Talk:King David Hotel bombing

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Former good article nominee King David Hotel bombing was a History good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
December 13, 2012 Good article nominee Not listed
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Image capt[edit]

User The Madras has been changing the caption under the image in the Lead from what it has been from some time, Mandate Palestine, to British Mandate of Palestine, breaching the 1RR rule on the article to do so. The latter term was shown, by a large margin, to be a minority one when the latest incarnation of the Mandatory Palestine was last renamed. I propose that, as a best solution, we adopt the term used in that article, Mandatory Palestine, in the caption of the current article.     ←   ZScarpia   19:27, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:King David Hotel bombing/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 19:50, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

I'll begin this review later today or tomorrow. Looking forward to working with you, -- Khazar2 (talk) 19:50, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

First read-through[edit]

I'm doing my first read-through, and I'll note down some points big and small here as I go. Tomorrow or Thursday I'll begin the formal checklist, but this will give you a head start.

Overall this looks like a quality article to me. It's detailed about background, the event, and its consequences, and draws on a variety of sources. The only pervasive issue I see is the lack of page numbers, which seriously complicates verifiability. Do you still have these books, and would it be possible to add some of these?

I don't, and never actually had these books. I didn't add those references. QatarStarsLeague (talk) 14:22, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I looked for more guidance on the page numbers issue and found this essay, which appears to me to give good advice.
"Page numbers (or similar details) are only needed when the inline citation concerns one of the above five types of statement and it would be difficult for the reader to find the location in the source without a page number (or similar detail)."
Given the controversy over the KDH bomb, many of the article's statements can be considered controversial; others are direct quotations. This will therefore need at least some page numbers from Clarke, Bethell, and some of the other authors, or these statements will need to be rewritten from other sources. (Also, since one instance of close paraphrasing has already popped up, I'm concerned that we should double-check the sources for more.) I'm willing to put a week's hold on this if you think you can find these, or replace them with other sources. Otherwise, I may need to fail this for now. -- Khazar2 (talk) 17:24, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Other issues:

  • "The attack, which initially had the approval of the Haganah (the principal Jewish paramilitary group in Palestine) and was conceived of as a response to Operation Agatha (in which widespread raids, including one on the Jewish Agency, had been carried out), was the deadliest directed at the British during the Mandate era (1920–1948)." This sentence is overly dense--perhaps split this into two sentences to avoid so many parenthetical clauses.
Done. QatarStarsLeague (talk) 14:22, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
  • "Controversy has arisen over the timing and adequacy of the warnings and the reasons why the hotel was not evacuated." This is a bit vague; it could be made more clear here when and where the controversy/ies arose.
  • "In plan form" -- This phrase confused me. Was the hotel's final shape different than its plans?
  • Are the "Criminal Investigation Division" of British military command and the "Criminal Investigation Department" of the Palestine Police the same group?
  • I'm correcting much of this as I go, but the article appears to have general problems with WP:OVERLINK--Irgun, for example, is getting re-linked in several sections.
  • "The columns were in a basement nightclub known as the Régence.[5] In the final review of the plan, it was decided that the attack would take place on July 22 at 11:00, a time when there would be no people in the coffee shop in the basement in the area where the bomb was to be planted." -- I'm lost here. Is the coffee shop part of the Regence, or near the Regence, or is the Regence both a coffee shop and nightclub?
  • "although no evidence has ever been produced to support this." Appears to be original research--can a citation be given here?
  • "Irgun did not explain how the group would have been able to move 350 kg of home-made explosives into the hotel with the guards already alerted." Do you mean Katz here, instead of "Irgun"? This critique of the account also appears to be original research.
  • "and is more credible" This appears to be editorializing and original research. If it does come from a secondary source, perhaps this could be made clearer.
  • I'll need to double-check our policies on this, but I'm not sure it's a good idea to link to a commercial site selling this film here, just as we don't link to Amazon or other booksellers in articles on books.
  • The sentence "Speaker after speaker in the House of Commons expressed outrage" appears to be close paraphrasing of the source: [1]. Please rewrite in original language.
  • "the enemy of the Jewish people" -- as a quotation, this should be followed by a citation. Is it also from the Simon book?
  • "The only criticism made" -- by the witnesses, or by Bethell?
  • "The police report makes the likely claim that the warning sent to the French Consulate was received five minutes after the main explosion. This is contradicted by multiple eyewitnesses who reported seeing staff opening the Consulate windows five minutes after that happened." I'm lost in these two sentences. Can you clarify why this is a likely claim, if the eyewitnesses contradict it? In the phrase "after that happened", what does "that happened" refer to?

-- Khazar2 (talk) 21:09, 11 December 2012 (UTC)


Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well-written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. See below.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines. Inline citations are mostly included, but page numbers are not, including for some quotations, opinions, and controversial material.
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. I removed one image that appeared less relevant (it pictured Attlee, but meeting with Stalin) and substituted a simple picture of Attlee. Images have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment. see below


The article largely complies with style guidelines, but the lead gives an incomplete summary of the article. The warnings before the bombing are perhaps excessively detailed, while the reactions, consequences, and later controversies are not adequately summarized. Please rewrite this section to proportionately summarize the article.


This one is close, but can't be listed for now due to lack of page numbers for book quotations, and an incomplete lead. Thanks for your work to improve this article to this point, and I hope it makes it soon. -- Khazar2 (talk) 18:22, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Arab workers[edit]

Ref this The Arab workers in the kitchen fled after being told to do so.[13] This source states that

No customers were in the cafe. The attackers locked La Regence's 15 Arab workers in a side room and set the timers to go off 30 minutes later.

Can anyone help reconcile these? Maureendepreezedent (talk) 16:34, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

The hotel staff found in the basement were detained under guard in the kitchen or, in the case of the doorman, at his cubicle at the door. After the fuses, which worked faster than expected, had been set, the Irgunists made their getaway, warning the staff in the kitchen, if I remember correctly, not to move until a certain period of time had passed.     ←   ZScarpia   05:37, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Lead - distribution of British occupancy in the hotel[edit]

Regarding this edit: objected to what the article currently says about the distribution of British occupancy in the hotel, using the Institute of Historical Review as a source to claim that the military were also housed in the south wing. The material currently in the Lead summarises what is said in the body of the article, which is cited to a reliable source. It will be noticed that the number of military casualties caused by the bombing was comparatively light. General Barker's office was on the top floor in the middle of the central axis of the hotel. He heard the explosion and saw falling debris, but, being well away horizontally from where the bombs were planted, his office suffered no damage at all.     ←   ZScarpia   15:25, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Irgun terrorist[edit]

The wikipedia article on the Irgun has this section in it. The Irgun has been viewed as a terrorist organization or organization which carried out terrorist acts.[3][4] In particular the Irgun was branded a terrorist organisation by Britain,[5] the 1946 Zionist Congress[6] and the Jewish Agency.[7]

Check the RS in that. No other sources are required. The word terrorist should be used in this article as well. (talk) 01:37, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Why do you want to use the word terrorist ? What value do you think it adds ? And why do you think the text you cite above justifies describing the organization as 'terrorist' using the unattributed neutral narrative voice of the encyclopedia ? Sean.hoyland - talk 12:27, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
[EC] See WP:TERRORIST. The problem with labelling groups as terrorist is that what constitutes terrorism is subjective. Typically, supporters of the group will not see its acts of political violence as terrorism because they think those acts are in a good cause and, therefore, justified. It's better to let readers make up their own minds. Whether to label the Irgun as a terrorist organisation or the bombing as terrorism comes up quite frequently here and a kind of loose consensus, based on the principles of WP:TERRORIST, exists that they should not be. There Terrorism section of the article is a place where what sources say about the bombing in the context of terrorism can be described.     ←   ZScarpia   12:45, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

The word terrorist is already used on wikipedia to refer to this group in the main article. Why would it not be used here? It would of course be acceptable to state that some groups call Irgun terrorist and some call it militant, with the relevant RS. But we should not use the POV word militant in isolation when the Irgun are widely described as a terrorist group. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). [ 02:16, 31 October 2013 (UTC)]

I agree with ZScarpia on this issue. I never understood why (other than the obvious politics) people are so eager to apply labels like "terrorist" to people and groups. Surely what they actually did is the important thing. This article is about a certain event. The reaction of others to the event is relevant and it is fine to cite people calling it an act of terrorism. But that's different from labeling the group. Zerotalk 00:19, 2 November 2013 (UTC)[edit], your most recent edit removed the word 'militant' as a descriptor for the Irgun in the Lead, giving the edit reason as: "Removec POV labelling. This does not belong in the lede, it is in the body already." In what way is the word 'militant' POV? You think that it's too weak? Saying that something shouldn't be in the Lead because it is already in the body of the article is non-sensical as the Lead is supposed to summarise what the rest of the article says.     ←   ZScarpia   14:26, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

The word militant is clearly POV. Why is it required? The description Zionist right wing is accurate. MIlitsnt is just as POV as terrorist. The Irgun are described by various organisations as miltant or terrorist in the body. Why would we only include one without the other? (talk) 22:47, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Again, in what way is the word 'militant' POV? Words and expressions such as 'terrorist' and 'freedom fighter' are avoided because they are value-laden (see WP:TERRORIST). As far as I can tell, there are no such connotations associated with the word 'militant' in the sense that it was being used here; all it expresses is the fact that the Irgun used violent means. Unlike 'terrorist', the word 'militant' is not one of the words to watch. The Irgun may be described as terrorist in the body of the article, but only because a couple of editors, you being one, have insisted in squeezing it in. The proper place for dealing with the nature of the Irgun is the Irgun article; here the relevant question is the specific place of the King David Hotel bombing in the historiography of terrorism. Think about how boring it would be if anytime some other particular organisation is mention somewhere in Wikipedia some editor insisted in shoehorning in a statement saying that some country/organisation/author viewed it as terroristic.     ←   ZScarpia   14:39, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

I'll give a short amount of more time to reply; if no reply is received, I'll revert the article.     ←   ZScarpia   21:23, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Nothing heard from, so revert is being carried out.     ←   ZScarpia   02:41, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Margaret Thatcher[edit]

In 1986 PM Margaret Thatcher was the first British PM to visit Israel since the war years. As a symbol, she stayed in the same wing and floor or the hotel as a guest of the Israeli PM. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:39, 11 January 2014 (UTC)