Talk:1947 anti-Jewish riots in Aleppo

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These are all the relevant references i can find to either "Aleppo pogrom" or "Aleppo riots", where the word pogrom or riot is used as part of the name rather than as a secondary descriptor:

Can anyone find any others supporting pogrom? If not, I believe the article name should be changed per WP:COMMONNAME.

Oncenawhile (talk) 09:35, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I think pogrom is more specific reference to being anti-Jewish, while *riot* is a generic word. I would agree to change to "1947 Aleppo anti-Jewish riots", but see no reason to make ambiguous the intended victims (cf. Odessa pogroms). As to who has more Google Books hits, I find this a weak argument - not all sources have the same weight. Do you have a definitive reference on the subject? Mhym (talk) 17:48, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
It's more that the word is complex and needs to be used carefully (see e.g. Pogrom#Notes). The article pogrom writes that "Abramson wrote that "in mainstream usage the word has come to imply an act of antisemitism", since whilst "Jews have not been the only group to suffer under this phenomenon ... historically Jews have been frequent victims of such violence".[12]". But this is "mainstream usage" rather than scholarly usage. For example, Rogers Brubaker writes that "Violence—and more generally, conflict—regularly occasions social struggles to label, interpret, and explain it... To impose a label or prevailing interpretive frame—to cause an event to be seen as a "pogrom" or a "riot" or a "rebellion"—is no mere matter of external interpretation, but a constitutive and often consequential act of social definition".[10] And Paul R Brass writes that once a scholar states whether in their view an event is "better labeled a pogrom than a riot, a massacre of innocents rather than a fair fight between groups, a genocide rather than a “mere” pogrom,... [scholars then]... unavoidably, necessarily, become embroiled within and take a position upon the events we study... The study of the various forms of mass collective violence has been blighted by methodological deficiencies and ideological premises... Our work then becomes entangled—even through the very theories we articulate—in the diversionary tactics that are essential to the production and reproduction of violence. The diversionary process begins with the issue of labelling, which itself is part of the process of production and reproduction of violence, and the post-hoc search for causes"[11] Oncenawhile (talk) 07:02, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Well, sounds like we agree. "Pogrom" is a mainstream common name. "Riot" is a more formal scholarly name. In WP the common names are preferred, see WP:CRITERIA. Do you have statistics on Google News to help here? Mhym (talk) 09:09, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Hmm. Not sure you interpreted my comment correctly, but either way, we both agree that WP:COMMONNAME is the appropriate standard here. My argument above is that "Aleppo riot" is twice as common in books as "Aleppo pogrom".
I cannot find anything on google news, but perhaps I am looking in the wrong place.
Oncenawhile (talk) 20:58, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but if you read WP:COMMONNAME you see that it applies to popular culture, as in Bill Clinton vs. William Jefferson Clinton. Google News tend to give hundreds of items which clarifies the choice. Google books give 10 or 20 - I would y WP:COMMONNAME is inapplicable here. I would be happy to consider a RS saying that "riot" is more appropriate name than a "pogrom", for whatever reason. So far, you produced the opposite: "better labeled a pogrom than a riot". Mhym (talk) 21:26, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, reread the quote again and it seems it was meant to be a critique of "pogrom" wording, saying that it introduce bias. Unfortunately, the quote doesn't explicitly say that the author is in favor of "riot". Same with the previous quote "pogrom, riot, rebellion" - the authors says it attaches an emotional characterization. Says nothing which way is better. Mhym (talk) 21:46, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok fair enough. "The Color of Words: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Ethnic Bias in the United States" writes that: "pogrom has been used loosely and, according to some, misused in an inflammatory way."
Ultimately it is subjective, so how else can we move forward other than WP:COMMONNAME, or else your point above re "a definitive reference on the subject"? Oncenawhile (talk) 22:20, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Right - this quote also critiques "pogrom" in general without suggesting "riot" as a replacement, which is obviously specific to the conflict (compare Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire and List of riots). Moving forward - let wait for other editors to comment. I am a very minor contributor to this article and don't know as much as others. Mhym (talk) 23:21, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
FWIW, i think you are missing my point. I certainly don't think riot is always better than pogrom. There are some events where no other word than "pogrom" is appropriate, particularly those perpetrated in Tsarist Russia. However when the word is extrapolated I believe it needs to be used with great care. The risk is that, because the term pogrom has two uses - one broad (any anti Jewish event) and one narrow (a riot, persecuting a minority, with government acquiescence) - then if the event being labelled doesn't qualify under the narrow definition, then the broad usage is liable to give the wrong impression.
I don't yet know whether this event qualifies under the narrow definition, so I am not saying "pogrom" is misleading here, but "riot" is less at risk of being misleading. Oncenawhile (talk) 00:01, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Another source here Encyclopaedia Judaica "anti Jewish riots". And here "anti Jewish attacks".

Given how few sources there are for "Aleppo pogrom", and a quick google books search for "Aleppo 1947 Jews" shows clearly that riots is the most common name, I propose to change the name of this article to "1947 Anti-Jewish riots in Aleppo". Any objections?Oncenawhile (talk) 22:28, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Another way of looking at the same is searching googlebooks for:
  • "riots in Aleppo"+1947 (18 quotes in total, excluding duplicates)
  • "pogrom in Aleppo"+1947 (6 quotes in total, excluding duplicate and wikipedia clones)
Whichever way one looks at it, riots is more common than pogrom. Oncenawhile (talk) 21:23, 8 July 2014 (UTC)


Can anyone explain the relevance of the events in 1853 to this article? Aleppo has more than two thousand years of Jewish history, so why this event? Can anyone provide an RS explaining what happened in 1853? Oncenawhile (talk) 06:52, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

What's to explain? This sentence is saying that this is not the first pogrom in Aleppo. Sounds like a relevant backgound information to me. Mhym (talk) 09:00, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Because there is a well known trend amongst pseudo-scholars of either Antisemitism or Islamophobia to list as many supposed Arab persecutions of Jews as they can, in order to demonise Arabs or Muslims. When these have been looked into on various wikipedia pages, they have often been found to be either a gross exaggeration or a gross simplification. We must take such flippant references to historical pogroms with great care until we find a source with appropriate detail to support it.
I have done some searching on this one. So far I have found: the Jewish Virtual Library stating that "In June 1853 the Greek-Catholic patriarch accused the Jews of Aleppo of kidnapping a Christian boy for ritual purposes." It makes no reference to a riot or pogrom.
Can you find any other detail? Oncenawhile (talk) 20:56, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
I am not an expert, and wouldn't know. Your "pseudo-scholars" line smells like WP:POV to me. I am not in favor of WP:OR and strongly urge you to avoid this as well. The citation in the main body of the article is pretty clear, unambiguous and to the point. The absence of evidence in some kind of encyclopedia is not an evidence of absence. I agree that more background would be useful and welcome expansion on this line, or a RS which clearly says that nothing happened. Mhym (talk) 21:21, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Here is a review of our source for the 1853 event. The conclusion is "Its appalling abuse of interpretive method, and Patterson’s transparent promotion of an analytically blinkered political and religious agenda, have no place in anything with pretensions to academic work."
This is typical of such Islamophobic works. I have seen this time and time again. I am 100% certain that Mr. Patterson has no idea what happened in Aleppo in 1853, and it is likely that he knows little about Aleppo at all.
His is not an appropriate source for this article. Oncenawhile (talk) 22:11, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
This seems convincing to me. Based on the review, I would drop this link as a RS, and replace it with "citation needed" to give others a chance to provide one. If no one does this for a couple of months, drop this line altogether. Mhym (talk) 23:25, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok. Oncenawhile (talk) 23:50, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
So one scholar bashed another scholar and you're gonna go with the basher. That's not the way things work and gives the impression you are cherry picking sources to further an agenda. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 01:54, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
If the information is reliable, we should already have found another source.
If nothing relevant is found within a couple of months, we can remove this.
Pluto2012 (talk) 04:42, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
[12] Mr. Patterson is a professor and scholar of Jewish history]. You attack him as an Islamphobe and remove him as a source because you think he is wrong. This is disgraceful. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 15:12, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
So you don't have any other source, right ? Pluto2012 (talk) 18:02, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
I haven't looked yet, but I'm sure I can find more with Google. Before I do that I would like an explanation as to why -- despite not providing anything to contradict the material -- reliably sourced content is removed because an editor believes the source (a published professor and scholar in Jewish history) is an islamophobe who doesn't know anything about Aleppo. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 18:10, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Because he is controversial on the topic of religions and may lie.
So, a better source would solve the issue.
Pluto2012 (talk) 18:40, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#David Patterson & 1947 Aleppo pogrom.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 18:57, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Agree. Here's a second explanation - he has zero credentials regarding the History of Aleppo. Oncenawhile (talk) 19:12, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
User:Brewcrewer, while we await input from others at the RSN, would you be kind enough to follow through on your suggestion re finding some detail on the events of 1853? Oncenawhile (talk) 19:35, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
I explicitly said I won't Google until you proffer a reasonable explanation why the uncontradicted statement from a reliable source has to be supported. Also quit your taunting edit summaries. [13]. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 21:20, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
You set an unachievable subjective condition, since it relies on your judgement as to reasonableness. Transparent and weak. Oncenawhile (talk) 21:29, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm applying Wikipedia rules. David Patterson is a 100% reliable source. Patterson made an assertion that is not contradicted by anyone anywhere whether reliable or not. You removed it while besmirching and defaming Patterson with a name that I won't repeat because some student at Oxford wrote a critical review of Patterson's book. [14]. The onus is on you to explain yourself. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 21:54, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Now you're both avoiding the question and misrepresenting a summary of the discussion. T&W. Oncenawhile (talk) 22:03, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Saying those words doesn't make it true. I'll let this thread speak to the truth. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 22:14, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

I have found a specialist work on the Jewish community of Aleppo, Walter Zenner's A Global Community: The Jews from Aleppo, Syria. All the notable events in recent history should be captured in chapter 2 "Jews of the Syrian Lands during the Late Ottoman Empire].

  • On page 42 there is discussion of Jewish-Christian conflict
  • On page 48 there is discussion of broader interethnic conflict

There is no mention of an 1853 pogrom, and even if you assume Patterson got the date wrong there is not even mention of one in which Muslims attacked Jews as is Patterson's implication.

Oncenawhile (talk) 06:21, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

I also searched specialist literature, plus a few contemporary newspapers, without finding such a pogrom. However, there was a blood libel against Jews made by Christians in Aleppo in 1853 reported in multiple reliable sources, and this is probably the source of the claim. Here is a description from a reliable source. Essential background is that three years earlier (1850) there was a massacre of "thousands" of Christians.

The cooperation between Muslims and Jews on the communal level continued to develop both before and after the 1850 events, not only in Aleppo but throughout Syria. This is evidenced by the support of the Muslim members of the majlis for Jews who had to defend themselves in a court of law against Christians. Moreover, Muslims encouraged Jews to take revenge on their Christian enemies when the latter harassed them with libelous accusations. Thus, for instance, in the summer of 1853, Christians in Aleppo leveled a libelous charge against the Jewish community, claiming that the Jews kidnapped and murdered a Christian child for ceremonial purposes. The court, composed of three Muslim notables, ruled unequivocally that the accusation was a libelous falsehood and contended that the Christians themselves had hidden away the child, who was later found safe and sound in a hiding place, for the purpose of casting blame on the Jews. The Jews were content with the fact that their innocence was made public; the Muslims were less pleased. They prodded and incited the Jews to seek the authorities' revenge upon the Christians. The following is an account by a contemporary Jew of the events: "And all the Muslim elders and their wise men cry out at us, why do you remain silent and do not exact your revenge in the name of the Israelite people, that [the Christians] sought to vilify the image of the Jews, and all [the Muslim wise men] as one respond and say, we are prepared to swear our evidence to all the aforesaid." Yaron Harel, Jewish-Christian Relations in Aleppo as Background for the Jewish Response to the Events of October 1850, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Feb., 1998), pp. 77-96.

Yet again we see that real scholarship produces a totally different image of events. Zerotalk 12:31, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

1947 Anti-Jewish riots in Aleppo[edit]

Per the thread "name" above, and the evidence suggesting "riots" as the WP:COMMONNAME for this article, I propose to change the name of this article to "1947 Anti-Jewish riots in Aleppo".

Please let me know if any objections.

Oncenawhile (talk) 21:27, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

After a week without response, I will do so now. Oncenawhile (talk) 23:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)