User talk:Nishidani

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editor emeritus
This user is no longer very active on Wikipedia as of foals' ages.


The West Bank/Judea and Samaria Problem[edit]

Personal work section notes. I get headaches and am as slow as a wet week, in dragging up diffs, and even have a geezer's trouble in following these arguments all over several pages, so I can't really make an adequate case. So I'll have to make my contribution in the next few days, according to the fashion I normally work after, when I did work, in the real world. Reflecting from principles, through to the problem, the evidence and conclusions. Apologies to anyone reading this. It's written to help myself get some order into this chat, not to guide others.

  • An editorial split between those in favour of using 'Judea & Samaria' to designate (a) parts of, or (b) all, or (c) all of the West Bank and parts of Israel, and those who oppose the usage, except on those specific pages devoted to (i) Samaria (ii) Judea (iii) the administrative territory known in Israel as 'Judea & Samaria'.
  • The 'Judea and Samaria' school holds that (a) these are geographical and historical designations predating the West Bank (b) used in a variety of sources published in Israel and abroad to denote the territory, or parts of it, known as the West Bank (c) and that opposition to the employment of these words in wiki constitutes an 'ethnic-based discrimination' against both Israeli and Jewish people.(d) specifically, that MeteorMaker, Pedrito and myself have conducted a campaign to denigrate or deprecate Jewish terms in the I/P area, a kind of ethnic cleansing of nomenclature, in a way that lends substance to fears our position is motivated by, well let's call a spade a spade, anti-semitism.
  • The 'West Bank' school asserts that (a) these terms have an intrinsic denotative vagueness because they refer to different geophysical, administrative and political terrains depending on historical period, and that to use the terms of the territorially bounded and defined area known internationally as the West Bank creates cognitive dissonance (b) that these terms, as documented, were used under the British Mandate, then dropped for 'West Bank', which has remained to this day the default term of neutral usage internationally and in international law and diplomacy (c) that, after the Israeli conquest of the West Bank, in 1967, the terms 'Judea & Samaria' were pushed onto the political agenda by an extremist settler group, Gush Emunim, then adopted by the Likud government in 1977, and imposed by government decree on the Israeli mass media, which suppressed the international term, West Bank (d) that, as documented, the terms 'Judea and Samaria' have a potent ideological charge as appropriative nomenclature, renaming Palestinian land presently occupied, annexed or expropriated illegally by Israel (ICJ judgement 2004), over which Israel has no sovereignty, where Israel is establishing illegal settlements at least half of which on land with private Palestinian title, and with its own Arabic toponyms, and erasing the traditional native nomenclature by creating a neo-biblical toponomy (d) that reliable secondary sources explicitly define the term as partisan, even in contemporary Hebrew and Israeli usage (e) that the evidence for usage overwhelmingly documents the prevalence of 'West Bank' (northern, southern) in neutral sources, whose neutrality is affirmed also by the very sources that otherwise employ the words 'Samaria and Judea' adduced by the former school, (f) that if explicitly attested partisan Israeli toponymy and administrative nomenclature is allowed on non-Israeli territory, then by WP:NPOV criteria, automatically this would mean the corresponding Palestinian toponymy and nomenclature, often covering the same areas, would have to be introduced (g)that in this whole debate, the West Bankers have not even represented the Palestinian side, which is absent, invisible, while the Israeli side is being treated as though its national naming were on terms of parity and neutrality with international usage (h) that wiki criteria, WP:NPOV, WP:Undue, WP:RS, WP:NCGN etc. require that neutral terminology, particularly as evidenced by the overwhelming majority of reliable sources, be employed. (i) If we are to allow Israeli terminology to be generally employed in denoting territory over which Israel exercises no sovereignty, but is simply, in law, an occupying belligerent, a very dangerous precedent, with widespread consequences for articles where ethnic conflicts exist, would be created.

(ii)Note on language, naming as an appropriative act of possession and dominion.

'According to the aboriginal theory, the ancestor first called out his own name; and this gave rise to the most sacred and secret couplet or couplets of his song. The he 'named' (tneuka) the place where he had originated, the trees or rocks growing near his home, the animals sporting about nearby, any strangers that came to visit him, and so forth. He gave names to all of these, and thereby gained the power of calling them by their names; this enabled him to control them and to bind them to his will.'[1]

Wa’-yitser’ Yĕhôwāh’ (Adonai) ĕlôhīm’ min-hā'ădāmāh’ kol-‘ha’yath’ ha’-sādeh’ wĕ'ēth kol-ôph ha’-shāma’yim wa’-yāvē ‘ el-hā'ādām’ li-r'ôth mah-yiqrā-lô’ wĕ-kôl ăsher yiqrā-lô’ hā'-ādām‘ ne’pfesh ‘ha’yāh’ hû shĕmô. (20) Wa’- yiqrā’ hā'-ādām‘ shēmôth….

‘And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20. And Adam gave names.. .' [2]

Wa-‘allama ādama l-asmā’a kullahā,

'And He taught Adam the names, all of them.’ Qu’ran 2:31.[3]

In Thomas Pynchon's novel Mason & Dixon, the narrator Cherrycoke recounts, against the huge backdrop of seismic shifts in the political and scientific world of that time, the story of the eponymous figures who have undertaken to draw a scientific map of the wilderness and terrain between Pennsylvania and Maryland:

‘what we were doing out in that Country together was brave, scientifick beyond my understanding and ultimately meaningless, - we were putting a line straight through the heart of the Wilderness, eight yards wide and due west, in order to separate two Proprietorships, granted when the World was yet feudal and but eight years later to be nullified by the War for Independence.”

Late in the novel, the Chinaman of the piece remarks:

‘To rule forever, . .it is necessary only to create, among the people one would rule, what we call . . Bad History. Nothing will produce Bad History more directly nor brutally, than drawing a Line, in particular a Right Line, the very Shape of Contempt, through the midst of a People,- to create thus a Distinction betwixt’em. –’tis the first stroke.-All else will follow as if predestin’d, into War and Devastation.’ [4]

The dispute here in wiki, like the historical reality it refers to, has its ‘Bad History’. In the novel, the apparently empirical task of defining boundaries is found unwittingly implicated in the later travails of American history, with its exceptionalism, erasure of native peoples, of possible alternative worlds, of Frostian paths never taken. American innocence and pragmatic realism, in the innocuous work of two surveyors, is swept up in the torment of power: cartographic principles embody an Enlightenment’s reach into the unknown, while, applied, to the ends of order and control, they inadvertently engender violent confusion and disarray. What is the ‘right line’ to take on nomenclature, when history’s line demarcating Israel and the West Bank was drawn by war, then the West Bank was occupied in the aftermath of war, and the world of Israeli settlers begins to redraw the map? One thing that happens is that the complexities have drawn editors into a minor war, as Pynchonesque as it is Pythonesque. There is one difference: most the cartographers say one thing, and Israel, the controlling power, asserts a different terminology. So what’s in a name?

Before the world was tribalized and invested by the collateral damage or fall-out from the Tower of Babel, God assigned to the mythical forefather of all, ‘man’ or Adam, the faculty to name the world, though God himself had exercised this right in naming the light (or) day (yom) and the darkness (hôshek) night(layĕlāh) (Gen.1.5) There was only one name for each thing, and in later European thought the primordial language employed in this taxonomy was to be called ‘the Adamic vernacular’[5]. The thesis was that the pristine jargon employed by Adam, being pre-Babelic, represented the true name for every object: every thing had a proper name intrinsic to its nature. The Greeks, as we see in Plato’s Cratylus, were much prepossessed by the philosophical crux of the correctness of names (ὀρθότης τῶν ὀνομάτων): did names have an intrinsic relation to, or represent, things, or was the link arbitrary.[6]. The Confucian school’s doctrine of the Rectification of names (zhèngmíng: 正名). In the Bible itself the Hebrew text is full of the magic of words, of the power of words themselves to alter reality, a belief testified to in Isaiah:

'So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please.'[7]

Modernity, especially after Ferdinand Saussure (1916), has opted, correctly, for the latter position, and disposed of the magical force of naming. But nationalism, another product of modernity, reintroduced it, via the backdoor, in a new sense. Naming was an act of assertive territorial control, of defining ethnic rights over land, especially as Anthony Smith argues, ethnie are defined also by attachment to a specific geophysical reality, the ‘homeland’ that defines in good part their identity [8]). Since national identities are a political construct, the inculcation of a uniform language, and the use of its lexicon to define or redefine the landscape, are crucial instruments in forging a national sense of common tradition. Nationalism demanded toponymic unison, and linguistic conformity.

John Gaddis, glossing James Scott’s recent book on North Dakota roads and maps, remarks on maps that they reflect

‘what states try to do to those portions of the earth’s surface they hope to control, and to the people who live upon them. For it’s only by making territories and societies legible – by which he means measurable and hence manipulable – that governments can impose and maintain their authority. “These state simplifications,” he writes, are “like abridged maps.” They don’t replicate what’s actually there, but “when allied with state power, (they) enable much of the reality they (depict) to be remade.” [9]

The idea of a nation as a territorial unit speaking one language over that territory is a parlously modern ideology, one engineered by nation-builders into a plausible if specious semblance of commonsense. As Massimo d’Azeglio is said to have remarked at the dawn of the Italian Risorgimento, ‘we have made Italy: our task now is to make Italians’[10], 95% of whom could neither read, write and nor often even speak ‘Italian’.

Imperialism, venturing into terra incognita to appropriate foreign land and incorporate it into an empire, went side by side with nationalism, which was a form of internal colonization over, and homogenization of, the disparate cultures that made up an historically defined territory. For the natives, their indigenous naming is ‘essentially a process of asserting ownership and control of place and landscape’[11]

Daphne Kutzner, in her analysis of the role of Empire in classic children’s fiction, looks at the question from the perspective of the intrusive Empire and its refraction of imperial renaming as reflected in popular books, notes that

‘Naming a place gives the namer power over it, or at least the illusion of power and control. Colonial powers literally transform a landscape once they rename it and begin reshaping it.’ [12]

Terra incognita is the foreigner’s name for an ostensibly empty landscape which, had they taken the trouble to learn the local languages, would have revealed itself to be replete from every rocky nook to crannied gulley with ancient toponyms. The tendency was one of erasure, and, as with introduced fauna and flora [13], the landscape was consistently remade as it was renamed to familiarize the alien by rendering it recognizable, a variation on the landscape settlers came from. The new mapping, as often as not, represent as much the settler’s mentality, as the queerly new features of the foreign landscape under toponymic domestication.[14]

Australia is somewhat the extraordinary exception, and broke with the gusto for imperial nomenclature. There, following the pattern set by the earlier land surveyor Thomas Mitchell and his assistant Philip Elliott that “the natives can furnish you with names for every flat and almost every hill” (1828), native names were adopted in a standarized English form for both euphony and their characteristic relation to the landscape, and indeed a resolution was passed as early as 1884 which established the priority of native names in international usage.[15]

Often imperialism and nationalism go hand in hand. Napoleon’s troops, in 1796, could hardly communicate with each other, such were the grammatical, semantic and syntactical rifts between the various provincial patois at the time. By 1814, Napoleon had formed a European empire, and millions of provincials spoke the one, uniform language of the French state’s army. When two nations, or ethnie, occupy the same territory, the historical victor’s toponymic choices, dictated by the victor’s native language, and as articulated in bureaucratic documents and maps, usually determines what names are to be used. However, the presence of two distinct ethnie on the same national soil creates fissiparous tensions in nomenclature. Speaking of French and British conflict in Canada over areas, Susan Drummond, remarks that, 'Symbolic appropriation of a territory is a critical index of control’, and notes that, as late as 1962, the Québec cartographer Brochu, invoked the political dimension of place names as important, in the conflict with the majoritarian English heritage of Canada over the naming of the northern Inuit lands. [16]

Again, in another familiar example, Alfonso Pérez-Agote notes that Spain has its Basque Autonomous region, Euskadi. But the original force of that name covers an area beyond the administrative and territorial units of Spain, and Basque nationalists evoke its symbolic territory, comprising also the Basque area of Navarre in France. Euskadi has, on one level, within Spanish administrative discourse, a ‘territorial political objectification’, and on another level, in Basque nationalism, a ‘non-administratively objectified’ territory extending into a neighbouring country.[17]. The analogy with Israeli and Palestinian nationalism is close. In Israeli discourse, Israel or Eretz Israel can denote Israel and its outriding West Bank, while Palestine, which is the favoured term of West Bank Arabs for the land they inhabit, also can refer to the whole neighbouring territory of Israel as well.

The anomaly, in comparative terms, is that history has settled the question, whatever local separatist nationalisms, revanchist or irredentist, may claim, except for such places as ‘Palestine’. For there, while Israel is a constituted state, it emerged the victor, manu militari in a conflict that gave it control over a contiguous land, but has no recognized legal right, since that land is defined as and ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory. Acts of unilateral annexation, the extension of administrative structures, settlements, toponymic remapping, and widescale expropriation of land in Palestinian title, is not only not recognized, but judged ‘illegal’ by the highest international bodies of law. All major encyclopedias (Encyclopædia Britannica, Encarta etc.,), except Wiki, maintain a strict neutrality, and, in recognition of the fraught difficulties, adopt the neutral toponymic convention of ‘(northern/southern) West Bank’ in order to avoid lending their prestige to the partisan politics of the parties in this regional conflict.

(iii)The specific instance of Palestine and the West Bank

When the British wrested control over Palestine from the Ottomans in the First World War, and established themselves there to administer the region, Selwyn Troen notes that, 'naming also became part of the contest for asserting control over Palestine'.[18]. As early as 1920 two Zionists advising the British Mandatory authority on everything regarding the assignment of Hebrew names, fought hard for the restoration of Hebraic toponymy, and when, with such places as Nablus, or indeed 'Palestine' itself, were given non-Hebrew names, they protested at the designations as evidence of discrimination against Jews. The point is made by the Israeli historian and cartographer Meron Benvenisti:-

'When the Geographical Committee for Names, which operated under the aegis of the Royal Geographical Society (the only body authorized to assign names throughout the British Empire, decided to call the Mandatory geopolitical entity “Palestine” and the city whose biblical name was Shechem, “Nablus” these Jewish advisers saw this as an act of anti-Jewish discrimination, and a searing defeat for Zionism.'[19]

One pauses to reflect. We are being accused here of 'anti-Jewish/Israeli discrimination' for refusing to insert Israeli toponyms into the West Bank. Nothing is said of the logic of this POV-pushing, i.e. that a Palestinian reader might well regard a Wiki endorsement of suc h foreign nomenclature as a 'searing defeat', and adduce it as proof of 'anti-Palestinian discrimination' both by Zionist editors, and Wikipedia itself.

Since Zionism took root, and especially since Israel was founded, the making of a people, living in a defined territorial unit and speaking one language, has followed the universal pattern of modernity. The landscape, full of Arabic words, had to be renamed, often according to Biblical terminology, but, more often, by the invention of Biblical-sounding names. To do this, a good part of the 10,000 odd Arabic toponyms collected by Herbert Kitchener, T. E. Lawrence and others in surveying that part of the Middle East had to be cancelled, and replaced with Israeli/Hebrew terms, to remake the landscape and its topographic songlines [20] resonate with historical depth. Hebrew is a ‘sacred tongue’ (Leshon HaQodesh:לשון הקודש), the Bible describes the conquest of Eretz Yisrael, and the dispossession of its indigenous peoples, who were not part of the chosen: the pattern is repeated in modern times, down to the renaming. The revival of Hebrew, with its potent shibboleths, understandably exercises a powerful hold over the new culture of the country.

The problem is, as Steven Runciman pointed out in the mid-sixties, that the part assigned to Israel by the UN deliberation of 1947 was the western, non-Biblical part, whilst the part assigned to a future Palestinian state, what we now call the West Bank, is precisely the area most infused with Biblical associations cherished by the Jewish people, with sites and names redolent of the founding myths and realities of their ancient forefathers. Israelis, in their secular land, mostly dwell where the Philistines dwelt. The Palestinians dwell where the ancient Jewish tribes once settled. The tensions simmer between the secular Israel, which thrives in its new Mediterranean world, and the religiously-identified Israel that aspires to return to a geophysical space where origins and the present, the sacred nomenclature of the Bible and the modern world of Jewish life, might at least, once more overlap, in an ‘Adamic’ harmony congruent with the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

(iv)The Negev Precedent With the foundation of Israel, and in the aftermath of the 1948 war, the vast Negev and part of the Arava were captured, and Ben Gurion duly established a Negev Names Committee to ‘hebraize’ the landscape’s features, its mountains, valleys and springs. The area already had a rich Arab toponymy, and some on the committee thought these terms might be preserved as a ‘democratic gesture towards the Arab population of the new state.’ It was not to be. The nomadic Bedouin who dwelt throughout the area were rounded up and expelled by force. They had terms for everything, but with their uprooting and displacement, Benvenisti notes, ‘an entire world, as portrayed in their toponomastic traditions, died.' [21] Ben Gurion wrote to the committee setting forth his view that:-

We are obliged to remove the Arabic names for reasons of state. Just as we do not recognize the Arabs’ political proprietorship of the land, so also we do not recognize their spiritual proprietorship and their names.[22][23]

Political pressure and ‘the influence of patriotic arguments’ prevailed over those who, like S.Yeibin, thought the erasure of Arab names, many of which might preserve an archaic Hebrew origin. Yeibin thought this a disaster:-

‘With a clap of the hand they were wiping out an entire cultural heritage that must certainly conceal within it elements of the Israeli-Jewish heritage as well. The researchers did indeed endeavour to identify all those names that had a link to ancient Hebrew ones in an attempt “to redeem, as far as possible, names from the days of yore.” [24]<

Any Arabic toponym in short only interested the topographers in so far as it might provide a clue to reconstructing the hypothetical Hebraic original that might lie behind it. This consideration, however, often created a mess of concocted pseudo-traditional names. The hebraization of such Arabic toponyms did not restore the historic past, but invented a mythical landscape, resonant with traditionalist associations, that had, however, no roots in Jewish tradition. The most striking geologic formation in the Negev, Wadi Rumman was rewritten as if that word disguised an ancient Hebrew Ram ('elevated'), whereas the Arabic term it was calqued from actually meant 'Pomegranate Arroyo', for example.[25]

Reflecting on Benvenisti’s account in his larger study of language conflict in the Middle east, the Palestinian expatriate scholar Yasir Suleiman makes remarks that,

’By assigning Hebrew names anew to places on the map, the committee was therefore ‘redeeming’ these places from the corrupt and ‘alien’ Arabic names that they have acquired over the centuries’

and likens this process of linguistic erasure of Arabic and the reconstitution of Hebrew metaphorically to the nakba:-

‘The cartographic cleansing of the Negev map of Arabic place names and their replacement by Hebrew names is an enactment of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their homeland’ [26]

The record is therefore one of a linguistic cleansing of Palestine of any trace of its long Arabic history, and, as we shall see, an attempt to remodel Arabic usage in the territories Israel conquered and controls, to conform with Hebrew. Toponyms can only retain some semblance of an Arabic form, if that form is suspected to camouflage, in turn, an original Hebraic name. Adapting the reborn Hebrew[27] language to the alien realities of the Palestinian landscape, the obvious problem was that the nomenclature for much of the flora and fauna, not to speak of the landscape itself, was infused with the very language, Arabic, a revarnished Hebrew had to compete with. As early as 1910 Jacob Fichman, a member of the Language Council, stated that Hebrew:

‘will not digest the new names of plants, especially those which have been taken from the Arabic language’ and that these borrowed names ‘will always be like atrophied limbs’ for ‘despite the fact that the Arabic language is our sister language in the family of Semitic languages, it has no foundation in our |psyche[28]

Hebrew was thus to be programmatically sealed off from Arabic, to prevent atrophisation, and cultivate purism by means of a fake Biblical antiquarianism. Theodor Adorno, writing in the melancholic aftermath of the Holocaust on the effects of cultural purism, once remarked on the purging of foreign words from German undertaken by nationalists intent restoring an ideal of cultural authenticity. He saw this as part of the pathology of nationalism in Germany. Foreign words were treated as if they were 'the Jews of language' (Fremdwörter sind die Juden der Sprache)[29]. In expunging the landscape and the human world of Palestine of its Arabic language, of landscape and culture, Zionism likewise treated Arabic as German or French linguistic purists treated loan-words in their own languages, or, later, actual Jews in their midst, as foreign bodies to be expelled, or expunged if a proper 'foundation for an authentically Jewish psyche' were to be successfully engineered. One would call this ironic, were it not so tragically melancholic in its unintended resonances.

(v)The West Bank. History and Naming The relationship between demographic displacement and the loss of one's landscape through the erasure of its traditional placenames in Palestine has been remarked on by Paul Diehl.

‘The exclusive attachment to territory is reflected in the naming and renaming of places and locations in accordance with the historic and religious sites associated with the dominant political group. Not only did the outflow of Palestinian refugees bring about a change in the Jewish-Arab demographic rations, it brought about the replacement of an Arab-Palestinian landscape with a Jewish-Israeli landscape. The names of abandoned villages disappeared from the map and were replaced with alternative Hebrew names . . Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank have taken on biblical names associated with the specific sites as a means of expressing the Jewish priority in these places and the exclusive nature of the territorial attachment. Modern Israeli and Palestinian maps of Israel/Palestine possess the same outer borders, but the semantic content of the name is completely different.. The means by which new landscapes are created to replace or obliterate former landscapes is a good example of the way in which metaphysical and symbolic attachment to territory is translated into concrete realities on the ground.’ [30]

In 1950, when King Abdullah, of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, unilaterally annexed the territory he had conquered in 1948, he changed the name of his country to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which incorporated the remaining fragment of Palestine as aḍ-Ḍiffä l-Ġarbīyä, or 'the West Bank' of that kingdom. The usage is still current in German (Westjordanland). Though only Britain recognized his annexation, the word itself found ready acceptance in, and was not, 'forced on', the international community, as Binyamin Netanyahu argued. [31]

In 1967, Israel conquered what the world knew as ‘The West Bank’, the Biblical heartland, and a decree calling it ‘Judea and Samaria’ was issued by the Israeli military on December 17 that year with the explicit definition that it would be identical in meaning for all purposes to the West Bank region[32] to replace the interim terms 'Occupied Territories' (ha-shetahim ha-kevushim), and ‘the Administered Territories’ (ha-shetahim ha-muhzakim) in use since the immediate aftermath of the June war.[33] The term 'Judea and Samaria' however was rarely used until Likud took power[34]. The Labour Government never enacted a settlement policy, though Gush Emunim, an extremist settler ground with a fundamentalist ideology, pressed settlement, and propagated the terminology ‘Judea and Samaria’. When the Likud party, the maximalist, expansionist party with strong ties to both religious and ultra-Zionist groups and traditions, was elected in 1977, it imposed Samaria and Judea as the vox propria in modern Hebrew on the mass media, expressly forbidding the use of the international term West Bank[35][36]. Notably, the government's imposing of these terms on Israeli usage was seen as a prerequisite for an envisioned settlement policy, since accepting the terms would predispose the public to accepting the policy.[37]

Gideon Aran describes the achievement:

‘The importance of changing names in the process of conquering territory is well known. Assimilation of the name “Judea and Samaria” in normal and official language, as well as in jargon, attests to G(ush)E(numin)’s political and cultural achievements.' [38]

The Camp David Accords negotiations of and the final agreement, in 1979, only underline how great was the linguistic rift between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin's position and the American government intent on brokering an agreement.

‘Begin consistently proved to be the most extreme member of his delegation, insisting on seemingly innocent terms such as “autonomy” as opposed to “self rule,” on the labelling of the West Bank as “Judea and Samaria” in the Hebrew text, and on the use of the phrase “undivided Jerusalem.'[39]

A huge amount of wrangling between the American negotiators and Begin revolved around this term.

‘for what must have been the tenth time, he (Begin) objected to the term West Bank, giving a lesson to the president on the geographic and historical appropriateness of the term and the importance of using the words Judea and Samaria.’ [40]

Begin refused to back down from his ‘rock-hard’ intransigence on using ‘Judea and Samaria’ and at the Camp David signing ceremony, (March 26,1979) several interpretive notes were required to be added as annexes to the basic documents, one specifically dealing with the West Bank, which President Carter annotated with his own hand with the words:

‘I have been informed that the expression ‘West Bank’ is understood by the Government of Israel to mean ‘Judea and Samaria’. [41]

An ambitious programme of colonising settlement, toponomastic Hebraisation and cultural Judaization was undertaken, and indigenous Palestinians were shifted off their land, in a repetition of the Negev programme, which forms the precedent. The programme took wing especially after the unprovoked[42]invasion of Lebanon in 1982, whose key political objectives included ousting the refugee Palestinian resistance in the para-state[43] on Israel’s northern flank from Lebanon, where the PLO projected a 'state in waiting' image that threatened Israel’s plans for long-term control over the West Bank. The war was, the head of the IDF said at the time, ‘part of the struggle over the Land of Israel[44]. It aimed to further the isolation of Palestinians on the West Bank by depriving them of close support, halt the rise to political respectability of the PLO, which embodied Palestinian nationalist aspirations, and deprive that body of its claims to be a political partner in the peace process for Israel’s normalization of its relations with the outside world. [45] One calculation, a minority view entertained by both Ariel Sharon and Raphael Eytan, however, was that, expelled from Lebanon, the PLO would be forced to return to Jordan, topple king Hussein, and establish a Palestinian state there to satisfy Palestinian national ambitions that Israel would thwart on the West Bank. [46]

Changing the realities of occupied territory by the manipulation of language, Hebrew, Arabic, and in controllable sources like the global Wikipedia, became a programmatic goal. The settlers were in fact 'colonists' in the old sense, but Israeli English usage has here prevailed in the politics of the culture wars to determine how the international community perceives the dynamics of that area. The corresponding Hebrew usage is complex (see Israeli settlements), but continuity with the biblical setlement of Eretz Yisrael is evoked by referring to Jewish settlers as mitnahalim. The root *n-h-l directly evokes a passage in the Book of Numbers[47] where each tribe is assigned its portion on entering Canaan, or the Land of Israel, particularly as ' in the pledge by the tribes of Gad and Reuben that they will fight on the west side of the Jordan river to help the other tribes take possession of their assigned portions'[48] Settlers, qua, mitnahalim are not colonizing anybody's land, in this usage: they are simply taking up their 'assigned portions' as those were marked out by God to the Chosen People.

Rashid Khalidi has remarked how the Israeli authorities themselves try to engineer the way Palestinians think in Arabic by tampering with that language's natural idiom in the Arabic broadcasts they authorize. Over Israeli Arabic channels, one does not hear Jerusalem referred to, as it is customarily in Arabic, and by Palestinians, as Bayt al-Maqdis ('The House of Sanctity') or Al Quds al-Sharif ('The Noble Holy Place'). Arabic usage as sanctioned by Israel speaks rather of Urshalim ('Jerusalem') or Urshalim/al-Quds ('Jerusalem Al-Quds'). The purpose is to diffuse a variety of Arabic names for places that are calques on the Hebrew terms chosen for the area.[49].

This goes right through the bureaucratic language, a form of linguistic colonization that reinforces the physical occupation of the west Bank by cultural re-engineering. A new travel permit was imposed on the colonized Palestinians in the West Bank in 2002, and required of any of them wishing to travel in that area. This was issued, printed and released by Israeli authorities who call it in Arabic Tasrih tanaqul khas fi al-hawajiz al-dakhiliyya fi mantaqat yahuda wa al-samara. ('Special Travel Permit for the Internal Checkpioints in the Area of Judea and Samaria.'). Here, Palestinians who must travel in the West Bank, for them 'Filastin', are required to obtain a document which requires that area to be referred to by the settler term, 'Judea and Samaria'. It is this form of Arabic which they are expected to use in negotiating their way with Israeli authorities through checkpoints. But West Bank Palestinians simply abbreviate it and refer to their tasrih dakhili (Checkpoint permit), [50], thereby eluding the settler term imposed on them.

Michael Sfard indeed has spoken of Hebrew being mobilized to lend itself to the national emergency of occupying Palestine, and denying the Palestinians the liberty to be themselves. They are passive subjects of an activist language that wraps them about in bureaucratic euphemisms.

'It has been tasked with providing a soothing, anesthetizing name for the entire project of suffocation, for the blanket system of theft we have imposed on those we occupy . . Thus extrajudicial executions have become “targeted assassinations”. Torture has been dubbed “moderate physical pressure”. Expulsion to Gaza has been renamed “assigning a place of residence”. The theft of privately owned land has become “declaring the land state-owned”. Collective punishment is “leveraging civilians”; and collective punishment by blockade is a “siege,” “closure” or “separation".'[51]

A proposal is now being made to apply the principle of Hebraization, as of 2009, even to those places within Israel which the world designates by traditional toponyms, such as Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) Nazareth (Natzrat) and Jaffa (Yafo).[52][53]

(vi) Analysis of Ynhockey's suggestions

‘Mapmaking was one of the specialized intellectual weapons by which power could be gained, administered, given legitimacy and codified’ [54]

'Mapmaking is not, however, solely an instrument of war; it is an activity of supreme political significance – a means of providing a basis for the mapmaker’s claims and for his social and symbolic values, while cloaking them in a guise of “scientific objectivity.” Maps are generally judged in terms of their “accuracy”, that is, the degree to which they succeed in reflecting and depicting the morphological landscape and its “man-made” covering But maps portray a fictitious reality that differs from other sorts of printed matter only in form.'[55]

After 1967 ‘Cartographers . .had many options, which tended to reveal their political proclivities. Those who were sympathetic to Israel labelled the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and Sinai as “administered territories” and used the phrase “Judea and Samaria” for Jordan’s former West Bank. They also included all of Jerusalem within Israeli territory,. Mapmakers who were ideologically neutral generally referred to “occupied territory” and maintained the term “West Bank”. . . In the post-1993 period a Palestinian Authority has been established in the West Bank and Gaza, yet there is no actual independent state of Palestine. Most international maps have stayed with the terms “West Bank” and “Gaza” but maps published by the Palestinian Authority describe these areas as “Palestine.” Furthermore, Palestinian Authority maps usually leave out Israel and assign its territory to “Palestine,” with the added designation that it is “occupied territory.”Arthur Jay Klinghoffer, Harvey Sicherman, The power of projections: : how maps reflect global politics and history, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 pp.37-8

We are dealing with a defined territory and its naming. User:Ynhockey would make tidy distinctions, define the bound geographical territory (CIA Factbook) as just a political reality, and use Judea and Samaria for all other contexts. In his own work on Wiki, much of it admirable, we find many maps. Examine the following map he authored and uploaded, and which is employed on the Battle of Karameh

The central colour, a washed acquamarine tint, allows one to highlight the field of movement in the battle, and blurs the neat territorial division between the West Bank, and Jordan. But note that, in a wholly unnecessary manner, Israel is stamped in large bold characters and made to overlay the West Bank, which is placed diminutively in parentheses. Willy-nilly, the impression is that the West Bank is some territorial hypothesis or province within Israel. Whether Ynhockey meant to give the reader this impression or not is immaterial. Maps, as one source already quoted noted, reflect the cognitive bias of the mapmaker as much as an interpretation of a landscape, and here the bias is that the West Bank is under Israel, behind Israeli lines, a subset of that state. It is a fine example of what many cartographers and historians of cartography argue: the making of maps, and toponymic nomenclature in them, serves several purposes, to clarify, as here, a battle landscape, for example, but also to impose or assert power, or claims, or blur facts. Objectively, User:Ynhockey has loaded wiki with a map that cogs our perceptions, tilting them to an annexationist assumption. Indeed, unlike the Israeli government so far, his map actually looks like it has the West Bank annexed.

  1. ^ T.G.H.Strehlow, Songs of Central Australia,Angus & Robertson, Sydney 1971 p.126; cited by Barry Hill, Broken Song: T.G.H.Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession, Knopf, 2002 pp.436f.
  2. ^ Genesis, ch.2, verses 19-20, with apologies for my transcription
  3. ^ For a fascinating study on both the figure of Adam in Islamic tradition, and on commentaries on this particular text specifically, see M.J.Kister, ‘Ādam: A Study of Some Legends in Tafsīr and Hadīt Literature,’ in Joel L. Kraemer (ed.) Israel Oriental Studies, Volume XIII, BRILL, 1993 pp.112-174, p.140
  4. ^ Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon, Jonathan Cape, London 1997, pp.8,615
  5. ^ George Steiner, After Babel, Oxford University Press 1975 p.58
  6. ^ Ernst Cassirer, The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms,, vol.1, tr.Ralph Manheim, Yale UP 1955 pp.119ff.,p.122
  7. ^ Isaiah 5:11. For this and other passages, see S.J.Tambiah ’s 1968 Malinowsky lecture, "The Magical Power of Words," (the ancient Egyptians, the Semites and Sumerians all believed that “the world and its objects were created by the word of God; and the Greek doctrine of logos postulated that the soul or essence of things resided in their names (pp.182-3). My attention was drawn to this particular essay by Tambiah by Brian Vickers, Occult and scientific mentalities in the Renaissance, Cambridge University Press, 1984 p.96
  8. ^ Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origin of Nations, Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1986 passim
  9. ^ John Lewis Gaddis, The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past, Oxford University Press US, 2004, p.131
  10. ^ Abbiamo fatto l'Italia. Ora si tratta di fare gli Italiani
  11. ^ Regis Stella, Imagining the Other: The Representation of the Papua New Guinean Subject, University Of Hawaiʻi Press, 2007 p.169 gives many Papuan examples. Compare his remark elsewhere in the same book, ‘In indigenous cultures . .(t)he most important means of taking control of the landscape is by naming, Naming provides the equivalent of a title deed, imbues power and identity to that which is named, gives the named place a presence, confers a reality, and allows it to be known.’ Ibid pp. 40-41
  12. ^ M. Daphne Kutzer, Empire's Children:Empire and Imperialism in Classic British Children's Books, Routledge, 2000 p.120
  13. ^ Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900, Cambridge University Press, 1986
  14. ^ ‘Maps are a kind of language, or social product which act as mediators between an inner mental world and an outer physical world. But they are, perhaps first and foremost, guides to the mind-set which produced them. They are, in this sense, less a representation of part of the earth’s surface than a representation of the system of cognitive mapping which produced them,’ N.Penn, “Mapping the Cape: John Barrow and the First British Occupation of the Colony, 1794-1803.” in Pretexts 4 (2) Summer 1993, pp.20-43 p.23
  15. ^ John Atchison, ‘Naming Outback Australia,’ in Actes du XVI Congrès international des sciences onomastiques, Québec, Université Laval, 16-22 August 1987, Presses Université Laval, 1987 : pp.151-162 p.154-5
  16. ^ Susan Gay Drummond, Incorporating the Familiar, McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 1997 p.32 .
  17. ^ Alfonso Pérez-Agote, The Social Roots of Basque Nationalism, University of Nevada Press, 2006 p.xx
  18. ^ Selwyn Ilan Troen, Imagining Zion: Dreams, Designs, and Realities in a Century of Jewish Settlement, Yale University Press, 2003 p.152
  19. ^ Meron Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape:The Buried History of the Holy Land since 1948, tr. Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, University of California Press, 2000 pp.12-13 cf.'Suffused with the sense that “it is impossible for a present-day Hebrew map not to identify by name the places of Hebrew settlement mentioned in the Bible and in post-biblical Hebrew literature,” they set about identifying these sites and putting them on “Hebrew maps,” which they placed opposite the official Mandatory maps.’
  20. ^ Cf.Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines, Jonathan Cape, London 1987
  21. ^ Benvenisti, ibid, p.19
  22. ^ Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape, op.cit.p.14. The Arabic names were also found ‘morose’ and ‘offensive’ . As one member put it: ‘Many of the names are offensive in their gloomy and morose meanings, which reflect the powerlessness of the nomads and their self-denigration in the face of the harshness of nature’ (ibid.p.17). On the committee see also his memoir, Meron Benvenisti, Son of the Cypresses: Memories, Reflections, and Regrets from a Political Life, tr. Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, University of California Press, 2007 p.72.
  23. ^ Amar Dahamshe Off the linguistic map. Are Arab place names derived from Hebrew? in Haaretz 30.06.10
  24. ^ Benvenisti, ibid. p.17, p.18
  25. ^ ‘The name of the Ramon Crater, for example, perhaps the most dramatic geological formation in the Negev, “is derived from the Hebrew adjective ram (meaning elevated), “states an Israeli guidebook. The fact that its name in Arabic was Wadi Rumman (Pomegranate Arroyo), . . was not considered worthy of mention’ Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape, ibid. p.19
  26. ^ Yasir Suleiman, A War of Words: Language and Conflict in the Middle East, Cambridge University Press, 2004 p.161, p.162.
  27. ^ cf.Shalom Spiegel, Hebrew Reborn,, The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia 1930, Meridian Book reprint 1962. Shalom Spiegel was Sam Spiegel's more distinguished and erudite brother.
  28. ^ Yasir Suleiman, A War of Words, ibid p.140
  29. ^ Theodor Adorno, Minima moralia: Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben (1951), in Rolf Tiedemann (ed.) Gesammelte Schriften, Bd.4, Suhrkamp, 1980 p.123
  30. ^ Paul Francis Diehl, A Road Map to War, Vanderbilt University Press, 1999, pp.15-16.
  31. ^ 'The term West Bank was forced onto the international lexicon only after Jordan conquered the territory in 1948'. Binyamin Netanyahu, A Durable Peace: Israel and Its Place Among the Nations, Warner Books, (1993) 2000 p.20. Netanyahu's dislike of the term (and his faulty memory for dates), is mirrored by the Palestinian poet, Mourid Barghouti, evidence if ever of the neutrality of the term: cf.‘I did not realize what it meant to be a refugee until I became one myself. When the Israeli army occupied Deir Ghassanah and the whole eastern part of Palestine in 1967, the news bulletins began to speak of the occupation of the Israeli defense forces of the West Bank. The pollution of language is no more obvious than when concocting this term: West Bank. West of what? Bank of what? The reference here is to the west bank of the River Jordan, not to historical Palestine. If the reference were to Palestine they would have used the term eastern parts of Palestine. The west bank of the river is a geographical location, not a country, not a homeland. The battle for language becomes the battle for the land. The destruction of one leads to the destruction of the other. When Palestine disappears as a word, it disappears as a state, as a country and as a homeland. The name of Palestine itself had to vanish. . .The Israeli leaders, practicing their conviction that the whole land of Palestine belongs to them would concretize the myth and give my country yet another biblical name: Judea and Samaria, and give our villages and towns and cities Hebrew names. But call it the West Bank or call its Judea and Samaria, the fact remains that these territories are occupied. No problem! The Israeli governments, whether right or left or a combination of both, would simply drop the term occupied and say the Territories! Brilliant! I am a Palestinian, but my homeland is the Territories! What is happening here? By a single word they redefine an entire nation and delete history.’ Mourid Barghouti, 'The Servants of War and their Language', in International parliament of Writers, Autodafe, Seven Stories Press, 2003 pp.139-147 pp140-1
  32. ^ Emma Playfair, International Law and the Administration of Occupied Territories: Two Decades of Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Oxford University Press, 1992 p. 41.
  33. ^ Ran HaCohen, 'Influence of the Middle East Peace Process on the Hebrew Language' (1992), reprinted in Michael G. Clyne (ed.), Undoing and Redoing Corpus Planning, Walter de Gruyter, 1997, pp.385-414, p.397.
  34. ^ Shlomo Gazit, Trapped Fools: Thirty Years of Israeli Policy in the Territories, Routledge, 2003 p. 162
  35. ^ 'The terms “occupied territory” or “West Bank” were forbidden in news reports.'Ian S. Lustick, 'The Riddle of Nationalism: The Dialectic of Religion and Nationalism in the Middle East', Logos, Vol.1, No.3, Summer 2002 pp.18-44, p. 39
  36. ^ 'Begin was happy to castigate the media and the intelligentsia for their views, real and imaginary, and their use of politically incorrect language. Israeli television was now instructed to use “Judea and Samaria’ for the administered territories, annexation became ‘incorporation’ and the Green Line suddenly disappeared from maps of Israel and the West Bank'. Colin Shindler, A History of Modern Israel, Cambridge University Press, 2008 p.174
  37. ^ 'The successful gaining of the popular acceptance of these terms was a prelude to gaining popular acceptance of the government’s settlement policies'.Myron J. Aronoff, Israeli Visions and Divisions: Cultural Change and Political Conflict, Transaction Publishers, 1991. p. 10.
  38. ^ Gideon Aran, 'Jewish Zionist Fundamentalism: The Block of the Faithful in Israel (Gush Enumin),', in American Academy of Arts and Sciences, University of Chicago Press, 1994 pp.265-344, p.291, p.337
  39. ^ Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: a critical analysis of Israel's security & foreign policy, University of Michigan Press, 2006 p.441
  40. ^ William B. Quandt, Peace process: American diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1967, Brookings Institution Press, 2001, rev.ed.2001 p.130
  41. ^ William B.Quandt, Peace process, ibid. p.134. This was then accompanied by a formal note to Begin (September 22,1978), it which it was registered that ‘(A) In each paragraph of the Agreed Framework Document the expressions “Palestinians” or “Palestinian People” are being and will be construed and understood by you as “Palestinian Arabs”. (B)In each paragraph in which the expression “West Bank” appears, it is being, and will be, understood by the Government of Israel as Judea and Samaria.’ William B. Quandt, Camp David: peacemaking and politics, Brookings Institution Press, 1986 p.387
  42. ^ Howard Jones, Crucible of Power: A History of U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1897,Rowman & Littlefield, 2nd.ed. 2001 p.469
  43. ^ Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: The PLO in Lebanon, Westview Press, Boulder, 1990 p.2
  44. ^ James Ron, Frontiers and ghettos: state violence in Serbia and Israel, University of California Press, 2003 p.180. Decoded, the statement means, 'invading Lebanon secures the West Bank for Israel and thus achieves the Biblical borders set forth more or less in the Tanakh's account of the early kingdoms'
  45. ^ Eric J. Schmertz, Natalie Datlof, Alexej Ugrinsky, President Reagan and the world, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997 p.44.
  46. ^ See Uri Bar-Joseph, Israel's National Security Towards the 21st Century, Routledge, 2001 p.185
  47. ^ Numbers, 32:18
  48. ^ David C. Jacobson, Does David still play before you? Israeli poetry and the Bible, Wayne State University Press, 1997 p.50
  49. ^ Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The construction of modern national consciousness, Columbia University Press, 1998 p.14
  50. ^ Nigel Craig Parsons,The Politics of the Palestinian Authority: From Oslo to Al-Aqsa, Routledge, 2005 p.299
  51. ^ Michael Sfard, Occupation double-speak,' at Haaretz, 12 June 2012.
  52. ^ Jonathan Cook, Israeli Road Signs, Counterpunch 17-19, July 2009
  53. ^ Nir Hasson, Give Arab train stations Hebrew names, says Israeli linguist, Haaretz 28/12/2009
  54. ^ John Brian Harley, David Woodward, The History of Cartography: Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, Humana Press, 1987 p.506, cited Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape, ibid.p.13
  55. ^ Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape, ibid. p.13

Further reading:-

  • Mark Monmonier, No Dig, No Fly, No Go. How maps restrict and control, University of Chicago Press 2010

Things to be done/Notes to self (or what pieces are left of that hypothetical entity)[edit]

(2)'To call Dickens "Kaizanian" would be an over-statement of his considerable gift for for creating memorable characters, while to call Kaizan "Dickensian" would be a seriously misleading understatement. This richness became all the more impressive when set against the national drive towards human standardization.' ibid. p.430

To be kept close to the bottom of this page because I forget the agenda as time scurries on Nishidani (talk) 21:00, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

    • e.g.<ref="Horowitz" />:122-3 Nishidani (talk) 17:20, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

click here if recent changes to the above list don't appear


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Systemic bias or systemic angst[edit]

We use only mainstream newspaper sources for the I/P area updates. A half a day ago, Kerry touched on the risks Israel ran of becoming an apartheid state unless progress was made in serious peace talks. Well, in fifteen hours, Al Jazeera noted it almost immediately, as did the Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel and Front Page Magazine; it took a mere 5 for Haaretz to note the fact; Ynet registered the news after 7 hours. The NYTs is still twiddling its thumbs, trying to work out how to spin this, on its not-yet-breaking news breaking news page. On the other hand it has the latest updates on sanctions against Russia, and was first off the block to shout that 'Egypt Sentences More Than 680 to Death'. On important I/P information, every dot and comma must be cross-checked, every stylistic nuance, every detail in the ostensible troublesome balance sheet must be calculated. In short, why bother?Nishidani (talk) 13:58, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps they are waiting for the inevitable push back and State Department "clarification" before they go to print. To be fair to the NYT, the only mainstream US publication I can see running the story is The Daily Beast (while all the main European and Israeli media are running it). The other point to note is that it has taken the US government 4 years to acknowledge something that was stated by the Israeli defence Minister in 2010. I guess it speaks to the evolving limits of acceptable discourse on the I/P conflict in the US. From what I recall, Chomsky's propaganda model posits that liberal media like the NYT set the limits of what is acceptable discourse in a society so it is not surprising that they are on the front line of that debate with regards the IP conflict. Dlv999 (talk) 15:08, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that, Dlv. I noted it here because these things affect I/P wikiwork, which one hopes is the one global medium that, by its intrinsic logic, rebuffs the idea that reportage need suffer from a tactical incompleteness in coverage. Actually, what is odd is that as opposed to the NYTs articles, which are as dreadful as the negotiating imbalance, (protests couldn't get them to change Jodi Rudoren's statement that the Golan heights was in Israel) the New York Review of Books consistently carries very strong statements, in the books it reviews and the reviewing editors' comments, on Israel, books, mostly written by the Jewish or Israeli intelligentsia, that cover far more meticulously the hidden or silenced (what the Japanese call 黙殺, killing by silence) dimension, the facts on the ground, historical and contemporary. Clearly, therefore, the daily print version pitches its reportage to Middle American perceptions and desires an 'even-handedly' pro-Israeli spin, whereas the NYRB knows full well that its highly literate subscribers, Jewish or otherwise, are far more informed about the area than what is acceptable in 'public' discourse, and won't take the usual dose of suburban pabula. I can't quite figure out how this dissonance works for any self-respecting journalist at his newsdesk: commercial elements evidently dictate the distinction, but it sits very oddly. All the news that is fit to print is carefully snippeted out in one outlet, and studiously crammed into the other, depending on the constituency. The right hand knows what the left is doing, and vice-versa. Fascinating.Nishidani (talk) 15:38, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Coverage-wise, perhaps things are changing somewhat as a result of people like Diala Shamas and things like the B'Tselem’s Camera Project. Citizen journalism with the added bonus of occasionally getting shot, just like real journalists. Sean.hoyland - talk 16:45, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
True, everything's now covered, but little is still widely reported. While watching the clock to see how long it would take the NYTs to get over the angst and convey the gist of Kerry's remarks, I noted that its most emailed article this week is on Tony Blare's remark that 'the spread of Islamic extremism “represents the biggest threat to global security of the 21st century.' Maybe, but in the meantime, dealing with the real world, I emailed him years ago in Jerusalem to see if he could ensure that one more IDF uprooting of a solar-powered electrical grid for a khirbeh where a few hardscrabble farmers south of Hebron live could be reversed. He had been reported as having visited the area. and, after all, he is paid a reported $million bucks as special envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East to improve communication between the parties. Nothing happened. It's not the sort of practical thing than politicians think sufficiently attention-getting, I guess. Give me the Ezra Nawis of this world any day, who merit the Nobel Prize that chap in the White House refuses to bother returning. History is what elites mess with, or mess up: the redemption of modernity is that those who suffer from its consequences can now write what really happens (which of course the elites will never read). Sorry for this blog. Nishidani (talk) 18:50, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, unless I've missed something, the NYTs wasn't waiting for a State Dep. "clarification" but rather for Kerry's inevitable apology fo saying what every analyst in Israel or elsewhere knows as the logical consequence of indecision.Nishidani (talk) 10:30, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  • The New York Times in an instance of being the newspaper of false record.
  • Kerry: "A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state." Now, as theoretically each state of the two-state solution could practise apartheid, it would be interesting to know how that is going to be prevented; non-Jewish citizens of Israel become citizens of the Palestinian state and vice-versa? Also, it would be interesting to hear Kerry explain what would be so bad about a non-apartheid unitary state which is the state of all its citizens rather than being "the state of the Jewish people."
  • Kerry: Kerry also said that at some point, he might unveil his own peace deal and tell both sides to “take it or leave it.” Oh right! No marks for guessing whether his plan would be taken or left by either side.
    ←   ZScarpia   15:03, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
I hope that my editing is acceptable here, otherwise, please do not hesitate and delete it. In my opinion, a unitary state cannot succeed. Both sides have bad records concerning minorities. The "Price tag policy" criminals are repeatedly evading the law enforcement, which is a shame for Israel. Unfortunately the situation is not improving. The poor Israeli election system give the small parties a lot of political force and the voters majority does not have a say. On the other hand, Israelis are looking at the current Syrian war, and would not accept a solution of a unitary state, which will possibly mimick such quarrels. Ykantor (talk) 18:06, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Please don't apologize for editing here or on other talk pages. We are all equal before wikilaw, and your rights are those of everyone else. This is not a coterie enclave.The PTP incidents are quite acceptable hazing. Having your land systematically and literally stolen as '(foreign)state land' in contravention of the Geneva Conventions is what is intolerable. But this is not the place to discuss these matters.Nishidani (talk) 12:16, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Don't all countries have bad records concerning minorities, with the possible exception, can't think of one. Sean.hoyland - talk 18:10, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Now, come on, Sean. Some countries are run by minorities that have bad records concerning majorities but the minorities are treated quite well, being in charge of everything.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 18:15, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Good point!     ←   ZScarpia   19:22, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
So this isn't about the widespread geographical distribution of records by comedians that make racist jokes about minorities. Nevermind then. It would be a bit hypocritical of me to criticize countries being run by minorities that have bad records concerning majorities because it was that kind of shameful behavior that helped to make the country I was born in rich enough so that eventually, many years later, they could pay for my entire education without it costing me a penny, giving me the freedom to live anywhere I want, while a decolonised African peer had to do what they were told for several years to pay back their government grants. No fair. Sean.hoyland - talk 19:55, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
But, unless transfer of nationality or location is being considered, then the two states resulting from the two-state plan would themselves have minority populations.     ←   ZScarpia   19:22, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Should say that I suspect that what is in the pipeline by way of solving Israel's "demographic problem", attempts at turning Jordan into The Palestine State so far having failed, is the creation of a bantustan or two on the minimum territory possible with transfer of citizenship for Israel's non-Jewish population.     ←   ZScarpia   11:12, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
That will never happen. You cannot by an act of parliament strip 20% of the citizenry of their native rights, constitutionally, or before the world, which is ready to ignore most violations of international law, but not a flagrant imposition of apartheid. There has always been a very neat distinction here between what you calculate you can get away with and what you can't. When Obama threw in the towel the other day, remarking:'we haven't seen the political will to actually make tough decisions', he thought he was commenting on the other two parties. He was actually revealing the defect in his, Kerry and American foreign policy: the lack of a political will to make a tough decision. A juridically fair peace requries more of Israel than it does of the disiecta membra we call Palestine, and that is why there will never be a negotiated settlement, except via an act of treason by the reps of the latter, which would carry the death penalty. So, 5 decades on, one will have one state.Nishidani (talk) 12:16, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
In this case, depending on how the selling is done and how many countries supporting the Palestinians go through regime changes before an agreement is reached, the answer to what can be got away with will probably be, quite a lot. Israel is facing a "demographic timebomb" and politicians such as Tzipi Livni are urging the necessity of implementing a two-state solution in order to avoid it. How will implementing a two-state solution circumevent the impending demographic timebomb? For it to work, you would have to increase the number of Jewish Israelis eligible to vote in Knesset elections, decrease or slow the rate of growth in the number of non-Jewish Israelis eligible to vote, or both. Implementing a transfer of voting eligibility of non-Jewish Israelis from Israel to the new Palestinian state would help to achieve the latter options. When it comes to international protests, I should think that those who take the homeland view, that Israel is the homeland of the Jews and the new Palestinian state will be the homeland of the Palestinians, are already well down the road to accepting that ethnic Jews will be privileged in Israel (that is, if they're not already there). That would, of course be to implement apartheid in Israel proper, or, if you prefer to give it another name, "separateness".     ←   ZScarpia   16:37, 1 May 2014 (UTC) (Hope you'll indulge this comment, which was added after you requested people to stop adding to this thread)
Which would be the best solution. The presence of minorities is like a quiet conscience that sits vigilantly in the noisy parliament of that national 'amour-propre' which, otherwise on its own, sounds the death-knell of civility. When Jesus wanted to warn his fellow Jews of the dangers of failing in charity the legend has it he cited the palmary behavior of a Samaritan, the arch-enemy of Judaism. Most of what is great about modern Europe came from its minorities, the most creative being the Jews. And Sean, point taken. But my generation grew up in relatively struggling postwar countries, which could nonetheless afford universal health care and free education to tertiary level, of which you too are a beneficiary. Alf's point was that, nowadays, with the great seismic shift, elites governing western democracies that are tens of times wealthier than they, or our societies were, in earlier decades, now demand that the majority pay through the nose for every service, and cark it if they can't pony up health insurance, while insisting that their failed speculative bets in derivatives be covered by the Federal Bank. In that sense, the elitarian minorities that now are the post-Keynsian default models, insist that governments, almost completely in their pockets, downsize to zero their redistributive functions. Nishidani (talk) 22:02, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
"attempts at turning Jordan into The Palestine State so far having failed". I can understand that the Palestinians want to establish their state between the sea and the Jordan river, and no one has a right to tell them that their country is somewhere else. But how should we call the state of Jordan if "population of Palestinian origin constitutes about 67 percent of the Kingdom's population." ? . It make sense, that after a while, the 2 independent states, Palestine and Jordan , will merge, like the independent state of Texas who merged with the U.S..

- "You cannot by an act of parliament strip 20% of the citizenry of their native rights,". Yes, of course. These people should keep the Israeli citizenship, but what about their newborn babies? there is a precedent of British citizens, that their newborn babies are not inheriting the British citizenship, if the baby is born overseas.(I am not familiar with the details.)

- "Baqa al-Gharbiyye is separated from its West Bank sister city, Baqa ash-Sharqiyya (or Baqa East) by the Israeli West Bank barrier which in this section coincides with the Green Line.[16 As a result, a concrete wall topped with barbed wire runs through one neighbourhood."]. Does not it make sense that the border will move such as both Baqa villages will be united within a Palestinian state? Ykantor (talk) 20:25, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

When I wrote about attempts to turn Jordan into the Palestine state, I really had in in mind Jordan-is-Palestine proponents such as Ariel Sharon. For instance, this says: "Prime Minister Sharon's historical views of Jordan are, to say the least, troubling to those who rule in Amman today. How can it be forgotten that for many years Sharon was the most prominent voice in Israel favoring the proposition that "Jordan is Palestine." During Black September he sought unsuccessfully to win the government of Golda Meir to this view, advocating that Israel withdraw its support for King Hussein in his life and death battle against the PLO. In 1982, as minister of defense in the government of Menachem Begin, Sharon's star-crossed strategy in Lebanon included the relocation of Lebanon's Palestinian population, en masse, to Jordan."     ←   ZScarpia   16:00, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I respect Nishidani wish to end this discussion here. If you wish to, we may continue in your talkpage or in mine. Ykantor (talk) 18:32, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, but it's probably better to get back to building an encyclopedia. And I've realised that a major part of what I wrote above was based on a serious misunderstanding on my part, so I should shut my mouth before I make more of a fool of myself.     ←   ZScarpia   21:30, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
97 years ago, an Imperial power decided to give a European population persecuted by antisemitism territorial rights in Palestine. 90% of the native population disagreed: the majority of religious Jews were horrified. In 2017, some end to this must take place, if decency is to prevail. Israel must accept that its 78% of a land which it only possessed only 6% of in 1948, is a bounteous historical settlement, and a stupendous achievement, where its population thrives in a booming economy with cutting edge science and technology and a fair life for most. None of this has taken place in the travailled history of the original majority population which has been systematically robbed of its possessions and rights. All the rest is bullshit and details that, in discussion, become an undignified travesty of fundamental notions of decency (because miracles of justice are rare in human history: I know of only one: the British abolition of the slave trade). But this is not what the thread was about, and I think it should end here. Regards Nishidani (talk) 20:44, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
But the incident of the use of "apartheid" by Kerry just points to the fact that the situation is approaching critical mass insofar as the USA can no longer unilaterally support certain intransigent positions of the Israeli government.
There are also internal pressures building in Israel, apparently, but, like Japan, the people put right-wingers in office.
Once the USA has to start abstaining in UN votes regarding Israel, the behavior of the Israeli government will have to change rapidly, or turmoil will ensue.
That, as I see it, is the crux of the matter at this juncture.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 16:48, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

The Guardian - Chris McGreal - Kerry wasn't wrong: Israel's future is beginning to look a lot like apartheid, 14 May 2014:

  • In an interview late last year, Danon told me that there is not going to be a Palestinian state, and that Netanyahu shouldn't worry what the Americans think
  • Danon says bluntly that he wants to take the bulk of West Bank land – Judea and Samaria, as it's known in Israel – while ridding the Jewish state of responsibility for governing the mass of Palestinians. "Long-term, I am not talking about annexing the Palestinians. My goal is to annex – or 'apply sovereignty', as I prefer to call it – to the land in Judea and Samaria with the minimum amount of Palestinians," he told me. "So, if I am doing the map, yes, I want the majority of the land with the minimum amount of Palestinians."

    ←   ZScarpia   23:28, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Pt 2, strictly on the NYTs coverage[edit]

Could any of the young whiz kids out there tell me where the New York Times reported the news that Martin Indyk might resign from his role as Special Envoy, which caused a flurry of articles all over Israel and in many foreign papers? Thanks Nishidani (talk) 15:45, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

According to this Haaretz article, the source for the story was some Israeli officials in Jerusalem.     ←   ZScarpia   00:06, 15 May 2014 (UTC) (you may be interested in this transcipt of a speech and question and answer session given by Indyk on 8 May at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s 2014 Weinberg Founders Conference)
Thanks for both Scarpy. I did get the Indyk leak bit into the relevant article when it came out. In any case, I'm now taking some time to see what the NYTs fails to, or is late in, cover(ing) here, and the pattern is quite fascinating.Nishidani (talk) 12:03, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
On the NYT, but on a different topic, where the NYT is obviously not using its fact checkers, in order to fulfill a propaganda function. --NSH001 (talk) 21:26, 15 May 2014 (UTC)


Nishidani, I know you've spent a lot of time and said a lot on this AN/I case, but I hope you go to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Proposed topic ban and either voice your support or opposition. From reading your statements, I think I know your position but right now, the voting could go any which way (topic ban, indefinite block, both) and since you made the original complaint, I think what you say will carry a lot of weight. As an editor who is continually and persistently reverted by Evildoer at every turn, I find myself in the peculiar position of speaking up for him, if he can work on his attitude and sourcing. Liz Read! Talk! 01:20, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

If you saw me doddering down the street, and chumbling at the gums, Ma'am, you would not solicit me! I would have preferred, in any case, not to vote. I've lowered my sense of what is due, because some of those votes seem mechanical. I don't like ganging up, or even the appearance of ganging up. There are a lot worse editors in this area than E.d. On the other hand, he hasn' the faintest clue about how to read what's going on, or how to assess sources, and he consistently 'prevaricated': the point about using one's computer only at work, where he could consult the 4 sources, to gain time, and then saying he had read Dipont (re Romulus/Remus) and that his question was only 'rhetorical' only then to admit he never even looked at the 4 sources (i.e. Dipont). I've seen people permabanned for less (like myself!). Let's leave this up to a completely neutral arb, hopefully two or three, to assess the evidence and make an autonomous call as to what is due. Nishidani (talk) 12:47, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
It's ironic that the two editors he most came in conflict with are asking for a lenient response in contrast to those who are unfamiliar with him. I see this happen sometimes on AN/I. I appreciate his interest in and passion for the subject, he is just so wedded to his POV, in came in conflict with the style of editing on Wikipedia. To be honest, I keep clear of topics I feel that strongly about, because I don't want to spend my time on Wikipedia fighting over these topics. It's easier to remain detached when you're editing subjects that are not tied to ones personal identity. IMHO. Liz Read! Talk! 23:35, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Well, Liz, it's no skin off our noses to behave like gentlewomen! I too try to steer clear of topic I know a lot about, if only because it would be boring to just dollop in information. By editing areas one is ignorant of, one's unpaid work here becomes a constant learning experience. As to personal identity. Fortunate are those who have a clue as to who they are, other than what's on the ID card, if one has one. At least that's the psychoanalytic premise, and I underwrite it (though my signature is meaningless). Cheers Nishidani (talk) 11:16, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

A piece of sanity on the Ukraine issues for wiki[edit]

You get endless bad reportage in mainstream newspapers. Counterpunch is not stricto sensu RS, but this article should be accepted.Nishidani (talk) 17:32, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Un peu de réconfort serait le bienvenu[edit]

Désolé. Wikipedia souvent me fait penser au proverbe: 'fais du bien à Bertrand, il te le rend en caguant.' I'ìve suggested we draw up a petition here. I'm not confident we can get enough I/P editors from all sides on board, but it's worth trying. This is not an ideological issue: we're supposed to be a community that, even in our disagreements, can see the merits of each other's work. Amitiés.Nishidani (talk) 19:42, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Nish.
After all that I lived in 8 years I prefer stopping here.
Life is too short. Pluto2012 (talk) 19:36, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
It's not a lifetime obligation. One can always return. Whatever you decide, enough people here recognize the quality of your work to ensure that your edits here are taken seriously and stick. But it is good to also learn how to live outside of wikipedia, which is all duty, and hardly pleasurable. I saw La Môme, two nights ago, and can't get rid of those songs, all profoundly melancholic, but releasing springs of some indefinable joy in those who recall them. Summer is upon is, (Sumer Is Icumen In) and that is all that matters, so fuck/forget wikipedia and enjoy its air, fruits, landscape and lazy afternoons. Un abbraccio.Nishidani (talk) 19:47, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
My comment above strikes me now as frivolous, given your distress. A suggestion. The cost of getting even the obvious onto wikipedia here is extremely high. You have a sufficiently wide and deep mastery of the events of 47-8, and control of the secondary literature either to do a doctorate on the subject, or a book. At least there, one is free of the absurd wastage of time and intelligence which working here exacts on many of us, and, this is the sweetener, one can actually thrive in the pleasure of giving one's own views, meticulously reasoned, without murmurs of WP:OR ruining one's liberty. I would suggest, if this 'defeat' of years of effort rankles, that you exercise that option. If successful, you then become a source for future wiki articles. If not, at least giving systematic shape to your own understanding of events will allow you the pleasures of a private sense of achieved synthesis. A good point of departure would be to map events minutely, after the declaration of the Partition Plan, against the borders outlined in late November 47 until May 14/15 1948, and systematically place each incident, within and without those borders, chronologically, to determine who did what to whom (this is by no means clear from Morris 2004, for example, and in my view his thesis starts to wobble if one does this kind of analysis), listing attacks and casualties. In other words, writing a history of war that excludes all considerations of geopolitics, and outside historical agents, to concentrate exclusively on the struggle between the Yishuv and indigenous Palestinian Arab forces. Of course, please ignore this if, as I hope, you discover that there are better interests to pursue.Nishidani (talk) 21:22, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Reference Errors on 6 May[edit]

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Hi Nishidani! I would ask you to reconsider the comment with which you reverted my edit at [1]. I know about Aikhenvald as a linguist, but that is not even at issue here. Bibliographies about living persons are not supposed to contain any unsourced information. The entire paragraph was unsourced, so it was appropriate to delete it. And so was your revert during which you added a source. Best, G Purevdorj (talk) 09:51, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

It is a matter of method. If you see something unsourced, you don't eliminate it (unless of course you have the area competence that tells you the statement or facts are absurd, contradictory, or false etc.) Were that the principle, almost 80% of wikipedia's content, if not more, would go down the gurgler. I wrote the passage you cancelled, because I know of her work on New Guinea languages, and even remembered an interview with her I heard in 2008. Editors have two options when they suspect something: (a) do a google search, which in this case (Aikhenvald+tok-pisin+manambu) would have immediately yield the source, or, if they are too busy, post a [citation needed] tag. I admit I was irritated that I had to go back and do that work, even if it cost me only a minute, hence my edit summary. But had I not by chance left that page, which I glanced at and edited just once, on my watchlist, your failure to check for sources and subsequent elision would have impoverished it, cancelled work by another editor, and left the general reader ignorant of a minor, but important detail. The page could be expanded significantly, also: she deserves better notice as one of the most outstanding linguists of modern times. One must always seek to enrich, rather than impoverish, articles in this fragile, randomly edited, digital encyclopedia. Regards.Nishidani (talk) 10:36, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Socratic Barnstar Hires.png The Socratic Barnstar
I was meaning to thank you months ago but I forgot to. You've single handedly turned the Khazars article into one worthy of FA status. Not only is it free of edit wars now, but it's nice to be able to read one of my favorite articles without seeing it shrink or inflate with original research. :)))) Khazar (talk) 20:08, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Deeply appreciated, but I couldn't have gotten it into shape alone. I might have done a fair bit of the work, but it was an environment of several posters like yourself, Laszlo, Andrew and Jeepez (I hope I've forgotten no one, but at my age . .), ready to read closely, curb edit warriors, and check that constituted the sine qua non of anything accomplished there. Teamwork by people with a critical independence can do wonders, and no one main editor should forget that debt. Cheers Nishidani (talk) 21:11, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

CFD discussion[edit]

Nishidani, since you edit in the broad area of the Middle East, I'd welcome your opinion in the discussion on the deletion of the Semitic peoples' categories. The question about these categories seems to hinge on whether or not the editor believes Semitic is correctly applied to people or if it should be restricted to describing certain topics, like language, geography or history. Please weigh in at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2014 May 11#Category:People of Semitic descent. Thanks. Liz Read! Talk! 14:50, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard[edit]

I don't want to be a headache but your experience with fringe theories are needed here. Khazar (talk) 23:43, 14 May 2014 (UTC)


Are there any maps uploadable for the disposition of Yishuv forces on the 13/14 May 1948 set against the Nov.30 Partition plan map? One exists, and can be viewed at 17.15 minutes into Salman Abu Sitta's lecture on the Right of Return here. His argument is that on the day of the 'Arab Invasion' , Yishuv forces were already outside the lines allocated to them. Nishidani (talk) 19:52, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Notes for possible future edits[edit]

  • New definition of nakba.

a demonstration on Nakba Day—the anniversary of Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948. (Jonathan S. Tobin,'Was Nakba Shooting Another al-Dura Libel?,' Commentary Magazine 21 May 2014.)

  • The problem with List of Israeli assassinations is that it is restricted so far to ordered killings, mostly admitted by the state actor. If the 15 May 2014 killings turn out to give the lie to the Pallywood[1] memes circulating, the following data, plus sources indicating the outcome of investigations, should be entered there. It parallels the Mohammad al-Dura incident, given the indeterminacy, save for one element: in the former, responsibility was admitted immediately, only to be denied later. In the latest incident, responsibility was denied, the disinformation on tampered footage deconstructed within days.
Date Place Target Description Action Executor
May 15, 2014 Beitunia, West Bank Nadeem Siam Nawara(17); Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Salameh(16). A third student, Mohammed Aza, was shot through the lungs Students Shot dead in the back in two separate incidents (73 minutes apart) after a demonstration involving rock throwing outside Ofer Prison. Israel Border Police.[2][3][4][5]

Nishidani (talk) 13:31, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Israel - Palestine Conflict[edit]

It said at the top that you can only revert once every 24 hours on that page if you Edit it. You might be blocked now, you reverted twice! XD The Toon Disney Guy (talk) 11:51, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

What you did was self-evident vandalism. I/P articles are not disneyland, toon comics or a kindergarten sandpit. If you have legitimate objections that have missed the lynx-eyed gaze of a dozen long-term editors, address the talk page. If you wish to take this to A/1 read WP:Boomerang. Whatever, the mass removal of RS-sourced (4) material without warning is vandalism.Nishidani (talk) 12:03, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I've checked your record, and can find no evidence at a quick review of interest in anything other than cartoons and television, except one edit to that page which was a drive-by tag plastering edit. Please correct me if I err.Nishidani (talk) 12:28, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
No, that is wrong, Dude! Also. Why are you bothered about that? You don't need to be a dick about it. The Toon Disney Guy (talk) 07:34, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Unlike you, I wasn’t born yesterday. Nishidani (talk) 08:55, 6 June 2014 (UTC)


For the record, it absolutely is him - even down to denying his identity (he also denied that he was Grawp until that was proven). He reacts instinctively - any time anyone challenges his edits, he starts making unicode-infused, empty, cowardly threats against them. As if this had ever worked. This has been going on for ten years, since he was 15, and he hasn't changed a bit. NawlinWiki (talk) 14:43, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm deeply appreciative of the work you, and others like Malik, do in keeping this nonsense clear of pages. Jeez, I never really follow this stuff, but from 15-25 he's wasted a decade doing this? - ten of the best years of one's life, when one writes poems, reads impossibly dull tomes that turn out to be memorable for some gem one discovers or page-turning novels, treks through deserts, or along thin pathways in tropical forests, listens to the Beatles and Elvis, learns languages, travels the world, screws around, and up, goes to concerts to hear Richter, or watch Nureyev, works on a kibbutz, plays football and cricket, skulls and runs in long-distance events, almost gets murdered, carouses till dawn in good company every week in hundreds of pubs from London to Toronto to Los Angeles, and this kid's lost himself in fighting an ephemeral nanosecond war seated before a computer screen instead? It's profoundly sad because pointless. The state of Israel flourishes, and will continue to do so, whatever historians write, or angry POV pushers of the eternal panic-button of antisemitism or anti-antisemitism say, or do. I used to laugh when I saw the otherwise dumb message 'Get a life!' on the net. I now realize that it appears to be appropriate. Cheers and thanks.Nishidani (talk) 15:23, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
And a big thank you from me also, to you :NawlinWiki, and Malik and Zero and all the others who help keep the death threats etc off my page, Cheers to you! Huldra (talk) 23:54, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Good grief! I never realized you had that many. Take it as a backhanded compliment, sys(ter). By a quick calculation (no of death threats etc vs number of edits on Palestinian villages) it is empirical proof at last that you remain the most important and invaluable contributor to wikipedia's database on the Palestinian world.Nishidani (talk) 08:27, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Of course I take it as a big compliment! :D But I really haven´t gotten the larges compliment yet; having socks named after you....I´m green with envy...: NishidaniDoesBadStuffToChildren (talk · contribs)  :) Cheers, Huldra (talk) 20:42, 30 June 2014 (UTC)


The Beitunia shootings incident probably deserves its own article at some point given the coverage, although perhaps it's too soon. Anyhow, you may not have seen a more recent NYT article[2] B'Tselem seem to be keeping track of the media reports.[3] Sean.hoyland - talk 12:40, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the links. I've a whole file on that, thinking that it fits the criteria for a targeted killing but none of the earlier reports gave it as an instance of the same, until I noticed that, today, Human Right Watch reported its considered view that this consisted of a targeted killing. In that report, HRW lists quite a number of civilian killings that result from targeting practices with live fire during demonstrations, which however never figure in the usual lists of targeted assassinations, where the assumption is that there must be some Israeli testimony that the suspect was a 'militant'. This is just of course bias: one could add a large list of such killings that are not labelled that way ('targeted assassinations'), but they can't be added unless we have independent assessments classifying them that way. To note just another:-

One can't add that to the list, despite the fact that we know who gave the order (now Brig. Gen.) Roni Numa, who, Ofir, relayed the decision to 'neutralize' a Palestinian businessman (driving in a car with his wife and brother-in-law and children), to the two snipers who then shot him dead. It's the best documented example of the genre, but is not classified yet in the targeted assassinations lists. Indeed no internet search will tell you the day the incident occurred, nor the name of the person. Of the several thousand killed so far, on my reading, several hundred would fit that description of being deliberately targeted, though not militants. But we can't do WP:OR syntheses or draw conclusions.

As to the incident deserving a page, I have extensive downloads of reportage that would make that an easy job. But in the past I generally opposed temptations to follow the habit of using wikipedia to showcase individual incidents (Murder of Shalhevet Pass, The Death of Asher and Yonatan Palmer,Death of Yehuda Shoham,Murder of Eliyahu Asheri, Murder of Helena Rapp, Murder of Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran, Murder of Neta Sorek and Kristine Luken,Murder of Ofir Rahum,Murder of Oleg Shaichat,Murder of Yaron Chen,etc.) because all of those articles were written by editors wishing to make a case, assign historic blame or blacken the other side, and the events mostly fail WP:Notable. I wrote Zion Square assault to test these editors, but the event took on a life of its own and was so widely reported that its inclusion on wiki became obligatory. Sound practice would suggest that a potential article The Murder of Nadim Nawareh and Mohammed Salameh can only be justified if reportage continues over several months, and it eventually is included or noted in the ongoing stream of academic books on the I/P world.Nishidani (talk) 13:29, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
I like articles about individual incidents but rarely have time to work on them. They require so much research to ensure accuracy and balance. Done well I think they can be interesting and informative in the sense that they often encapsulate broader aspects, ripples of the conflict in microcosm, in the events that came before and after the incidents, the causes and effects. Unfortunately it seems to be almost impossible to do anything well in ARBPIA. I worked on Murder of Hatuel family for a while to see if I could make it better, but ended up walking away. I genuinely don't understand why editors would only write articles about certain incidents and not others based on the nature of the victims. What's the difference ? I mean I get it, I understand what is going on and why to a certain extent for those editors, but it doesn't make any sense to me. It's a pity that Wikipedia's coverage of the day to day things that make up the conflict for the people involved is so piss poor. Sean.hoyland - talk 18:42, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I hadn't thought about it from that angle, which I should have, given that I admire the microstory approach to history, as exemplified by the articles and monographs of Carlo Ginzburg, for example. Perhaps I should reconsider an article like that. When I saw what was being done with the Death of Yehuda Shoham, i.e., using a selective set of sources to underline the viviousness of Palestinians (I just noted because someone edited it, the article Deception: Betraying the Peace Process which should be deleted as a non-notable book whose agenda is to ignore what systematic studies show, by the way - same purpose on wiki), I stepped in, and it was a bit of a firefight, but in the end (haven't checked recently) managed to contextualize it historically in the flow of violence on both sides during that week, and the political consequences. I think that it should be obligatory to do this on all articles of this kind. It's not impossible because of ARBPIA, but because of source bias. We know much more from newspapers about Israeli victims on average than we do of Palestinian victims, who are lucky to get mentioned by name, while articles that deal with close background focus tend to be well informed on the Israeli context, and less so on the Palestinian context. Murder of Shalhevet Pass is a good example (I can't remember if anyone has edited into it the fact that Israeli politicians were so disgusted by the extreme media pressure the Hebron settlers put on them to turn up for the burial and transform it into a signature day for Israel's victimization, that several in the end boycotted the ceremony. It's in the sources, but those who edit the page appear to prefer to coast over it.
As for the editors, if I may hazard a remark, restricting my remarks to bad editors from the ostensibly 'pro-Israeli' side, many of them are raised within an ideology dominated by the historical fact of anti-semitism, which is a eurocentric disease, and Zionism which was originally premised on the idea that indigenous Palestinians could be omitted from the picture. Victor Klemperer caught the syndrome back in his diaries in the early 30s when he, if my memory doesn't err, likened what would happen to Palestinians, they would be forced historically to play the role of wild Indians being shot out of history in an endlessly popular Hollywood storyline of the 'conquest of the West', untinctured by Karl May's romantic defence of the noble savage. Both my parents' generation and mine watched endless Hollywood movies where the historical atrocities of the white conquest were ignored, while the indigenous victims of what was a kind of partial genocide by an invader, were depicted as a murderous bloodthirsty savages, always to blame. This scotoma has been revived in the post 9/11 storyline of terrorism (which of course does exist), while dying out in Westerns, and therefore 'it does make sense' to me, that they cannot see the obvious (IOTTMCO as John Lanchester wrote recently in the LRB). It is hard to feel pity if the 'other' shouldn't exist on principle, and her presence is just some dark anomalous blur on the periphery of one's vision, which is focused solely on one's own tremendous stride towards a dazzling historical achievement.
Klemperer's vision was as prophetic as Kafka's was of modernity and Nazism. They are 'sincere' in the worst sense of that word, i.e., they cannot understand that 'sincerity' can obtain in people who disagree with them: it must be bad faith, or anti-semitism. It is a reflex Pavlovian system of group-think, as inexorable in its conclusions as any ideology.Nishidani (talk) 20:11, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

The other relevant point to consider is system bias. For instance, while we don't have an article for the Beitunia killings, there is already an article for an event less than three days old - 2014 kidnapping of Israeli teens (an example of the format described by Nishidani: "using a selective set of sources to underline the viviousness of Palestinians"). A prodigious output of (POV) articles covering Israeli victims of the the conflict while not covering Palestinian victims is a problem. Dlv999 (talk) 10:49, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I actually checked yesterday, wondering how long this would take to get into wikipedia, and, not finding an article, thought to myself that the area was improving. Alas, not so. I think editors should exercise caution in succumbing to the temptation to imitate this pattern (it does look, even if it isn't, retaliatory), even if there is a strong argument for 'balancing' the evident POV-bias. Whether or not an article should be written on the Beitunia murders or not should depend on WP:NOTABLE criteria (such events fail notability (ugh!) in wikipedia terms because their frequency is in inverse proportion to the follow-up attention given targeted Palestinian murders in the RS mainstream press - they occur almost monthly), esp. on the forensic outcome (partially known) and ongoing reports of the Israeli investigation, while keeping in mind that one can't be bound by the latter, since these notoriously drag on and tend to bury such cases.Nishidani (talk) 13:58, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Fuck, bad editors just mean revert wars, false edit summaries, and the burden of fixing crap placed on others' shoulders. 'I provide the POV pushing and you neutralize it, if anyone's looking.' Nishidani (talk) 16:00, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Your lovely vandal[edit]

I asked Alison if an IP was JarlaxleArtemis and she confirmed and blocked several accounts and another IP. Dougweller (talk) 14:08, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Doug. I fail to see the point of this turpiloquent hyperactivism in my regard. I think the Spanish for 'water off a duck's back' is Por un oído me entra y por otro me sale, so I quack rather than quake. I still owe you that article, - just overwhelmed these months by extrawiki work and life. Will do it eventually.Nishidani (talk) 15:15, 14 June 2014 (UTC)


Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. FatGuySeven (talk) 03:22, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Hello! There is a DR/N request you may have interest in.[edit]


This message is being sent to let you know of a discussion at the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard regarding a content dispute discussion you may have participated in. Content disputes can hold up article development and make editing difficult for editors. You are not required to participate, but you are both invited and encouraged to help find a resolution. Please join us to help form a consensus. Thank you! FatGuySeven (talk) 16:15, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

IP socks[edit]

Hi, regarding your comment at Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement: you seem to have forgotten to sign it. Any full RfC about the matter would be flooded with socks, me thinks. Perhaps we should start finding links to all those off-wiki reports of canvassing, and then show the damage (=huge waste of time) throw-away sock do in the I/P area, and then take it to Cheers, Huldra (talk) 20:35, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Btw, have you seen this? Cheers, Huldra (talk) 01:16, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I would absolutely love it if you could help me out on Talk:Nisf Jubeil. We need a French and a Latin reader. There are two Nisf Jubeils which have been mixed up, it seems, Cheers, Huldra (talk) 08:52, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Of course. But I will be away for a few days. Nishidani (talk) 09:48, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

SPI case filed[edit]

I've filed a sockpuppet case at Tom Reedy (talk) 13:36, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

For the task ahead....[edit]

Export hell seidel steiner.png Have a beer! Cheers, Huldra (talk) 22:01, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Btw, one very easy task: on Umm al-Fahm Guerin writes that it has "dix huit cents" inhabitants. Isn´t that 1800? Petersen, citing Guerin, say it is 800? Cheers, Huldra (talk) 22:44, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Strewth. You may have seen me making occasional edits in here, but since Monday I have been once more chopping down trees, chain-sawing wood, packaging 31 large bags of leaves for disposal, loading trucks - backload of tasks I finally could do only on those days because a friend turned up with the equipment to rid the place of a year of accumulated woodstock. Same Friday. I'll do it though, just remind me if I haven'ìt by Sunday night.Nishidani (talk) 07:01, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

User reported me[edit]

Hi Nishidani....

Just letting you know :) user Gunrpks reported me for "reverting" his editorial wars on your article concerning the war in the middle east. I am a new user and have never reported some one before but I will try to report him as well. --علي سمسم (talk) 12:35, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

I see. I'm afraid you can't enlist people's help, technically. You are new to this place, unlike User:Gunrpks and, I think, you engaged in an edit-war with him. Your excuse would be unfamiliarity with I/P ARBPIA practices, but any editor should inform himself before hand that edit-warring, even in a 'just cause' sends a bad signal. One must not imitate bad editors. In any case, as you are unfamiliar with these things, I will examine this, if only because I informed that editor that he was violating the 1RR, and he persisted. I refrained from reporting him, but, if my perception is correct about his edits, it is certainly odd that he should report you. That would mean he risks WP:Boomerang, when all of the evidence is examined.

In any case, I would advise you not to report him, it is a bad practice, esp. by newbies, to use this. It looks like playing tactical games to out an 'adversary'. Be patience, calm, succinct, in your reply, and if you check the evidence and find you have made an error, apologize. Above all, do not transform your reply into a long screed. Trust administrators to see into it. They have better eyes than most of us, most of the time.Nishidani (talk) 13:07, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you :)--علي سمسم (talk) 13:16, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

It would be wise to withdraw your complaint. You made an error, since it was not User:Gunrpks who reported you but User:Shrike. I have already noted in his complaint the unsatisfactoriness of his report, and you would do well therefore to withdraw your complaint, and allow admiistrators to examine the whole set of diffs for the relevant pages and make up their own minds. Edit-warring did occur on both sides, and they must evaluate from your respective records what to do in each case.Nishidani (talk) 13:57, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Nomination of List of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article List of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. AlanS (talk) 14:37, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

A cup of tea for you![edit]

Meissen-teacup pinkrose01.jpg I find it chills me more than coffee! I think we can work well together, because of, more than despite, our differing POVs. I think most editors misuse or fail to grasp the positives of that dynamic, in many contentious areas. Cheers :) Irondome (talk) 00:22, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, gratefully accepted. Nicely designed cup, though I prefer a mug, because the latter makes me think of myself.Nishidani (talk) 21:30, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Ditto :). With respect, Irondome (talk) 02:04, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks lads for riding shotgun on this page, (NSH001, Sean.hoyland, Sjö and Yunshui)[edit]

But now that I see what the removed 150 odd attacks by this Nishidumbass sockster wrote, I wonder at the puerile lack of an ability to connect one's thoughts to real history. Willing death on others in order to defend one's 'ethnic vitalism' is of course a Nazi cast of mind, and therefore, ipso facto unacceptable for anyone with the genocide of WW2 still vivid in recall.

Hitler once said:’ We shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jew.' Manfred Henningsen, ‘The Politics of Purity and Exclusion,’ Björn H. Jernudd, Michael J. Shapiro (eds.), The Politics of Language Purism, Mouton de Gruyter ‎1989 pp.31-52 p.48 Same pathology in the sock who thinks eliminating Christians, Europeans, Arabs and wikipedia will somehow secure the survival of Israel. Even if that happened I would survive, I guess, being a pagan, and only 'European' by adoption. Then again, if wikipedia was killed off, I might just, qua Nishidani, croak with it! Nishidani (talk) 07:34, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Sjö! tack så mycket
Strömkarlen spelar,
Sorgerna delar
Vakan kring berg och dal.
雲水先生,谢 谢 你 的 帮 助.
恥茶無兩杯 Nishidani (talk) 10:19, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
That's very elegant - a pleasure to assist someone of a poetic bent. Yunshui  10:29, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
No poetic bent, but a bent for what poets write, reading which keeps me sane when editing in here. The merits of elegance lie elsewhere, I confess. I'd been reading about Ladakh recently, while engaged in a AfD discussion on Nepal, and saw those elegant verses by a Chinese visitor to that wonderful place. Then someone offered me a cup of tea (see above), and I thought of tsampa, and when I saw the 雲 in your handle I thought of the Tümed, and 水, water, by an uncanny coincidence, clicked with the other admin's handle Sjö, which in Swedish means 'lake' and both of you had rid my page of a Strömkarl, who tries to drown people (here by inundating the page with racist hogwash). Thanks again.Nishidani (talk) 10:54, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Stop icon

Your recent editing history shows that you are currently engaged in an edit war. Being involved in an edit war can result in your being blocked from editing—especially if you violate the three-revert rule, which states that an editor must not perform more than three reverts on a single page within a 24-hour period. Undoing another editor's work—whether in whole or in part, whether involving the same or different material each time—counts as a revert. Also keep in mind that while violating the three-revert rule often leads to a block, you can still be blocked for edit warring—even if you don't violate the three-revert rule—should your behavior indicate that you intend to continue reverting repeatedly.

Wikipedia edit warring noticeboard[edit]

Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion involving you at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Edit warring regarding a possible violation of Wikipedia's policy on edit warringTritomex (talk) 11:06, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Notice of WP:ARBPIA[edit]

Commons-emblem-notice.svg Please carefully read this information:

The Arbitration Committee has authorised discretionary sanctions to be used for pages regarding the Arab–Israeli conflict, a topic which you have edited. The Committee's decision is here.

Discretionary sanctions is a system of conduct regulation designed to minimize disruption to controversial topics. This means uninvolved administrators can impose sanctions for edits relating to the topic that do not adhere to the purpose of Wikipedia, our standards of behavior, or relevant policies. Administrators may impose sanctions such as editing restrictions, bans, or blocks. This message is to notify you sanctions are authorised for the topic you are editing. Before continuing to edit this topic, please familiarise yourself with the discretionary sanctions system. Don't hesitate to contact me or another editor if you have any questions.

This message is informational only and does not imply misconduct regarding your contributions to date.

--Bbb23 (talk) 20:21, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Pursuant to your call that I effectively violated the IRR at Operation Protective Edge, and in lieu of the obligatory sanction, given your discretionary comments, I will observe a 48 hour self-suspension from editing as of this moment. Best regards.Nishidani (talk) 21:15, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Early Christian history[edit]

Ho, mikado! First, is there maybe a missing "a" in the time since your retirement. Second as someone who knows something about the topic, you might maybe be interested in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Christianity/Noticeboard#Userspace drafts.John Carter (talk) 20:49, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Lynx-eyed, John. Was in a hurry, and, though straining the bean to modify 'donkey's age(s), which would be untrue, as I didn't retire yonks, but a year or thereabouts ago, I thought I'd have to downscale the years in that idiom, and of course a donkey's offspring is a foal, meaning retired less than papa donkey's years. Perhaps it would better be Don Quixote's years? I'm fucked if I know, spending what little spare time I have to give names to history's rerun of a recpetitive tragedy that visits the anonymous, who die under the broadbrush journalistic cant of 'terrorists' every time them furreners shoot into that fish bowl that is the Gaza Strip. Tomorrow's Sunday, so as a gesture to ancient beliefs, I might have a glance at that draft, but I fear the overnight death toll will rise steeply enough to keep my fingers concentrated on the Gaza necrology. Cheers, John.Nishidani (talk) 21:05, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Reference Errors on 19 July[edit]

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Good article, [4] nableezy - 22:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Are you planning on sticking around for a while ? I hope so. Sean.hoyland - talk 10:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Probably not. Forgive me, but its too aggravating, depressing, ... . nableezy - 16:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't blame you. It's definitely depressing. Sean.hoyland - talk 17:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
At my age I look on the positive side. Things like this comfort me at the prospect of death. Having lived with exceptional good luck a fair dose of years, I don't see much point in hanging round, though I have to while my ineludible biological momentum insists otherwise, to watch both this slaughter, and read articles, or edit with people, who fail the most elementary standards of objective evaluation or humanity. It'll be good to be dead, and not wake up every day in a part of the comfortable world and have to measure one's pleasure in existence against the larger realities of an engulfing cruelty. This is not a sensible perception for the younger to entertain, of course.Nishidani (talk) 17:17, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you would enjoy a break from the carnage over at Talk:Samaria#.2F.2A_In_the_header._.2A.2F. Sean.hoyland - talk 19:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Just what the doctor ordered for a laugh. Phew, some editors are so badly informed they ought to consider a career in politics, aim for the White House or whatever. You can get away with that level of nescience there at least.Nishidani (talk) 20:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. It's nice for people to be reminded of the actual facts of real world scholarship, and get them momentarily off that dripfeed of 'terrorist' reportage that makes life exciting for the dull as they browse the internet for the hollywood version of history or watch TV from the comfort of their barca loungers in the air-conditioned nightmare. You'll recall, Nab, Sara Roy said it all in 2009 after the Gaza War here. But of course since she is the world's foremost authority on Israel designed dedevelopment of Gaza, publishing a premonitory study of the problems back in 1987, no one will care to listen. Some quotes:

Gazan farmers are legally forbidden to reclaim their own land unless they obtain permission from the Israeli military authorities.

Gaza expanded its trade in the late 1950s to the COMECON countries of Eastern Europe. .. Immediately after the June 1967 war, all Western markets were banned to Gazan exporters in order to preclude competition with Israeli agricultural producers and then, as now, to limit Gaza's access to foreign economic and political circles.

Restrictions on export markets also extend to the Israeli market.Presently, Gaza's farmers are prohibited from marketing most fruits and vegetables inside Israel, a measure designed to avoid competition with Israeli products. . .Certain products, such as strawberries, eggplants, and zucchini, which are not competitive with Israeli products, are allowed to enter Israel's markets through the Vegetable Marketing Board . . citrus products are also exported to Israel from Gaza for use in juice factories. Israeli producers, on the other hand, have unlimited access to Gazan markets, exporting substantial quantities of fruits and vegetables at prices with which Gazan farmers are unable to compete.

In light of the critical water problems inside Gaza, the Israeli government, through its affiliated water company, Mekorot, has issued restrictions against the digging of new wells and has limited the amount of water that Palestinian farmers may use, These same restriction on water consumption, however, do not apply to the Israeli settlements inside the Strip, which have installed 35-40 new wells in recent years, . . According to the Israeli Water Commission, in 1985 alone, Israelis living in the Gaza Strip consumed, per capita, 2,326 cubic meters of water compared to an average consumption of 123 cubic meters for every Gazan

Nishidani (talk) 11:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

In short 'déjà vu', because the political elites read the New York Times headlines, and have no time for the real details. My advice is, keep away. You've done enough in here.Nishidani (talk) 11:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Page protection[edit]

Guess you'll be needing that again, then... Yunshui  10:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for this tedious mopping up. I guess each dull job exacted on the intelligent, esp. to help others, deserves ther elevation of poetry's thank you. For the moment, after thinking these days that work in this area is like wandering into Dante's selva selvaggia e aspra e forte, one thinks of 鮑照's 路難 and thus,








吞聲躑躅不敢言. Best regards,Nishidani (talk) 11:10, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Full protection maybe? Of course, we'd have to make you an admin, and I'm not sure I'd want to that to you. John Carter (talk) 17:30, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Don't think that's necessary, though it annoys me that admin time is taken up sweeping the Augean stables that IP blow-ins, and assorted teenagers with a logorrhoic capacity for dittological repetition of racist graffiti, wish to impose here. You see far more wit and ingenuity in the Latin inscriptions on the walls of the dunnies and brothels in Pompei, which reminds me that Alec Hope once aspired to get the attention of Christopher Brennan, by then a reclusive drunk, by following him into a pub toilet and, while he too pointed his percy at the porcelain, with his free hand wrote down a piece of Latin verse recently published (late 1920s) from excavations in Pompei, on next cubicle wall. Though pissed as a newt, the erudite Brennan, glanced over while splashing his boots, and, buttoned up, corrected an error in the reproduced inscription's grammar. Patience. I edit to ensure that the Palestinian side of this fratricidal conflict is duly and fairly represented, and it is only natural that the place will be bombed, in a petty and insignificant mimesis of what goes on in the real world over there.Nishidani (talk) 18:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Agree with your view on the conflict being fratricidal. In fact all human conflicts are fratricidal. One of my favorite WP articles is Mitochondrial Eve. Regards, IjonTichy (talk) 17:25, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the better word is, psychoanalytically, 'autocidal', given the doubleness of human identity: you kill something in yourself when you murder others.Nishidani (talk) 09:49, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. And when we damage the natural environment, we are injuring ourselves. When we degrade it, we are degrading ourselves. IjonTichy (talk) 16:12, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Participate the discussion please[edit]

Hi! I think you've missed a discussion occurred at here. Please participate the discussion by presenting your ideas about the background section. Best Mhhossein (talk) 21:39, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Give me a proper link. That one took me to the article, which is not a discussion, but the result of editing. I'm not aware of an ongoing discussion, and have been away for two days visiting libraries (not on this issue). If there is indeed a discussion I missed in the meantime point me to it. Or otherwise, raise here the issues you wish to discuss, so I can get back to reviewing the background (at a glance it seems to have been modified somewhat).Nishidani (talk) 22:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Reference Errors on 24 July[edit]

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List of Israeli strikes and Palestinian casualties in Operation Protective Edge[edit]

I fixed this up as best I could; please note edit summary contents and hidden text. The list has issues. For one thing, the number of wounded is very hard to specify with any kind of exactitude which is what I think you are (understandably) trying to do. Also, some of the links are no longer active. Best of luck. Quis separabit? 00:45, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

First, thanks for the precision of textual review. All wiki work begins as provisory, and is in a constant state of flux, as sourcing or editors improve. All articles, not only lists, have 'issues': castrate a text by occultation and it will have no issue. Once one begins to hide text because it falls short of perfection, no passing editor will see it and be prompted to improve it, so improvement of the hidden text falls back uniquely on the shoulders of the editor who drafted it and lies under the obligation to check every tinkered contribution. This is just a practical issue of worksmanship. Perfection (exactitude) is acquired festinans lente in itinere, not given. Since this is a working bee, optimally, one thinks of Pliny's community of that species: laborem tolerant, opera conficiunt, rempublicam habent.(HN,XL 9) Nishidani (talk) 09:14, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


User Evildoer187, has returned to Wikipedia and has violated his topic ban. This ip belongs to him and he is using it to avoid his topic ban. He states in this edit summary that it belongs to him. AcidSnow (talk) 17:11, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm not an administrator, and as an editor, my general policy is not to report infractions of wikilaw. If this is a problem I'm sure people who follow such things will eventually pick it up.Nishidani (talk) 17:22, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

A kitten for you![edit]

Kitten in a helmet.jpg

It is good to see that the article pertaining to the Gaza-Israel situation has been somewhat restrained as of late and is keeping as neutral of a view as is seemingly possible for an article like this. In the mean time, if anything gets out of hand, look at this pretty kitten!

Jab843 (talk) 16:31, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Given the fact that 'having kittens' in British English means 'getting hysterical', I should register that I'm immune to hysteria. My comments can express an undertone of contempt or fatigue or outrage every now and then (every 50 edits) at the idiocy of wikipedia, but I'm not prone to hysteria, since I lack a womb, and even had I one, it would not bear kittens, metaphorically or otherwise, but something more monstrous like a dictionary of etruscan.Nishidani (talk) 17:34, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Your reversion[edit]

May I asked what I wrote that what biased and not just the inclusion of facts? Looking at your page you seem to biased and a bit antisemitic, I think I'll consult more neutral parties. --monochrome_monitor 10:24, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

(1) Accusation that I am ‘a bit antisemitic’
(2)'deleted my question, convo with you will get me no where (blatant antisemite),' i.e., deletion accompanied by a repeat of the charge, adding insult to the original offence.
You cannot be 'a bit antisemitic': the term 'antisemitic' is absolute - either one is, or is not, antisemitic. This is recognized in the second edit, with its summary, where 'a bit' becomes 'blatant'. One can be a blatant antisemite, as opposed to a discreet antisemite. T.S. Eliot is an example of the latter, Ezra Pound of the former. Nishidani (talk) 11:17, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
(3) On being reported, and when note was made of these remarks, the editor replied.

'It wasn't exactly a personal attack, I asked him to tell me what I said that was biased and noticed on his page vilification of Israel and contempt of being accused of Jew-baiting. I deleted it in exasperation because I didn't want to get into an argument especially when I read his comments on Jews being like Nazis.'

'contempt of being accused of Jew-baiting.' One can be 'in contempt of court'. One cannot, in English, be '(in) contempt of being accused' (of Jew-baiting or anything else). I guess the meaning is, 'Nishidani is contemptuous of accusations that he is a Jew-baiter'. If so, then, that's true. I view accusation slung my way in this regard with contempt, and therefore this is a compliment. But, given the solecistic writing, the meaning probably was intended to be negative: 'Nishidani, when confronted with complaints that he is a 'Jew-baiter' (i.e., an antisemite), brushes off these serious charges with an insouciant contempt, without addressing the gravamen of the charges. If so, then the statement is wrong. I documented and refuted these charges.
As to my commenting that Jews' are like Nazis, that is a fiction with no evidence in these archives. It's worse than fiction, because I'm on wikipedia also because I am militantly opposed to any ethnic or group stereotypes which brand or categorize individuals who happen to be Irish, Eskimoes, Jewish or Martians as, ipso facto, exemplars of a collectivist identity. There is no such thing as a 'Jew', or an 'Irishman', understood as an identifiable type of ethnic character. There are only individuals. Antisemitism's fundamental premise is that if someone is Jewish, his/her basic identity is defined by that circumstance, and not by who he or she happens to be individually, Like all racism, the abstraction annihilates the individual by its reductiveness of the person to a type. Nishidani (talk) 12:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

person that reverted me is a total tool who advertises the fact that he's been accused of antisemitism as a sort of badge of honor on his page.

Okay, that clarifies what he meant beneath the screwed up syntax. Whatever, 4 insults in the space of an hour, even while under report is a good definition of chutzpah. The problem is not WP:AGF, really. The problem is that the editor doesn't read the sources, is unfamiliar with the scholarship, on pages he fiddles with, and instead, rewrites text according to his personal historical knowledge, which is, to be polite, extremely patchy, and self-evidently culled from hasbara-type sketches of 'positions to adopt' when arguing about Palestine/Israel.Nishidani (talk) 12:51, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

:(5)'he has been called antisemitic many times before. I'm just one of many to object.'Monochrome Monitor.

Nishidani (talk) 18:41, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

As to my commenting that Jews' are like Nazis, that is a fiction with no evidence in these archives. It's worse than fiction, because I'm on wikipedia also because I am militantly opposed to any ethnic or group stereotypes which brand or categorize individuals who happen to be Irish, Eskimoes, Jewish or Martians as, ipso facto, exemplars of a collectivist identity. There is no such thing as a 'Jew', or an 'Irishman', understood as an identifiable type of ethnic character. There are only individuals. Antisemitism's fundamental premise is that if someone is Jewish, his/her basic identity is defined by that circumstance, and not by who he or she happens to be individually, Like all racism, the abstraction annihilates the individual by its reductiveness of the person to a type. Nishidani (talk) 12:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

person that reverted me is a total tool who advertises the fact that he's been accused of antisemitism as a sort of badge of honor on his page.

Okay, that clarifies what he meant beneath the screwed up syntax. Whatever, 4 insults in the space of an hour, even while under report is a good definition of chutzpah. The problem is not WP:AGF, really. The problem is that the editor doesn't read the sources, is unfamiliar with the scholarship, on pages he fiddles with, and instead, rewrites text according to his personal historical knowledge, which is, to be polite, extremely patchy, and self-evidently culled from hasbara-type sketches of 'positions to adopt' when arguing about Palestine/Israel.Nishidani (talk) 12:51, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Your use of the word "Hasbara", which is itself a misnomer, proves your bias. I know nothing about and have zero participation with any activist community, I added facts and figures and dates and clarifying phrases. If you object to any of my points that's on you to say which and why instead of painting a portrait of me as uninformed without actually calling anything I said into question. You did compare someone to a Nazi, which is per Godwin's Law, almost always a gross exaggeration. "Hitler once said:’ We shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jew.' Manfred Henningsen, ‘The Politics of Purity and Exclusion,’ Björn H. Jernudd, Michael J. Shapiro (eds.), The Politics of Language Purism, Mouton de Gruyter ‎1989 pp.31-52 p.48 Same pathology in the sock who thinks eliminating Christians, Europeans, Arabs and wikipedia will somehow secure the survival of Israel. Even if that happened I would survive, I guess, being a pagan, and only 'European' by adoption. Then again, if wikipedia was killed off, I might just, qua Nishidani, croak with it!" I'm not sure what you were addressing here but to mention Nazis is at best insensitive. Looking at your talk page I see that you are "in cohoots" with many other biased editors. For example, you edited the article on Israeli assassinations but were requested to comment on the deletion of "list of Palestinian rockets attacks into Israel." Huldra, a friend of yours, was extremely hostile to me on my talk page, assuming I was some sort of duplicate account because I knew what NPOV meant even though I was new (I had asked another user what it meant). Adding Zero to the list via reporting me just shows this is a witch hunt. I did not break the rule in question and you know it but are looking for something to condemn me for. Go ahead, continue with your righteous indignation. But ask yourself, per occam's razor, is it more probable that you are an antisemite or that everyone else is an "anti-anti-semitic" (ridiculous term) Jew? You called me racist, and I didn't harp on that, because I'm trying to drop the issue. Take your outrage elsewhere, maybe the Electronic Intifada or Richard Finklestein, whose works you have referenced. I have some minor pro-Israel bias but you have an extreme anti-Israel bias, its obvious we wont agree, I'll leave the articles you hound alone even if their neutrality is questionable.--monochrome_monitor 18:50, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I will remind you that I deleted the comment and you chose to reinstate it.

I HAVE read the historical scholarship.Monochrome Monitor

Take your outrage elsewhere, maybe the Electronic Intifada or Richard Fink''le''stein

HAD you read the historical scholarship you would not have written Richard Finklestein for Norman Finkelstein,evidently confusing Tikun Olam's Richard Silverstein with the historian of modern Palestine, Norman Finkelstein. Please note that Finklestein is written Finkelstein.Nishidani (talk) 19:46, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I will admit to that mistake though I didn't analyze it that way, it was just the name I was thinking of and it sounded right. I had just read an article critical of that guy for recycling of antisemitic candards (saying Holocaust remembrance serves the the "Jewish elite" and is an "extortion racket". I'm not sure what you think of the guy but I'll refrain from saying more lest you feel otherwise. I have not read either official pro-israel nor pro-palestinian sources. I have read sources documenting the politics of the region in the early 20th century and its important to include objective facts (palestinians are those who lived in the mandate 2 years before the war) instead of just retrospective revisionism. For example the article assumes genetic similarities to mean direct descendence and says Palestinians are the successors of everyone who has lived there. Not objective. --monochrome_monitor 20:10, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

An Apology[edit]

Hello again. I apologize for my unfounded libeling of you as antisemitic. I only skimmed your page and decided without credence that you reverted my edit due to an ulterior motive because it was easier than actually debating it. I certainly won't vilify you again. I hope that we can both make Wikipedia a more comprehensive knowledge base while avoiding confrontation in the meantime. Thanks, (and I'll be more careful about omitting my nonfinite verbs!) --monochrome_monitor 00:23, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi Nishidani. I hope you are not as depressed by the human condition as I am at the mo. I mean everything, Ukraine/Russia, Gaza, the ongoing oppression of Tibet and the I went off-line for ten days, to chill, in an idyllic Norfolk village. Gardening helped :)

I am mentoring MM, I decided to shortly before I left. I should have "publicised" it somehow, or told MM, but I didnt. I think if I had been around, we all could have agreed to put it away days ago. I have spoken to her, and I reproduce fully my initial email, knocked out about 2 hrs after I got home. I trust MM will not object.

Hi Georgia :)

Now listen up.

a/ I am not happy with you calling Nishi d an anti-semite. As a Jew who was 16 in 1978 allow me some advantage here. I can smell an anti-semite at 12,000 miles and no, neither he nor Sean are. I have studied N's writings through a microscope, my anti-semite detector lens. It reads zero. His writing has always been deeply respectful of the Jewish people and religion, and has explicitly and repeatedly spelled out the positive aspects of the state of Israel. He admires its democratic institutions and it's plurality, its scientific and cultural and economic achievements. He just demands from his own POV, a moralistic action-based series of measures from Israel. He is not a existential Israel rejectionist. He holds to the 2 state solution as far as I can see. The same seems to go for Sean. As for user pages, my own handle alone is provocation enough to the inexperienced ;)

b/ I advise you go to N's page and apologise. You can freely quote the contents of these mails. Then we can see what we can do about that scappy mess of a fight that I am wading through. Have you been banned in any way? It does not look like it from my scan-reading so far. I will go to N's page too if necessary. We have mutual repect. Say I was out of town as your mentor and take full responsibility. Never throw the AS charge around Georgia, unless you are DAMN sure, and you have consulted with me.

Apart from that you are doing ok. You will be intellectually roughed up sometimes, but you will grow. IMPROVE YOUR GRAMMAR. LOL



Please forgive youth Nish. Anyway, I shall be keeping her out of trouble, and getting her faculties sharpened to deal with the formidible intellectual standard required of contributors to any aspect of I/P on Wikipedia, crucially in the intelligent selection of strong RS. Cheers N Irondome (talk) 02:55, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
A leeuwenhoekian linguist would note that troubling confusing of 'it's' for 'its' in your email, but ignore it because the orthographic peccadillo is expunged by the generosity of the sentiments in my regard. Thanks. It's a wet summer here, but precisely for that reason, my gardens thrive, though, mindful of Shakespeare's fondness for the tender-horned snails that proliferate under such conditions, much of the day is spent picking those creatures, with their gypsy-waggoned, vardo-shells, off the cabbages and lettuce and moving them over to a lush abandoned olive grove where they can feed off weeds, and do less damage. As I harvest and transport upwards of 200 a day, I think it's like editing: one doesn't 'attack' the problematical agent, one just nudges them off grounds where their presence conflicts with the slow growth of life. Cheers Nishidani (talk) 10:10, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Reading and listening list. Contributions only of original and incisive quality will be appreciated[edit]

Takes-the-cake-award for the mainstream article that best manages to ignore what it promises, in order to slam the other side.

Masterpiece of disinformation The question posed:'So what resources are the two sides using in this conflict?' is answered by a detailed breakdown of Hamas rocket types (assault), and single allusion to one system of Israeli defense, Iron Dome (nothing of Merkava tanks, Soltam M71 guns, Paladin M109 howitzers, Hellfire missiles, Apache and Cobra helicopters, F-16s with bomb loads of 100 kilos to the GBU-28 "Deep Throat" buker busters, flechette bombs,etc.etc. etc)
4 pictures dealing with Hamas rockets. 2 dealing with damage in Gaza. One picture of a tank (no damage please, we're British). One picture of Iron Dome. Perfectly representative of the weaponry, obviously. Takes the cake indeed. Kingsindian (talk) 18:00, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Nope. Marcus has been topped, and is now runner-up.

The U.N. breakdown of 495 “children” killed, however, is greatly overblown. Why? Because the U.N. deems anyone below the age of 18 a “child,” which is totally unrealistic. Booth overlooks the fact that in Gaza, under Hamas indoctrination, children transition to adulthood at a much earlier age. They’re no longer “children” when they’re 17, 16, 15, or even farther on down for quite some years. Whether in Gaza schools or summer camps, Hamas transmits its brand of terrorism when kids are still in elementary grades. They reach adulthood far earlier than at age 18.

Evidently hadn't read Michael Kaplan, wondered at the implications of a bar mitzvah (transition to adulthood), or asked himself why then does everyone call the lads, one of whom was doing IDF military service, in the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers, 'boys, children, teenagers (and rightly so). Unbelievably crass (inhumane).

Timeline reconstructions of the prior events deemed relevant to the casus belli.


there are signs that some in government are taking notice. Yuval Steinitz, the strategic-affairs minister, is seeking 100m shekels to co-ordinate efforts by the army, the foreign ministry, the government press office and other bodies to combat delegitimisation. In the recent Gaza campaign, the government has co-opted universities to its war effort. Several have established “war rooms” with banks of computers where student volunteers use army talking-points to rebut social-media attacks.

The following is neither incisive nor original, but is RS, perhaps for the article on Bouvard et Pécuchet

'The Israeli approach described here is substantively different from current Western strategic thinking on dealing with non-state military challenges. Western thinking is solution-oriented. This explains part of the lack of understanding for what Israel is doing.’

I.e. The authors have established that there is 'foreign' thinking, what you get in Western civilization, and Israeli thinking. The former has no irrelevance and is in a certain sense culpable, when applied to the exceptional world of Israel, of misunderstanding Israeli policy, which does not believe in solutions other than that of regularly 'mowing the terrorists' lawn' in order to ensure 'the establishment of a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety without constant indiscriminate terror'. The break with the Western world consists in the total elision of the Other from the equation, for inclusion of the adversary's predicament would imply that 'Palestinian residents can live in safety without constant indiscriminate terror.' Quite remarkable and unutterably crass. Nishidani (talk) 09:53, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
That is in of Herodotus (Book V.92 ζ 2-3), and it helps of course clarify the idiom of mowing a lawn, though the source for that is Biblical. More incisive is Thucydides (Book V.84-116), Melian dialogue, which sums up what happened. In terms of outcomes, justice is a function of rough parity in the capacity to destroy an adversity, whereas preponderance of power, more usual, means you just wipe the other out, which is the norm, and has nothing to do with defending democracy, civilization and all the other hot air blown round events as they happen.
The article is very solid, but makes a fundamental error in confounding 'Israelis' with IDF war strategy. The options are those chosen by a military and political elite and go back to the Lavon period, when it was decided that a strategy of appearing to go 'crazy' with overwhelming force was the default mode for confronting crises, trumping diplomacy and rational escalation. Nishidani (talk) 15:01, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I had indeed heard of the "going crazy" strategy before, like when Tzipi Livni vulgarly said that she demanded "real hooliganism" in the 2008-9 war. But I think the article is more dealing with the US side of it, enabling Israel's actions. "Of course, Israelis do care about their larger standing in the world and rightly fear isolation, but they figure they are safe so long as they have American public opinion in their corner."
  • Regarding the Melian Dialogue, I had only heard of Thucydides' famous dictum "The strong do what they can, the weak suffer as they must". But reading the Wikipedia page, the whole Athenian-Melian argument seems to have played out in eerie similarity. The "gods are on our side, because we are standing for what is right" argument, can be secularized in today's world by international law. The "Spartan kin" argument, is analogous to the Arab leaders. The "we are neutral" analogy is not perfect, but the previous 2012 ceasefire demonstrated Hamas' accomodation. The "we should not submit without a fight because of cowardice" is the argument for Hamas' firing rockets even as they know they are no match for Israeli firepower. And finally, the end result is the same: The Melians/Gazans do not accept the arguments that they should lie down and surrender. Kingsindian (talk) 15:56, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I am assuming that you will accept good quality sources from a differing POV, N? Makes it more useful as a resource. This space is actually the germ of an excellent concept. To compare and briefly discuss strong RS of differing POV without corrupting mainspace with premature inclusion. More importantly, a Scriptorium where sources can be critiqued and if neccesary, be removed. I see an organic development of thought here. You have provided a formidable list. Will you allow other comments on the sources to be briefly given under each entry? Concise, very, discussing weaknesses if present. Regards Irondome (talk) 01:33, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I've been away. Of course. I meant this as a ref. guide to articles that might be used for wiki articles (see now Ynet above. It's not a good paper, but the evidence was there from the start, as the evidence from Jewish history is overwhelming that there is nothing anomalous in defending one's position from within the thick of civilian areas, or using synagogues (the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv, the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem), hospitals and ambulance transport to store or ferry arms David Cesarani,Major Farran's Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain's War Against Jewish Terrorism, Da Capo Press 2009 p.41 (to cite just one of dozens I have on file. Yossi Melman's review of Rephael Kitron, "Eretz Yisrael Hanisteret:Sippuram Shel Ha'slikim Ve'toldotehem" ("The Hidden Land of Israel:The Story and History of the Secret Weapons Caches" ) in the Haaretz English version (27 January 2011) shows the process of elision. In the Hebrew version, details are given of using synagogues and child centres as places for arms caches, This was excised in the translation (What a community is willing to admit privately is never 'washed' as the proverb says, before a foreign public)
What is, clinically, interesting for the student of the area is that almost everything that occurs, is recursive and the accusations are reflexive, even down to antecedents to the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers like the Irgun's lynching of Clifford Martin and Sergeant Mervyn Paice, and the Abu Khdeir's kidnapping, which uncannily mimicked Alexander Rubowitz's kidnapping and murder in a forest by the British. Of course Menachem Begin went on to be Prime Minister, as did other 'terrorists' like Yitzhak Shamir and Ariel Sharon, and are glorified by mainstream history. What fascinates me is the way practices and incidents typologically identical between the two sides (Jewish past and Palestinian present) are spun differently now. It's not quite 'fascinating' as a farcical gloss on the stupidity of modern journalism, reportage, and commentary, which time and again proceeds without any sense of historical irony, because writing to a contemporary deadline means one doesn't consult the past, and in any case, one ruins the John Waynesque plot of civilizing the wilderness. The only people aware of the analogies, like Uri Avnery, are never listened to, by youngsters who appear not to read books, or politicians (who don't read books by definition). My only reserve is bad faith (in articles), or an excess of passionate sincerity drowning out the process of threshing out the dry germinal facts from the wet chaff of spun chat. Everything that the Israeli and US press finds repulsive about Hamas's strategy played a role in the foundation and consolidation of Israel (and many other nations' history).Nishidani (talk) 15:01, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Norman Finkelstein, HRW Whitewashes Israel, The Law Supports Hamas: Some Reflections on Israel’s Latest Massacre, Jadaliyya, 20 Jul 2014. Some interesting thoughts on whether Hamas is committing "war crimes" by using "belligerent reprisals". This argument was also made in Finkelstein's book "Knowing Too Much" regarding Hezbollah. Though I have not seen any other international law expert agree with him. Still it is interesting. Kingsindian (talk) 15:24, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Nishidani, thanks for offering many powerful, insightful analyses over the last few months. I recommend this highly informative satire, by Rap News. May not satisfy the requirements of an RS in WP articles, but does a good job highlighting the key similarities between the events leading to the establishment of the US and Israel, and the current behavior of the US and Israeli elites. Also features Norman Finkelstein, and a creative interpretation of Scarlett Johansson's promotion of Soda Stream. Very incisive, penetrating commentary, in my view. (My favorite line: "Palestinian suicide homes ramming themselves into peaceful Israeli bulldozers.") Regards, IjonTichy (talk) 17:03, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • A very good article, easily satisfying RS, by Guy Rolnik, on the socio-economic impact of the Israeli assault(s) on Gaza on Israeli society. For the past week or so I wanted to translate it from Hebrew and use in WP articles but cannot find the time. Highly recommended for those who can read Hebrew. Regards, IjonTichy (talk) 17:08, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Raimond Gaita edited a book on an earlier stage of the conflict, Gaza: Morality, Law & Politics,UWA 2010, and briefly comments on this latest one in his interview with Philip Adams here. Even a fine thinker like him gets the chronology wrong, but the final question assumes that the civilian casualty level might have been acceptable (a)had Israel relented, withdrawn its settlements and allowed the Palestinians to achieve statehood and (b) Hamas then attacked (as, unknown to him, it did not this time) such an Israel, from the Gaza Strip.Nishidani (talk) 21:22, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

The larger picture

It was more interesting for the other details. I don't think anything the US administrations say publicly has much interest. After 1967, it was decided that Israel was the terrestrial aircraft carrier they needed to 'stabilise' and control the Middle East, a proxy in 'the great game'. Yesterday Obama noted that “To have scratched out of rock this incredibly vibrant, incredibly successful, wealthy and powerful country is a testament to the ingenuity, energy and vision of the Jewish people." Well, 'scratching out of rock' is an odd spin on the facts of ethnic cleansing, water resource expropriation, and carpetbagging, heavily financed by US outlays. Had a nuanced strategy prevailed, it might have been different. The West Bank's Jordanian educational system before the occupation began, in 1967, imposed free and compulsory education for 12 years, and Palestinians leapt at the opportunity, the growth in education outstripping demographic growth by a factor of three times. The result was that 44.6% of the Palestinian age-group of 15-17 receiving a secondary education before the 2nd nakba of 67, as compared to 22.8% for Israel (Elias H. Tuma and Haim Darin-Drabkin, The Economic Case for Palestine, Croom Helm 1978 p.44). Percentually double, with Palestinian enrolment rates superior to those in any other Arab country and thus, had the $150 billion in aid given to Israel (1967-2005) been proportionally distributed also to Gaza and the West Bank for infrastructural development, we would probably be rephrasing that flattery less in terms of ethnic uniqueness:“To have scratched out of rock these incredibly vibrant, incredibly successful, wealthy and powerful pair of countries is a testament to the ingenuity, energy and vision of the Jewish and Palestinian people, and America can be proud of the key role its largesse played in financing the formation of two successful Middle Eastern States as models for the region, in terms of ethnic coexistence, entrepreneurial flair, commitment to education, and multiculturalism." The Palestinian diaspora is just a rerun of 70 CE., with similar results, though probably it will take less than 2,000 years to return home. The US is a great creator of failed states, and their exceptionalist success in underwriting the engineering of Israel serves to paper over the folly. It's quite remarkable that even in choked Gaza, some 38,000 of the 900,000 under 18 year olds managed to do their high school final exams this year, mostly studying by lamplight. Nishidani (talk) 10:54, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

. A combat manual of the Shejaiya Brigade of Hamas advises its fighters to deploy in densely populated areas because “the soldiers and commanders must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and civilian facilities,”

The sentence is self-contradictory, and it is amazing that Wieseltier, a very close writer most times, outside this area, misses it. This all over the blogosphere, along with a non-relable source arguing it is a fake (IDF Hamas Human Shield Manual a Sloppy Forgery - The Evidence [UPDATED August 8th]).Ashley Fantz, 'Why are so many civilians dying in Hamas-Israel war?,' CNN August 6, 2014 writes:

The IDF said Monday it found a "Hamas combat manual" that IDF says proves the group uses its people as human shields. A CNN translation of the two pages posted by the IDF did not find specific statements that Hamas uses its own civilian population as human shields, but one section discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed. CNN could not confirm the authenticity of the manual, and neither the IDF nor Hamas could be reached for comment.

The issue is of some importance, and I cannot yet see good mainstream newspapers analysing the manual? Nishidani (talk) 21:48, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I follow most of his interviews but missed that. The phrase you highlight of course glosses Golda Meir's 1969 statement:'When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.' It's a more deviously sophisticated because utterly persuasive and ineludibly false, version of what General Nelson A. Miles told Geronimo with arch realism, according to the memory of an Indian scout and interpreter, Kaiteh. I.e. that Apache attacks on settlers stealing their land was illegal, and, unless they surrendered and became meek reservations Indians (Palestinians in West Bank bantustan), he would have no choice but to commit genocide by exterminating the tribe and every last one of their children. The most important thing about Chomsky's testimony is that he is an outstanding bulwark against the kind of antisemitism, which, in the days of excessive internet visualization of on the ground realities and juvenile illiteracy, is an ominous threat only men of his background and serene, unhysterical rationality, informed by a profound humanitarianism that is also very deeply grounded in the ethics of Jewish modernity, can thwart.Nishidani (talk) 17:01, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
'Degeneration' implies a falling off from something 'noble' in the past. I think standards are fairly coherent over time:)Nishidani (talk) 19:33, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
One would underwrite every jot and tittle were it not for two small lapses: the three teenagers were not 'settlers': one was. Hamas did not fire off rockets to protest the West Bank mass arrests, Islamic Jihad and others did, desultorily. Hamas started firing when Israel 'took out' several militants within its territory, rising to the bait. Thanks.Nishidani (talk) 19:10, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

“What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?”

Answer. I wouldn't shoot his child to kill him. About 40 yards separated Oz'S house from that of Sari Nusseibeh, unknowingly their playgrounds were separated by a patch of wire dividing Jerusalem. One of the two grew up. Nishidani (talk) 19:33, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, to answer such an obscene, misleading question is already to fall into a trap. The analogy is in no way representative of the actual situation. The purpose of such analogies is to direct minds towards simplistic, loaded hypotheticals instead of reality.

Kingsindian (talk) 21:19, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Particularly good if too brief. As opposed to newspaper breaking news style, which reflects spin, this gives a glimpse into what the technicians of war think about. They don't read govcernment handouts primed to sway emotions and opinion: they look at statistics, battle logic, the array of forces, and the strategic logic. All the rest (99%) is just hot air to them. Could be used over several articles.
I mentioned this on the talk page a week or so ago, but didn't know where to put it in. Got a chance to include it in the military deployments section which you recently started. A good analysis by a longtime knowledgeable commentator on Palestinian affairs. He has some good contacts with both Hamas and Fatah. (btw, fixed reference to Foreign Affairs, instead of Foreign Policy.)

Kingsindian (talk) 16:54, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm sorry I can't edit much in these articles - apart from 1r, serious time-consuming problems have to be addressed in real life. Perry's article has many details, on rocket types, effective explosive power and range, that should be harvested. These wars are also exercise grounds for tactical and technological developments and they are far more informative than dull sections like 'Reactions' etc., which clutter that page.Nishidani (talk) 17:08, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think we read anything in order to be convinced of a truth. We read this genre of work to find out whether we can trust the writer's integrity qua fidelity to complexity, and the essay only confirms my trust in Shatz. I can't see his point about Fisk's 2006 book. The latter's pages on a figure like al-Husayni, to cite one instance, do exactly what Shatz advises. Thanks again. It's very rich and requires several rereadings. I'm tempted to re-imagine it by thinking of Russians under Stalinism analogically.Nishidani (talk) 20:08, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
@Nishidani: Usually my issue with very long pieces like this are that there are some insights there which I can agree with, but I find it hard to see the punchline, so to speak. I find it hard to see a thread of argument connecting, for example the Algerian section, to the Lebanese section, to the Palestine section, to Fisk's writings. It is good to be humble about the limits of your knowledge, as Shatz advises, but one also has to have a manageable grasp of the situation in mind as a guide to action. If one analyzes too much, considers the situation in all complexity etc. one can be paralyzed by it. How much sophistication does one really need to see that the bombing of Gaza is wrong?
The bulk of the article is about Algeria and the relationship with France. It is true that many colonial structures have been overthrown and still the post-colonial societies find their own problems. But what implication does this have? One has to deal with manageable problems. Colonialism was a problem, and that had to be confronted, while of course not forgetting about other issues. After re-reading the article several times, I was more confused about the argument than anything else. "World is complex. Prediction is hard". That is too harsh an assessment, for sure, but not too unfair, I think.
The other issue is that all points made can be turned against themselves. He discusses French occupation of Algeria and Syrian occupation of Lebanon and praises Samir Kassir's analysis, who was an uncompromising opponent of the Syrian occupation. But has Lebanon figured out its future after the Syrian occupation was overthrown? It seems to me that the difficulties faced by Lebanon are no different from the difficulties faced by Algeria. Similar things can be said about Arab states lack of concern about Gaza today (when did they ever really care?) Kingsindian (talk) 21:09, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
It helps to read it 'psychoanalytically', as the reflection of a person who happens, among many things, to be born 'Jewish', i.e. with an imposed identity, of a kind however that had no identitarian confusion of 'being Jewish' with 'attachment to Israel'. All of the examples he cites are examples of what occurs when a national identity is premised upon overthrowing the hegemony of an intrusive 'Other' (as 'Israel' keeps intruding on his sense of himself), only to find that once the 'Other' is disposed of, the identitarian argument collapses partially because nationalism corrupts the promise of the future identity on behalf of which an occupation was challenged. Nationalism disindividualizes: it is collectivist. He is talking therefore about his plight as as Jew subject to both massive identitarian expectations by his originative community and, equally, he is likewise subject to the temptation to reverse those expectations, but rejection only leads to mirroring the inauthenticity negatively, i.e. by espousing mechanically the very opposite of what is socially or historically expected of one, which is no solution. The plight of Palestinians is, analogically, seen as similar: they are thrust into a similar scenario of discursive swamping, and his provisory answer is - just ground your personal identity and writerly vocation in the exploration of relationships, that go beyond stereotypes of the nation, the 'other', 'Orientalism' or broad-brush conceptions of what is, ultimately, a world which corrupts our experience by excessive abstractions. I've driven 1,000 miles today, and am too tired to rephrase this neatly, but that's a first impression. Jews broke out into the modern world as astonishingly creative individuals as they leapt into the mainstream of their professions and societies, and in Zionism they are losing that genius by identitarian politics as pressure from Israel to back that state begins to politicize the diaspora into collectivist defensiveness (as you get in wikipedia): Arabs are a huge congerie of groups knit by an historical heritage of abstract groupish identity that is unravelling, whose spell is broken, as experiments towards nationalism collapse into collectivist dictatorships or sectarian fanaticism, and must find their feet as individuals if their societies are to be reconstructed - two processes going past each other in the opposite directions - and his solidarity is with those individuals like Raja Shehadeh and Samir Kassir who have managed the achieve an autonomy of conscience immune to collectivist myths, something in less dramatic terms, he perceives as programmatic also for himself as a writer reporting on both worlds. Nishidani (talk) 22:03, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Food for thought on Gaza? See Sandy Tolan's article below which has further background details useful for articles dealing with the run up to the three wars, and to the Gilad Shalit article.Nishidani (talk) 17:35, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Uri Avnery'Eyeless in Gaza,'CounterpunchAugust 15-17, 2014.(pasta was banned as an important that aided the enemy)
  • Sandy Tolan 'How the Gaza War Could Have Been Avoided,' The Nation 10 August 2014. 'Could have' is a 'if my uncle had tits he'd be my auntie' argument, but many details not well know, are neatly marshalled.
  • Jeff Halper, 'Globalizing Gaza,' Counterpunch 18 August 2014. (Very good prescient article.) The blowback of precedents in Israel's innovations in controlling Palestinians will eventually dismantle what little remains of Western civic traditions and institutions, affecting us all. It's not Palestinians I see, but what states will feel licensed to do in the future).
I have to say that I am much less pessimistic about this threat of changing of law and institutions. Sure, Israel can try, but it is not getting too much traction. This is clear to me from the article itself, but of course, I am not an expert in law. As a related but different point, it is curious how many things are first "tried out" in the colonies and then imported back home. I read in a history of India that even institutions like secular state schools and large open cemeteries (instead of small parish graves) were first tried out in India and then were transplanted back into Britain. I have also read of Alfred McCoy's work of surveillance techniques in the Phillipines imported back into the US. So this is indeed a potential threat. Kingsindian (talk) 16:42, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Old men can enjoy being prophets of doom or pessimists, because they won't be around when the shit they predict is supposed to hit the fan they imagine will be there:).Nishidani (talk) 19:32, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I have selected the final quote from Father Jenco on the panel (about 5 minutes worth - transcribed here but worth listening to directly). A blast from the past, which I was reminded of when I saw the deeply moving testimony by the Christian Peacemakers Team on Nishidani's user page. The whole series of 6 videos is great and shows how the rhetoric hasn't changed in decades, though the villains may have. As a confirmed atheist (though none of this New Atheism business), I find somehow that the testimonies by religious figures touch me the most deeply, probably because they have been in this business for thousands of years. Kingsindian (talk) 14:28, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks indeed for that. To comment would be glib. I don't know about the last part, though I know what you mean (it's identical to what Norman Finkelstein says 01:32 here, as someone who is indifferent to religion, but has had a deep convivial working relationship and friendship with monks who have no issue with my paganism. Ideological atheism or secularism is as stupid as tub-thumping from monotheists of all faiths, of course. In this, one must be like Lévi-Strauss's bricoleur 'savage', scouring the jungle of the world for what is fruitful and one's mind for whatever symbolic codes make sense of the blur of experience, and in that sense. Amazonian indians know that usually near every poisonous plant, there is a healing plant that yields an antidote. In religions, for every seed of violence the Dawkins and Hitchens of our planet detect, there is a companionate balm of wisdom and tolerance. It's just that the former has more selling power politically. Religious orders that are meditative, unpolitical, detached and compassionate, for that reason, have depths of insight that move us, even if they remain unheard by their larger congregations. I note Father Jenco's page would shame his spirit: there is nothing in it that reflects the profundity of his struggle against hatred, and too much dwelling on the viciousness of those he forgave, and the ostensibly vindictive greed of his heirs. It's embarrassing. (Christian Peacemaker Teams have newsletters one gets daily: everything that the New York Times never notes of what happens in the territories, hour by hour, is scrupulously noted in them. Can't be used for articles, and probably not advisable to subscribe to: it's like living with bulletins from the Warsaw ghetto on the hour, for years. Nishidani (talk) 17:10, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
The Avneri piece is somewhat conspiratorial in tone (though conspiracies are not always wrong). Here is another analysis, sidestepping the question of whether there was a conspiracy to assassinate Deif or not. Kingsindian (talk) 21:13, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
“Listen, we know what it’s like to kill civilians in war,” said the senior U.S. officer. “Hell, we even put it on the front pages. We call it collateral damage. We absolutely try to minimize it, because we know it turns people against you. Killing civilians is a sure prescription for defeat. But that’s not what the IDF did in Shujaiya on July 21. Human shields? C’mon, just own up to it.” Kingsindian (talk) 16:58, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Mmm. I'd lay a bet against the retentiveness of my alzheimerish mind against that of such soldiers any day. They've forgotten the Fallujah, though unlike Israeli commanders, U.S. generals have no problem in actually sending in their men to fight a war even at high cost, and secondly their short-term soldier/civilian ratios were 'better', in terms of standard battle practice.Nishidani (talk) 10:51, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Now that I've actually read it, (and used it for the Battle of Shuja'iyya page) I retract my smart-arsed comment. A very good technical assessment of what is going on, free of ideological blinkers: the kind of real analysis lacking on the actually pages we are writing. It implicitly concludes that the tactic adopted constituted a war crime, ('indefensible'), one military's assessment of a brother military's tactics, and highly unusual. Thanks indeed.Nishidani (talk) 12:46, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, I had meant to say, but forgot to add, that one should not put too much credence on self-serving US claims of reducing civilian casualties, but the description of military techniques used is very good. I have used some of it in the military section on the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict page. But definitely a good source for Shujaiyya page. Kingsindian (talk) 13:18, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
A picture is worth a thousand words. More maps here. Kingsindian (talk) 13:23, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
This is a blog, but by a noted scholar of military affairs at King's College. It has the kind of details of who did what (background) that most quick journalism misses. Very good on the Rafah bombing of August 1. His whole blog on the war pays close study.
Jacob Bernays (a relative of Freud's) would always doff his hat in lectures whenever he mentioned the name of Scaliger, in reverent deference to the latter's genius. I do the same (mentally) everytime I listen to, or read, Kaufman.
Not much new in the short but excellent review of history, but comments on "Palestine today" and strategies and tactics are pretty good, as are his comments on Netanyahu. This comment, among many others, jumped out at me: "Both sides (Fatah and Hamas) are equally to blame and both sides should be tirelessly, relentlessly urged to reconcile. Of course the very act of reconciliation between them would be pounced on by Netanyahu as an act of war" Kingsindian (talk) 20:41, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
i.e. here. I listened to a variation of this some months ago, i.e., his 'The Reconquista of Palestine'.
I can't read Arabic, but Bing Translate does an ok job. Kingsindian (talk) 16:32, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
One intuits that much there is not yet in the news and therefore our article, but I couldn't help being distracted by my primary interest, i.e. poetry, since the machine version is brimming over withprovocatively inspired mistranslations. I.e.
  • siggy today certified halkosh?
  • I'm a hyphen to a Hun
  • Israeli novel . . false million percent.(litcrit from Hamas)
  • alleged favorite handcrafted against each
  • If the relationship is based on trust, it is of no use
  • am willing to investigate any issue where Hamas even ghaltet build on SAFA and the whites.
  • Torch: I am what I knew (a challenge to Yahweh's great line)
  • Hoon hyphen with me (a hoon is a flash lout)
  • I can not answer your Highness now, because I am innervated.(T S Eliot)
  • Israel wants to destroy you, but I'm keen to give it a pretext for that. (Mazen to Meshaal)
  • now you are innervated, mesh in your mood
  • Session started and ended with the neurological condition of both parties.
There's material for a great poem there, seriously.Nishidani (talk) 17:32, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for[edit]

your thoughtful commentary here. I know a (very) elderly man who survived the Warsaw uprising and the concentration camps, and he wholeheartedly agrees with you. -Darouet (talk) 19:38, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

May he be blessed with many more of the years denied to those who grew up with him. Some unfortunately think Israel is the Warsaw ghetto (here and here), and fail to see that the more compelling analogy is with Gaza.Nishidani (talk) 21:22, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Nishidani, thanks again for all your work. By the way I recall reading somewhere (don't remember where) that the tactic of inversion, i.e., blaming the (relatively weak) victim as the (overwhelmingly more powerful) aggressor, and painting the aggressor as the victim, was used extensively by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and in fact even thousands of years even before the advent of these two fascist, ancient so-called 'civilizations' whose elite pretended they were 'democratic' or 'republican' (respectively) and 'law abiding' and 'humane and peace-loving.' IjonTichy (talk) 17:19, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it helps to retroject modern concepts like fascism back into antiquity, or the orient or anywhere else in time. Leni Riefenstahl is one thing, the Athenian tragic theatre another: If people in Sderot, or Cicero, or we in our livingrooms, reacted as Leontius did in Plato's Republic Bk.IV 439ff, or as Seneca did in his 7th Epistle, the world would be a saner place.Nishidani (talk) 20:54, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
IjonTichy You make some rather strongly worded and ill-informed statements here

...the ancient Greeks and Romans, and in fact even thousands of years even before the advent of these two fascist, ancient so-called 'civilizations' whose elite pretended they were 'democratic' or 'republican'

What is it that makes you think you have to perspective to even venture such a ludicrous and overreaching comment? What is it that makes you want to demonize the Ancient Greeks and the Romans?
Apologies to Nishidani for intruding here to respond to that.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 23:49, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Harry's gaiters.Nishidani (talk) 19:10, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Remove of a picture of soldiers shielding a boy[edit]

Israeli soldiers shielding a 4-year old Israeli boy during a Hamas rocket attack.[citation needed]

Hi, you removed this picture from 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, and I didn't quite get the reason. Can you elaborate please ? - WarKosign (talk) 18:50, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

See this section in the talk page archives. This was apparently uploaded from the ID flickr account, and constitutes war propaganda. There are serious doubts about its authenticity. Two editors, myself included, gave considered arguments that it looks as though it was a posed photo. Therefore, because of its provenance, because so far no one can track down where it was taken or under what circumstances, because, if it is, as it certainly looks, staged, it is laughably inept (the photographer taking the photo frontally is exposed to the same rocket fire the kid being protected, partially, is apparently exposed to. Note that there is a wall providing a background and, absurdly, the soldiers do not put themselves between the child and the wall: they are holding the boy outwards from the wall, presumably to make the fact that he is a child visible to the photographer, who is standing in the optimal position, despite a threatened rocket about to explode there, to capture the shot frontally. If you've ever protected a child from a threat, the instinct is universal: you grab him in your arms and put the threat to your back, which neither of the two soldiers is doing. Also in the discussion no editor in favour of its inclusion responded to these doubts, it should not be included until much further work is done consensually, if someone can provide the citation asked for. You don't in good practice, add 'stuff' without verifiable sources and then plaster a cit needed tag that might never produce the requested information, particularly when serious doubts exist as to the authenticity of that material.Nishidani (talk) 19:08, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

I particularly like the fact that the sun is overhead but the studio has shadows high to the left and right forming a halo typical of background lighting to throw into relief the central scene, and that the most protective soldier took care to find some paper or a hankerchief to place under his right knee to avoid getting his fatigues dirty.Nishidani (talk) 20:47, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
I hope the child and the two soldiers are safe and healthy and I wish them a long and happy life.
(By the way it looks almost as if one soldier may be pointing at the camera.)
Theodore Postol, the MIT scientist cited in the WP article on Iron Dome, recently gave a long interview (part 1 and part 2) on Democracy Now! where he explained that Israelis - especially soldiers - are well aware of the scientific evidence that shows that in case of a missile attack the best thing to do (if you can't make it to the nearest bomb shelter within 9 seconds after the warning sirens begin to sound) is to lay completely flat on the floor or on the ground, because doing so reduces the probability of serious injury exponentially, compared to standing or even crouching. IjonTichy (talk) 20:24, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks indeed. I didn't think of that, but of course it is true. I'll happily stand corrected, but I think one could write a long essay on what is, unless we have a miracle, wrong about that and screams 'fake' from every pixel. There is no tension in the body of the soldier to the right. The kid's body looks relaxed and intent on some object in his hands, as if this were a game. The rubble is out of place, suggesting a scene where a bomb has already dropped, and the use of the wall to reenact a scenario, rather than anticipating a 'bottle bomb' about to fall, etc.etc.Nishidani (talk) 20:52, 13 August 2014 (UTC)


You seem to be the only one who has a considerable amount of influence regarding that page. I'm surprised how people don't understand the policies regarding WP:SYNTHESIS, WP:OR, AND WP:FRINGE. They want to mention "Levantine origins" in the same sentence as "coalesced in the Roman empire" despite the fact that there's an entire paragraph in the lead covering the former topic. Take a look for yourself. Khazar (talk) 19:06, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Didn't notice this (travelling) will examine.Nishidani (talk) 17:53, 18 August 2014 (UTC)


I forgot about your "to-do" list - so I've set it up near the top of this page, where you can easily find it. It will stay there and will never be archived. --NSH001 (talk) 05:51, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Wickey-nl topic banned indefinitely[edit]

This is an amazing decision, The decision says that "Wickey-nl is temperamentally unsuited to editing this controversial topic area", based wholly on intemperate responses on the WP:AE page. Nobody could point to any edit on article or talk pages which demonstrates this. The evidence presented by Brewcrewer was ignored completely (rightly) and most of the evidence presented by Shrike was also deemed not actionable. There was indeed the issue of bias, but who doesn't have bias in I/P area? I certainly do, and a very strong one.

The exchange on the talk page and the spat with admins was indeed wrong. But it is amazing to me that if Wickey-nl had simply made no statement at all, he would probably not have even got a sanction, except perhaps a warning. This shows me that the admins have wholly made the decision based on responses on the WP:AE page and 'social' skills rather than any edits on actual articles or their talk pages.

I wonder how someone can judge whether someone is suited to edit in an area without editing in the area, or even evaluating the content of the person's edits? Four other editors (including myself) who actually edit in ARBPIA talked about the content of the edits, and giving neutral-to-good assessment, but they were ignored. Coming on the heels of the decision to topic-ban Sean.hoyland, it makes me very sad and annoyed about the ARBPIA sanctions process. Kingsindian (talk) 18:32, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

I want to point that admins usually disregard additional positive comments by involved editors--Shrike (talk)/WP:RX 21:03, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
@Shrike: I do not know much about the process, but what are the comments by editors for, if they are to be disregarded? Kingsindian (talk) 21:11, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
@Kingsindian:Lets say that they given much lesser value, editors from the same side usually defend each other so it obvious that their response have less value that comment from uninvolved editor.--Shrike (talk)/WP:RX 21:49, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
@Shrike: There is some truth to that, I suppose, though that is a very "tribal" way to look at it. Anyway, the uninvolved editors (EdJohnston and Robert McClenon) also only talked about the behaviour on the WP:AE page. The discussion was about calling some editor corrupt etc. I do not know what this has to do with topic ban. If this was the criterion, a full site ban or block was appropriate, as Robert McClenon said. Kingsindian (talk) 22:11, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Could you look at[edit]

Talk:Israelites. And the article itself. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 08:12, 18 August 2014 (UTC)


"This user is no longer very active on Wikipedia as of foals' ages." -- glad this is not true at the moment, although I am acity boy and have no idea what you mean by "foals' ages". We need you. Quis separabit? 16:11, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
One of the defects of English is that it has no specific term for a donkey's offspring other than the generic 'foal'. Had I written 'donkeys' ages' it would have been an exaggeration. I wanted it shorter than that - so thought of replacing the aged donkey with its 'foal', hence the neologism. By the way thanks for that assistance. I miscalculated in creating the page, presuming it was unimaginable to think of a modern state killing a more than a thousand civilian hostages with impunity on a petty pretext. Since I intend to press ahead and finish the list, which will take months, and since we are close to 2,000, there's a size problem looming. I think it will have to be split up into a week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4 etc., series. Your technical mastery and suggestions would be most welcome, as always.Nishidani (talk) 16:47, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

The Tradition[edit]

@Nishidani: Yeah, and well, the tradition is wrong. It has been proven incorrect by DNA analysis. The Kuthim from Iraq would not have the Cohen gene, they would most likely not even be from J1a, but from J2, and if they were from J1a it would not be in the same northwest semitic cluster as the CMH. There are many areas where the tradition is wrong. I just do not think that the Israelites sat around deciding to completely make stuff up just to frustrate the efforts of future archeologists. I think that if a very specific, rather mundane, emphasis is placed in the Tanakh on something like the location of Beth Shemesh, or the northern border of Dan, I don't think they would go out of their way, or even have any incentive, to make nonsense up. For one, the people reading it at the time would have said, wait a second, this is incorrect the border of Dan is not over here. It would discredit the Tanakh in the eyes of the people. Even if you assume the entire Tanakh was written in 400 BCE by Ezra, the people living at the time would have a cultural memory of the borders of their land, their lineages, what distinguished them from other ethnic groups, who their actual kings were, et cetera. It used to be assumed there was no real difference in lineage between Celtic and Germanic nations, now because of DNA testing we know they are founded by two totally different haplogroups, one form R and the other from I. The lineage of the Israelites from a man who lived in the late bronze age, and immigrated to Canaan from the Aramaeans in Syria, I think is most likely true, I don't know, but why would anyone make up a story so specific, that is not even very epic? I mean, if you are going to make up a false origin, why not do it like the Romans or Greeks and claim you were founded by gods who fought some mythological beast, why the idiosyncratic and boring origin of an Aramaean traveler?--Newmancbn (talk) 18:49, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

You can't go round picking and chosing stuff you like and discarding stuff you disagree with.::Read the Bible. How do you know the genetic profile of the Kuthim of Iraq? If you want to know the genetic profile of the Israelites, get permission to examine the 700 skeletons from Lakish'0s cemetary died ca.712 BCE., and, if it survives, extract the DNA. Why all this inference from far-flung populations, and zero interest in Israel in examining skeletal remains that survive, but whose DNA is only mapped if it is Neolithic? The Israelites, so the story goes, came from people who were not Canaanites, who ancestors came from all of the Middle East, like Ur of the Chaldees etc. I'm afraid your comments show no awareness of modern historical scholarship on the ancient Middle East, and genetics is not going to fill in the gaps of this nescience. Ezra and co., had it in for the am-ha-aretz, the masses of people the priestly caste disdained, but who inhabited ancient Palestine and set up strict lineage rules. Most of the genealogies are based on a mix of fantasy and mied traditions: they couldn't even resolve the tribal issue of how to name God, since southern and northern traditions had different words and traditions, some Israelitic tribes holding he had a spouse. In high antiquity, as the wives of the Biblical patriarchs show, people fucked around from tribe to tribe, ethnos to ethnos, and there was no such thing, as is also the case to day, of a quintessential genetically marked population, except for the Andaman islanders and other isolates. I've read thirty of the scientific papers on the genetics of this area often used in wikipedia and almost all make an historian wince for the sheer lack of familiarity with historical research. It's all over Harry Ostrer's book, hopelessly out of key with what any colleague in a department of religious or historical studies could tell him over a snifter of whiskey in 2 minutes. Nishidani (talk) 18:56, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Your standings on Palestine[edit]

Why do you engage yourself in such a controversial topic in the most controversial way? I never understood why a man from Japan would care so much about the Palestinians. Khazar (talk) 18:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Saeki Yoshiro:). Read Jeff Halper's article. I could list twenty major innovations in Israel's handling of Palestinians, innovations that break customary law, which are forming, in the US esp., precedents for changes in laws that will affect citizens. What happens there will probably happen throughout modern Western societies some time in the future. One example: targeted assassinations without due process. That was invented to kill Palestinians. Obama has adopted it to kill US citizens suspected of terrorism. What happened in Ferguson, Missouri, namely the dynamics of the Shooting of Michael Brown takes place every other week in the Palestinian territories, and has so for 3 decades. Palestine is an index of what lies in the future for Western law, and since the precedents set will affect our civil institutions, egotistically, I study Palestinians to imagine what my nephews and nieces might have to live through, unless one foresees in what happens to others an omen of what might well befall those one knows. To me, what happens to Palestinians is analogous to what happened to Jews in the 1930s, and what might happen to people across the world in the bitter regressive future I expect is waiting around the corner. Nishidani (talk) 19:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I read the Halpers article. While it's not incorrect to say that the rhetoric of targeted assassinations can be used elsewhere, it is too misleading to give Israel the credit, in my view. Israel is using tactics which have always been used. "Assymmetrical warfare" was also seen in Algeria and Vietnam. Targeted assassination was also seen in Lebanon and Cuba. This is a matter of power. Israel has overwhelming power against the Palestinians, so it is free to ignore the law. And it does so in a familiar pattern, of other colonial powers. Kingsindian (talk) 20:05, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Israel takes the credit for theorizing its legitimacy. I wrote the introduction of that article where this is outlined. Halper's article gives now other examples of legal scholars lending their wits to justify what is, at the moment, a violation of law in order to remake it, and provide the theoretical underpinnings for the new regimen, one that breaks radically with Western civilization's vaunted systems of law. This, the theorization of racial violence as necessary to save civilization, did not occur under the major colonial powers, whatever they did in practice. They acted hypocritically. These folks are trying to iron out the hypocrisy by legislating draconian measures, that Plato's players in The Laws would envy. And, personally, they are all nice decent, smiling people socially. It is, though obvious, chilling. Nishidani (talk) 20:19, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
So you are Japanese! Your name always threw me off. Khazar (talk) 20:37, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't have a national identity, just passports, and I rarely speak my mothertongue. By the way, the topic area is not 'controversial', except in the minds of people who read mainstream newspapers and watch Fox television. Both Shin Bet analysts and way-left libertarians see this very much as it is, which is obvious.Nishidani (talk) 21:45, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
If any of this speculation relates to my saying "ho mikado" earlier, that was more of a smartass attempt at a reference to the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta I'd just seen than anything else. John Carter (talk) 21:55, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Really now? Then what's your ethnicity and mother tongue? I don't identify with my country neither so I understand your point there. Khazar (talk) 22:42, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I've never empathised with, or understood the attraction of, 'ethnicity', and so can't admit to having one: national identity for me is a sense of primal landscape, nothing else. 8-15% of children are born, unknown to the father, from adultery, and that translates out, over three or more generations into promiscuous origins for most of us. The only friends I made at primary school were immigrants: I instinctively shied away from what others would call 'our kind'. As to my mother tongue, it was a brogue or dialect, different from the 'foreign' language they tweely taught at school. By some freak of circumstances, what Viktor Shklovsky called остранение or as I prefer to translate that, 'de-family-iarization', came naturally to me.
You can't figure much out from handles. Our 'John Carter' only means that he grew up reading Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom tales, and thinks in Martian terms, which is not a bad perspective to adopt, as long as it's tempered by a yen for Gilbert and Sullivan! Nishidani (talk) 09:56, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Amazing. You've typed this much and still haven't revealed anything important about your ethnicity, genetic ancestry, nor the first language you spoke. D:< Khazar (talk) 00:38, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

RE: List of Israeli strikes and Palestinian casualties in Operation Protective Edge[edit]

Hi, unless my bifocals are acting up, I think the header title for the "Day 12 Saturday 19 July" chart is duplicated. I tried to fix by tweaking but couldn't. Quis separabit? 13:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Well with your specs you're picking up more errors than I, eyeglassless on Gaza, manage to note. This is definitely something the quiet unobtrusive genius of User:NSH001 can fix. He watches the page, so let's cross our fingers, hoping he isn't out on one of his marathon runs.Nishidani (talk) 14:09, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Fat chance of running any more marathons any time soon - I had an operation, some time ago, to fix a hernia, but it never seemed to be quite right, and now it's atarting to hurrt again when I move (long story short: I think I got an incompetent surgeon). Anyway, as you can see, I fixed it. --NSH001 (talk) 17:43, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
If only highly paid professionals in medicine, law and politics were as efficient as the unpaid volunteers for wikipedia like yourself. Thanks, N, and hope it heals or the heel that botched it ends up with a truss.Nishidani (talk) 19:35, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Battle comments[edit]

I said parts of the text were POV, I didn't say there weren't legitimate comments in there. However, is there were many POV comments in there it is proper to revert it and allow the user who posted it to fix it and put it back. You now just put back POV comments, as I had clearly explained was the reason I did it. I suggest you either fix up his POV comments or undue your revert. - Galatz (talk) 15:23, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Nope. Your call was that there were POV statements, that called for revert, which shows inexperience and lack of familiarity with policy. NPOV is also secured by the balancing of POVs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a point of view, articles here consist mainly of POVs: we are obliged to see that both parties in a conflict that merits an article get due and balanced representation, and your edit summary ignored this
(b) If you had an objection to a large amount of text, you should not just make a mass revert, but rather address the issue on the talk page, here by giving examples of what you object to. You did not do this, and failed to clarify what you consider to be illegitimate POV statements.
(c) The text was POV before I balanced it. I.e. it discussed the battle as a set of IDF battle moves and details and incidents: there was no mention of what actually was occurring on the other side to thousands of people caught up in the 'hellfire'.
(d) I mention 'hellfire' because if you read Battle of Antietam you will see that 'POV' statement attributed, and given in the text:

The conflagration caused heavy casualties on both sides and was described by Col. Lee as "artillery Hell."[21] Seeing the glint of Confederate bayonets concealed in the Cornfield, Hooker halted his infantry and brought up four batteries of artillery, which fired shell and canister over the heads of the Federal infantry, covering the field. All at once, the cornfield exploded into chaos as a savage battle raged through the area. Men beat each other over the head with rifle butts and stabbed each other with bayonets. Officers rode around on their horses swearing and cursing and yelling orders no one could hear in the noise. Rifles became hot and fouled from too much firing. The air was filled with a hail of bullets and shells.

Lt. Col. Joseph S. Fullerton wrote, "Kennesaw smoked and blazed with fire, a volcano as grand as Etna." Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

All these details are not elidible as POV. They consist of sourced statements made by survivors of the conflict, and are absolutely normative for accounts of war and battles. I could give dozens of examples of this from military history pages.
I suggest in future you familiarize yourself with wiki practice and policy and employ the talk pages before making a mass revert of the kind you just did.Nishidani (talk) 15:44, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

B'Tselem and destruction of homes[edit]

Regarding your edit here. I had earlier included it in the section below, though in a condensed form. So might be just duplication. Kingsindian (talk) 22:04, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Sorry about that. I intended to remove it on seeing your note, but examined both the contexts. Your earlier edit had it in the house destruction section and reads

B'Tselem has documented 59 incidents of bombing and shelling, in which 458 people have been killed.[1]

My edit was in the civilian deaths section and reads

B'tselem has compiled an infogram listing families killed at home in 72 incidents of bombing or shelling, comprising 547 people killed, of whom 125 were women under 60, 250 were minors, and 29 were over 60.(should read:'According to B'tselem's infogram of 72 bombing/shelling incidents involving 547 people among families killed at home, 125 were women under 60, 250 were minors, and 29 were over 60.')[2]

On second thought, given that (a) I consulted the updated B'tselem count and (b) the issue is not house destruction, but civilian families being killed. On reflection I think the data best suits the civilian death section, and the updated ref is more appropriate, which makes me reluctant to revert, though I should have noticed that you had already used part of that source. I am culpable of reduplication, in a sense, but these two factors suggest to me, I will stand corrected of course, that the edit I made is both updated and relevantly positioned thematically. (?)Nishidani (talk) 10:32, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Nishidani You might be right. A bit of duplication here to examine both contexts, which are important (destruction of homes and the indiscriminate killing leading to lots of civilan deaths), might be warranted. Kingsindian (talk) 10:45, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
We'd probably do well to look for a comprehensive source to get down the best neutral calculation of actual housing damage, total, partial etc.. I'll look into it when I get some time. Cheers Nishidani (talk) 11:02, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Historicity of Jesus[edit]

Not necessarily your cup of tea I know but if you wanted to subject yourself to being involved here it would be appreciated as you are probably one of our better informed people in general. John Carter (talk) 18:18, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Actually as you know that's decidedly my cuppa, but I'm 1,600 behind in my Palestinian casualties tally, and that alone will take months. I'll look over it and bookmark it though.(Does it really matter if he existed? Oedipus didn't, yet the myth informs human understading. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's ethics were profoundly Christian, though I figure from his letters he was in fact an atheist).Nishidani (talk) 19:47, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
It's a fucking useless article, John (what's Blainey doing there? He knows zilch about the subject etc.etc.etc.) It's a waste of time trying to fix crap like that, and there's donkeys' loads of it all over the religious area.Nishidani (talk) 20:23, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't disagree. I think the primary concerns are that the article is currently one of the more prominent links in the Jesus sidebar whether it should be or not and that some organization of the topic of "Jesus and history" is in order. That would include the material relating to the John Allegro pipe dream Jesus and the broader Christ myth theory, the quest for the historical Jesus, the reliability of the sources from the era and a whole mess of other articles. Personally I would love to see an article on the pronounced lack of contemporary sources from the first century CE in Israel as well but have no idea where to even look for such material.John Carter (talk) 20:46, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Allegro! A mate stole the hardback version The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross just so I could read all the details of pseudo-Sumerian etymologies, when the book came out, without having to waste time note-taking rapidly in the library. It's still on my shelves, and makes me feel twinges of guilt over the theft. 99% of the religious-historical articles re Near Middle East are painful to read, and I think the only way around this is to take the core articles one by one and work through one at a time methodically to fix them up according to the strictest wiki quality standards and best sourcing. But that means edit-warring with tub-thumpers.Nishidani (talk) 08:53, 23 August 2014 (UTC)


DRN discussion on Hamas rockets.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 03:11, 1 September 2014 (UTC)