Talk:Academic boycotts of Israel

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Additional Primary Sources[edit]

Here are additional primary sources for criticism or opponents. --Deodar 03:20, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I have now integrated most of the specific sources above. --Deodar 05:53, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Brian Klug's criticism of boycott[edit]

Professor Klug writes in the Jewish Forum for Justice and Human Rights about the academic boycott, in particular the analogy to the South African boycotts:

In short, the intention of the Natfhe motion - what it seeks and why - is obscure. But even if the policy and rationale were clear and unambiguous, there is a deeper problem with motions of this sort that prevents them from attracting a broad base of support: they rely on the false (or limited) analogy implied by the word "apartheid"...But as I have argued elsewhere: "The validity of the analogy does not depend on a catalogue of atrocities, however appalling".

In terms of history and motivation, the differences between the two situations are greater than the similarities. And in the end, any political action that is aimed at ameliorating the conditions of the Palestinians must be based on an analysis - not an analogy.

--LeflymanTalk 05:04, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I've added a long quote from him that best covers his core objection -- I think.... There is already some coverage of issues with regards to SA comparisons at the bottom of the article. Feel free to just contribute to the article directly. --Deodar 05:16, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
We need to find the original source for that piece. The content looks legit but it is, as it stands right now, just a message board post. --Deodar 05:19, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Balancing chronological verse topical article structure[edit]

I am unsure how best to structure the article. There are key events that should be covered chronologically. The problem is that the responses to them are repetitive and could best be pulled together and organized topically. But at least some of the repetitive response to the events is necessary though in the chronological coverage in order to explain why events and people responded as they did. As a test, I have moved towards a full chronological organization. The result is that the thorough coverage of the themes in the responses is lost. Its a tough issue to which I don't have a good solution at the moment. Thoughts?--Deodar 05:48, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

More boycott efforts[edit]

These should probably be documented in the article content in some way:

--Deodar 00:08, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Which template: "Israel-Palestinian Conflict" vs "Arab-Israeli conflict"[edit]

Which template is most appropriate is the question? I put on the "Arab-Israeli conflict" template initially but since then I have collobrated in the creation of the new "Israel-Palestinian Conflict" template. I just put on the "Israel-Palestinian Conflict" template today. Humus sapiens has just reverted that change claiming the Arab-Israeli conflict template is more pertinent. I disagree since the academic boycotts are specifically related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict not the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. Although I do agree that the economic boycotts are more Arab-Israeli conflict related, but that is not the topic of this article. The difference between the economic and academic boycotts is that the academic boycotts are mostly British and Europe rather than other Arab countries. I would encourage Humus sapiens to explain his reasoning for changing the template... I might be missing something. --Deodar 21:46, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

While the two conflicts are indeed related, the IPC is a subset of the wider AIC. The boycotts are only tangentially pro-Palestinian and even some Palestinian academics find them unhelpful: Palestinian academic opposes Israel boycott. The boycotts are just another weapon in the global war against Israel, therefore the AIC is more pertinent here. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:19, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
We could just as easily put the anti-Semitism template on this. I think templates should not be used when there's a debate about which one would be most appropriate in terms of NPOV. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:28, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
This is a very oddly written article. It's basically a list with little narrative, which makes it hard to read or make sense of. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:30, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
I welcome your contributions SlimVirgin, collaborative editing usually results in higher quality results. --Deodar 22:32, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Its Friday evening were I am thus I got stuff to do. I'll give some feedback on your changes tomorrow or Monday. Have fun and thanks for the help. --Deodar 23:26, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Richard Dawkins & Colin Blakemore[edit]

I just removed the following sentence:

The Mona Baker case intervened (see below), which caused several leading academics to distance themselves from the proposal, including Richard Dawkins and Sir Colin Blakemore of Oxford University. [1]

The main issue is that according to the Guardian's corrections to this article, [9], Richard Dawkins and Colin Blakemore were mentioned as supporting and then distancing themselves from the petition erroneously.

"Recently, some articles have begun to confuse who has signed up to which of two texts critical of Israel and mounted on a joint website. To try to clarify as succinctly as possible: what Oxford professors Colin Blakemore and Richard Dawkins endorsed with others was the call for Europeans to suspend scientific grants and contracts until Israelis "abide by UN resolutions and open serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians"."[10]

Neither of them had originally signed or voiced their support for the petition in which Mona Baker was involved. Unless we find original sources showing their support and then their pulling of it, it would be best to classify them as just critics of that proposal. --Deodar 05:32, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

"Irish group"[edit]

Hi there, The opening of this article mentions an "Irish group" that is pushing for the boycott as well. I'd love it if the article could add a little more information about this - there's not much right now. What group is this? Does it have any relationship with the UK groups calling for the boycott? Have they had much success? Could there be some quotes / links to their information and site? Many thanks. Harpo Hermes 10:10, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

"Occupation"[edit]

IronDuke, I don't want to get into a hopeless edit war over this, but the entire world except the US and Israel considers the West Bank and Gaza "occupied." They were taken by force of arms in '67 and never relinquished. They are de facto "occupied territories" any way you look at it. Removing the word "occupied" in favour of "territories" is itself a statement of POV. I'm not going to revert your edit, but I would like to make it perfectly clear that I strongly object to it. Third party? Famousdog 14:03, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Gaza? Kope 14:09, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Huh? Famousdog 14:10, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Last time I checked, Gaza and parts of the West Bank were ruled by the Palestinian Authority, and was not occupied by Israelis. In any case, the term is disputed, and all anyone has to do to see the nature of the dispute is to click on West Bank. This war has already been fought here. On a side note, you seem to have followed me to another article I was editing. If this was a coincidence, we need say no more about it. If you did deliberately follow me, please don't do it again. IronDuke 03:37, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
"Ruled"? (snigger) Hardly. But this is not the place for that discussion. Sticking to the topic of this page, Sue Blackwell, I am interested in this topic because I was present at the AUT EGM that overturned the boycott - that's why I'm watching both these pages, that's why I saw both your edits. So how about an apology for your baseless accusation that I'm stalking you? Regarding th content change, I left in the reference to antisemitism because a citation is provided. Add a reliable citation for the rascism accusation and I'll be perfectly happy to leave that in as well. Famousdog 13:27, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I am a bit puzzled by your response. The "topic of this page" is not Sue Blackwell, it's the use of the word "occupied." As you've neither responded to my arguments nor reverted, I'm happy to call the matter closed. As to your contention that you found your way to a page you had never edited before and partially reverted an edit of mine a few hours after reverting me here, well, I'm going to AGF and trust that your explanation is true in every particular. As I said above, "If this was a coincidence, we need say no more about it." And indeed, from your response, I feel confident that no more such coincidences will arise in future. As I have accused you of nothing, I cannot see what there is to apologize for; I certainly did not intend to hurt your feelings. IronDuke 23:43, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
By "this page" I meant the article (Academic boycotts of Israel) to which this talk page is related. I was suggesting that we should stick to the topic of Academic boycotts of Israel. The wider issue of the validity/legality/etc. of Israel's occupation of the WB, Gaza and GH is beyond the scope of the article. Hope that's clearer. Famousdog 13:47, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

New antisemitism[edit]

If you have evidence that academic boycotts are always antisemitic in nature, provide it. Otherwise, its insulting and offensive. Famousdog 21:33, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Who said "always"? See strawman argument. As for "insulting and offensive", that is your POV. See WP:NPOV. ←Humus sapiens ну? 08:12, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay... if you have evidence that a particular academic boycott is antisemitic in nature, provide it. Otherwise, its original research. Is that NPOV enough for you? Famousdog 20:08, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Kenneth Lasson paper[edit]

What is the significance of the Lasson paper? Where was it published? Why is it relevant? Famousdog 21:35, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

It is a scholarly resource. See WP:EL. ←Humus sapiens ну? 08:19, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
What is its relevance to this wikipedia article? Wikipedia is not a collection of links! See What wikipedia is not.Famousdog 20:10, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Factual errors in SPME source[edit]

Sorry, but I have to remove this section citing a press release by SPME with the title "OVER 11,300 SCHOLARS..." In the very first paragraph they accuse the UCU of "promoting" the boycott. As I have repeatedly emphasised, UCU passed a motion calling for consultation of the membership on the possibility of a boycott. Please read Motion 30. Frankly SPME's "press release" (and the rest of their website, which emphasises combatting anti-Semitism over any discussion of "peace") strikes me as a little shrill, and as a matter of course I mistrust most 501(C)(3) "interest" groups. Famousdog 13:45, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm sure that the press release is a good source for the fact that this petition/call/joint letter has been issued. Its existence should be mentioned, but not in too much detail, as its significance in the debate is yet to emerge. If the petitioners have made an error of fact, as I believe they have, in saying that the UCU is promoting the idea of a boycott, then the best course of action at this stage is probably to leave out or downplay those parts of the statement that are in error. Itsmejudith 17:26, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

UK bias?[edit]

This article claims to be about international boycotts of Israel, but the only examples it mentions are from the UK. Is this because it's only in Britain that such proposals have been taken seriously? I would expect that there must be other countries that have at some stage carried out or considered academic boycotts of Israel, like the Arab countries, but I may be wrong. In any case, I think this article badly needs a more globalised view to make it clear whether or not this is a purely British phenomenon. Terraxos (talk) 14:14, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

The situation is that at the moment the proposals are largely being made in the UK. Of course the media in the Levant is closely following the debates. There could well be an extension of the proposals to North America or other parts of Europe in the near future. Please feel free to add a sentence to explain that it is currently a UK phenomenon. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:22, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Confused[edit]

Strongbow, I'm a bit confused. First you say that the lead is "too sweeping" [11], then as having "too much detail" [12]. Which would it be? Is there a happy medium? You seem quite happy with specificity when it comes to inserting the idea that "Jewish groups" are protesting, leaving out the condemnations by various academics, thinkers, and politicians. Why the narrow focus? And why in the lead? I'm happy to work with you on this, but trying to posion the well in the lead by implying that ""Jewish groups" are the only ones concerned by the boycotts is misleading at best. IronDuke 22:58, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Saying the boycotts have been "widely condemned" is too broad since that suggests that most have condemned the boycotts when that's not the case. The boycott has not been condemned by the world community as a whole but, according to the sources you've produced, generally only by pro-Israel groups. Do you have any evidence that in a survey of all those who have commented on the boycott a vast majority have condemned it? Strongbrow (talk) 00:21, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
"Widely" means neither "most" nor "vast majority." It means "a lot" and that the criticism is wide, which is the case. Is Tony Blair so incredibly pro-Israel that the well must be poisononed whenever mentioning his views on Jews or Israel? Or perhaps Sari Nusseibeh is merely a tool of the "pro-Israel" crowd? The lead must reflect the article, and well-poisoning won't help that process. IronDuke 03:35, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Can you please match your quotes with the particular sources rather than have all the sources at the end of the sentence? Which source, for instance, calls the boycott "antisemitic"? Strongbrow (talk) 02:51, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
I like ref quotes to be at the end of the sentence (to the extent I like them at all, which is not very much). If you want to sort them all out, I won't object, even though that's not how I would do it. Anthony Julius, Alan Dershowitz, and the New York Sun all deal with this issue of antisemitism and the boycott. IronDuke 03:30, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
"Widely condemned" is not great WP wording. There was opposition from many sources, in the UK, USA, Israel, perhaps elsewhere. That there was opposition from outside the UK is quite notable given that the proposals have originated in the UK only. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:43, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
"I don't know that I agree with your about "widely," but you raise good points. My latest edit does not use the word, however. While I'm here on talk, I'll also say that constant reinserting of the phrase "supporters of Israel" regarding critics of the boycotts, or variants thereof, is entirely unacceptable. Apart from its being well-poisoning, it is also quite wrong. I hope it isn't done again. IronDuke 22:29, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
I have done another version, which will probably prove very debatable. I agree it's quite wrong to call all the critics "supporters of Israel". Ideally the article would read simply: X said blah, Y said blah blah, Z said blah blah blah without the slightest hint at endorsement or disapproval of any view. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:25, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm basically fine with it, except I don't think the [citation needed] tags are necessary. I took the quotes from the sources in the article. I don't like breaking up the sentences with ref tags as a rule, but if anyone wants to match tags to quotes, they are welcome. IronDuke 00:08, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

"The proposals have been opposed by a variety of ..." is kind of bad grammar. "... by various ..." would be a direct correction, but it has a dismissive connotation. How about just, "by several?" Tinguat (talk) 23:05, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

"Variety" is the best word of those you have listed. Happy to consider other ideas/arguments, though. IronDuke 15:40, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I suspect that English is not your first language, Iron Duke. I suspect this because, "opposed by a variety of ..." means "opposed by one type of ..." This is consistent with the claim that "'Jewish groups' are the only ones concerned by the boycotts," the implication of which you objected to above. Take some time to think about it. Tinguat (talk) 16:40, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Variety, in the sense of "one type of" or "sort," is indeed one definition of that word. In fact, if you look here, you'll see it's definition number 3. Definition Number 1 is the (what I assumed to be thunderingly obvious) sense that I meant the word:

a collection containing a variety of sorts of things "a great assortment of cars was on display"; "he had a variety of disorders."

Note in the example above, "variety of disorders" does not mean "he had one type of disorder." FWIW, "assortment," works fine for me, if you prefer. Choose either one: I'll defer to your superior facility with the English language. Take as long as you need to think about it. IronDuke 17:23, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
So ... do we often say that "an assortment" of something or other opposed something? What was your objection to "several?" Tinguat (talk) 21:49, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I think Judith's version works fine. IronDuke 22:29, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. I also moved a section to later so that the article goes through the proposals in order. I'm going to make more edits when I have time. For example, all statements should be reported in the past tense: "this writer said" rather than "this writer says". And neutral words like "said" must replace all the "claimed", "pointed out", etc. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:40, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
"Several" is better than "a variety." Even using your definition of "a variety," IronDuke, this carries the POV connotation that the sources represent a multitude of perspectives on the general matter of Israel, as opposed to, e.g., only people and groups who support Israel otherwise. While I agree that it is improper to characterize, without evidence, the opposing scholars and politicians as distinctly "supporters of Israel" (although, on this matter, they clearly are supporters of Israel ...), it is similarly improper to suggest, without evidence, that they constitute a representative cross-section of perspectives on the general subject of Israel. "A variety," however, conveys this connotation while "several" does not. Tinguat (talk) 23:27, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Ooops! Missed Judith's last changes. They work for me. Tinguat (talk) 23:31, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Errrm ... second thoughts. I still would like to have the word "several." To say without modifier that "scholars and politicians" oppose something suggests that all scholars and politicians oppose it. Tinguat (talk) 23:34, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
If we want to quantify/qualify the commentators, I think "variety" works best. It's fair to say that Tony Blair, Sari Nusseibeh, and Alan Dershowitz comprise a variety of points of view/professions. And they're not the only ones objecting. IronDuke 23:57, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
They arguably comprise a variety; they certainly comprise several. It is only your opinion that it is "fair to say" that they comprise a variety, and thus original research. I can name any number of categories of scholars and politicians, with regard to perspectives on Israel, whom is not represented in those three, and I'm sure for any other group sharing the position. Palestinian scholars not subject to Israeli occupation comes to mind. Tinguat (talk) 01:02, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

(Outdent)

In fact, using the word "several" here would be original research… provided AGF was stretched a bit. According to this several means an indefinite number, more than 2 or 3 but not many. How many sources do we have?

  • The SOAS administration

And there are more I left out. Is this “Several?” I ask because we seem to have established that English is not my native language. Now, I’d be open to “plethora” or “cascade,” but I’m not sure they’d be encyclopedic enough. How about just “many?” IronDuke 02:01, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

PS: I have no idea what your sentence “I can name any number of categories of scholars and politicians, with regard to perspectives on Israel, whom is not represented in those three, and I'm sure for any other group sharing the position” was supposed to mean, but being verbs take “who” (subjective) not “whom” (objective). For example, “Who is he?” Not “Whom is he?” IronDuke 02:01, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

"Many" works for me. Thanks for your thoughts on grammar, but rest assured it was a typo rather than a grammatical mistake. Tinguat (talk) 11:21, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Ordering[edit]

I need to explain my thinking in moving the criticism section later. This was one step in a radical restructuring of the whole article that I think should be done. For two reasons I don't want to go ahead and do the restructuring in one go: a) it is not something that I find very easy to do - I find it easier to work incrementally - and b) it is not a very good way to get consensus.

Why do I think the whole article needs restructuring? Because presenting a whole load of criticism right at the front of the article is not conducive to NPOV. On the other hand, the article must reflect accurately how these proposals have been received, and it is fair to say that they have on the whole been received negatively. When I say "on the whole", I mean that that is the overall effect when many different viewponts are taken together. There have been a range of responses from "great idea" through "perhaps, but", to "no thanks, not a good idea", "appalling suggestion" and "outrageous, antisemitic". All of these need to be mentioned.

There are various possibilities for the article structure.

1) Many good articles on controversial subjects do not have a separate criticism section at all but interweave all the relevant points of view through the whole discussion. This might work well on this article. Under each subheading we would explain what the proposal was and then how the controversy developed. When presenting statements by Tony Blair etc., we would have to be sure which proposal they followed.

2) Change the "Criticism" heading to "Responses". In that section present the favourable views first, then the mixed ones, then the unfavourable ones. If we adopt this structure it will not be appropriate to match the criticisms with the counter-arguments by the boycott proponents. All the proponents' views will have to be grouped together at the start of the article before the Responses.

3) Again, have a "Responses" section but group the different opinions under headings such as "Criticism that boycotts are antisemitic" and "Boycotts and academic freedom". This would be easier to do on this article than on some others, as the points made do seem to fall into groups. However, it might too easily lead us into the trap of original synthesis.

Hope this helps. Looking forward to reading people's views on it. Itsmejudith (talk) 10:58, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Good points, Judith. For me, what makes this article so frustrating is that it covers a number of discrete events over years, making it very hard for the casual reader to follow. For a while, I was even wondering if they should be spun off into daughter articles, with a master article as a kind of portal spinning people off into each one, but I'm not really wild about it. Whatever the case ends up being, I think we need to entertwine the crit with the text. For example, "Boycott X happened in Year Y. Crticism was voiced against it at the time [give cite] and at a later time. Support was voiced and/or critcism of the criticism at Time X." In terms of who gets the last word in each section, I guess it could be whatever has the latest timestamp on it. Was that clear or hopelessly muddled? IronDuke 23:06, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
No, that's a fine summary of what I was trying to say. The thing now is getting round to doing it.... Itsmejudith (talk) 09:38, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Refuting the use of the word "Refuted"[edit]

<<Obligatory sigh.>> CJ, at best, "refuted " admits of more than one definition, with a definite preference for "disproved." If you look here or here or here or here, you will see a discussion of journalistic style that shows unambiguously I'm correct. Or take a dictionary definiton here. There are some dictionaries which allow -- only as a secondary definition -- the idea that to refute something is to argue against it. But the main definition strongly implies disproof. Is that what you wanted to say? That Butler had disproved the charge of antisemitism? Or were you just hazy on what the word meant? IronDuke 01:12, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not at all hazy on the point; it was simply my understanding that Wikipedia precedent favoured the use of the term "refuted" in this context. If you want to change it to "rebutted" or "rejected", I won't oppose you. CJCurrie (talk) 02:36, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
In what way does "denied" not convey her precise meaning? IronDuke 00:54, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
In what way does "rejected" not convey her precise meaning? And since there's no difference on that point, which word is less slanted? CJCurrie (talk) 00:58, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
If there's no difference on that point, you won't mind "denied," right? IronDuke 01:19, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I believe there is a difference on the question "which word is less slanted". CJCurrie (talk) 05:01, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
In what way is "denied" a slanted word? IronDuke 01:57, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
The word "denial" sometimes connotes a refusal to accept established or self-evident facts. "Rejection" does not carry this connotation. (Btw, are you actually calling for the word "rejects" to be changed? I'm still not clear on this point.) CJCurrie (talk) 02:08, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I think deny is better than reject here. When does deny specifically mean to refuse to accept self-evident facts? Can you cite that? IronDuke 02:11, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
In the first place, "connotes" is not quite the same as "specifically means". Leaving that point aside, do you not think there's a certain qualitative difference between the terms "denies the theory" and "rejects the theory"? CJCurrie (talk) 02:14, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I do think there's a difference. Can you a cite an instance where deny would connote "refusal to accept self-evident facts" where "reject" would not? IronDuke 02:36, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
How about "denies the theory of evolution" vs "rejects the theory of evolution"? (I should clarify that I do not myself dispute the theory of evolution. My point is that "rejects" is less slanted language when dealing with controversial topics.) CJCurrie (talk) 02:43, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm aware that's your point. I'm asking for a cite to support it. IronDuke 02:47, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
You are aware that Wikipedia doesn't require citations for straightforward disputes about language, right? I could just as easily ask you for a citation for your position. CJCurrie (talk) 03:09, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm quite aware. But though you are making a fact-bsaed claim regarding a word, you seem unable to prove it. Why would I then accept that claim? IronDuke 12:56, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
IronDuke: I've provided a rationale for my choice of wording, and you haven't responded beyond calling for a citation. Do you actually have any objections? CJCurrie (talk) 02:25, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

[Outdent] Duke, here's your source:

Deny, you’re such a liar
You won’t know the truth if it bit you in the eye
Deny, you’re such a liar
You’re selling your no-no all the time

An’ you said we were going out to the 100 Club
Then you said “it ain’t my scene” then you turned up alone
Then you turned up alone

Deny, you’re such a liar
You won’t know the truth if it hit you in the street
Deny, you’re such a liar
You’re selling your no-no all the time

Then said you’d given it up
Gone an’ kicked it in the head
You said you ain’t had none for weeks
Baby I seen your arms
Baby I seen your arms

Deny, you’re such a liar
You won’t know the truth if it bit you in the eye
Deny, you’re such a liar
You’re selling your no-no all the time
– Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, The Clash, "Deny," 1977

Maybe we just say Butler's selling her no-no all the time? If you want I'll rip you a copy Ironduke let me know.--G-Dett (talk) 20:27, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Surely it's possible to find an alternative way of summarising Butler's argument that doesn't use either of these words? The writing could be improved anyway. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:14, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Rebut.--G-Dett (talk) 20:27, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
@CJ: I do not find your rationale convincing. I also believe that you yourself do not find it convincing, or you would have made some attempt to prove it. G-Dett at least has a song. Denied is the best word here, and I have seen no one provide evidence it is not. When you were inserting "refuted" into the article, I provided evidence aginst its usage beyond stating a "rationale." Where is yours?
@G-Dett, we could possibly write Butler indictated that "They tried to get me to go 'long with their gab, I said-a no, no, no." And yes I'd like a copy of Deny, but only if it's you singing it. IronDuke 23:11, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
There's policy against using "refuted" in the way proposed. Rebutted works fine for me. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:25, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Rebutted does not work. See here. Let me try to simplify: any formulation of this sentence that implies that Butler defeated the arguments present by Summers have been refuted and rebutted, and will therefore be rejected and denied. IronDuke 00:45, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Far be it from me to question the authority of "WordNet" (version 1.7) but this is the first time I've ever heard that "rebuttal" actually means "triumphantly successful rebuttal." I'm more familiar with the neutral sense given by the other definitions provided on your linked page, taken from an obscure little thing called Webster's International (I know, I know, it's no WordNet). I expect you'll post a rebuttal. Note that I do not mean by this that I expect you'll "overthrow" my argument or "prove [it] to be false or incorrect." I mean that I expect you'll post a rebuttal. Which I'll read with interest and (hopefully) amusement. I can call it your "denial" if you prefer.--G-Dett (talk) 17:34, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Did you really just use "hopefully" where you meant "it is to be hoped?" (My eyes... my eyes.) Okay. Irregardless. You do keep lobbing these over the net at me, don't you. Numero uno, when did I object to the word "rebuttal?" Was it not, rather, the verb form that I objected to? You see, my Padawan learner, sometimes meaning can shift from one form of a word to another, c.f "move" and motive." But enough banter, I say. You don't like my beloved online dictionary? (I think dictionary.die.net is mad accurate, but perhaps that's just me.) Very well, I happen to have my OEmfD open as I type, and as I look at the entry for the word rebut, I see that the first non-obsolete definition is "to force or turn back (a thing, now usually abstract); to give a check to." Did Butler do this? Mmmmm... no. Nothing was turned back. Just argued against. The next definition: "To repel by counter-proof...refute [there's that word again], disprove (any statement, theory etc.)." Did Butler disprove the charge? Nope. Just... denied it. The last definition means "to retire." Anyway, you're quite game to cross wits with me here, and I appreciate your efforts. Please don't let this discourage you. IronDuke 02:15, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

[outdent]Your denial does not disappoint. It is interesting and amusing.

Yes, I used one idiomatic word instead of five pedantic ones. Which brings us swiftly to the point: can you just provide some ordinary examples of what you’re talking about, taken from ordinary idiomatic English? For reasons I’ll get to in a minute, I don’t think the way you’re waving these dictionaries around is helpful or even defensible.

I assume that English is your mother tongue, and that you didn’t grow up say on a remote colonial island home-schooled by C3PO with the OED and WordNet version 1.7 as your only works of reference. That you had and have regular interactions with competent speakers of idiomatic English. Yes? So how on earth have you remained unaware that “deny” often implies refusal to accept self-evident facts? Surely you’ve noticed that we speak of “Global warming deniers” and “Holocaust deniers” but not “astrology deniers,” and that the currency of these terms depends on the overwhelming consensus that global warming and the Holocaust are facts? And surely you’ve noticed that actual global-warming deniers and Holocaust deniers reject these labels and call themselves instead “global-warming skeptics” and “Holocaust revisionists”? If you heard someone refer to “astrology denial” you’d join me in assuming he was either (a) an astrology nut or (b) a facetious wag mocking astrology nuts. Right?

And surely as a fluent speaker of idiomatic English, you’ve noticed that people talk about “denial” as one of the stages of grief, or of drug addiction/rehabilitation, etc. – in each case the stage in which the subject refuses to accept an inescapable truth because it entails too much cognitive dissonance?

And as a cool guy with no doubt lots of cool, ironic friends, surely you’ve been in some situation where someone a little less cool is being shifty or evasive and one of your cool friends mutters something under her breath about “that river in Egypt” and everyone laughed? Did you get your friend’s joke? Or did you just laugh along but secretly not getting it and dying to ask her for a “cite”?

“Deny” is neutral in only one context as far as I know: in response to bare-bones assertions of who did what where when: Mr. X claimed to have seen Mrs. Y at the ballet, but Mrs. Y denied it and said she was at home that night. Mr. X and Mrs. Y are on an equal footing in this sentence. In response to every other kind of assertion I can think of – analyses, interpretations, historical accounts, scientific diagnoses, and yes, speculations about institutional anti-Semitism – “deny” (as well as “denial,” “denier,” etc.) implies resistance to reality, whether willed or passive. It should be noted that even where “deny” is used neutrally, it designates stripped-down gainsaying: I was not at the ballet that night. You deny an allegation, but rebut an argument.

Now, I promised I’d explain to you why what you’re doing with dictionaries is not only pedantic but indefensible. The OED is a great dictionary – probably the greatest – but you have to know how to use it. Unlike Webster’s and most American dictionaries, it does not foreground the standard accepted definition of a given word, nor does it offer guidelines for usage with respect to various contexts, or helpful connotative distinctions between near-synonyms. Rather it is organized historically, allowing you to see the evolution of a word through time. Of the three “non-obsolete” definitions you cite from the OED, the last recorded use of the first was in 1859, the last recorded use of the second was in 1869, and the last of the third was in 1624. In fact, in the entire OED entry, there isn’t a single example given from the 20th or 21st century. Do you know what I make of this anomaly, in my OR-commonsensical way? I surmise that the verb “rebut” is a fairly rare bird in British English, and that it has arrived at a much more comfortable place in American English because of the much greater impact of legal institutions on our popular culture and legal language on our national idiom. Hence Webster’s neutral definitions of “rebut” in the link you first provided. (Oh and the problem with online thingamajigs like WordNet is that they are neither fish nor foul, neither historical nor prescriptive – they just sort of aggregate shit from different sources willy-nilly.)

Getting back to the test of idiom, is it really your experience that “rebut” as commonly used implies decisive and authoritative success on the part of the rebutter? If so, can you give me an example? I genuinely find this puzzling. Here’s something I read in the New York Times a couple of days ago. It’s a good passage for us because it doesn’t merely use the word but actually alludes to its connotations:

Just as the United States news media had reacted to Hillary Clinton’s complaints and “Saturday Night Live”’s parodies last spring by toughening up on Mr. Obama during the final weeks of the primary campaign, another mini-backlash developed as this trip reached its final destinations. By this past weekend, news stories used words like “defend” and “rebut” to characterize Mr. Obama’s own statements about the trip. The candidate himself began to acknowledge that many voters might not see the benefits in his being out of the country for such an extended period. [13]

The Times is decidedly not implying that according to news sources, Obama "disproved" the criticisms directed at him. The implication is rather that he found himself on the defensive and in need of a prepared response. This is the word "rebut" as I know it. If you really feel it has a different idiomatic charge, can you at least give me some examples, preferably not from the 19th century? I'm not questioning your good faith, even in the face of your denial about "denial".... because obviously there is a bit of well-intentioned mischief and banter going on, and I like that sort of thing.

P.S. I do not accept your analogy between rebut/rebuttal and move/motive. Rebut and rebuttal are the same word, just different parts of speech, whereas move and motive are only etymologically connected, like philanderer and philanthropist. In all sincerity (and I do not mean waxlessness), --G-Dett (talk) 14:43, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

P.P.S. According to Paul Brians' Common Errors in English Usage, "When you rebut someone’s argument you argue against it. To refute someone’s argument is to prove it incorrect. Unless you are certain you have achieved success, use 'rebut'."

And from the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage: "rebut/refute: Rebut, a neutral word, means reply and take issue. Refute goes further and often beyond what a writer intends: it means disprove, and successfully." --G-Dett (talk) 14:43, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for thinking of me as a cool guy, especially after I name-checked a Star Wars movie. I would be more than comfortable asking one of my friends for a cite if she suggested that "deny" and "denial" (which implies, when used in the De-Nile sense, "in denial) are essentially the same word, just as I would question someone suggesting that just because I was shocked, I was therefore necessarily "in shock." And not that it's any of your business, but my friends fear me far too much to risk poor English usage in my presence.
I can't agree that deny carries a connotation of rejecting self-evident facts, and as you've provided cites for your other claims, I wonder why it is that you cannot provide cites for this one. Your vaunted Merriam Webster has these three (current) definitions:

1: to declare untrue <deny an allegation> [ Butler does this.]

2: to refuse to admit or acknowledge : DISAVOW <deny responsibility> [ Butler does this.]

3 a: to give a negative answer to <denying the petitioners> b: to refuse to grant <deny a request> c: to restrain (oneself) from gratification of desires [ Butler doesn’t really do this.] DENY implies a firm refusal to accept as true, to grant or concede, or to acknowledge the existence or claims of <denied the charges> [Butler does this]. [14]

As we see, it does carry a connotation of objecting to a charge or an accusation, which is exactly what is going on here. (BTW, again, "denier" is not merely "one who denies." It has grown into its own word with a specialized meaning. If I wanted to say that Butler had kicked an object, it wouldn't make much sense for you to say, "But that implies Butler is a kicker," which is essentially the point you're making.
Do I have evidence that my way of looking at "rebut" has validity? Let's ask The Economist, or Bill Bryson [15]. Note the suggestion that "refute" and "rebut" both be put on the banned list, as confusing at best.
Even if I were to accept your proposition that "rebut" somehow carries no connotation of "disproved," (which I don't, though you've argued it well), I would also point you to this. "…more than half the time, “deny” will get the job done more naturally than “rebut.”
I think the word you're really looking for now is uncle, isn't it? IronDuke 22:48, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Growing a little weary over here, Duke. You have odd views about connotative firewalls between parts of speech, as well as about the function of dictionaries – which do not in fact address themselves to the connotative dimension of language at all.
More than half the time ‘deny’ indeed gets the job done more naturally than ‘rebut’, because more than half the time someone has simply alleged something (I saw Mrs Y at the ballet), someone else has simply claimed it’s false (I was not at the ballet last night), and some third-rate hack posing as a second-rate hack has simply reached for his thesaurus and, thrilled with the illusion of verbal alchemy, tarted up Mrs Y denied being at the ballet so that it reads Mrs Y rebutted allegations regarding her whereabouts. G-d save us from hacks and their desk references. To gainsay an allegation is to deny it, and in any of the many instances where this is all that’s meant it’s the right word, and rebut (or the equivalent) is both pretentious and wrong.
To respond analytically and in detail to an argument or position, however, is never described by literate, competent speakers of English as ‘denying’ it – unless the warranted implication is that the truth of said proposition has been established by overwhelming consensus. You can say that in such-and-such book Faurisson denies the existence of the gas chambers in Nazi Germany. But you don’t say that in such-and-such journal essay John Searle denies the arguments for artificial intelligence. Unless you are either (a) a hack, or (b) a pro-AI hack.
Allegations and denials go hand-in-hand. Their domain is the domain of fact, their mode that of assertion and counter-assertion. They are not used to describe interpretive or analytical arguments and detailed counter-arguments. The confusion on Wikipedia about what “allegations” means has only recently ended, so it’s not surprising to find pockets of corollary confusion about what “denials” are.
I am not wedded to ‘rebut,’ and if its proper use flummoxes you I will happily accept any number of less vexing synonyms.
I think the word you’re looking for is “Daddy.” Yours, G-Dett (talk) 15:36, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry that this conversation has become vexing for you. As CJ has effected a good compromise, it is essentially, if you'll pardon the expression, academic. FWIW, I made reference to sources other than dictionaries to support my point (which you addressed not at all) -- but perhaps Bill Bryson is a hack like myself? You, I will note, continue to assert your view without providing any evidence whatever, other than those self-same assertions. I think you know that's not good enough. But, as you seem a little stressed by this, and as it no longer really matters, perhaps we can let the issue rest, unless and until it becomes relevant again. IronDuke 19:41, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Deletion of relevant, sourced material[edit]

CJ, the material you have been removing is both sourced, and relevant to the article, as it is criticism of the boycott decisions. You need to come up with a meaningful reason why it should be deleted,. The fact that your deletion went unopposed (and likely, unnoticed) for a month is not such a reason. There are now multiple editors who oppose it - it is time for you to make a case here on talk. Canadian Monkey (talk)

I would have to agree; the removal of these links seems to be more of an ideological campaign against a specific website, rather than sincere attempts to improve the encyclopedia. One wonders why CJCurrie wouldn't target far more egregious examples of link-spamming from truly non-encyclopedic propaganda sites, such as these 316 links. I suppose that if I see him actually systematically removing links to that site, and edit-warring if they are returned, then I'll have to eat my words, but I don't feel that I'm in any real danger of having to do that. Jayjg (talk) 00:29, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm more than halfway tempted to take a page from Jayjg's book, and refuse to participate in this discussion on the grounds that my interlocutors have not sufficiently internalized the spirit of WP:CIVIL. I suspect I'd have more cause than Jayjg, on most of the occasions wherein he's conveyed this message.
Rather than taking this approach, however, I'll note the following:
  • (i) The material in question is sourced to a website of questionable merit, which has attracted little attention from the mainstream media but was nonetheless linked quite extensively from Wikipedia at one time.
  • (ii) Both Andre Oboler's coverage of the May 2005 AUT protest, and the summary included here, represent a profoundly one-sided take on this event. Having consulted a real newspaper's coverage of the AUT meeting, I've discovered that there were two rival protests taking place at the same time. This information has now been integrated into the article, and a source provided -- I trust that it will not be removed by other parties.
  • (iii) The AJ6 information doesn't strike me as especially noteworthy, though I won't object to including a link to ZotW's copy of the source document if consensus is against me. Of course, it would be far better to link to the source document itself ...
Finally, I'll offer Jayjg the following suggestion: if the 316 links from www.palestineremembered.com are a source of concern to you, why not try removing them yourself and see if any backlash results? When I removed several ZotW links a while ago, I only received two complaints: one from the operator of the site, and another from User:GHcool regarding the inclusion of one (1) link on one (1) page. The latter situation was quickly resolved; the former, by the looks of things, is still playing itself out. CJCurrie (talk) 04:26, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Why don't you think the AJ6 information is noteworthy? As for the rest, I was quite sure I was in no danger of having to eat my words, and I see I was correct. Jayjg (talk) 23:27, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
The verb would not be eat but inhale, given that the substance in question is hot air. Even if witnessing this admitted novelty were CJ’s great goal, and even if he were foolish enough to carry out your preposterous demand that he delete 316 references you’ve identified as inappropriate in articles he isn’t editing before he can improve the one he is editing, we all know what the next move would be. You’d find fault with his failure to edit-war when one of those 316 edits was reverted, or you’d ignore his diligence completely and tell him to “focus on content, not other editors” when he protested your lack of good faith, or you’d tell him you meant exactly what you said – that you’d eat your words, not that you’d allow him to remove comparable material from this article – so he should stop “strawmanning” you, and that he should review WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS for good measure. Everyone knows your game, and no one cares what it is you eat, drink, or inhale before you sit down to type.
Now, take a deep breath, forgo the temptation to hit your macro-keys for “Please review WP:CIVIL” and "focus on content, not other editors” when your own incivilities arouse a rejoinder, and explain why you think www.zionismontheweb.org is a high-quality, encyclopedic source for Wikipedia.--G-Dett (talk) 17:22, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
tl;dr. Jayjg (talk) 22:07, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I, too, would like a clarification why the AJ6 protest is not noteworthy, while the support of an unnamed group who cheered on the AUT, is noteworthy. Until then, I'm returning this sourced material. Canadian Monkey (talk) 03:19, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that a press release concerning sixth-formers is especially relevant to an article on a proposed academic boycott of universities (particularly given that we're already devoting a fair bit of attention to criticism from other sources). CJCurrie (talk) 04:18, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand why, then, you would source it to a blog rather than the Zionismontheweb website. It seems that, while the reason changes from page to page, there is always some good reason not to link to the site. Jayjg (talk) 22:07, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd much rather we delete the paragraph entirely, of course. Do you have any response to my statement, I'm not convinced that a press release concerning sixth-formers is especially relevant to an article on a proposed academic boycott of universities (particularly given that we're already devoting a fair bit of attention to criticism from other sources). CJCurrie (talk) 21:34, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
It is criticism of the AUT boycott, by a well known group. Why wouldn't it be relevant? why would it be any less notable than the support of the boycott, by an unnamed, unknown group, which you added? Canadian Monkey (talk)
We don't need to include every scintilla of criticism, and I don't believe that a press release regarding sixth-formers is terribly important to this article. Regarding your second comment, you seem to be confusing " support from an unnamed, unknown group" with a notable public demonstration. CJCurrie (talk) 05:24, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
I've asked this twice, and now a third time; why is criticism from a named, known group, made public via a press release, less notable than support by an unnamed, unknown group? Simply asserting, as you did, that the latter is a "notable" demonstration is not going to cut it. Answer the question please. Canadian Monkey (talk) 14:38, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
(i) I don't accept the premise of your question, (ii) the important point is that there were rival demonstrations on the date in question, (iii) given that we're already including several other criticisms, I still fail to see a press release regarding sixth-formers as terribly important. CJCurrie (talk) 19:54, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
The question is highly relevant to your actions here, as it goes directly to your explanations of your edits - the removal of one sourced action under claims of non-notability, and teh addition of another action, under claims of notability. Please explain your actions, and answer the question, which you have now been asked 4 times. Canadian Monkey (talk) 21:13, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Very well: (i) the rival demonstrations were covered by (and are referenced to) a credible secondary source, (ii) the AJ6's criticism of the proposed boycott is cited to a press release that doesn't appear to have received attention from credible secondary sources. Clear now? CJCurrie (talk) 21:56, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
But the AJ6 criticism did recieve attention from credible secondary sources - it was featured on the ZionismOnTheWeb site, for one. It is becoming increasingly clear that you have some sort of personal agenda with regards to that source, rather than trying to actually improve the encyclopedia. Canadian Monkey (talk) 22:10, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
My "personal agenda" was never a secret: I was removing links to a non-notable site that (in a least some instances) had been spammed onto Wikipedia. ZotW is a partisan site that has received negligible attention from mainstream sources, and cannot be considered a "credible secondary source" in its own right. CJCurrie (talk) 22:13, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
It is good to have this out in the open, rather than hiding behind various pretexts (such a as "the link has a slanted essay on it", "it's not notable", etc.. ) as you have been doing. SO what this boils down to (as was obviosu from the get-go), is not issues of notability or potential bias, but your objection to ZotW as a source. You are not the judge of what is a 'non-notable site', and you are certainly not both judge and executioner. Take this to WP:RS if you want, (and be prepared to defend PalestineRemebered.com and other similar sources that you seem to be fond of) - but until then, cease this crusade. Canadian Monkey (talk) 22:23, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
That's impressive spin, and I'm sure it will factor into Andre Oboler's "research" of Wikipedia at some stage or other, but it has virtually no relation to the truth. I've never concealed the fact that I removed several ZotW links about a month ago, and I've never apologized for it. In most cases, the links were to (i) simple copies of material that was already available online, (ii) obviously unsuitable or biased commentaries, or (iii) decent archival material, the value of which was sadly compromised by tendentious introductory essays. It strikes me as noteworthy that virtually no-one apart from User:Oboler raised objections to my actions for about a month, until User:Jayjg decided to make his stand.
In any event, what you refer to as "pretexts" are very relevant to the discussion. Although I don't believe ZotW is a notable or encyclopedic site, I nevertheless went through the trouble of checking *every single link* before I deleted it, to see if the referenced material had enough redeeming qualities to merit retention. In the case of the Ahad Ha'am article, I'll credit ZotW with providing a useful transcription, but that doesn't change the fact that their introductory essay is tendentious, non-notable and unencyclopedic -- and that for us to promote this essay by linking to the site would be a grave error in judgement. In the case of the AJ6 material, I simply don't believe their press release is notable enough for inclusion on this article -- regardless of what reference source we may use.
And, for the record, I have absolutely no interest in defending PalestineRemembered.com. Any editor who removes links to that site will meet no resistence from me.
On another matter, I'd be quite interested to discover why you regard ZotW as encyclopedic or noteworthy. CJCurrie (talk) 22:41, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

"Unfair comparison" w/SA Apartheid[edit]

Given prominent South Africans' use of the term, it's hardly even controversial. If Desmond Tutu says it's like apartheid, I'm sorry, but it is. It doesn't mean the criticism isn't notable or can just be discarded, but the article's written as if it's a few radical anti-semite Nazi wants to kill all Jews have made the comparison. It's not. I wouldn't be surprised if a rough analogy is the majority opinion in the South African anti-apartheid community. I'm sorry if I value Desmond Tutu's understanding of South African apartheid a hell of a lot better than I value Alan Dershowitz's. --Jammoe (talk) 15:09, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

If Desmond Tutu says it's like apartheid, I'm sorry, but it is. Are you serious? Kope (talk) 17:44, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Of course he is, but this is not the place to discuss the substantive issue. Both Tutu's and Dershowitz's opinions are relevant and can be mentioned without us wikipedians having to weigh in. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:52, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I think there are some 200 countries in the world with lots of politicians having opinion on this matter who are not connected to the topic. Should we include them all? How about my opinion? What about other articles? Kope (talk) 18:03, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
It's not the opinions of the politicians that are relevant, but their public statements that have received news coverage. We only report those statements for which we have an independent source. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:05, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, the opinion of a politician is always public and receives news coverage. Even then, I don't think that someone's opinion should be mentioned as a fact, as Jammoe suggests. Do you think that it is me and not Jammoe who wants to discuss substative issue? Kope (talk) 18:16, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Politicians would love it if all their opinions received news coverage. In their dreams. Tutu is not a politician, of course, but a religious leader of world stature. I think his view is worth including but it should be attributed to him and not to WP. I was worried that Jammoe's post was going to lead to a discussion of the substantive issue so I came in to guide us back to topic. Unless there is a clear proposal for an amendment to the article we have to leave the discussion here. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:43, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't make statements about these sorts of controversial issues as fact, and I think that's appropriate. But the language of the article implies that the criticism of the mainstream opinion of competent observers is in fact the mainstream opinion of major world commentators. It isn't. I'm not talking about saying or not saying that this analogy applies, I happen to think it does and I'm going to say so, but that's not what I think should be in the article. However, I think it is a fact that you can prove and which fits Wikipedia's NPOV and evidence standards that the criticism of the analogy is marginal and biased. If we live in an intellectual climate where Alan Dershowitz's belief that a situation is similar to Apartheid is given even equal weight to a whole host of people who were actually black in South Africa during Apartheid, we need to change some things about how we evaluate commentary. --Jammoe (talk) 02:58, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure this point goes right here--I'm new to participating in "talk." But isn't the sentence "Some invoke the comparison to claim that an academic boycott of Israel should not be controversial based on a misconception that the academic boycott of South Africa was uncontroversial and straightforward." problematic in that there is no citation for the "some?" In the reading I've done on these debates, I see people saying that now the academic boycott of South Africa is viewed as positive, but I don't hear anyone saying that it wasn't controversial at the time. Could someone either provide a source for this "some" or cut the sentence? glenntwo (talk) 07:35, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Mentioning roots of some people involved in this affair[edit]

May I add the Jewish ethnicity of Weingarten to the article? And Summers, too.Pinocchio3000 (talk) 19:01, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Rather than asking a question, it would be more useful if you could explain why this information is necessary to the article.--Soulparadox (talk) 13:23, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
It would help to explain why they stand up for Israel. It helps readers understand the situation better. Now tell me, why are you opposing this?Pinocchio3000 (talk) 07:52, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Ok, so it seems that your implication is that individuals who are Jewish oppose boycotts against Israel solely, or mainly, because they are Jewish (i.e. this "explain[s] why they stand up for Israel") and that you want to note this fact in order to "help readers understand the situation better?" Do any of the sources cited here support your hypothesis? Do any of the sources cited claim or suggest that Weingarten and Summers' "stand up for Israel" because of their Jewish ancestry? If this is your own personal conclusion, then it is original research, which is not allowed in Wikipedia.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 08:20, 14 November 2013 (UTC))
It doesn't help to explain anything. Only an individual can explain why they "stand up for Israel", to use your phrase. All sorts of people support or oppose the boycott for all sorts of reasons. If an individual's position on the boycott issue is dependent on their ethnicity, you will need a source where the person explicitly says that is the case. We're dealing with living people and we can't imply or decide on their behalf the factors that resulted in their adopting their personal view on the boycott issue or any issue. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:35, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I didn't add the statement "these people are Jewish so they are biased about Israel" to the article. I want to mention the facts so they can decide for themselves. Let me put it this way: Are the changes I'm trying to make breaking any rules?Pinocchio3000 (talk) 12:51, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

On the contrary, you stated above that you believe that citing the Jewish ancestry of certain individuals "would help to explain why they stand up for Israel." (i.e. they support Israel because they are Jewish). None of the sources cited (as far as I can tell) state this or suggest this - rather, this is your own hypothesis, which you are trying to us Wikipedia to promote; This is original research. To put it another way, there are many individuals cited in this article who oppose boycotts of Israel and whom are not Jewish - does this mean we should cite the religion/ethnicity of every one of these individuals as well, under the guise of "mention[ing] the facts?" (of course not). (Hyperionsteel (talk) 03:58, 19 November 2013 (UTC))

You want to mention facts based on what decision procedure ? There are an infinite number of facts. You selected the ethnicity of some people who oppose the boycott. Why not their favorite color so readers can decide for themselves whether that was pertinent to their position on the boycott ? You need a policy/reliable source based reason to select information or else there is no reason for it to be there, other than that you think it is pertinent. Sean.hoyland - talk 11:19, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Several biases and problems under "Accusations of antisemitism"[edit]

There are several issues that I see:

1) It has in quotes that Larry Summers "blasted" the boycotts as anti-semetic. The use of this verb in quotation marks does not suggest a bias in one way or the other (conceivably, the use of the word suggests that Larry Summers criticism was emotion-fuelled and less than civil) . The word has a good deal of emotional charge, and "criticized" would be a more neutral choice. In addition, we don't know who is being cited as having said that Larry Summers "blasted".

2) The word "antisemetic" is in quotation marks on the same line. I propose that the quotation marks be deleted. Their use suggests that the reader should distance him or herself from Summers' claim and be skeptical of the validity of the use of the term antisemitism in this case. Since he did use the word antisemitism, the use of quotation marks is not justified; it's clear enough that Summers accuses the boycotts of being antisemitic, and no additional evidence is being brought forth to the reader by putting it in quotation marks. Even if one doesn't need to interpret the quotations marks as I have, one still can interpret them that way. It is just more neutral to not use quotation marks.

3) The citation of the Summers' quote does not link to a particular article, but to the wikipedia page of the Harvard Crimson. This needs to be corrected. I wasn't able to find it after a very cursory search. Does anyone know where it can be found?

4) It is odd that Judith Butler's response to Summers is given a lengthier exposition than Summers' remarks themselves. A more evenhanded discussion requires, in my view, a greater exposition of Summers argument. I suggest that, once we have the article cited, we provide a detail or two of Summers' position, and his own justifications for his views about why . Also, (and this can perhaps be challenged because I haven't read Summers' article) it is odd that virtually the only evidence provided for Summers' position contains precisely the phrase which Butler uses as the beginning point for her rebuttal of Summers. As it stands now, in my view it seems that Summers' point is only introduced in order to set up Butler's counter-argument.

5) Judith Butler's response to Summers is not merely a response to his point about the particular issue of academic boycotts, but about the larger issue of labelling certain views and political actions as antisemetic in order to discredit them and disqualify those who hold them and do them from participation in mainstream discourse. After we set up Summers' remarks properly, Butler's view should only be presented so far as it pertains to the particular issue of Summers on academic boycotts. Otherwise, her remarks just come out of left field and are only obliquely related to the subject of the article. Bmman87 (talk) 17:21, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

I don't really have any views that matter much on the issues you've raised but I did something practical and found the source. It's here.
A couple of comments though.
  • "blasted" is apparently the term used by the author, although why our article needs it is unclear.
  • anti-Semitic is apparently in quotes in source, Summers called the union’s action “anti-Semitic.”. I assume that's why it's in quotes in our article. I think you are probably reading too much into the use of quotation marks. I assume the author used them to provide separation between the claim and the narrative voice of the article which is pretty standard practice. I don't think it matters whether or not the Wikipedia article uses them.
  • So the statement "Harvard President Larry Summers "blasted" the boycotts as "antisemitic" probably needs changing to be more precise. It was a statement specifically about the boycott by Britain’s Association of University Teachers (AUT) rather than "the boycotts" in general. Sean.hoyland - talk 06:45, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Links all lead to anti boycott groups[edit]

While researching through various pages to understand boycott and divestment as an artist this one sidedness of those links out seemed inappropriate. Seemed like there would have been a few or half going the other way. Kraig Richard is moltenmedia — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.109.177.132 (talk) 17:10, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

You are simply wrong, check again. The purpose of all links in this article is to serve as sources for the information in it. If you'd like to add or suggest a few new ones, please do so. -Yambaram (talk) 10:36, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
They are probably talking about the external links, all of which apart from pacbi.org are anti-boycott. To translate what they are saying into Wiki-speak, this is a violation of mandatory NPOV policy (see WP:UNDUE section) and the WP:EL guideline. Sean.hoyland - talk 16:31, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I see now. So the editor who added those links may have violated a policy. But notice how it specifically says above them "Official Stop the Boycott campaign publication", it didn't say something like "Websites about the Boycott campaigns." A big difference. -Yambaram (talk) 21:45, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Big difference ? Not really. It's just nationalists unethically exploiting a charity. Happens everyday in this topic area. Sean.hoyland - talk 05:47, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, really. I just don't understand why you're not editing or changing the "external links" section instead of complaining about it. -Yambaram (talk) 12:32, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Witts students voting for academic boycotts : Non-notable[edit]

Students make statements all the time. To say a student group or student representatives voted to support such a thing is not notable. The University of Wisconsin is a nuclear-free zone, is it included in non-proliferation articles? No. This addition adds nothing to the article. Capitalismojo (talk) 13:44, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

And why just this universities' students? Are we going to turn this into a list of all student orgs/reps that participate? The question answers itself. Capitalismojo (talk) 13:44, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Do many univesities possess nuclear weapons? I thought universities were academic institutions and that an academic boycott of Israel might be related to this article. Why remove Witts while keeping so many other universities' responses? Sepsis II (talk) 19:05, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
It's not clear how you are measuring notability. You've made an assertion that appears to be based on a personal view rather than one that employs the method used by Wikipedia where weight is assessed via the presence or absence of information in reliable sources. The Israeli media and other media like JTA, Forward etc often provide what is in effect free advertising to BDS by reporting decisions like this and hosting related opinion pieces, so it might be worth looking for more sources before deciding that this does not qualify as notable. Sean.hoyland - talk 20:03, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Students and student groups are not universities. One brief AP note does not make this worthy of inclusion.Capitalismojo (talk) 21:05, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
There are many, many student groups and student governmments around the world that have voted for this that are not listed in this article. Thus, again, why is this notable? Capitalismojo (talk) 21:15, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
What makes something worthy of inclusion ? Can you describe how you would decide when this information crosses the line between non-notable and notable. Please be specific. Also, do you think a similar procedure should be used to exclude opinions only published by one source given that there are many, many opinions on this issue and the article has some of them. Sean.hoyland - talk 16:38, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I would think it is notable when academic institutions,universities, and national or international academic bodies commence a boycott. Student groups or student government orgs are not. Capitalismojo (talk) 02:50, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Opinions as refs? I am unclear which you are speaking of. Capitalismojo (talk) 02:51, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
A very quick search shows that, aside from AP, this boycott decision instance received coverage by Ynet, JPost, JTA, Times of Israel, Algemeiner, Haaretz and INN. It probably received more coverage but I stopped looking after a couple of minutes. Your position seems to be that decisions by student bodies are inherently non-notable even when reported by RS. This decision method doesn't appear be consistent with policy i.e. WP:UNDUE. To clarify the question about opinions, I was asking whether you think an opinion about the topic of this article (reported by RS) should be treated the same way as a decision by a student body (reported by RS) i.e. should opinions also be treated as inherently non-notable by default in this article and therefore excluded (given that there are so many opinions about this issue) unless they meet some kind of criteria e.g. the opinion received coverage from more than a certain number of RS ? Sean.hoyland - talk 05:23, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Opinions can be notable. It depends. Perhaps you could start a new section on the opinions you believe are not notable. The noteworthiness of students as opposed to universities and academic institutions is clear. I have found many, many, many other student orgs/govs voting or announcing similar positions. They are not listed here. This is an article not a blog or list. Capitalismojo (talk) 14:00, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Regarding "The noteworthiness of students as opposed to universities and academic institutions is clear."...it's not clear to me. What I see is evidence of the notability of a piece of information established by RS coverage, the only method I can use to measure notability according to policy vs an assertion based on a belief. How do you suggest we resolve this given that notability can't be measured according to an editor's beliefs ? Regarding "I have found many, many, many other student orgs/govs voting or announcing similar positions. They are not listed here." But the absence of information from an article doesn't tell you anything and the notability of a piece of information in Wikipedia isn't normalized based on the size of a set to which it belongs e.g. the notability of an event, a crime for example, doesn't depend on the crime rate, it just depends on the amount of coverage that particular event received. If a student org's decision received no RS coverage it's invisible to Wikipedia. If it was widely reported it was regarded as notable by RS. The notability of each student org's decision is independent of the notability of all other student org's decisions and only dependent on the extent to which each decision was covered by RS. RS coverage is the method Wikipedia employs to establish notability. Sean.hoyland - talk 17:03, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
And my point is that it is easy to find mainstream RS refs for many other student groups actions that are not listed here. Capitalismojo (talk) 02:49, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Structuring of U.S. section[edit]

In response to various comments on this page regarding the confusing ordering of the article (see comments: Deodar from September 2006, Terraxos from May 2008, and Itsmejudith from July 2008) I propose a new structure for the U.S. section. My plan is to begin the section with an official statement from the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) clearly stating the goals and mission of the U.S. based academic boycott movement. Following this will be a a section titled "succeses" in which I will present a discussion of the associations, departments, individual academics, and other groups whose support for the boycott movement has been reflected in political action. As per the opinion that the article needs a clearer and simpler structure, as well as a more balanced NPOV, voiced by both Itsmejudith and Ironduke in July 2008, I want to end the section with the criticisms already present in the article. I think that this might be a good way to bolster the U.S. section, as much of the support and success is coming out of that region, while simulataneously giving a bit more structure and clarity to the article. --Gabriellaskoff (talk) 01:17, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Hyperionsteel deletion of large portion of text[edit]

Hyperionsteel , your deletion of the information added under the United States heading of Boycott Campaign is not in accordance with any specific Wikipedia standards or guidelines, as I did not post any “promotional material”, but rather cited from a notable source, as I had claimed I was doing on both the talk page for this article as well as in the sentences preceding the quotes (see original revision as of 01:58, 27 March 2014). Having cited my source, the quotation is entirely acceptable, following Wikipedia’s guidelines regarding External Links, which states: “External links to commercial organizations are acceptable if they identify notable organizations which are the topic of the article.” Furthermore, the information which you have deleted augmented the NPOV of the article by stating clearly and plainly in the organization’s own words exactly what their goal and mission is. I find that your deletion of my edit is unjustifiable and I have thus proceeded to “undo” your edit. For future reference, please state a valid source of reason as to why you chose to delete a large portion of explanatory text that does not come into conflict with any of Wikipedia’s rules and/or regulations.--Gabriellaskoff (talk) 05:18, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Unfortunately, your above argument is wrong for several reasons:
  • First, and let me get this straight, You claim to be promoting NPOV by copying a huge amount of text directly from a pro-boycott website, without citing any secondary sources? All your edit consists of is a massive cut and paste from the USPACBI website's mission statement [16]. Really?
  • Second, you state above, in your own words that your edit "stat[es] clearly and plainly in the organization’s own words exactly what their goal and mission is" - again, this is copy and pasted from the organization's own website - that sounds very WP:Promotional to me. A link to the organization's website would be warranted and sufficient - but cutting and pasting a huge amount of text is excessive. To put this in perspective, if I were to copy and paste large amounts of information from a anti-boycott website, I have little doubt it would be considered promotional.
  • Finally, you state that your edit is supported by Wikipedia's policy regarding "External links to commercial organizations are acceptable if they identify notable organizations which are the topic of the article." Actually, it isn't - this policy deals with the inclusion of external links in Wikipedia articles (i.e. a link to an external website); what you have done is copied a large amount of promotional material from an external website and pasted it into this article. Again, providing a link is one thing - but copying information from that link and pasting it into Wikipedia is something quite different. In other words, Wikipedia's policy regarding external links is irrelevant to this issue.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 05:26, 27 March 2014 (UTC))
    • You will also notice that large portions of text from the mission statements, resolutions, boycott declarations etc. of other organizations that boycott (or for that matter oppose boycotts) of Israel are not copied and pasted from these organizations' websites. Rather there are links to the pages on their websites that present this information. True, there are some quotes from these organizations in this article - but they are from third party sources (e.g. news articles), and not from the organizations themselves. (Hyperionsteel (talk) 05:39, 27 March 2014 (UTC))
    • Update: I've also removed a large block of copy and pasted text from UCU website. Again, copying large blocks of text from primary sources isn't encouraged in Wikipedia. A link to the website is sufficient.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 06:42, 29 March 2014 (UTC))

Removal of information from "Mona Baker, Miriam Shlesinger and Gideon Toury" section[edit]

To avoid duplication, I've removed most of the information regarding the controversy between "Mona Baker, Miriam Shlesinger and Gideon Toury" and replaced it with a "main article" link. Since a detailed account of both sides of this issue is already available in Mona Baker's Wikipedia article Mona Baker#Middle East conflict and Israeli academics, it doesn't need to be repeated here.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 06:43, 29 March 2014 (UTC))

University and College Union[edit]

This section, about just one union in one smallish country, is ridiculously long & tedious. It is article-length in itself. I suggest it is either heavily cut or moved to its own article (or the University and College Union article).Ben Finn (talk) 09:57, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Gerstenfeld, Manfred. "The Academic Boycott Against Israel", Jewish Political Studies Review 15:3-4 (Fall 2003).