Talk:Palestinian National Covenant

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Whoever edited this page anonymously, if we don't disagree with something, we put it under "Beliefs of Side X" category, as did I. And by the way, most of the statements there were proved by the Palestinian position paper quotes. --User:Uriyan


This whole page is nothing more than a presentation of a particular point of view put forward by a few people who are disposed to such views. It doesn't even pretend to obey the NPOV rules of Wikipedia. Rather, it is propaganda pure and simple.

To see how contentious the claims on this page are, note that the Israeli government site which is cited on the page states without any qualification that the offending articles were "cancelled" (the word chosen by that site's translator).

Similarly, this official PLO site states plainly that the offending articles were "abrogated", which is a bit hard to reconcile with the claims on this page that the PLO official position is that no changes have been made.

I fully expect that the translation of the word as "aged" is pure baloney.

The alleged proof that no changes have been made, as given on this page, consists entirely of context-free translations of unknown accuracy from sources that are not cited. Personally I doubt them. The one from the legal official is almost certainly just a statement that the Draft Palestinian Constitution, intended as a permanent replacement for the amended Covenant, is not yet complete. Its approximate contents are no secret because the Palestinian National Authority publishes drafts at regular intervals. Indeed it is impossible to see how it could be completed without a binding final agreement with Israel. To not even mention it on this page is unconscionable.

What is required is to replace this page by a plain account of the facts, with any contrary opinions relegated to a section at the end.

-- zero 12:06, 10 Aug 2003 (UTC)



This page was, and still is a mess, from almost any perspective. I made a major overhaul, but did not eliminate anything substantive, my main contribution being to add a great deal - in particular the major lacunae of the official Palestinian position and the Israeli acceptance of the changes in 1998 (and 1996) and make the chronology understandable. I did eliminate incorrect dates and corrected some links put in the wrong place, and eliminated redundant or meaningless statements; the article still jumps around timewise, but less than before, and is more coherent. I kept the same structure to make it easier to see what I changed, in the future some things should be taken out of the various sides views and put in the first, main section, and the 1998 events merged in with that. Obviously, even absurdly wrong / misleading and POV statements like "The PNC was never amended, as far as the Palestinian side is concerned" were removed, and refuting citations provided. (Even if this one is understood merely as one Israeli criticism, is an unsourced and strange opinion of the other side's purportedly universal opinion, completely contrary to both sides' official opinion, something to be taken seriously, something that belongs even there?)

In particular the "context-free translations of unknown accuracy from sources that are not cited" were left in, just modified with words like "reportedly." I believe I've seen them at one place or another, but am putting off citing them correctly to another day. It was a lot of work already. I don't think anyone doubts the veracity of the Arafat - Clinton letter text or says there are real differences with the Blair letter, and think that there is undue doubt cast here - I believe I've seen (basically?) identical official texts and will try to dig them up. I added some references, many of them lifted from the PLO article, when they are more particularly relevant to this one. This seems to be the right place to describe fundamental documents of the PLO/PNA - there already is some description of proposed constitutions here. I put in a weasel word many (instead of most) as that seemed better than the unsourced original (but of course still bad). --John Z 20:26, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Hi, Jay - Yes, I did. "While unchanged, mentions these amendments" is problematic. An addition is a change, and the official positions of every relevant international personality is that there has been a change and revocation. Having the original document with amendments added at the end is the standard way amended constitutions are presented, like the US constitution with its amendments. It would be odd to say this of the US constitution. Of course, in this case the complexity, reference to other documents and explanatory material are noteworthy.

Howzabout: "The text of the charter at ... appends these amendments, although the redrafting process referred to in the second amendment has not been completed."?--John Z 23:10, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

The actual charter is clearly unchanged. There is an additional piece of text at the bottom. There is no indication whatsoever, that any re-drafting process is underway. It's been how many years now, over 10? I think we can safely leave crystal-ball prognostication about such a process out of the article. Jayjg (talk) 03:56, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Your opinion that the charter is unchanged is not shared by the governments of the USA and Israel and the PLO. (Or by Netanyahu, Sharon, Sharansky and Mordechai, whose statements I cited below.) Who has a better right to have an opinion than these? So "clearly unchanged" is provably wrong and POV. One can present arguments that it is unchanged, that the amendment process was not scrupulously done according to the PLO's own rules, etc., but this is not the same thing. There are several drafts floating around - there are many indications of the process being underway. This was mentioned in the article and discussion before I began editing it, and I plan to add more on it, if only to get the various drafts of the various documents straight in my own mind. So I don't see any crystal ball prognostication here. I can hardly see how to write a sentence more sensitive to your concerns than the one I wrote above without departing from the facts.--John Z 04:37, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Did you see the link to the official charter on the website? Regardless of whether or not various politicians have stated that the PLO has fulfilled it's obligation, the plain fact remains that every single disputed article is still in the charter, and there is no currently no re-drafted charter. I propose "The text of the charter at ..., appends these amendments to the original text; the redrafting process referred to in the second amendment still remains uncompleted." Jayjg (talk) 04:45, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Do you mean the link to the copy at Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations (http://www.palestine-un.org/) ? I put it in here. I am aware and even wanted to show that there were copies of the charter without amendments promulgated. (Although the 1964 charter is there too, so it is not clear that they are implying the 68 one is current. Arguably this is a violation of a commitment to Israel to not promulgate old copies. IMHO the one with amendments is not there because of incompetence, stupidity, or they are just playing games. I just wanted to point out that there is at least one (afaik unique) place that they put the charter and amendments together in a somewhat normal way.)
It should refer to 1968 instead of original = 1964. Otherwise this proposal is fine with me.--John Z 05:10, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure I fully understand you, but I think I've made the change we've agreed to. Please let me know if this is correct. Jayjg (talk) 14:24, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Blatant POV by omission[edit]

Does anyone imagine that it's NPOV to have an article on the Palestinian National Covenant that focuses exclusively (!) on its relationship to Israel's supposed right to exist? Did it even occur to whoever wrote most of this that someone might be interested in the covenant's contents, or authorship, or anything else about it? - Mustafaa 22:19, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Of course you are right. I did almost all of the recent changes, but did not really delete anything - which was even more focused in the way you very reasonably find objectionable. The rest of the content mainly dates back to a long ago. There were practically no links to anything before.
In my defense - (a) this relation is what almost all of the recent controversy, amendments and writing about focuses on, and actually is inherent to the content of the charter. It is a pretty complicated story that required some space to tell accurately and neutrally. (b) I plan to write more, which should be relatively straightforward to write if a sometimes a bit obscure and difficult to dig up. E.g about the original 64 charter - according to Cobban's The PLO, it was presented by Shukeiry along with another, different document the "Basic Constitution of the PLO" to the PLO's founding conference in Jerusalem in 64 - apparently he or some anonymous scribe is the author. It needs more on the various recent drafts of basic documents too. (c) perhaps you could look at it before my changes? I think I have done some NPOVing along the lines e.g. zero proposed a couple years ago here, and addition of important factual material necessary to form reasonable judgments as to its current status. At least it is chronologically and logically ordered now, before, it was utterly chaotic, with factual and opinion material mixed up in each other's sections.
Umm, I don't think you should use the PNC as the abbreviation for the covenant/charter as it is used here for the Palestinian National Council. The main paragraph you changed is one I took from the Israeli views section and put in the main one. You might want to put it back there, perhaps I made a mistake. Though perhaps POV it is basically concerned with facts so I just put it in the front for the nonce before checking and/or rewriting because something like it was logically necessary there for the narrative. By the way, recognition of the "right to exist" was historically more a precondition for the PLO talking with the USA (It was part of the Kissinger conditions Israel got at the time of the Sinai disengagements, later amplified by Reagan.) - the recognition and the "caduc" statement was made in 88 at the latest, but it was not enough for Israel to allow, or even present conditions for, IIRC, talks then.
Finally, here's a great quote found in Cobban from the Mufti and the Arab Higher Committee at the time 1964 (moribund but still existing) that I can't resist mentioning: that the PLO is "a colonialist, Zionist conspiracy aiming at the liquidation of the Palestinian cause." --John Z 00:05, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. I think your edits have been a definite improvement - though it still needs work from someone more knowledgeable in the matter than I am. - Mustafaa 00:14, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

My recent edits edit referring to Naftali Bennett's rejection of Palestine's right to exist has been undone on these grounds "Not according to source. Bennett doesn't say he opposes "Palestine's" right to exist, but he rejects the creation of a Palestinian state" http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Naftali_Bennett&action=history If valid then in interests of NPOV does that principle need to be applied to this page too ? Presumably Michael Zeev means the phrase "right to exist" needs to occur in the source document - and that phrase does not occur in the PNC as far as I can see. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.234.82.114 (talk) 13:18, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

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