikipedia, the idea is to work collaboratively. Your accusations and persecution of other editors opposed to your views are in violation of the AGF policy and should stop. You may be an expert on the subject, certainly you are more knowledgeable on this topic than most, but Wikipedia policy is that "Experts do not have any other privileges in resolving edit conflicts in their favor: in a content dispute between a (supposed) expert and a non-expert, it is not permissible for the expert to "pull rank" and declare victory." All Wikipedia content is open to being edited collaboratively. No one, no matter how skilled, has the right to act as if they are the owner of a particular article. Marokwitz (talk) 10:31, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, reading the historiography paragraph before K&S are introduced in it gives the impression that all significant aspects of the events in Lydda have been settled by the New Historians making use of the opened archives. Unfortunately that does not seem to be the case. However, there's perhaps a way to shorten the lead a little while maintaining NPOV and prose flow by eliding the explicit mention of K&S while still mentioning their position, especially since you said that other account of events at the mosque exist. So, we could replace the K&S part with:
However, some aspects of the 1948 history of Lydda remain controversial among contemporary Israeli historians, particularly the events that took place in one of the town's mosques, and whether the IDF operation leading to the exodus can be called a massacre or not.[ref K&S]
On a side note, the English spelling of the mosque's name is a little contentious itself, Morris calls it Dahaimash, while most other sources in google books use Dahmash. It's also not clear what al'Umari (name used by K&S) refers to; is it the modern name of the mosque, or perhaps just names a part of the compound? Tijfo098 (talk) 14:10, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
It's still unclear and unnecessary. And what do you mean by the "IDF operation leading to the exodus"? Who has described the operation itself as a massacre? Also, you're focusing on the mosque issue too much (and there were two); that is not where the main massacre allegation comes from. I don't understand why you're doing this. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 14:38, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Ok, I see it was removed again [26]. I guess the first and only rule of Wikipedia applies here: "whoever has most time on their hands wins, unless banned." Tijfo098 (talk) 01:25, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

That's unfortunate. SV, for the umpteenth time please cease removing it from the lede. The consensus is very clear on this.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 03:30, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
The consensus may be clear among people not familiar with the material, but I hope that's not going to be a factor. We give the estimates of the dead in the lead. We use the best sources for that. We don't mention "massacre" or "battle" in order to be neutral. We don't mention the different ways in which they were killed, in order not to be overly detailed, and the complicated story about the deaths in the mosque(s) was the least of it, and not appropriate for the lead. It therefore makes no sense at all to slap on a sentence at the end of the lead saying something about a massacre (not so far mentioned), and something about a mosque (not so far explained). It's just not good editing.
The article is currently being peer reviewed by a very experienced, and uninvolved editor, who also happens to know something about the area, so I hope the current version can be left alone to let him finish that. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 03:41, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
And this was your excuse for hacking the article to pieces along your own views against consensus?Carnonne (talk) 16:15, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Second sentence

I agree with the anon IPs; I can't see the problem with saying: "The military action occurred within the context of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, triggered when five Arab states invaded the area the day after Israel declared its independence on 14 May." That's just a matter of fact, surely. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:18, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Fact or not, its selective highlighting of the well-known Israeli discourse on the war [27]. Its inclusion in the first paragraph of this article not so subtlely contextualizes the attacks on Lydda and Ramle as having been defensive operations. That is not NPOV. Its better to simply state "The military action occurred within the context of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War." Let the reader look that up and understand from its article what that was (what preceded it, why it started, etc). Tiamuttalk 10:13, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Tiamut. The "triggers" for the 1948 war were much more complicated than "five Arab states invaded the area". Also, "invaded the area" is weaselish. What area, exactly, did the Arab states "invade"? IIRC they were not invading the newly established state of Israel - they could hardly do so when Israeli forces were already operating well beyond the borders proposed by the UN for their new state - which might itself be characterized as an "invasion". The edit is inappropriate because it reduces a complex issue to a simplistic, black and white formula where Arabs are the aggressors and Israelis are only defending themselves. Gatoclass (talk) 11:05, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Lebanon did not invade on May 15th so the statement is false anyway. Changing it to "four Arab armies" would make it correct (although still biased in favour of the Israeli narrative). --Frederico1234 (talk) 11:36, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
We could just say "several". The details don't matter, but it matters that we offer a broad context. Israel declared its independence. Arab countries objected and sent in armies to protect Palestine. In what way is this an Israeli or Arab narrative? Also, that sentence has been there for years. Why the sudden objections to it now? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 17:30, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
The broad context is that this action took place during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The remainder of the sentence in unnecessary, selective POV highlighting. It was first added by you about a year and half ago [28]. It has been removed by IPs objecting to its POV nature [29] or its inaccuracy [30], only to be restored both times by you [31], [32]. There was some back-and-forth editing over it in December 2010 and last month too. I'm surprised you're surprised about the objections to the sentence given that editor contestation over it is apparent in the article history. Does it matter why three people have articulated their objections to it here now rather than earlier? As to your question about how its POV, the source I linked to above characterizes this formulation as a classic Israeli narrative. Did you read it? Tiamuttalk 18:07, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
We can't expect people to know what the 1948 Arab-Israeli war refers to, and there's no need to be obtuse. Part of the problem with I/P articles (and the I/P conflict) is that people steeped in it see POV where there isn't any. Tiamut, the link you posted doesn't say anything relevant that I can see.
Look, it's just a fact -- a fact -- that the context in which the invasion of Lydda occurred was Israel declaring statehood; securing land that it either wanted or felt threatened by; and Arab armies objecting and moving in. This is POV-free, value-free, judgment-free. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 18:46, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
As you should well know, just because something is a "fact" does not make it neutral, indeed, POV is mostly about selection of certain facts in preference to others. Stating that the Arabs declared war without mentioning the reasons for their declaration would be an example of that, because it implies it was just naked aggression without any justification. So IMO the choice is between either not mentioning the declaration of war at all, and just leaving it at the statement that the expulsions occurred in the context of the '48 war, or else mentioning the declaration with some accompanying explanation. One without the other is just inappropriate in my opinion. Gatoclass (talk) 19:05, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

POV paragraph in lead

"Until the late 1970s Israel's historians, many of whom had fought in the 1948 war, maintained that the refugees had simply fled, or had been ordered to leave by their Arab leaders. They saw the creation of Israel as inextricably linked to the Holocaust and the survival of the Jewish people, and they censored material that might blacken the new state's name. Throughout the 1980s Israeli government documents were released that showed there had, in fact, been expulsions, which triggered a reassessment of Israel's early history by a younger generation of Israeli scholars known as the New Historians.[6]"

This is sheer opinion.

1) all of the historians maintained no such thing. Speaking specifically of Morris' original Birth, Efraim Karsh says (Fabricating Israeli History, p 21): "His claim that 'what happened in Palestine/Israel over 1947-9 was so complex and varied...that a single-cause explanation of the exodus from most sites is untenable' (Morris p 294) echoes not only Aharon Cohen's and Rony Gabbay's conclusions of decades earlier,27 but also the standard explanation of the Palestinian exodus by such "official Zionist" writers as Joseph Schechtman:"This mass flight of the Palestinian Arabs is a phenomenon for which no single explanation suffices. Behind it lies a complex of apparently contradictory factors."'28

  • 27) Aharon Cohen, Israel and the Arab World (London:W.H. Allen, 1970), pp.458-66;
  • Rony Gabbay, A Political Study of the Arab Refugee Problem(A case study) (Geneva:Libraire E. Droz, 1959), pp.54, 85-98.
  • 28) Joesph B. Schechtman, The Arab Refugee Problem (New York:Philosophical Library, 1952) p. 4

2) To claim that all historians before the release of the new documents "saw the creation of Israel as inextricably linked etc" and that they (not clear who "they" are) censored material that may blacken the new state's name" is a broad POV generalization meant to dismiss the older historians as irrelevant. See Karsh quote below:

3) The last sentence implies that the younger "scholars" are better, more informed, scholars, yet to quote Karsh again, p. 34 "First, the declassification of documents does not, in and of itself, guarantee fresh information that will alter one's perception of past events in any major, or even minor way; ..... Secondly, and more importantly, these newly declassified documents have also been available to recent 'old historians', some of whom, as noted above have indeed preceded their 'new' counterparts in the use of these very sources, and they came up with very different conclusions. But while the use of newly released documents by Klieman, Rabinovich, Sela, and like-minded historians buys them the epithet of 'new old historians', the utilization of the same documents by Shlaim, Morris and Co. amounts to a 'new historiography.'

Which again leads to the self-evident realization that it is not the availability of new documents that distinguishes the 'new historians' from their opponents but the interpretation they give to this source material.

In other words, more than anything else, the 'new historiography' is a state of mind, or rather, a fashion. What unites its practitioners, by and large, is subscription to the all-too-common perception of Zionism as an offshoot of European imperialism, or , at the very least as an aggressive and expansionist national movement.56 That is the part of the ocean in which the 'new historians' have chosen to fish and the tackle they have chosen to use; the rest flows from there."

So it is clear that everything in this paragraph is contested by at least one other ME scholar as a POV, is not really relevant to the article except to provide a particular slant to the material and resources that follow. I propose to delete it entirely as opinion. Snakeswithfeet (talk) 22:12, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

This seems to be Anita Shapira's opinion (I don't have access to the full article, so maybe it's not even that) which somehow made its way to the lead, in the encyclopedia's neutral voice no less. It's certainly not a summary of material already in the article, so there's a WP:LEAD problem, and unless Shapira directly ties all this to Lydda and Ramle, it doesn't belong in the article at all, not to mention in the lead. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 22:38, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the paragraph doesn't belong, but not with the reasons. NMMNG correctly noted that it is not in conformity with WP:LEAD, but the remedy for that would be to move it rather than to delete it. SWF thinks it doesn't belong because it is an opinion, but opinions of reliable sources are the main thing that articles are created of. The remedy for it being an opinion not shared by others would be to prefix it by "According to historian Anita Shapira...", and perhaps to mention an alternative opinion as well, not to delete it. The argument that Karsh's opinion is grounds for deleting something is a bit funny; Shapira has the respect of her profession to an extent Karsh could barely dream of. The grounds I think the paragraph doesn't belong are: (1) it doesn't refer specifically to the topic of the article, (2) it is not a very good summary of Shapira's article (which I just read). Actually she does mention the Lydda-Ramle expulsions — I might add something later in the article if there is a suitable place. Zerotalk 09:27, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I had thought of moving the paragraph somewhere with the note that it was Shapiro's opinion, but since I didn't have access to the article, I could not determine if as written it was a fair representation of her opinion or not. My main concern was that it was an opinion presented in the lead as neutral. I leave it to you to add it somewhere else, appropriately rewritten.
Karsh was the vehicle I used to demonstrate that what was said in the paragraph was opinion, not fact. He provided a countering opinion. I don't think it is up to us editors to be determining the relative value of one noted historian over another; certainly not in an article that includes such noted polemicists as Ilan Pappé. We are of course entitled to our opinions. I am satisfied that you agree with the premise that the paragraph doesn't belong in the lead in the lead. Thank you. Snakeswithfeet (talk) 16:02, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Just for info : here is what Anita Shapira (not Shapiro) thinks about Benny Morris and Ephraim Karsh.
Noisetier (talk) 17:40, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

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Almost none of the information in Pappe's Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (some of it from named people who reported what they'd seen themselves) is in this article, making it read like a whitewash. How can it not mention what two very pro-Israel American reporters said that they'd seen? Why does it not have a section on the attack on the mosques, surely one of the most memorable incidents?

"Deserted by both the volunteers and the Legionaries, the men of Lydd, armed with some old rifles, took shelter in the Dahamish Mosque in the city centre. After a few hours of fighting they surrendered, only to be massacred inside the mosque by the Israeli forces. Palestinian sources recount that in the mosque and in the streets nearby, where the Jewish troops went on yet another rampage of murder and pillage, 426 men, women and children were killed (176 bodies were found in the mosque). The following day, 14 July, the Jewish soldiers went from house to house taking the people outside and marching about 50,000 of them out of the city towards the West Bank (more than half of them were already refugees from nearby villages).21

One of the most detailed accounts on what unfolded in al-Lydd was published in the summer of 1998 by the sociologist Salim Tamari in the Journal of Palestine Studies. It drew on interviews with Spiro Munayar, who had lived all his life in Lydd and was an eyewitness to the events on that terrible day in July. He saw the occupation, the massacre in the mosque, the way Israeli troops barged into the houses and dragged out the families - sparing not a single house. He watched as the houses were then looted and the refugees robbed before they were told to start marching towards the West Bank, in one of the warmest months of the year, in one of the hottest places in Palestine.

He was working as a young physician in the local hospital, alongside the dedicated Dr George Habash, the future founder and leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He recalls the endless numbers of corpses and the wounded who were brought in from the scene of the slaughter, and these were the same horrible experiences that were to haunt Habash and drive him to take the road of guerilla warfare in order to redeem his town and homeland from those who had devastated it in 1948.

Munayar also recounted the anguished scenes of expulsion he witnessed:

During the night the soldiers began going into the houses in areas they had occupied, rounding up the population and expelling them from the city. Some were told to go to Kharruba and Barfilyya, while other soldiers said: 'Go to King Abdullah, to Ramallah'. The streets filled with people setting out for indeterminate destinations.


The same sights were observed by the few foreign journalists who were in the town that day. Two of them were Americans apparently invited by the Israeli forces to accompany them in the attack, what today we would call 'embedded' correspondents. Keith Wheeler of The Chicago Sun Times was one of the two. He wrote: 'Practically everything in their [the Israeli forces'] way died. Riddled corpses lay by the roadside.' The other, Kenneth Bilby of The New York Herald Tribune, reported seeing 'the corpses of Arab men, women and even children strewn about in the wake of the ruthlessly brilliant charge.' Bilby also wrote a book on these events, New Star in the Near East, published two years later.

One might wonder why newspaper reports of a massacre on this scale did not provoke an outcry in the United States. For those who have been shocked by the callousness and inhumanity that US troops have sometimes displayed towards Arabs in the operation in Iraq, the reports from Lydd may seem strangely familiar. At the time, American reporters like Wheeler were astonished by what ironically he called the Israeli 'Blitzkrieg, and by the resoluteness of the Jewish troops. Like Bilby's description ('ruthlessly brilliant'), Wheeler's account of the Israeli army's campaign sadly neglected to provide a similarly probing report on the number of Palestinians killed, wounded, or expelled from their villages. The correspondents' reports were totally one-sided.

More sensitive and less biased was the London Economist as it described for its readers the horrific scenes that took place when inhabitants were forced to start marching after their houses had been looted, their family members murdered, and their city wrecked: 'The Arab refugees were systematically stripped of all their belongings before they were sent on their trek to the frontier. Household belongings, stores, clothing, all had to be left behind.'

This systematic robbery was also recollected by Munayar:

The occupying soldiers had set up roadblocks on all the roads leading east and were searching the refugees, particularly the women, stealing their gold jewelry from their necks, wrists, and fingers and whatever was hidden in their clothes, as well as money and everything else that was precious and light enough to carry.

Ramla, or Ramleh as is it is known today, the home town of one of the PLO's most respected leaders, the late Khalil al-Wazir, Abu Jihad, lay nearby. The attack on this town with its 17,000 inhabitants had started two days earlier on 12 July 1948, but the final occupation was only completed after the Israelis had taken al-Lydd. The city had been the target of terrorist attacks by Jewish forces in the past; the first one had taken place on 18 February 1948, when the Irgun had planted a bomb in one of its markets that killed several people.


Terrified by the news coming from Lydd, the city notables reached an agreement with the Israeli army that ostensibly allowed the people to stay. The Israeli units entered the city on 14 July and immediately began a search-and-arrest operation in which they rounded up 3000 people who they transferred to a prison camp nearby, and on the same day they started looting the city. The commander on the spot was Yitzhak Rabin. He recalled how Ben-Gurion had first called him in to his office to discuss the fate of both Lydd and Ramla: 'Yigal Alon asked: what is to be done with the population [in Lydd and Ramla]? Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture that said: 'Drive them out!'22" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

"Exodus" really?

Is this page really called "exodus"? Jee. -DePiep (talk) 00:21, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Saint George

Footnote 9 contains a reference to St George, which indicates his life ran from "ca 270 - 303 BCE." Should read "CE" rather than "BCE." Siegmund1952 (talk) 20:14, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

this is a biased article

This article is not right, and it is biased. For example, there were no Palestinian at this point of the history but only 16 years later in 1964. Another example that the article cites some left-wing political scources, which are not reliable in any matter. Exx8 (talk) 18:29, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Nuh uh? There were no Palestinians before 1964? I had no idea. nableezy - 19:00, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Would it be possible for you to say were you learnt that there were no Palestinians until 1964 and that left-wing sources are not reliable on any matter ? Sean.hoyland - talk 19:09, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

the nationality of the palestinian began in 1964. before these they called themselves as "Arabs" and "Syrian". Exx8 (talk) 22:48, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

That isnt true, not even a little bit, but dont let that get in your way. nableezy - 22:51, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

prove me otherwise...13:44, 27 July 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs)

No, you are required to provide evidence to support your statements. WP:BURDEN is mandatory policy so if you want something changed you need to explain why and cite evidence published by reliable sources. Sean.hoyland - talk 15:17, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

poor editing

  • Source: Arnon Golan ((Oct., 2003). "Lydda and Ramle: From Palestinian-Arab to Israeli Towns, 1948-67". Vol. 39 No. 4. Middle Eastern Studies,. pp. 121–139. 

    p. 124: The conquest of Lydda and Ramle by the Israeli army in mid-July 1948 was the outcome of the need to free Jewish Jerusalem and its connecting route to the coastal plain from pressure by the Jordanian Arab Legion and by semi-refular Egyptian and Palestinian fotrces. It also resulted from the need to eliminate the threat of a possible Jordanian attack on the Tel Aviv region.

  • Article: The attacks on these places were to relieve the besieged Jerusalem from the Jordanian Arab legion and the Egyptian and Palestinian forces. There was also the threat of an impending Jordanian attack on Tel-Aviv which triggered this attack.

The article already said From the Israeli perspective, the conquest of the towns averted an Arab threat to Tel Aviv, and the source does not say that this attack was necessary to relieve "besieged" Jerusalem from the Arab Legion, it makes a more circumspect claim saying that it was to free Jerusalem and its route to the coast from pressure by the Arab Legion. Finally, why exactly should that, even if backed by the source (which it isnt), be the third sentence of the article? Im removing that, and the addition of alleged to a section title. nableezy - 15:30, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

I put them together and tried to do it like you pointed out. Kadish and Seal say ", nor is there any direct evidence that a massacre took place", "As to the massacre, it is noteworthy that other than a number of rather doubtful Arab sources, there is no first hand evidence, Arab or Jewish, of a massacre.", " a meticulous reconstruction of the battle on July 11 and events of July 12 offers a better, albeit more complex, explanation of the Arab losses. It also casts severe doubt on, if it does not completely refute, the argument for the massacre in the al-'Umari Mosque." so this is not clear if it happened — Preceding unsigned comment added by Crystalfile (talkcontribs) 23:25, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Since you want the beginning to be shorter, I removed stuff that is not relevant to this article and is more general stuff. I dont know the link. Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Crystalfile (talkcontribs) 23:34, 6 August 2012 (UTC) I removed general exodus info that should be in 1948 Palestinian exodus as is not directly linked to lydda and raCrystalfile (talk) 10:19, 10 August 2012 (UTC)mle.

I reverted your removal. While I agree that the information on the new historians is only tangentially related to this subject, my previous attempts to address that issue were met with resistance. I think we need to discuss that section in the body of the article first, before deleting mention of it in the lead, which properly includes a para summarizing the main article info. The other info you deleted was directly related to what happened in Lyd and Ramla after their depopulation and as its also mentioned in the body of the article, I see no reason to remove it. Tiamuttalk 20:24, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

pleaase xplain y we should mention general views of new historians in the lead of lydda and rtamle article.Crystalfile (talk) 09:41, 12 August 2012 (UTC)


Among the sources for this being known as the Lydda Death March are this, this and [33]. It is well sourced that this is also known as the Lydda Death March and as such I am restoring that long-standing, and sourced, material. nableezy - 10:56, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

And, despite the edit summary of the reverting editor, there are indeed nearly 30,000 Google hits (29,600 to be precise) for the term.[34]RolandR (talk) 21:29, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
Put in quotes and with -wiki -wikipedia there are around 6000 hits, the first couple of pages with nothing like a reliable source in sight.
There are a few sources that mention that term, but saying "it became known as the Lydda death march" is a bit of an exaggeration. I wouldn't object to something along the lines of "it is sometimes also called the Lydda death march", but pretending this is the main term is a bit much. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 22:56, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with NMMNG. It has not been established by either the quantity or quality or sources that the term deserves the UNDUE emphasis its proponents are trying to put into the article. Thanks, --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 04:02, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Wait, what? The sources say the following:

Chamberlin, Paul (2012), The Global Offensive: The United States, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Making of the Post-Cold War Order, Oxford University Press, p. 16, ISBN 9780199811397 : On a visit home in 1948, Habash was caught in the Jewish attack on Lydda and, along with his family, forced to leave the city in the mass expulsion that came to be known as the Lydda Death March.

The Oxford companion to military history, Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 64, ISBN 9780198662099  Text "editor4-first" ignored (help); Text "Hugh" ignored (help); Unknown parameter |editor1-las= ignored (help): On 12 July, the Arab inhabitants of the Lydda-Ramle area, amounting to some 70,000, were expelled in what became known as the Lydda Death March.

That is 2 top-quality sources that do not simply mention that term, they directly support became known as the Lydda Death March. You have now removed well sourced material on such a spurious reason that I am not quite sure what to do here. But if "UNDUE" is the objection, perhaps you could establish some sources disputing the name that those two sources give? I'll be bringing this the RS/N now. nableezy - 07:47, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

And as a note, this material has been in the article for years (eg random 2010 diff). And it is now being edit-warred out without anything resembling a valid reason based on WP policy. We'll have to deal with that sometime. In the meantime, Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#1948_Palestinian_exodus_from_Lydda_and_Ramle nableezy - 07:54, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

There is an apparent consensus that the sources listed above for the material are reliable (and obviously so). Ive now brought the other spurious objection to NPOV/N. nableezy - 17:51, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

But I'd like to thank brewcrewer and NMMNG, as they have brought an actual problem to my attention. This is an alternative name for the events described in the article, and per MOS:TITLE that belongs in the first sentences of the article. So thank you, I'll take care of that once the NPOV/N thread finishes. nableezy - 18:01, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Which part of MOS:TITLE exactly says that we must add a name a small minority of sources use to the first sentence of the article? No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 18:42, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Youre right, my mistake. It's WP:TITLE, specifically Wikipedia:TITLE#Treatment_of_alternative_names. nableezy - 18:44, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
That talks about "significant alternative names". I doubt that includes a name that very few sources use. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 18:51, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Two obviously reliable sources explicitly say that these events became known as the Lydaa Death March. nableezy - 18:53, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
So? No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:05, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
That was an interesting retort. But to provide an answer, on Wikipedia what reliable sources report and no reliable source disputes can be taken as fact. So, on Wikipedia, the fact is that this event became known as the Lydda Death March. nableezy - 19:10, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia also requires us to act in good faith and use common sense. Putting something you know is false into the encyclopedia is neither. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 20:11, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
I dont know that it is false, and Wikipedia actually requires us to assume each person is acting in good faith. Claiming that I am knowingly inserting false material into an article isnt that. And every single uninvolved person at both NPOV/N and RS/N disagreed with your curious notion that your google hit results matter, in any way, when contrasted with multiple reliable sources that say, explicitly, that it is known by a certain name. nableezy - 16:47, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
You don't know that it's false? How many books have you read on the topic of the Arab Israeli conflict? Did any of them call it the "Lydda death march"? No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 18:31, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
More than a few. A few. But most dont give any name at all, which as I wrote earlier, cannot be said to contradict the name given by those that give a name. nableezy - 18:32, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
The issue is not contradicting the name given by those that give a name (which are very few as we know), it's contradicting the statement it became known by a certain name. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 19:05, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
NMMNG, unless you have a source which contradict these two high quality sources (i.e. respected academic press publications) I don't think you have a case here. Dlv999 (talk) 19:11, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

top picture

The first picture, with the caption "An Israeli soldier accepts a cigarette from an Arab resident in Lydda after the fall of the city", is insulting in so many ways. Firstly, showing that much bare skin (male or female) is insulting in most Arab societies. Especially so, when it comes to females. This female soldier is insulting the old Arab man just by the way she is dressed. (And many outside observers noted that members of the Yishuv in the 1930s and 40s often took pride in insulting and humiliating local Arab sensibilities,)

But for an uneducated Western readership, the "submessages" given by this picture are not understood.

The picture caption should more correctly be: "An Israeli female soldier humiliating an old Arab man in Lydda after the fall of the city", as that would be the way it would be interpreted in most Arab countries. And probably among well-informed Israelis too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 9 February 2013 (UTC)


I noticed that the section title included the word "Alleged". I presume that is based on reference 2 - Kadish, Alon, and Sela, Avraham (2005). "Myths and historiography of the 1948 Palestine War revisited: the case of Lydda. The link is broken so I searched a bit. Links are "pay to read" so I could not verify anything. But I did find the following: 1) - "Commentary (by JB): "Despite being published in this journal[Middle East Journal, volume 59, issue 4 (2005)], this article should be taken with a grain of salt -- it is based on a book written by the same authors which was published in 2000 by the Israeli Ministry of Defence. 2) - "Mon Kadish and Avraham Sela’s “Myths and Historiography of the 1948 Palestine War Revisited: The Case of Lydda” [Middle East Journal, Volume 59, Number 4, Autumn 2005). at page 629. contains the sentence, a portion of it in quotation marks, that on the morning of July 12, 1948, ‘The Palmach forces [in Lyddal came under heavy fire from ‘thousands of weapons from every house, roof and window’ sustaining heavy casualties.” These assertions seem to be the foundation for much of the argument advanced in the article. I think that the authors should have furnished much more information about their precise meaning, fac tual validity, and sources.

I am new here, so I am seeking advice and guidance. These two comments trigger a flag with me. It also seems that this 'unavailable' and criticised publication is the only source standing against a wealth of other evidence claiming that a massacre DID in fact take place. If it were 1 versus 1 OK, but it isn't. The claims in the article seem to have been poorly supported by verifiable references. So at what stage (and how) do Wiki editors judge that "Alleged" is justified. Erictheenquirer (talk) 19:10, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

You can go to the resource noticeboard to ask for copies of sources you need. About this source, the fact that it was published in one of the leading academic journals means that you can't use your own arguments to dismiss what it contains. However, you can check that the content is fairly reported and you can cite counter-argument from other "reliable sources". Zerotalk 23:51, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks, Zero. Help for a newbie much appreciated. I will use the two articles that I quoted above, in the way that you advise. Erictheenquirer (talk) 13:39, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Zero gave you the right advices regarding the way we work on wikipedia.
Anyway, be convinced that your reasoning is fair and rational. We could add that Sela's thesis is not reported by his pairs (eg Gelber is his book published in 2006, ie after Sela's book.)
If in the next 5-10 years no WP:RS source reports Sela's thesis then we could consider this as WP:FRINGE and remove the "alleged". Today we could maybe talk about "possible" instead of "allege" but this is a detail.
Pluto2012 (talk) 20:15, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

please help.

I translated the article 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramle to hebrew. The result was I get blocked because this article shows bad views of Israel. Now I cannot edit articles in the hebrew wikipedia. What I souppose to do? Please help. נחשארסי (talk) 05:42, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).