Talk:Alleged Ouze Merham interview of Ariel Sharon

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Truth of the quotation[edit]

If I understand the external references correctly, the "Ouze Merham" quote did not come from Amos Oz's book, but it it completely fabricated. It was another quote that was taken from a fictional character by Oz and attributed to Sharon, not this. This is poorly written and I can't believe a writer like Oz would write anything like this. If I am correct, this article ought to be deleted.--Doron 06:08, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

You're right, the article is combining two fake quote stories. Tried to fix up this new article a bit, but shouldn't try to edit when tired. I'll fix the article to say something consistent with the sources. It was created by Ta bu shi da yu to have a place to debunk the quote on Wikipedia.--John Z 06:25, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
I've done some work fixing it up. Please let me know what you all think. As far as being deleted, "Ouze Merham" gets 1,540 Google hits; it's a very popular hoax quote, and notable for that. Jayjg (talk) 16:14, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Well written. Shouldn't this be included in a more general article, though? Something like "Anti-Israeli hoaxes"?--Doron 23:36, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, this article specifically talks about anti-Sharon false quotes. Perhaps it could be re-structured and re-named that way. Jayjg (talk) 16:00, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Massacre?[edit]

I would keep this article as is, and perhaps create a category, menu and list of anti-Israeli hoaxes. The most famous of course is the alleged massacre in Jenin, but there are many others, among them false quotations. gidonb 16:13, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

The "alleged" massacre in Jenin is certainly not an "anti-Israeli hoax". The word "massacre" is arguably an exaggeration; but even the Israeli army accepts that the attack on the Jenin refugee camp resulted in the deaths of 14 civilians among the 52 Palestinians killed. Just how many deaths does gidonb think it takes to justify describing an event as a massacre?RolandR 12:36, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Hello RolandR, thank you for asking. This has nothing to do with POV. I can refer you to our article massacre or any other mainstream dictionary definition. The massacre among hundreds or thousands of civilians as alleged at the time by the PLO and PA (and taken over especially by the European press) is recognized as an anti-Israeli hoax. In fact, the Hamas and military branches of the PLO (who were told to shut up for a while) are tactically right that the warfare on the Palestinian side was very effective, resulting in an exceptionally "good" ratio of casualties for their standards. I, however, claim that every Palestinian and Israeli causality is one too many, even when this is definitely not by the standards of Wikipedia and all inquiry commissions a massacre. gidonb 20:19, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Gidonb, you refer me to the wikipedia article on massacre. Well, I looked at it, and it makes the point -- which of course I accept -- that the decision to use the term is often a political one. The article also notes that in Guatemala, the human rights commission accepted a death toll of at least five as characterising a massacre; while in Colombia, the figure used is six. Since, even by official Israeli army figures, the number of civilians killed was fourteen, the assault on Jenin must surely count as a massacre. Had Israel not prevented the UN fact-finding mission from entering Jenin, we might have a better idea what actually happened.
I'm not questioning the characterisation of the "Ouze Merham" quote as an "anti-Israel hoax". As an anti-Zionist activist, I have frequently pointed out to my colleagues that this is clearly a fictitious statement. The Amos Oz quote is probably a genuine statement, though not by Sharon. I've seen it attributed more credibly to Motta Gur, for instance. But these inventions or misattributions are completely different from the verifiable events of the assault on Jenin. In my opinion, if you try to tie this to the alleged Sharon quotes, you are more likely to give undeserved credence to the quotes than to disprove the Jenin massacre. RolandR 23:53, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

We know exactly what happened in Jenin, as other fact-finding commissions (and the press) were there right after the fighting and disproved the hoax but documented the civilian (and non-civilian) casualties of the warfare and the damage to property. Unfortunate that you would skip our definition and any other mainstream dictionary definition of massacre to select a totally irrelevant detail in our article. OK, so you attribute the same hoaxes to different people. I hope you will grow over it one day. Nothing beats the truth and on the long run it is always better to adjust one's opinions to reality than reality to opinions. Even if some temporary discomfort is involved. gidonb 01:10, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Roland Rance, so it is a statement by an unspecified private individual and not by Ariel Sharon or by Motta Gur, whose names were besmeared by such hoaxes? Just for the record, my problem is not with your anti-Zionist opinions but with your lack of intellectual integrity as evident from our short exchange above. Anti-Zionism, Pro-Zionism, Post-Zionism and Pre-Zionism - all realities are complex and there is something to be said for all opinions. A plurality of ideologies provokes thought, promotes policy debate and ideally disproves antisemitic theories, that all Jews share the same opinions. One of my great-grandfathers was a famous anti-zionist. He was a very conscious and truthful man. It were your personal treats that bothered me. gidonb 18:53, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

What "personal threats" are you referring to? Where is my "lack of intellectual integrity"? I argue, like you do, that the "Ouze Merham" quote is a crude fabrication. Like you, I reject the identification of Oz's interviewee as Sharon; though, unlike you, I accept that it was a genuine interview with a real person, and not a literary invention.
Our significant difference is that you deny that the Israeli attack on Jenin can be classified as a massacre, while I argue that it indeed can be so classified. This is certainly an important argument; the fact that we hold differing views does not justify your assertion that I have made personal threats and lack intellectual integrity. Why not argue the issues, rather than my alleged personality? RolandR 15:59, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I can't think of any nominally neutral outside body (including the UN report, Human Rights groups, etc.) which has characterized the events in Jenin as a massacre. The descriptions tend to show a "pitched battle", if anything. Jayjg (talk) 19:45, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Delete the entire article[edit]

This article should be deleted... it debunks a NN hoax (Unsigned)

I don't agree that it should be deleted. The rumour unfortunately has been widely circulated on the internet, and is believed by many. In a Google search on "Ouze Merham" this article -- in which people with widely differing views on the ME conflict agree that the "interview" is a fiction" -- comes at the top of the list. So Wikipedia is being widely consulted, and we are fulfilling our responsibility and doing a service to all who are seeking to understand the conflict.RolandR 22:54, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I have removed the statement that this fictitious interview was allegedly broadcast on Kol Israel, since I can find no source which claims this. I suspect that Jaakobou is confusing this with another apocryphal statement attributed to Sharon, "We control America". This was allegedly broadcast by Kol Israel, which denies this. RolandR 14:05, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
RolandR, you had good intentions, apparently i've made a blatant mistake about the kol israel part - but - i have added more information regarding hatespeech and also wikified the article, would have been much more or an honest edit not to revert it blatently like that, but to only remove the Kol Israel part.. i'll fix the kol israel problem - and hope that in the future you will not remove large chunks from wikipedia just because you find one small factual error. with respect. Jaakobou 17:22, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

November 2006[edit]

We indeed know what happened at Jenin - Israel blocked the UN (completely) and other groups (mostly) from doing any form of investigation. The reports didn't deny there'd been mass killings, only that the confirmed numbers didn't suggest that's what there'd been. (But many more than the 5 dead in the Boston massacre, of course). One group did better than most, [1], the Jenin Inquiry, a group of 12 internationals from the US, Britain, Ireland, Canada, and Norway

bodies were still being recovered from under the rubble as late as early August.

People saw tanks and bulldozers run over bodies repeatedly in the process of bulldozing homes and moving around, sifting bodies into pieces and scattering them in the rubble. This has made it difficult to identify exactly how many have been killed.

members of Jenin Inquiry viewed many such partially decomposed bodies and severed, decomposing body parts in homes and in the streets of the camp. PalestineRemembered 03:16, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Whatever -- the comment you were replying to was 9 months old, and Jenin has a very tangential relevance to the subject of this article, at best. Furthermore, you seem to be trying to be "more royalist than the king" and "more Catholic than the Pope". Try not to find any excuse to cut-and-paste generic propaganda rants to Wikipedia articles and talk pages, please. Thank you. AnonMoos 22:15, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I note your apparent disinterest in the observations of outside observers. I note your apparent enthusiasm for accepting the word of an army with a dreadful reputation for carrying out a brutal occupation, and killing international observers. PalestineRemembered 03:16, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Just for records' NPOV, Palestinain Fatach investigation put the palestinian death toll at 56 (most fighting israel) while israel lost 23 fighers.. seems to qualify as a battle rather than a masscare... also note that once the palestinian side resigned their militant attempt, the fighting was over and people were arrested and not killed. Jaakobou 16:05, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Why?[edit]

OMFG! How can you WikiZionists say that a person is completely fictitious without even a single quote to any authority?!

RolandR, you "removed the statement that this fictitious interview was allegedly broadcast on Kol Israel" because you could "find no source which claims this." Where is the source that Ouze Merham is fictitious other than Wikipedia?

And why do you guys keep citing Zionist sources as authority? CAMERA? You can't be serious (and you are not going to be taken seriously by referencing articles written by those with a political agenda as claiming that their assertions are historical truth).

Wikipedia discredits itself by advocating the Zionist cause (this is only one post among many). You people are a joke. -- 14:39, 5 February 2007 anonymous IP 151.200.14.189

Whatever, dude -- the burden would appear to be rather on those who claim that Ouze Merham was a real individual to present the slightest valid documentary proof that he ever existed. The failure to do so speaks for itself. AnonMoos 14:47, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

No, "dude," the burden is always on the person making the assertion, which in this case is the assertion that Ouze Merham is fictional. And by the way, it is impossible to prove a negative, so neither you nor anyone else can logically prove that someone never existed. Period. I fixed the article to require citations for bald assertions of unsupported fact.-- 5 February 2007 anonymous IP 151.200.14.189

Sorry Charlie, but you don't get to be a general in the Israeli army without leaving a substantial public paper trail. What's his date of birth? When did he first enter the IDF? What was the first unit he commanded? What action did he see in the various wars? To prove that "Ouze Merham" is not a pure hoax, those who advocate his reality would have to present such evidence -- but they have never presented any documentation of this nature. AnonMoos 15:20, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

2017[edit]

That is very poor logic. The assertions are that Ouze is real and did report such a thing and that Sharon actually said it. THOSE are the assertions that must be proven. ~affinity — Preceding unsigned comment added by 73.170.210.63 (talk) 20:36, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Zionist Sources[edit]

How is an email from a Zionist Jew valid authority? If I work for an organization and email someone claiming that the holocaust never happened, does that make my claim true? Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 151.200.14.189 (talk) 15:15, 5 February 2007 (UTC).

Removal of journalist[edit]

Just wanted to explain a bit better about why I felt we needed to remove the journalist's information from the lead of the article.

  • We only mentioned that one of the many uses of the quote and a student newspaper column at that. Not the best example out there.
  • The source CAMERA is politically charged and highly biased; more reliable sources should be used instead.
  • This person is not notable for any other reason and yet was placed in the lead of the article.

Overall, it added very little to the article while the possibility for great harm to the living person existed. I'm sure there are better examples out there of media using the quote and if one is really needed for the article, we should choose something more appropriate. Shell babelfish 05:34, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Shell, what "many other uses of the quote" are you referring to? Also, I've added the Chicago Sun Times as another source. Jayjg (talk) 03:23, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't disagree with you strongly enough to revert your edits -- but it could be said that if this journalist didn't want to be the subject of intense scrutiny, then she shouldn't have chosen to interject herself into the middle of a controversial issue in a manner that was apparently highly slipshod and careless (to say the least). AnonMoos (talk) 07:26, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Completely understandable, but I'm not sure that deserves a mention in the lead, especially where there's no further discussion later. Also, is it possible to find better sources? If things got that messy, I'd be surprised if it didn't get covered elsewhere as well. Shell babelfish 09:20, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Canadian Monkey is re-adding this repeatedly. The information likely fails WP:BLP as CAMERA is a fairly shady, highly partisan source, and not usually considered reliable for information (as distinct from opinion). Furthermore, who cares? The inclusion of a student columnist for no apparent reason makes this article look like a lame attempt to elevate an obscure propaganda factoid into some kind of worldwide scandal. If a New York Times columnist, or even an Alaska Highway News columnistm, used it, that would be something. Who cares about the kid? <eleland/talkedits> 17:22, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the placement in the lead is awkward - and I will integrate it into the body of the article. The rest of the arguments do not hold much water. Our BLP policy is intended to protect the project from potential lawsuits - not to serve as a cover up of people's stupid, unprofessional and publicized misconduct. When an aspiring journalist acts unprofessionally - publishing libelous material without fact checking, and subsequently attempts to deflect criticism of her work without owning up to the mistake - they should not expect WP:BLP to hide that behavior, embarrassing though it may be. As to the sources - there is nothing "shady" about CAMERA. You may not approve of its agenda, but that does not make it unreliable, and as far as I know, it is considered highly reliable - all of its media criticisms include the text being criticized. There is no question in this case that the journalist did what she was accused of by CAMERA - her (eventual) apology is a matter of public record. To set your mind at ease, this particular controversy was covered by other sources as well - see [2] Canadian Monkey (talk) 17:33, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

You're now edit warring over the inclusion of this text. There is, in fact, a BLP violation -- please read the section about Sources. CAMERA has a very obvious bias and the articles you're using a sources use very obvious weasel words. As far as the Jewish Press article goes, the student is a mere footnote. As I pointed out earlier and Eleland has now said as well, what about this student makes this notable? Again, BLP cautions us against writing about people who aren't well known public figures based only on a single regrettable incident. Shell babelfish 18:54, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

You've now added a Jewish-community paper, but as I'm sure you know, all the information there is explicitly acknowledged to have came from CAMERA, so it adds nothing to the verifiability or BLP issues. <eleland/talkedits> 18:57, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Eleland, I don't necessarily disagree with the idea that she shouldn't be electronically chained to this incident into the indefinite future by means of Wikipedia, but on the other hand your characterization of her as a "poor kid" is somewhat disingenuous, since she chose to take up a recurring anti-Semitic canard or hoax story in a very public way. If you're writing for a college newspaper (especially a somewhat professionally-run newspaper at a large college), then you're already supposed to know better... AnonMoos (talk) 21:59, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
No problem in identifying the journalist, who abandoned all hope of anonymity when he or she took up that profession. In fact, NOT to identify him or her when the identity is known would be almost criminal. The reporter involved is a graduate student working on a newspaper that aims for the highest in professional quality. If you can't stand the heat, stay our of the journalistic kitchen. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 22:31, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
You pretty much summed it up. Jayjg (talk) 03:23, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for adding in some other sources Jayjg, if we can avoid relying totally on CAMERA that resolves my concern. As far as other sources who used the quote, the tone of the article actually led me to believe that this was some widely used quote, however, I haven't been able to find that many. Other than blogs and unknown church musical groups, I only found Islamonline.net [3].

I also found the original column where the quote was used [4] if people think that should be linked directly. Shell babelfish 13:03, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll incorporate it. Jayjg (talk) 03:28, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Wait a minute. Is the student paper really the most significant usage of this quote "as anti-Israel propaganda" in media? Jayjg, above, seems to be impying that it is, but the article makes it sound as if this canard has seen wide traffic. I'm confused. <eleland/talkedits> 16:28, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
It's seen much promulgation in anti-Israeli propaganda of various types as published in shady fringe publications or non-English-language foreign publications, but this is apparently one of the relatively few occasions in which it broke through into quasi-"mainstream" media in the United States... AnonMoos (talk) 20:17, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
In addition to AnonMoos's point, I recall getting more Google hits two years ago when I first helped write the article. I suspect this article (and other debunkings) have encouraged many sites to remove the obviously false information. Jayjg (talk) 03:28, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Yael Shahar quote[edit]

The Yael Shahar quote is sourced to a geocity-webcite. Now, when I have added links to geocity -websites (say, containing Israel Shahak´s writing), they have always been removed (with edit-lines like "no links to private, anon. web-sites allowed). Therefore; should´t we also remove that geocity-link here? Also, why is this listed in [[Category:Palestinian media]]? Regards, Huldra (talk) 23:08, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Are you trying to actually improve this article, or play wikilawyering games? AnonMoos (talk) 23:37, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I am actually trying to improve Wikipedia...and surely you don´t support unequal standards when it comes to notability? Now; what about addressing the issue at hand (and not the editor)? Hm? Regards, Huldra (talk) 23:48, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
This is the page for talking about how to improve the Ouze Merham article, not for you to complain about how you (apparently) lost an editing dispute on some other article; nor is it a place for you to re-fight again by other means the same old battle that you might have lost over on that other article. I keep a loose watch over changes to article Ouze Merham, but that doesn't mean that I have to be interested in some other rather unrelated article which you happened to be heavily involved in a dispute about -- nor am I aware of any Wikipedia policy which requires me to be interested. AnonMoos (talk) 06:56, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Whaw. Again: please address the issue and not the editor. Geocity-webcites are not considered RS anywhere else on WP, why should it be considered reliable (or noteworthy) in this article, and nowhere else? If you cannot find any other reference to the quote, then obviously it is A: not reliable, B: not noteworthy. Therefor, it will be an improvement to WP to see it gone. Also, nobody has answered me: what does this has to do in [[Category:Palestinian media]]? Regards, Huldra (talk) 07:33, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I just really DON'T CARE about disputes on other articles that you want to refight here. If you have some concern about this article which is actually about this article (and not really about some other article), then I am willing to listen to it in that context. AnonMoos (talk) 07:49, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Again: whaw. To repeat: my concern is that this article use a reference which is A: not reliable, B: not noteworthy. Which one of those concerns did you not understand? Regards, Huldra (talk) 08:15, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Um, I see editors referencing past experience in this manner all the time, and I have to say, AnonMoos, your aggressive hounding of Huldra is way off base here. Geocities cites are essentially never reliable. This particular citation is absolutely no different from a Wikipedia editor citing personal correspondence she received - it's totally off-base and should be removed. <eleland/talkedits> 09:27, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

All I was ever asking was that Huldra state his or her objections simply and concisely, based solely on the contents of this article and/or general Wikipedia policies only -- without accompanying irrelevant invidious comparisons, or complaints about past battles over other articles (things which don't seem to add any clarity to the discussion of this article, but which have succeeded in annoying me...). AnonMoos (talk) 14:00, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, AnonMoos: For the 3rd (or 4th) time; does it not concern you that this article use a reference which is A: not reliable, B: not noteworthy, (when no WP:RS has found it important enough to report the story) + it is listed in [[Category:Palestinian media]]? Why? (I think I´ll remove that last cat. myself, actually) Regards, Huldra (talk) 04:18, 7 February 2008 (UTC) PS: BTW, a Hulder is always female! Huldra (talk) 06:06, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, since nobody has addressed the issue (and googeling did not bring any WP:RS, AFAIK), I am going ahead and removing it. Regards, Huldra (talk) 06:34, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Just removed this half-page-long footnote[edit]

I don't think we need a half-page-long footnote to prove that CAMERA is pro-Israel. The Wikipedia article on CAMERA says so in the top paragraph. Is this a controversial point that needs footnoting? If so, can we do it in less space?

Here's the text of the footnote (minus the footnote formatting):


  • see, e.g., "Rally in Philadelphia will support America and Israel. Press release. Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (Greater Philadelphia District). January 18, 1991.

    A coalition of local groups will hold a rally at the Liberty Bell on Sunday, Jan. 20, in support of American and Israeli military policies in the Persian Gulf crisis. "We'll be coming out on Sunday to say 'God bless America and Israel," said Bertram Korn Jr., executive director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, one of the sponsors of the rally. "The criminal Iraqi war machine must be permanently disarmed," he added.

  • Zara Myers. The Name of the Game? Advocacy for Israel. Jewish Exponent. Philadelphia: Nov 25, 2004.

    To encourage effective advocacy on behalf of Israel, the Center for Israel and Overseas of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia will host a daylong program -- its inaugural advocacy event -- on Sunday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania, Steinhardt Hall, 215 S. 39th St. in Philadelphia. In the morning will be a panel featuring representatives from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, all of which will discuss "Methodologies on How to Advocate for Israel...Dr. John Cohn, a local physician named Camera's "No. 1 Letter-Writer" in 2004, will serve as moderator of the panel.

  • CAMERA Articles For Students. Apply NOW to Be A CAMERA Student Representative—EARN A FREE TRIP TO ISRAEL AND $1000! Posted on CAMERA website, September 25, 2007.

    CAMERA is looking for fifteen passionately committed undergraduate students with excellent communication skills who can organize pro-Israel events on campus. Students earn $1000 and a free exclusive trip to Israel in June by becoming a CAMERA Fellows Representative.

  • Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. CAMERA: Fighting Distorted Media Coverage of Israel and the Middle East: An Interview with Andrea Levin. Posted on JCPA website, June 1, 2005.

    Their work undoubtedly has impact, but the non-Israel-related groups do not have the same activist focus. They produce studies and polls. It is for this reason that I think pro-Israeli media watching has an importance beyond the cause of Israel. Efforts that induce better adherence to ethical journalism in one subject area are positive generally in helping to strengthen American democracy, especially, again, as there are no enforceable codes of professional conduct in the media. – CAMERA Executive Director Andrea Levin.

  • The New York Times. MIDEAST TURMOIL: THE NEWS OUTLETS; Some U.S. Backers of Israel Boycott Dailies Over Mideast Coverage That They Deplore. Posted on NYTimes website, May 23, 2002.

    While the the pro-Israeli Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, or Camera, studies newpapers for evidence of bias, Palestine Media Watch has been monitoring the coverage of newspapers like The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Was there a WP:POINT to this? Noroton (talk) 02:16, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Yael Shahar take two[edit]

Geocities by nature can be changed at will by the owner of the account. It is distinctly unreliable. Rense is just quoting geocities, as can be seen from the bottom of the Rense page. I went to the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism website at http://www.ict.org.il/ and could find no evidence of any discussion by Ms. Shahar, or anyone else, about this quote which brings the entire issue into askance. I believe that this quote, albeit germane to the article, cannot be accuratey verified and fails our policy thereon. The fact that rense is by nature an anti-Israel site and they are quoting this e-mail does not balance the fact that rense is ONLY quoting the geocities site, which itself is not reliable enough to be considered a verified source, so I am removing the sources again. Please comment here why you disagree with the removal. -- Avi (talk) 19:20, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Further, the indymedia site is itself a near copy of the geocities site, I do not think we can rely on it either. We need something official from ICT, or a news source, I believe. -- Avi (talk) 19:23, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Avi, you're absolutely right on this point. As WP:SOURCES says, "Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy", and to quote a little further down, "For that reason, self-published books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, forum postings, and similar sources are largely not acceptable." Clearly, neither Geocities nor Indymedia would be counted as acceptable sources. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:30, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
I've removed the purported Shahar quote from the article given the lack of sourcing. The line removed is as follows:
In 2002 Yael Shahar of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism described the quote as "an invention, and a rather lame one."
If anyone can find a source, please add it back. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:24, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

"Is said" "called fictional by.."[edit]

The early versions of this article were much better than the current one.

This article show the problem in wikipedia. If this encyclopedia can not evn categorically say if this is a fictional or real person - what good is it ?

I suggest we first restore this article to it's form when created or to the edit by jayjg or JohnZ couple of days later[5]

--Zeq (talk) 14:43, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Rewording of passages in Intro[edit]

I've attempted to achieve improved clarity, accuracy and readability while striving for strictly NPOV wording in the Intro section. It may need another minor tweak, but I believe I've come pretty darn close.

I'm still weighing the arguments for keeping or deleting the article. However, I'm not real thrilled with the new name; hopefully this can be improved upon if we decide to keep it.

I have a request vis-a-vis this talk page: It displays at 3x normal width on my monitor, rather than the standard talk page display -- which makes it nearly impossible to read. I presume this has to do with the template code at the top of the page. Can somebody please make the necessary change to return it to the standard page format? Thanks. Apparently it was the AFD template, now removed. Cgingold (talk) 14:15, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Rename of article to "Alleged statement by Ariel Sharon to Ouze Merham"[edit]

Renaming the article has been brought up at AfD, where there seems to have been quite a bit of dissatisfaction with the name "Ouze Merham", so I decided to be bold and change it. Certainly the article has been rewritten substantially and the old name was confusing. I'm open to other name ideas, but I think moving away from "Ouze Merham" as an article name is important. For one thing, it makes the purpose of the article much clearer. Noroton (talk) 01:40, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

To reflect the new name, the first paragraph could be rewritten:
From this:
Ouze Merham is a fictitious Israeli general. The name "Ouze Merham" is used by anti-Israeli commentators who claimed that Merhan conducted an interview with Ariel Sharon in 1956 in which Sharon was quoted as favoring the killing of children and the raping of women and girls of Palestine.
To this:

Anti-Israeli commentators have used an alleged statement by Ariel Sharon to OUze Merham in 1956 in which Sharon was quoted as favoring the killing of children and the raping of women and girls of Palestine. Noroton (talk) 01:44, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

This is getting more and more ridiculus. "aleged quote by Sharon to..." makes it sound as if the quote is disputed by the person is real.
Next we had a bold text, clearly saying that he is a ficticous figure. Now the text again say his existance is "disputed".
We need to be clear. facts are simple: There is no such person. can there be a "source" for that ? let's say I invent a name "marzouch pompabila" - would I be abale to find a source saying "marzouch pompabila" does not really exist ? off course not.
So if any one want to write in this article that Ouze Merham exsitence is disputed he is the one that should show sources claiming he exist. This should be done ina section called: ==Those claiming he exist== Zeq (talk) 05:27, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Zeq, to quote WP:NPOV#A simple formulation, "Assert facts, including facts about opinions—but do not assert the opinions themselves. By "fact" we mean "a piece of information about which there is no serious dispute." Clearly there is a "serious dispute", as CAMERA itself states, about whether "Ouze Merham" really existed and whether that supposed interview was ever given. Wikipedia is not a party to that dispute; we can describe what the disputants say, but we cannot come down in favour of one side. You might want to read Wikipedia:Describing points of view for some more guidance. -- 12:04, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

The new title is very problematic since not only the quote is "alleged", but also the "general". The quasi-precision of the title is thus misleading. I propose going back to the much simpler Ouze Merham, which does not (mis)lead the reader to think about the parts of the story that are "alleged". Or in other words, in this case the more general title (pun intended) is preciser! gidonb (talk) 15:42, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

The current title is both ridiculous and inaccurate. If I don't hear any serious objections or suggestions, I'll move it to a more sensible title in a few days. Jayjg (talk) 00:21, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Consider this a serious objection. Come up with a suggestion first and let's try for a consensus. Noroton (talk) 00:49, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Norton, why not go back to the simple NPOV non-judgemental name and see from there if a title can be found that describes the alleged statement or hoax better? gidonb (talk) 00:59, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Serious objections include reasoning. The current title is absurdly long, and implies that Ouze Merham, a fictitious individual with a non-Hebrew, non-Israeli name, actually exists. Jayjg (talk) 01:21, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Anyone object to Ouze Merham interview? -- Avi (talk) 01:23, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I've suggested it myself, on the recent AFD. Another possibility is Alleged Ouze Merham interview. Jayjg (talk) 01:27, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm ok with either one, though I'd prefer Ouze Merham hoax. Canadian Monkey (talk) 01:43, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
We don't even know what else was in the alleged interview, although the sources say this quote was only part of it. "Ouze Merham interview" makes it sound like Merham was giving an interview. It would be nice to have "Ariel Sharon" in the title, since the statement is meant to attack him. Noroton (talk) 02:02, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
It should certainly not include the word "hoax", as this would violate WP:NPOV; we're not supposed to take one side's position in a dispute, no matter how well founded we may think that side's position is. -- ChrisO (talk) 07:29, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with ChrisO. Noroton (talk) 17:17, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Suggestion: Can we try to keep the discussion civil? Can we avoid disparaging other people's ideas and just discuss on the merits? It tends to make the process quicker. Noroton (talk) 01:57, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
The problem I've seen again and again with bad titles is that people (readers, editors) get irritated when the article doesn't match what they immediately expect after reading the title. I constantly see AfDs where editors criticize the article for not fitting the title rather than criticize the title for not fitting the article. The article was never about a person, fictional or not, it was always about the allegation that Sharon made this statement, so, ideally, the title should reflect that. Also, when this article appears on a list of search engine results or on any Wikipedia category page or other page, a more descriptive title than "Ouze Merham" would instantly give readers an idea of what the article is about. I thought about the idea that the title might imply Merham existed. I thought having "alleged" as the first word could be taken to apply to everything that follows. There is some ambiguity there, but less, I think, than with the simple "Ouze Merham". Any confusion readers might have, I thought, would quickly be cleared up and we'd still get to keep the name in the title, which also seems helpful. I do see your objection as identifying a real fault with the title. Another option, which I brought up at the AfD, was "Alleged 1956 Sharon statement". Noroton (talk) 01:57, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Looks like Sharon Statement could be confusing. Noroton (talk) 02:12, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Other suggestions: Alleged 1956 Ariel Sharon interview or Alleged 1956 Ariel Sharon quotation They're shorter, don't mislead, but don't have the Merham name. Noroton (talk) 02:28, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • name change of the articlke fail to deal with the issue that the man simply does not exist he is a fictional figure... 89.1.168.94 (talk) 14:30, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Ouze Merham interview would do just fine. There are two sides to every interview and calling it Ouze Merham makes it very specific. After all, Sharon may have given other interviews in any given year, but there is only one "Ouze Merham interview" on record. gidonb (talk) 16:42, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Again, the value of having "Ariel Sharon" in the title is that it helps readers who know nothing about the subject at all to know, at least, that the subject has something to do with this person. Unless we put "alleged" in the title, it will imply that the interview actually took place, violating NPOV, so Alleged Ouze Merham interview would improve on that. Alleged Ouze Merham interview with Ariel Sharon would be even better, and it would meet all of your objections and mine. If eight words is too long, is seven? Noroton (talk) 17:07, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
How about Alleged quotation attributed to an alleged interview by the possibly fictional Israeli General Ouze Merham with Ariel Sharon in 1956? That would be even more descriptive. Jayjg (talk) 00:48, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry Norton, but it is blatant POV that Ariel Sharon had anything to do with this. I think 2 words is just fine, Ouze Merham. Ouze Merham interview is next best. The rest only confuses and definately is less NPOV. I do not think that the interview is even alleged. Some people have fallen for the hoax and find it hard to withdraw, but I have not seen anyone continuously claiming that the interview has taken place. gidonb (talk) 18:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
"Blatant POV"? The "Ariel Sharon" connection is that it's used as an attack on Ariel Sharon. It isn't NPOV to mention the connection. Nor is anything at all about Sharon implied other than that the article is about something that someone alleges Ariel Sharon said. Ariel Sharon has something to do with it in the same way that George WashingtonLincoln had something to do with The Apotheosis of Washington or the Parson Weems account of the cherry tree Lincoln Memorial and Lincoln Logs and Lincoln catafalque (only this subject is negative). What do you think the word "Alleged" is for? Your suggestions, without that word, imply that Wikipedia believes the interview took place. This assertion that Sharon made the statement is so weak that we risk dignifying it without using the word "Alleged". At the same time, we shouldn't go overboard and call it a "hoax", either, without stronger sourcing. Noroton (talk) 19:17, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
After pondering this for several days, I basically agree with Noroton's reasoning on this. Without the name "Ariel Sharon", the title would be meaningless to the average reader. At the same time, putting the word "alleged" in front of this particular formulation conveys the desired impression that everything about it (in other words, each of the components) is "alleged". I would, however, make one tiny but important change, to Alleged Ouze Merham interview of Ariel Sharon -- which informs the reader which one is the alleged interviewer and which one is the alleged interviewee. Cgingold (talk) 03:12, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
That's even better. Noroton (talk) 03:55, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I like that. Short and clear. -- ChrisO (talk) 08:06, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I think too Alleged Ouze Merham interview of Ariel Sharon is better than the current one and it is neutral and factual. Ceedjee (talk) 19:09, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
It's better than the current name. Jayjg (talk) 23:41, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Wholly original research[edit]

This article seems to be entirely original research, written to propound "a theory that we have", that the quote is a hoax. It's highly likely that we're right, the quote was invented (or at least, ascribed to a non-existent interviewer, since this is not the first time allegations of this nature have been made against Sharon). But this is an encyclopedia, not the hoax-busters. I could re-write it, but it would have to be turned upside-down, starting with the interview and going on to "The Controversy".

Secondly of course, there is the WP:UNDUE problem - there are all sorts of real, highly significant interviews to have come out of the I-P conflict. It is bizarre to host an article on this non-interview and yet not have one on the highly significant and well-known interview with "Kurdi Bear". PalestineRememberedtalk 08:57, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

It's nice that you're not going off into a completely irrelevant ranting tirade about Jenin this time, but I see little validity to your objections:
1) The "Undue Weight" policy does not generally apply between separate articles. Each article has to independently meet a minimum standard of notability, and should avoid going on at length about relatively insignificant trivia -- but once that criterion is satisfied, the fact that there's a long article on a lesser-known topic and only a short article (or no article at all) on a more well-known topic does not necessarily violate any Wikipedia policy. If an article "Criticisms of X" is ten times longer than the main article on X, then the Undue Weight policy might apply between articles, but I see absolutely no reason why the policy would apply to this specific article.
2) Everybody who has seriously investigated the matter has been unable to find any valid documentation of an alleged Israeli general named "Ouze Merham" (and you don't get to be a general in the Israeli military without leaving a substantial public paper trail, as I said). They have reported on the negative results of their researches, and we reference those reports in this article... AnonMoos (talk) 09:54, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Please explain which specific parts of the article about this hoax you consider to be original research, and why. Jayjg (talk) 02:48, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Using the name of a student journalist[edit]

I've reverted another editor's insertion just now of the name of a student journalist. I originally posted this note higher up on the page, but I see that section went stale months ago (I misread the timestamps at the bottom of it), so I moved the post here:


Naming a college journalist in the text of the article adds nothing to it at all. Let the name remain in the footnote if there's a question of being certain about identifying the source. We've had a good discussion about this at Talk:Controversies about the word "niggardly"#Student name removed. This is what I said there:

I won't deny that you could interpret the wording of Wikipedia:Blp#Privacy_of_names to allow use of the name as someone directly involved in an article's topic, but the direct involvement of a college student, years ago, in one event of a multi-event article, doesn't seem to warrant a name being used when more important considerations are the overall spirit of WP:BLP -- to keep Wikipedia a fundamentally decent source of information on encyclopedic topics without harming the human beings who are discussed in its articles. From the nutshell box at the top of BLP, to its first sentence, to the sections surrounding the "Privacy of names" subsection to the language of that section itself we're urged to be fundamentally decent to the people who appear in our articles: This page in a nutshell: Wikipedia articles can affect real people's lives. This gives us an ethical and legal responsibility. [...] Editors must take particular care adding biographical material about a living person to any Wikipedia page. Such material requires a high degree of sensitivity [...] When the name of a private individual has not been widely disseminated or has been intentionally concealed (such as in certain court cases), it is often preferable to omit it, especially when doing so does not result in a significant loss of context. Unless there's a reason to name her that justifies Wikipedia continuing to publish her name years after the event, the policy is to keep her out. The policy also recognizes that the particular circumstances of each case are important, which is why "Privacy of names" states, In all cases where the redaction of names is considered, editors should be willing to discuss the issue on the article's talk page. So Sennen, you've now got a continuing consensus to keep her name out, with three editors who disagree with you. But let's keep our minds open. Is there a reason to keep her name in that would particularly help the reader? Is there something about naming her that would give the reader more insight into the subject? If there is, then perhaps that outweighs the reasons for keeping her name out. Abstract reasons that her name should "in principle" appear in the article are not going to cut it with me -- is there a concrete, practical way that her name improves the article? Otherwise, let's just be nice to someone who isn't a well-known public figure.

Have you ever, as an older adult, looked at college students debating a serious issue? I have. They say (and write) stupid things all the time. No sense in tarring them with it years later. Noroton (talk) 17:32, 7 July 2008 (UTC) -- ((reposted -- Noroton (talk) 17:43, 7 July 2008 (UTC)))

Something is missing from this page...[edit]

What is this article about? A controversial, apparently fabricated, quote by Ariel Sharon. What's the one thing, then, that would be most obviously relevant to this article? The quote itself. The current version of the article links to the quote, and describes it, but does not actually include it, which I find somewhat baffling. What is to be gained by leaving it out? It would be like if our article on the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy didn't include the cartoons themselves. The rest of the article makes it quite clear that this quote is presumably a hoax, so what exactly is the problem with including it here? Terraxos (talk) 02:10, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

No reliable sources carrying it? Jayjg (talk) 00:37, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd have thought CAMERA was reliable enough for our purposes. But eh, I suppose it doesn't really matter; the substance of the allegation is made clear from the first line. I just thought the quote itself might be a useful addition. Terraxos (talk) 13:31, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree. What are these controversial statements that Sharon is allegedly said to have made? If the quote can't be provided maybe its content can be?Bless sins (talk) 03:47, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Have you actually read the article? The content is quite clearly described in it. Jayjg (talk) 02:18, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Relevance[edit]

The JUF doesn't strike me as media. Lapsed Pacifist (talk) 08:13, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

lead[edit]

User:AnonMoos left this message on my talk page:

Your version of the lead paragraph lacks proper wikibolding, and really doesn't make it as clear as it needs to be that there's no credible evidence that Sharon ever said such a thing -- which is the essential necessary point which the lead paragraph for that article must convey. AnonMoos (talk) 10:10, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

I can't see how my version is any less clear about that than the current version. They both say that "The interview, the paragraph, and Ouze Merham himself have been denounced as fabrications." Actually it's the bolding in the current version that's incorrect; see WP:BOLDTITLE. The current version also has the drawback of nonsensically saying that an "alleged ...interview...is a paragraph alleged to come from a 1956 interview."Prezbo (talk) 17:30, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

The first sentence -- "In the 2000s, a paragraph alleged to come from a 1956 interview of Ariel Sharon, conducted by an Israeli Defence Force general named Ouze Merham, was quoted in a number of publications." -- contains no indication that it is known that no valid evidence has been brought forward to support the allegation. The remainder of the paragraph only includes "have been denounced as fabrications" -- i.e. some people think it's phoney -- which again doesn't adequately indicate that it has been fairly well established that so far no valid evidence has been brought forward to support the allegation. AnonMoos (talk) 08:20, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
How is that any different than the current version? The current first sentence also "contains no indication that it is known that no valid evidence has been brought forward to support the allegation" and the rest of the paragraph is almost exactly the same.Prezbo (talk) 08:23, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
I mean if you want the paragraph to state that "no valid evidence has been brought forward to support the allegation" I don't really have a problem with that. I just want to make the first sentence less of a stylistic atrocity.Prezbo (talk) 08:26, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you're attached to wording which makes things less clear. In the previous wording, it says that "The paragraph advocates...", while in your wording it says "In the paragraph, Sharon brags...". In the previous wording, it says "alleged" in the first sentence, while in your wording has only "said". The previous wording may have stylistic problems, but it's less confusing in conveying the main thrust of the article which follows... AnonMoos (talk) 20:46, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
You've never offered a convincing explanation of how the version you reverted is "less clear." It's clearer to say that "Sharon brags" because it's Sharon speaking, not the paragraph. It's better to say "said" or "claimed" rather than "alleged" because "alleged" is usually used in legal contexts or as a sarcastic way of conveying extreme skepticism. However, if those are your only objections, this version, which would still be an improvement over the current version, should be acceptable to you:
"In the 2000s, a paragraph alleged to come from a 1956 interview of Ariel Sharon, conducted by an Israeli Defence Force general named Ouze Merham, was quoted in a number of publications. The paragraph advocates burning Palestinian children and raping Palestinian women and Arab girls. The interview, the paragraph, and Ouze Merham himself have been denounced as fabrications. In 1956 Sharon, who later became Prime Minister of Israel, was a major in the IDF."
Prezbo (talk) 22:30, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
AnonMoos, are you done with this? You can't not reply for six days and expect your favored version to remain up.Prezbo (talk) 19:14, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Is this really notable?[edit]

This seems to be an article about a meme. I can't see the tempest in the teapot. Is this controversial non-event really notable? Please defend it, somebody. Bearian (talk) 17:13, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

allegedly it is...but, look at the references - almost not a single RS among them. very strange. Soosim (talk) 08:18, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
It's received a substantial amount of propagation outside of the "mainstream" English-language media, and it's one of those antisemitic hoax stories which refuses to die no matter how many times it's been debunked, but goes on and on and on long past the time the Energizer bunny has run down... AnonMoos (talk) 05:09, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Is Wikipedia becoming a Snopes.com? Bearian (talk) 21:39, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

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