Talk:Arab–Israeli conflict/Archive 5

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I've gone through the headers and have neutralized them somewhat. Zain, I'm not certain how your research fits into the Arab-Israeli conflict article, but only material already published in a reputable publication is allowed in Wikipedia anyway. Slim 22:14, Dec 25, 2004 (UTC)

Zain, you just deleted some material, which I've restored. If you feel something should be deleted, could you please say why on the Talk page, rather than just deleting it without comment? Many thanks, Slim 22:21, Dec 25, 2004 (UTC)

Yeah I thought may be it was clear from edit now let me explain.

This claim is about 'NEAR East' only. not about all jewish-muslim areas. Just only to 'NEAR East'.

Zain 22:23, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

You removed the 'NEAR East' by saying see in talk. There is nothing in talk, about 'NEAR East'. Can I ask why?

Zain 22:32, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Zain, you can't decide single-handedly what the section is about. Also, many Wikipedia readers won't know what you mean by the "near east" as it's not a term used much by non-academic English speakers anymore. Please discuss changes on Talk before making them, because the English in these articles has to be free of errors, so far as is possible, quite apart from the issue of POV or NPOV. I feel you should wait until Ed Poor arrives back to edit, as you seem to have made an arrangement with him regarding some mediation either for this article or State Terrorism, so perhaps his input would be helpful before you make any more changes. Many thanks, Slim 22:35, Dec 25, 2004 (UTC)

See I have right to put claim they have right to put response. I put 'Near East' earlier too but I don't know how it got removed. the claim is only about those countries where jewish-muslim relations were always good prior to creation. that's the core of the claim. And 'NEAR East' is technically more 'Encylopedic' then middle east. Middle east is very confusing that which countries to count and which not to count. See american own website To avoid confusion Can I use 'ottoman empire'?

Will it be f9 If I use 'ottoman empire areas'?

Zain 22:45, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have put Near East back in for you as you seem so keen on it, but more Wikipedia readers will understand Middle East than will understand Near East, in my view. Slim 22:58, Dec 25, 2004 (UTC)

Ok I put middle east. Can I remove the content about spain? because it doesn't come under middle east. To avoid confusion of areas can i use 'ottoman empire'. Or use 'formal jewish friendly countries'?
Can I put some thing like Relations effected in previous Jewish friendly countries, or too remove jewish word (if it is offensive).
Relations effected in previously friendly communities. Then in claim I can mention those countries like. Palestine itself , Iran , Iraq, UAE? can I do that. This way heading will be NPOV. Area will be less confusing because claim will have list of countries. Time will have less confusing, because previous means kind of adjecent, not very far past so can I use the heading.
Relations effected in previously friendly communities

And spain removal?

Zain 23:32, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Zain, the header said: "Jewish-Muslim relations affected by creation of Israel." It didn't say where. You wanted to specify "relations in Near East." I objected. You insisted. I conceded, pointing out that most readers will not understand what Near East refers to. You therefore changed it to Middle East. I agreed, as a further concession. Now you want to delete material from the section to make it conform to the Middle East header . . .

The header should describe the section, not the other way round, because the section was there first, and it was you, I believe, who added most of these headers in the first place. You can't now change content to fit headers that weren't there until you added them.

If you want to request a reference from the editor who inserted that material, that's legitimate, but you shouldn't just delete it. If you feel the section doesn't match the header, then the header should be changed back to "Jewish-Muslim relations affected by creation of Israel." Slim 23:46, Dec 25, 2004 (UTC)

Looks like a tricky issue. Because I think I can add a full new section of 'middle east'! right? or others which i suggested earlier. But may be i have to wait for others. (But Please note technically I have full right to add that view, which is not covered yet in the article. That is considering jewish friendly countries only)
Any way i think tomorrow i can edit heading. Bcoz if a particular view/angle is not covered. if i won't add it some body else will.
Zain 23:59, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Zain, you are right that anyone has the right to edit articles. No editor has "ownership" of any article. But edits must be in relatively error-free English, and that can be difficult for some people if English isn't their first language. That isn't a criticism of you, so please don't take it that way. I feel it might be helpful if you wait until Ed Poor returns, because he has offered to assist, either here or at State Terrorism, so it would make sense to see what he suggests. Or perhaps Mustafaa would help out, though I can't speak for him, and he may not have time. I don't know when Ed will be back. It may not be for a few days because it's the holiday season in many countries, but it would be a good idea to wait for him as he is a very helpful person. Slim 00:11, Dec 26, 2004 (UTC)

Changing my earlier comments. Actually I thought wrong and it was not me who gave that heading. this view was not even there when I categorized. It was later put by me. You can check in this difference. I was going out but Just thought that you raised incorrect point. My orignal point was not 'existance of anti-sentiment' but my point was the 'increase in anti-sentiment'. My orignal point was washed during reverts.
Please see this for what i added earlier
Page difference
Zain 00:39, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm new to this whole Wikipedia thing, but I just wanted to make a general comment about the Arab-Israeli conflict page. It doesn't do that great of a job representing the Palestinian points of view. In short, the central idea of Palestinian thinkers like Edward Said, is that the occupied territories are oppressed areas. Houses are said to be bulldozed all the time to, say, build a road to a new settlement. And settlements are accused of getting preferential treatment all around-- water, security measures, you name it. Settlements are just what they are-- Israelis coming in and building on Palestinian land with a degree of government support.... maybe Israelis claim to hold settlement land legally? I don't know. The military presence on the whole is seen as a problem; just the idea of Israelis with guns who aren't big fans of the Palestinians scares them and it's alleged the military abuses its power.

So my point? But "Life in the Occupied Territories" should be a category. It's a central part of the Palestinian point of view. House bulldozings, checkpoints, and more should be mentioned. Obviously, the Israeli responses should be there too. You do mention settlements, but not as a part of the direct indictment so many Palestinians support.

A final comment-- I hear generally cited stastics (by 'objective' news agencies) that indicate that roughly 1000 Israelis have died in the intifada, and 3500 Palestinians have died. Palestinians like to point those figures out because the media gives us the impression that the intifada mostly consists of terrorist attacks on Israel. Again, any disputes about those figures should be mentioned.

Since I am new to Wikipedia, I don't want to jump into this hornet's nest myself. ---Pat.s

"Israelis name various reasons for aggression toward Israel" is POV

The opening sentence explaining reasons is curently: "Israelis name various reasons for aggression toward Israel. One of the primary reasons cited is anti-Semitism (compare to philo-Semitism)." That version is POV because it implies that aggression towards Israel is an established fact. In fact, to be NPOV it should say, ""Israelis name various reasons for what they describe as aggression toward Israel." I NPOVed the sentence to: "Israelis perceive the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict in many ways. One of the primary reasons cited is anti-Semitism (compare to philo-Semitism)." --Pravda 03:53, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Apparently different sides are allowed to state their own views of these matters. For example, the Palestinian side states "Palestinians cite many reasons for the lack of support of their cause in the United States, despite its broadly being supported in Europe", which, of course, is POV, since, for example, it presumes a lack of support for their cause in the United States. Jayjg 04:32, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
An example of Two wrongs make a right (fallacy)? Instead of accepting POV exceptions to the NPOV rule, the proper course of action is to pursue NPOV more carefully. The POV sentence buried deep in the Palestinian section should be edited to ""Palestinians cite many reasons for the perceived lack of widespread support of their cause in the United States, despite its perceived broader support in Europe". --Pravda 04:44, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Previous POV warrior editors, while claiming NPOV, focussed almost solely on "NPOVing" the Israeli side of the argument into saying things that the Israelis actually didn't say. Let's hope your new sockpuppet is able to focus on NPOVing both sides. Jayjg 04:58, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Let's focus on article content and not your problems with other editors and their problems with you. You should have noted by now that I NPOVed both statements. Are there other POV sentences that need attention? --Pravda 06:20, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Nope check the history and see the headings which I gave to israeli section. They were all POV toward Israel. Like palestenian headings were POV towards Palestine. Reason is that I thought headings can be POV. Nobody objected on it. But when palestenian headings got too strong. 'Policy' of no 'harsh' heading was used. But that too didn't remove the effectivity of palestenian headings. so at the end NPOV heading was choosen. So go back and check the history of the page before you make any claim.
Please Jayjg check it for yourself before you make further false allegations.
Zain 20:43, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Removing Israeli arguments

Zain, please stop removing arguments Israelis and their supporters make. Just because you don't think historical Arab treatment of Jews is relevant doesn't mean they feel the same way. Jayjg | Talk 20:53, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Oh, and here's a quick reference for you to start with [1]. Note also the material in the article re: treatment of dhimmis, taken from Moriss's book. Jayjg | Talk 20:57, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am not saying that they treated good or not. The claim is only about middle east. (ottoman empire areas) Why r u not getting my point the claim is only about ottoman empire areas (middle east approx). I didn't remove libya and others because they come in middle east spain doesn't come in middle east.
So it is geography of the claim which are irrelevant to the claim of 'middle east'. Not that the claim is true or not.
Zain 21:12, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Israeli supporters claim the historic mistreatment of Jews by Arabs is relevant regardless of where they lived. That is their argument, whether or not you think it is valid. Jayjg | Talk 21:17, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Ok I thought you are trying to 'impose' the claim. you can keep ur claim. (although to me it doesn't seem logical).
Problem solved
Zain 21:31, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Regarding maps and caricatures

Greetings. I have been trying to make non-text revisions to this article, which have been immediately reverted (within seconds) by Jayjg. I believe the initial graphic is largely irrelevant to the actual conflict, and ought to be replaced by a close up map of the actually disputed territories that generate the greatest division between Arabs and Israelis. Moreover, the depiction of the Arab League member states in one colour and Israel in another colour smacks of a peculiarly partisan tactic used repeatedly by former Israeli PM Netanyahu (among others) to try and evoke an image of a tiny and defenseless Israel struggling for life and land from a huge mass of surrounding Arab states. This depiction obscures the fact that the territories in actual dispute have nothing to do with those Arab countries not bordering Israel, especially in the context of what has been negotiated and stipulated by both sides up to the present time. Your point about the separate Israeli-Palestinian article is well taken, but Wikipedia is full of separate articles that use the same media resources. I am willing to discuss having both these images side by side. What is your opinion?

As regards the caricature you keep deleting, I think it compliments the existing caricature (which is relevant and quite valid) well, because having only one cartoon depicting the oft-attributed Arab desire to "throw the jews into the sea" is unbalanced. To correct this, I introduced a second caricature depicting an Israeli shark, hinting at the powerful Israeli military machine, devouring a small struggling yet defiant Palestinian boy, evoking the much weaker stone-throwing children that make up the bulk of the Intifadas. This is also played out in the facts on the ground, where Palestinian deaths exceed Israeli deaths by more than 2:1. Arab summits often implore the US to intervene, while accomplishing little themselves, and the view, shared by Arabs and a majority of the member states of the United Nations, that the US usually responds by biased support for Israel and admonishments for the Palestinians, is valid and germane to this article. Thank you. --A. S. A. 07:47, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)

The map you have given is simply a map of Israel and the territories, not of the conflict between a large number of Arab countries and Israel. As such, it might be relevant to an article about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but not to the Arab-Israeli conflcit. The map itself has already been agreed to in previous Talk: As for the caricature, the existing one was actually published in an Egyptian paper immediately prior to the war, and directly refers to Arab feelings about Israel; the current one, of unclear provenance, is about Arab feelings about America. America is not Israel. Jayjg | (Talk) 07:59, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
The Occupied Territories are the crux of the modern Arab-Israeli dispute. Therefore, including a map of those territories, is extremely relevant to the article. In deference to your views, I have modified my previous opinion on replacing the original map altogether, and placed both maps side by side. As far as the caricature goes, as I said I think it is an important and well placed balancing addition. The US involvement in the Conflict is extensive and discussed in the article at length. This makes the caricature both balancing and relevant. You have deleted both my additions immediately, and three times in a row. I am consequently going to defer to the published Wikipedia "Staying cool when the editing gets hot" guidelines, and stop this revert tug of war, so that I may revisit the disagreement in a day or two. I hope you will reread my opinions and come to agree that including all these images enriches the article overall. P. S. The caricature also depicts Arab views of Israel, not just Arab views of America (i.e. the more powerful Israeli side ravaging a much weaker Palestinian one). P. S. 2: There seems to be some error. You say the first caricature was published in Egypt, but the caption reads Lebanon. Regarding the origins of the second caricature: It was not, I beleive, published in any paper, but was released into free public internet circulation by a Diaspora Palestinian artist. I thought it was an adequate counterbalance to the first cartoon. Sincerely, --A. S. A. 08:35, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)
I did not delete your contributions immediately or three times in a row; in fact, I re-added one. Please check the edit history. As for your caricature, it obviously has nothing to do with the history of the conflict. Jayjg | (Talk) 08:49, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
After waiting several days, I revisited Wikipedia and soberly re-read the article and the Talk. I notice the caption of the map I added has been changed to remove any references to "occupied territories." After reading previous Talk sections, I suppose am not surprised. Several partisans have been adamant that the territories not be labeled as occupied. People, come on. These are territories which have been seized and kept through force of arms, despite the vehement objection of their population. Furthermore, the sovereignty of Israel over any territory it occupied or annexed after June 1967 is not recognized either by the United Nations or any nation in the world, including the United States. Therefore, I find it extraordinary that anyone can claim the use of the adjective "occupied" can be construed as a POV. Yet this is an article replete in controversy, so I suppose nothing is really extraordinary. Therefore, in the spirit of compromise, I will not revert the edit of that caption.
The current caption is more accurate, and has no political agenda. It the caption had been changed to talk about "the disputed territories" or "Judea and Samaria" no doubt you would have been making the same complaint from the other direction. Jayjg | (Talk) 15:55, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Now, regarding the caricature. Your statement that it "obviously has nothing to do with the history of the conflict" is just flatly incorrect. Intifadas have been raging since the 80s. It is now 2005. That most definitely makes it history. I have defended the caricature repeatedly in this talk section and as there are no new arguments, I have nothing further to add. I have consequently returned it. If repeated knee-jerk reverts continue, we can refer the matter to arbitration. Please remember, I have not added or changed any contested factual textual information. I merely added a caricature graphic to counterbalance the first one. According to Wikipedia guidelines, you must believe an addition actually harms the article (not your POV), to be justified in reverting the edit. Belief in irrelevancy, as fantastic as I find that, is not sufficient grounds to delete someone's contributions. Let the readers decide for themselves if it is relevant. Thank you.--A. S. A. 11:58, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

The caricature appears to be a non-notable drawing produced on someone's website, illustrating his feelings about the United States. It is not part of the Arab-Israeli conflict. If you want to produce balance, produce a related cartoon; that is, a historial cartoon taken from an Israeli paper showing anti-Arab feeling, or one from an Arab paper showing pro-Israeli feeling (O.K., the last one is a joke, you're not going to find any of those). Irrelevancy is used all the time to remove content from articles, and for good reason; articles should be cogent summaries of a specific topic, not partisan re-hashes of broad and unrelated subject areas. Finally, if we can't work this out on the Talk: page, the next logical step is a Request for Comment, or, if that doesn't work, mediation. It is highly unlikely arbitration would be accepted on this topic, given that the preliminary steps towards conflict resolution have not been attempted. Jayjg | (Talk) 15:55, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
We are now repeating ourselves. I've already stated, the caricature clearly depicts Arab views of both Israel and the it's major ally, the US. You may not presume to take upon yourself the sole arbitration of what is relevant, nor have you made any case for how the article is harmed by the inclusion of the caricature. This is the only standard by which Wikipedia allows deletion of other people's contributions. It is my opinion that you do not wish there to be a balancing cartoon, because you want only the one which shows the Arab side to disadvantage. You may not impose on me what kind of cartoon I should introduce, nor from which source. I have compromised substantially on this issue; the caricature will stay unless administrators specifically rule otherwise. As for the caption of the map, I am certain it was changed precisely to follow a political agenda. Trying to deny the occupied status of the territories is as absurd as trying to find euphemisms for the genocide in Rwanda, like "accidental killings" for example. I will not stress again the relevancy of this cartoon, I have explained it fully. Sincerely,--A. S. A. 17:28, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
First of all, you have no evidence that this represents any more than one man's view. Second, the source is not particularly notable. Third, you have misunderstood the grounds on which editors can remove information from articles; perhaps you can quote me the section of policy you think states that. Fourth, I have made it clear that I would welcome a balancing cartoon; the problem is, this is not it, but is a cartoon on a different topic from a dissimilar source. Fifth, regarding the caption, please assume good faith; the forumulation I have used is precise, exact, and NPOV. All other forumlations are ambiguous, often debated, a focus for edit wars, and imprecise. Your formulation adds no information, actually muddies the waters, and promotes a political agenda. And finally, I cannot stress again the irrelevancy of this cartoon, and the need to find one that is relevant instead. Jayjg | (Talk) 17:38, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

We cannot assume that the artist was a man. It may well have been a woman. Internet circulation has long been considered a reliable gauge of popular opinion. A cartoon by a Diaspora Palestinian artist aggressively circulated by Arabs and interested parties all over the world is a valid expression of a popular sentiment, and in fact specifically highlights the phenomenon of the Diaspora itself. Assuming good faith is increasingly difficult at this stage, for all arguments relating to the caricature to this point have been repetitive and entirely unconvincing. The section of policy you asked me to quote is as follows: "Note that reverts are not appropriate if a newer version is no better than the older version. You should save reverts for cases where the new version is actively worse." This, to me, clearly means that an addition which you have stressed to be so irrelevant should not be reverted. An irrelevant caricature leaves the article no worse off. The fact is we disgree utterly about the caption of the map and the relevancy of the caricature. While I was able to compromise on the former, the caricature dispute obviously requires outside assistance. In situations approaching an edit war, Wikipedia advises a maximum revert of once daily in an effort to cool heals, as it were. I think this is good sense. I will revert one more time today, remaining within the 3RR, and henceforth revert once daily while the dispute resolution proceeds. I am a relative newbie so I hope I have begun the process correctly. I am waiting to hear from an advocate or administratior. I will also look for new Talk comments as often as I can, but I reserve replies for new ideas, because as I said we have been repeating ourselves for some time. Sincerely,--A. S. A. 18:34, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

As has been made clear, you've already reached your 3 revert limit. The "new" version was worse than the old, because it contained irrelevant material of dubious provenance. An article with irrelevant material is worse than an article with only relevant material. Your arguments are repetitive as well. If you want more eyes on this, you should take it to Requests for Comment. Jayjg | (Talk) 19:02, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It's difficult to see how the disputed cartoon could be said to be irrelevant to the subject of the article; the fact that it involves the U.S. is at best a red herring (unless the claim is that the notion of Israel as a man(boy)-eating shark is peripheral, which it clearly isn't). Are we really supposed to accept that inclusion of the U.S. makes it irrelevant, and by implication that the U.S. doesn't play an important role in the conflict? Aside from this cartoon, the set of illustrations is dubiously neutral; the first map is particularly bizarre, giving as it does a very misleading impression of the relative strengths of Israel and its enemies, as well as the impression that every member of the Arab League is involved in the conflict in the same way (I know that there's a comment on this in the text, but pictures tend to speak louder than words). I suppose it's inevitable that this should be a page whose editors are more than usually unlikely to be wholly disinterested, but it's good that that generally comes out in the Talk page rather than in the article itself. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 20:20, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The cartoon discusses the alleged feelings of Arabs regarding American support of Israel; the article does not discuss that topic at all. It's hard to see how a cartoon that is unrelated to article content could possibly be relevant. "Balance" is not about tit for tat, that is "if one side gets a cartoon, the other side gets a cartoon too". The items included must be relevant and notable as well. As I've said before, an anti-Arab cartoon from an Israeli paper would be perfectly relevant and appropriate, not this anonymous cartoon on a topic not discussed in the article. As for the map, it was the Arab League that attacked Israel in 1948, and which declared a number of boycotts against it; the Arab League is definitely involved. Jayjg | (Talk) 03:32, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Well, no, the cartoon doesn't discuss anything. It does, however, indicate – via caricature – a view relevant to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and an essential part of that is the notion that Israel is a large predator attacking small and defenceless prey. The insistence that in order to illustrate an article a picture of whatever sort should focus solely on what is explicitly mentioned in the article is not borne out by other Wikipedia articles, and is surely difficult to argue for. Similarly, I can't see the relevance of the anonymity of the cartoon's creator, nor its lack of "notability". You seem to be appealing to one of the criteria concerning the subject of an article – that the subject be notable – to an illustration in the article. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:47, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Well said, Mel Etitis. You have crystalized the relevancy of the caricature better than I could have done. Your point regarding the Arab League versus Israel map is highly insightful as well. I touched on it earlier in the Talk section. Showing Israel in one color and the rest of the Arab World in another is a favorite tactic of Netanyahu's. He does it on TV frequently, especially when addressing American TV networks. Nevertheless, I did not fight its inclusion when I was able to carry my point of showing a map of the Occupied Territories alongside. Note: Criticizing this particular map and it's color-delineation technique in no way implies that the Arab League is not relevant.--A. S. A. 06:47, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)

I have a couple of concerns about the recent cartoon, which it looks more anti-Arab than pro-Arab:
  • By dehumanizing Israelis (a shark devouring a human child), it shows that the Arabs spread anti-Semitic propaganda. Is that the image of the Arabs you want to project? See also blood libel, zoomorphism.
This is plain silly, I'm afraid. Political cartoons have always thrived on such caricatures, and animal metaphors are particularly common (the Russian bear, the British lion (often moth-eaten), etc.). Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης)
Go on: the Jewish shark devouring Christian and Muslim children. For shame. Humus sapiensTalk 09:11, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I have no idea what you mean here, but you seem to be doing the equivalent of spluttering with inarticulate fury. Do you in fact dispute what I said, and if so, why? What arguments or evidence do you have against the point I made? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:35, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • Regarding the Nasser's cartoon: there is no doubt that Nasser's intention or at least his quote was: NPR, Pakistan Today, HNN. Several Arab countries backed Egypt in 1967 and in addition to six Arab countries that attacked Israel in 1948-49, many other Arab countries actively supported the aggressors. These are facts (so much for Arab leaders impotently standing by). Your cartoon is an opinion and should be attributed as such. Where and when was it published?
Good grief — of course a cartoon is an opinion not a fact. What reader of the article with an IQ in double figures is likely not to understand that? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης)
  • The "predominant Arab view": how and who measured its support, was there a poll? It's in English, after all.
  • I don't think it belongs here at all, but why it was placed in the Six-Day War section? The US did not militarily support Israel until the Yom Kippur War. This brings up a discussion about the ongoing US military help to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. Humus sapiensTalk 11:23, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
This seems a pedantic complaint to me (and off-target, given that the cartoon seems to have nothing to do with U.S. military support of Israel), but would Aladdin consider placing the cartoon an inch or two further down the page? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:47, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
He should instead consider finding a relevant cartoon, one that actually addresses the article contents. Jayjg (talk) 22:10, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It was placed there to counterbalance the existing caricature, as I explained earlier. However, in the spirit of compromise and despite my better judgement, I will offer no objection in principle to moving it away form the 1967 war section, as a purely organizational edit. Mel, if you would that for us, I will reserve my final opinion of the move after I see where it is put. For the last time, the caricature is extremely relevant, and I will not waste key strokes to belabor the point further. It seems to me that we have said our peace on that point, and we must await the eventual ruling of the administrators, assuming the dispute resolution process goes all the way. As far as the Nasser cartoon, I have no objection to it, and you need not try to justify it, at least not to me. I realize that some Arabs and sympathizers with their cause will not like to have this damaging notion of "throwing the jews into the sea" publicised, but it is valid and it existed, and in some quarters continues to exist, and therefore must be faithfully reported. Likewise the caricature I introduced is a legitimate addition that adequately illustrates prevailing perceptions. As for the view of Arabs you think I am trying to project: I am not. Neutrality and balance is what I am striving for. Those other "points" I need not address because Mel Etitis has answered them so eloquently. I think things are really getting quite desperate, if spurious arguments like these are beginning to be flung about. As far as the "predominant Arab view"; there is no credible international contention to this assertion. It is routinely reported as such across international media, including Israeli. Allow me to quote former PM Yitzhak Shamir: "Our image has undergone change from David fighting Goliath to being Goliath." (Quoted in: Daily Telegraph, London, 25 Jan. 1989). There have been in fact polls taken in the Arab world by western researchers and announced on CNN a few times, (Wolf Blitzer in particular seems fond of them) but even without them, the assertion is firm and well supported. I also have no objection to the replacement of the close up map of Israel and the Occupied Territories, since the new map clearly delineates Israel's legal, internationally recognized pre 1967 borders. Lastly, like I said before, I am limiting my reverts to once daily in deference to Wikipedia's guidelines when dealing with an edit or revert war. I advise all contributors to do the same. Sincerely--A. S. A. 03:43, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but you're regurgitating the same arguments. Top begin with, what you mistake for "legal, internationally recognized 1967 borders" are in fact, for the most part, 1949 armistice lines. The difference is significant. Borders are decided by agreements between opposing countries, and the 1949 Armistice lines were deliberately rejected as permanent borders by the Arab states; I'm sure you can guess why. As for the cartoon, balance would be provided by a similar cartoon from an Israeli newspaper showing Israeli sentiments towards the Arab countries, not an anonymous cartoon on a topic not discussed in the article. I have no objection to such a cartoon; as I said, I welcome it. Jayjg (talk) 04:07, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have regurgitated nothing. I specifically declined to repeat any previous arguments, and confined myself to new points as well as answering specific questions put to me. You have stated your position several times on balance and relevancy, you need not repeat yourself. We disagree. As for the borders, I am not mistaken. Regardless of how the borders were arrived at (and I am aware of the armistice lines), the borders of Israel immediately preceding the 1967 war are the legal, internationally recognized borders.--A. S. A. 04:24, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
On what treaties and/or agreements do you base your faulty claim? Jayjg (talk) 04:27, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
This is no claim. To state that the borders of the State of Israel up to june 1967 are what today is internationally recognized as her legal borders requires no treaty. Neither the United Nations nor any country or independent polity in the world have recognized Israel's sovereignty over the territories it occupied and/or subsequently annexed after the Six Day War. It is a simple statement of fact. It does not address what Israel believes is right, merely what is internationally recognized.--A. S. A. 04:39, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't see the documents outlining Israel's legal borders. Could you try again please? Also, please note that Israel has not annexed the West Bank or Gaza, therefore there it has not legally asserted sovereignty over them. Jayjg (talk) 04:46, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
What we have here is a failure to communicate. I have stated clearly what is meant by Internationally Recognized. There is no treaty the the whole world has to sign in order for the term "international recognition" to be applied. All member states of the UN do not recognize the legality of Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan. No non-UN member recognizes the same either. Furthermore, I distinctly said "occupied and/or subsequently annexed" to preserve the difference, so you need not edify me on what Israel has officially annexed. Also, please note that Israel has placed illegal settlers even in non-annexed territory, in contravention of the Geneva Convention. Israeli law and protection, and therefore a very important measure of sovereignty is extended to these settlers--A. S. A. 05:07, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
In fact, UN resolutions implicitly recognize that the Israeli armistice lines are not final borders, and the Oslo Accords recognize Israel's right to occupy. As for the Geneva Conventions, even if there were a High Contracting Party making them relevant (which there is not), the articles in question apply to involuntary population transfers. Jayjg (talk) 15:47, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Both sides have stipulated that a final peace settlement may redraw borders, giving Israel some territory in the West Bank to encompass as many settlements as possible, so that as few as possible will have to be evacuated. Any such agreement would give Palestine corresponding uninhabited territory inside Israel, while preserving a contiguous border for the West Bank portion of the Palestinian State. This does not alter the fact that the 1967 borders are what the whole world, the UN especially, recognizes as the lawful frontiers of Israel, where her sovereignty and military presence is lawful and not in contravention of International Law and UN resolutions. The Oslo Accords in no way recognize Israel's "right to occupy." What it does is stipulate to the fact of the military occupation, by way of providing for limited Palestinian self-government in the form of the Palestinian Authority, as a prelude to a final settlement. As for the Israeli settlements on Occupied Land, the Fourth Geneva Convention specifically applies to them, and those Israeli prevarications which you summarized have been universally rejected in official diplomatic order by all nations of the world as well as by the International Court of Justice. The plain fact of the matter is that the Conventions are at complete odds with Israeli policy. One example: War Crimes; Under the 1949 Conventions collective punishments are a war crime. Article 33 states: "No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed," and "collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited." As I'm sure you are aware, Israel routinely demolishes the homes of the families of suicide bombers.--A. S. A. 05:19, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)
Legal experts on the matter disgree with almost all of your claims, but I realize that this is not the place to debate this. Jayjg (talk) 00:44, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Come now, what legal experts are these? The Israeli Bureau of Wishful Thinking? I'm sorry to be facetious but the fact is that Israel has lost so often and so consistently in international legal disputes, that virtually her only defense of late is that the whole world is anti-semitic. Her position visa-vie the Geneva Conventions, UN resolutions, ICJ rulings and diplomatic standing in the world all belie your statement.--A. S. A. 09:58, Jan 30, 2005 (UTC)
Julius Stone, for one.[2] And how many "international legal disputes" do you imagine Israel has been involved in regarding this issue? Again, please outline the specific legal statements which converted Israel's 1949 Armistice Lines, clearly recognized as interim and temporary, to permanent legal borders negotiated by peace treaties. Jayjg (talk) 16:50, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Julius Stone! Of course. A jew and a zionist. A most unbiased commentator! As I have said before, the prevarications championed by zionist partisans like Stone have been universally rejected. Of course there are supporters of Israeli occupation and expansionism, but their cause is clearly not credible, in terms of international opinion. As for the international disputes you asked about: Incessant resolutions in the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and ICJ (West Bank Wall case being the most recent). Not to mention the universal diplomatic non-recognition of both Israel's claims and the arguments put forth by the likes of Stone. As for the borders, this communication breakdown is really most remarkable. Please see my input above, dated 04:39, Jan 28, 2005, 05:07, Jan 28, 2005 and 05:19, Jan 29, 2005. I shall not repeat myself.--A. S. A. 01:17, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)
Ah, yes, you asked for legal experts, and as soon as I bring one, you pull out the old "Jew and Zionist" card. I guess his CV means nothing: From 1942 until 1972 he was the Challis Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney. From 1972 until his death in 1985 Professor Stone held concurrently with his appointment as visiting Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales the position of Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law at the Hastings College of Law, University of California. In 1956 he received the award of the American Society of International Law, and in 1962 he was made an honorary life member of the society. In 1964 the Royal Society of Arts named him as a recipient of the Swiney Prize for Jurisprudence. In 1965 he received the World Research Award of the Washington Conference on World Peace through Law. His 26 major works include the authoritative texts Legal Controls of International Conflict, Aggression and World Order, The International Court and World Crisis and the Province and Function of Law. As for General Assembly resolutions, they are irrelevant to international law; rather, they are popularity contests, as are most Security Council resolutions, including the ones one the territories. The ICJ ruling was about the security barrier, not about Israel's lack of borders. And Israel's lack of borders goes both ways; a number of countries don't recognize Israel as legal in its current Armistice lines, and critical U.N. resolutions anticipated that they would change before a settlement was reached. Finally, arguments put forward by "the likes of you" have nothing but ignorance and prejudice to contribute to a discussion on International Law, particulary as compared to "the likes of Stone". Jayjg (talk)
It is plain you think this is the place to debate this, after all. Very well. You fail to recognize the sarcasm (much less the rhetorical question) implicit in the comment "The Israeli Bureau of Wishful Thinking". It was not experts I was demanding you produce, it was a comment that such expertise does of course exist in zionist circles, and is internationally discredited, especially in terms of universal condemnation of Israeli occupation and settlement activity. It is not a card one pulls when one points out that the expert you cited is so clearly biased and a member of an ideology. I reject your implication that the use of the word "zionist" and "jew" are intrinsically racist or in anyway imply ignorance or prejudice. Stone's position and background is clearly not impartial, no matter what impressive list of accolades he has achieved. What's more, his arguments have failed repeatedly in the UN and are reflected in the official diplomatic standing of all nations in the world, none of which support his reasoning or his conclusions. Naturally, when Israel loses, resolutions and world bodies become popularity contests, and the whole world is anti-semitic. Also note: While General Assembly resolutions are non-binding according to International Law, Security Council resolutions most certainly are. Nevertheless, both are a manifestation of an "international dispute" that Israel consistently loses. The recent ICJ ruling was an advisory opinion, but nevertheless clearly rules on international law, and the Wall, by duly considered international law, is illegal. Note that I did not say it concerned borders, and was an example of an International Dispute that Israel lost, which you specifically asked me for. Action demanding its removal, must be made by the Security Council. Finally, I must ask you not to engage in personal attacks on me. Your last sentence was offensive and petulant in the extreme.--A. S. A. 02:15, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)
I haven't seen any "discrediting" done by anyone, outside of your claims. The issues of the legality of settlements is different from the issue of the legality or even existence of an occupation. Ad hominum arguments are indeed a "card" that people pull when they have no substantive arguments, and when the labels "Zionist" and "Jew" are used to dismiss arguments, rather than rational discourse, there is only one logical conclusion. No-one is particularly impartial about anything, though they may pretend otherwise, and Stone's arguments have not been tested in a court of law; the geo-political maneuverings of various interest groups at the UN are irrelevant to them. Your strawman arguments regarding "Israel losing at the UN" are noted and discarded; the UN is a body where countries advance their own political interests, and this has nothing to with the strength of Stone's legal arguments. As you admit UNGA resolutions and ICJ advisory positions have no impact on International Law. Nor do most Security Council resolutions, except Chapter 7 resolutions, none of which have been made against Israel. As for my comments, they were no more offensive that your "the likes of Stone", the "Jew" and "Zionist", comments were. Jayjg (talk) 15:48, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
If the universal rejection by every nation in the world, independent of the UN, of the views espoused by Stone and his supporters [read: likes of Stone, absolutely no derogatory meaning implied] does not prove to you the utter discrediting of his legal arguments, then nothing will. Stone is not the only expert arguing for Israel; A little research will produce more, just as it will produce an avalanche of expertise of the opposite view. The main point is that this sort of reasoning (pro-Zionist) officially failed as expressed by Security Council resolutions and ICJ rulings, as well as the afore-mentioned universal diplomatic rejection. As for the ICJ having no impact on International Law, that is flatly incorrect. The court has no power of enforcement, that rests with the executive branch of the UN, the Security Council. Nevertheless rulings of the ICJ are international law, which the UNSC uses, along with other sources, in it's role as enforcer. Your reasoning that I have engaged in argumentum ad hominem is a red herring to try and paint me as a racist. I repeat: The use of the terms "Jew" and "Zionist" are in no way racist. In fact, suggestion to the contrary smacks of racism, by implying that the "Jew" and "Zionist" are inherently "bad". I have given you enough rational discourse to fill a tank, we both have. Scroll up and and reread it. What we have said and more is contained in the International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict article. Even so, if you wish to debate further, you shall not want for a respondent.--A. S. A. 07:07, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. You seem to be confused about a few things, one of them is Wikipedia:NPOV policy and I urge you to learn what it is. Imagine people adding frivolous pictures and "what really happened" to articles describing other conflicts in history, in order to bring what they perceive "balance"! A libelous cartoon of unknown origin and date doesn't belong in a serious encyclopedia. Humus sapiensTalk 08:25, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The caricature is by no means libelous, that is an outrageous suggestion. I don't think you understand the nature and definition of a caricature at all, in fact. You are now grasping at straws, and I will not attempt to engage you in this ridiculous assertion. I doubt very much that Wikipedia administrators will find it libelous either. We shall have to wait for their decision on that score, as well as the disputed relevancy. I am well aware of the NPOV policy, that is why I am persevering in this cause. --A. S. A. 08:55, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
The Palestinians are presented as a child, the Jews as a shark: no, not libelous at all. Stop the intimidation ("grasping for straws", etc): it won't work. Humus sapiensTalk 09:11, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Your position seems to be that anything representing the Arab side's beliefs and attitides is libellous, and this is accompanied by a steadfast refusal to address the point that political cartoons work by exaggeration, caricature, and metaphor, frequently in terms of animals. As the Wikipedia article notes, political cartoons in the form of story-lined comic strips are "often denounced by traditionalists as being little more editorial columns desguised as cartoons." (so, by clear implication, other political cartoons are not).
I think that your strong PoV is leading you to see (wrongly) neutral material as representing the other PoV. That's natural and human, but you need to stop and reflect. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:35, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
(1) "Your position seems to be that anything representing the Arab side's beliefs and attitides is libellous" - you are wrong, and bringing this straw-man shows your own POV. (2) Every "exaggeration, caricature, and metaphor" risks to cross a red line. Humus sapiensTalk 09:48, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
As I said earlier, I will not even attempt to argue this point. To counter such an assertion, I have neither Mel's patience nor eloquence. But I am curious as to Jayjg's opinion. We know your opinion on irrelevancy, but do you believe this caricature is libelous?--A. S. A. 11:22, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
No, I don't consider it libelous, and I'm tired of arguing. I've moved the image to where it is at least peripherally relevant, the section on Arab views of the U.S. position. Jayjg (talk) 15:47, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I wish it noted for the record that I accept the organizational edit of Jayjg in relocating the contested caricature. Unless there are no further deletions of this graphic, I should be pleased to declare the dispute resolved by amicable consensus and substantial compromise, in the best traditions of Wikipedia. My thanks to all the editors and the people who took time to help with the Talk discussion.--A. S. A. 05:19, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)

If the cartoon is to be included, the text must be fixed. Humus sapiensTalk 09:48, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)
What do you mean, fixed? The caption has already been changed twice, and I have made no objection. Weren't one of these changes yours? Please take care not to insert any POV comments into the caption. A caricature is supposed to reflect only the opinion being dramatized by the artist. As you can see, no Arab face-saving comments have been inserted into the Nasser cartoon.--A. S. A. 01:17, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)
Humus Sapiens fixed the caption after making that comment, and before you made your comment. Jayjg (talk) 01:58, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Readers of this article should note that (with not a single valid justification offered) this image has been put up for deletion: Wikipedia:Images_and_media_for_deletion#April_1. - Mustafaa 09:53, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've been following the exchanges, now I'm going to take a deep breath and jump in..

Friends, despite the high quality of the discussion, I get the feeling that you may be missing each other.

A. S. A. - You need to understand that for Jayg and for many Jewish readers object strongly to the shark comparison. Why is that? Because during the 30s Jews in Europe were typically compared to rats, pigs, etc.. This was done, cynically, in an effort to deny Jews their humanity, after which their persecutors felt they would be able to do whatever they wanted with them. Since then Jews have felt an understandable visceral repulsion to animal comparisons.

Jayg - The point of cartoon is not to dehumanise jews. There is no metaphor along the lines calling upon a expedition to exterminate the sharks. What the cartoon is about, is the Palestinian feeling of helplessness in the face of Israel's overwhelming military superiority as well as American complicity and indifference.

I'm hoping these remarks help to bring you forward. Maybe ASA will show sensitivity and chose another metaphor. Maybe Jayg will overcome his repulsion and accept the cartoon. And just maybe, we will make an ever so small step in the direction of understanding; which, after all, is more important than the content of the article.

--Philopedia 18:51, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Armistice lines or borders?

"The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question." [3]

"The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto." [4]

Questions? Jayjg (talk) 01:53, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

None. Israeli sovereignty over territory within the 1949 armistice lines, alternatively known as the 1967 borders, is not in dispute by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan or the PA. Most Arab League States have stipulated the same. Likewise the world recognizes Israeli sovereignty over those territories, acknowledging that a final border agreement is pending (as mentioned earlier). I wouldn't be surprised if Qaddafi's government is probably in belligerent opposition to anything agreed so far, but that is neither here nor there, Libya has no contested borders with Israel. It is also by no means certain that Iran's current theocratic government will ever recognize Israel or normalize relations. The point being, quotations form the armistice agreement are not in contradiction with statements set forth in earlier Talk segments.--A. S. A. 06:55, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)

Your reply is interesting, and often factual, but not relevant. The fact remains that the documents which define the Armistice Lines themselves make clear that they are not borders. QED. Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It's amusing to see you declaring QED on a factoid that is not in dispute. Please note that (a) in international media coverage, (b) in negotiations between the combatants, (c) in commentaries by world leaders and the like, the armistice lines are repeatedly referred to as borders. The term "armistice lines" is rarely mentioned, nevertheless they are valid and will be revisited when a final peace agreement is reached and borders are agreed upon by treaty. In the interim, the phrase "1967 borders" and alternatively "pre-1967 borders" will continue to be used by the world to refer to what they consider as Israel's lawful frontiers, without prejudice to the legal status of a final border agreement.--A. S. A. 07:07, Feb 1, 2005 (UTC)

Could this be accepted as a breather? I assisted to a conference about the Middle-East peace, 2 years ago in Edmonton Canada. The speakers were a Catholic Bishop, a Rabbi and a professor of university who spoke on behalf of the Palestinians. All agreed that before any real progress can be made politicaly, religious peace had to be found first. The conference ended without an answer. Abbas, not the name of the Palestinian leader, but the sound of the word, its meaning and its plurial are of great drawing force upon the 3 major religious participants of the present opportunity for peace. Abba Father is the utmost intimate exclamation of one's heart and spirit in communion with the Fatherhood of God. The obvious and simple point of reference for the religious peace in the Middle-East is found in cultivating the abba Father of Abraham when he received the blessing from the King of justice and of peace, Melchisedec. That blessing is what seals God's blessing upon all families and nations of the Earth! ABRAHAM’S UNIVERSAL APPEAL As a child of God, maturity grows because all of one's heart, soul, mind and strenght is compelled by love in the worshipping obedience that comes in response to God, as He makes Himself known to one as the personal adopting, heavenly, creating Father. A word used to express this sacrifice of worship is: "Muslim"! Also, where from God reveals Himself within each one of His children, for the sacrifice of worship to happen in truth and in spirit, is known in the Bible as the inner most being and prophetically unveiled as the Holy of Holies in Zion. Therefore, by historically accepted definitions, it is divinely safe to say in practical theory, that the maturity of God's blessing to Abraham's family, is to live out His appointed version of the Muslim-Zionist state... The true and simple nature of the Covenant in the union with God as quoted in Heb. 8, 10-12 of the New-Testament, is given to humanity so as to become, along with other equally proper definitions, a race of Muslim-Zionist!!!...PS: The same completion from the Covenant of union with God is available to adapt with humanity from all genuine openings who seeks to find and to serve Love and Justice, in the fostering of eternity through time and space...

What is this person talking about? Peace among religions, perhaps. Religion is just a political tool (POV), in this case, I believe understanding comes first, then peace among religions will arrive. Also, the "Since this old and dusty book said this and that this other thing is true and must come into being" is one of the oddest arguments I am forced to listen to. Shandolad 07:51, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Al Aqsa Intifada

The only (possible) reason behind this intifada isn't that Sharon visited a muslim site, there have also been some discussion that Arafat had planned this intifada since the ongoing discussions with Israel weren't going his way. Also, is there a section about the peace summits during the 90's and early 2000's? If there is, I must have missed them. Shandolad 07:51, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)


In light of the vigorous consensus-building and dispute resolution attempts in Talk sections of articles related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, I am removing the POV tags. If someone has a any further problems not already covered in Talk then by all means restore the tag but please start a new section and bring forth your concerns for consensus building. These perpetual NPOV tags are unreasonable.--A. S. A. 09:17, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)

Yehuda Bauer v. ?

AlladinSE "balanced" the text Yehuda Bauer notes: "If you advocate the abolition of Israel... that means in fact that you're against the people who live there. If you are, for example, against the existence of Malaysia, you are anti-Malay. If you are against the existence of Israel, you are anti-Jewish."


Palestinians reply that analogies of this sort are invalid because in Malaysia there exists no Middle Eastern-like history of wars and diasporas nor an ongoing conflict consisting of the unresolved status of nationhood, land and refugees. The opposing perspectives remain unreconciled.

Sorry, I can't even call this an original research. I have to admit I'm not familiar with the history of Malaysia, but in any case, this is not about it. He could have said USA, Greenland, or Australia. What is the logic? Since the creation of the Palestinian refugees was one of products of 1948 Arab-Israeli War (started by Arab states, see also Jewish refugees), it is OK to advocate the destruction of Israel in a serious encyclopedia? Would you call this NPOV? Humus sapiensTalk 10:48, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
How can you refuse a response to the Bauer quotation? It in itself is not research but an analogy by an individual heavily involved in zionism and Israeli advocacy in general. There is no need for "research" to rebut that kind of analogy. And of course it can be USA, Greenland, or Australia, that's the whole point of a rhetorical analogy. At no time is the destruction of Israel advocated just because this highly POV quotation is balanced with the Arab perspective of the invalidity of the analogy and argument Bauer was making. Furthermore, the instigators of wars in no way invalidates the rights of refugees from either side.--A. S. A. 10:58, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)
You miss the point. What he is saying is, advocating the destruction of Israel is anti-Semitism. Humus sapiensTalk 11:12, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You might want to elaborate the context, or increase the quotation, to more clearly show this. Even so, please note that "destruction of the Israel" is also a political consideration, not a physical one. It entails abolishing the state (which for the record I strongly oppose) and in no way advocates or includes "genocide" as you have implied in your edit summary. The fact is that a swath of Palestinians and Arabs, as you well know and as is documented in several articles, do not accept the legality of a Jewish state, but nevertheless advocate the Jewish residents remain if the Israeli state is abolished. This view and it's related context to the "destruction" of Israel and alleged anti-semitism must be included and that is why I rebutted the Bauer analogy. I think the quotation is certainly confusing and misplaced but rather then delete it I offered a balance.--A. S. A. 11:46, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)

"and that is why I rebutted the Bauer analogy.". Please review Wikipedia:No original research, especially the part which states that something is original research if "it purports to refute another idea, theory, argument, or position described in the article". Original research is not allowed in articles; if you need to have this point made, find some reasonable published source which makes it. Jayjg (talk) 17:17, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Inserting a rebuttal does not mean the argument is original or unsubstantiated. I need not source this point anymore than the dozens of other "Israelis believe this" or "Palestinians reply with that" references that litter this articles and others need to be cited.--A. S. A. 17:54, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)
Tu quoque arguments don't really work; you clearly admitted to creating this argument as a rebuttal, which is forbidden as original research. Instead of edit-warring, why not just go find a source? Jayjg (talk) 18:28, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I see no reason that the views of somebody wrongly claiming that advocating the destruction of Israel is anti-Semitism are worthy of being noted here anyway, but if they are they should not appear without a countervailing point. ASA's point that "in Malaysia there exists no Middle Eastern-like history of wars and diasporas nor an ongoing conflict consisting of the unresolved status of nationhood, land and refugees" is true, and can easily be sourced. Although it misses the point; of course, it's not in the least anti-Malay to think that there should be no Malay state. - Mustafaa 20:08, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Your original research was flawed, since no-one advocated the destruction of South Africa, they only insisted that it extend full voting rights to all citizens (something Israel has done, of course, since 1948). Your other original research was flawed because it did not address Bauer's comments. All fixed now. Jayjg (talk) 21:04, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The paragraph in question is ridiculous - some specifics:

  • If it is true (which I doubt) that "most Arabs" object to the formation of any state on the basis of ethnicity (which the paragraph seems to imply), Bauer's objection is apt.
  • The argument that is obscured here is that "most Arabs" assert that:
    • As per the PLO charter, Jews are in fact nothing like a people; they are merely adherents to a religion, the way Christians are
    • Even if they were a people, they have no legitimate connection to the area
    • Even if they did have a legitimate connection to the area, their rights are trumped by those of the Palestinians
  • Several writers have made the point that Palestinians aren't antisemitic because their objection is to state of Israel, not to the people who live there. To put it bluntly, they don't mind Jews, as long as they don't live in what is now known as Israel.
  • Bauer's point is that if you wish to abolish the state of Israel, you must also consider - even take responsibility for - the consequences for the Jews who live there specifically, and you have to consider the fact that the formation of the state of Israel is a response to millenia of persecution of Jews. --Leifern 20:57, 2005 Mar 22 (UTC)

More accurately - they don't mind Jews, as long as they don't take over what is now known as Israel. Living there is fine, as the PLO Charter specifies. - Mustafaa 21:00, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Even more accurately, they do mind Jews, and won't allow any to live there, unless they lived there before 1917, as the PLO Charter specifies. Jayjg (talk) 21:06, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Even more accurately, they don't mind Jews, and won't allow any to live there, unless they lived there before 1917, as the PLO Charter specifies. - Mustafaa 22:58, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I see. They don't mind Jews, so long as they're only a few dozen of them, and they're at least 90 years old. I stand corrected. Jayjg (talk) 23:45, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

But otherwise, I think your summary of what ""most Arabs" assert" is good, as long as "connection with" is replaced with "rights over". - Mustafaa 21:02, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have problems in general with qualifiers as "most Arabs," but it I have read several PLO and other writings that deny any connection between the area in question and the Jews. They claim that Jews are descendants of the Khazars, Jesus was not a Jew but a "Palestinian," there was never any Jewish temple in Jerusalem, etc. The PLO charter does state - as Jayg points out, that only "indigenous" Jews have the right to remain in the state of Palestine, and these are limited to descendants of those who can prove they lived there before 1917 or 1880. If we would take the kingdom of Jordan or (more or less) autonomous PNA areas on the West Bank as an example, it would appear that Palestinian leaders want a - and I use this term quite deliberately - Judenrein Palestine. --Leifern 21:42, 2005 Mar 22 (UTC)

The distinction that Palestinians (including the PLO) draw is between Zionist and non-Zionist Jews. It's every bit as reasonable to want to keep immigrants who openly proclaim their desire to take over your country out (isn't that Israel's argument when the subject of refugees comes up?) as it is unreasonable to expel people who have lived there all along without any such plans, and the fact that the PNA has the good sense to try to keep the former out of their areas in no way implies that they want to eliminate the latter from Palestine. As for denials, none of the denials you cite are denials of any connection, but of specific connections. The claim that there was never any Jewish temple in Jerusalem is normally accompanied by the claim that the Samaritans are right and the Jewish temple "should" be on Mount Gerizim, and in any case, since it contradicts Islam, is not popular with anyone but negotiating teams. And nobody claims that all Jews were descendants of the Khazars; the claim is that Ashkenazis are descendants of the Khazars (and is often accompanied by the argument that Sephardis/Mizrahis should side with their Arab brothers.) - Mustafaa 22:58, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The Charter makes no distinction between Zionist and non-Zionist Jews; rather it sets the arbitrary (and not clearly defined) date as the dividing point. Since the vast majority of Jews are Zionists of one type or another, including those who lived in Israel before (at best) 1917, and since the PLO Charter would exclude 99.9% of Jews from Israel regardless of their beliefs, I don't see the sense in your argument. Yes, it's true that a few hundred nonegenarians would present no threat to a Palestinian state, other than a drain on their healthcare system, but this argument is still rather specious. The history denial regarding the Temple doesn't seem to mention the Samaritans, but rather simply denies Jewish attachment to the city (somehow ignoring 3,000 years of prayer and yearning). The claim that Palestinians "only" insist that Ashkenazi Jews are Khazars is also rather specious, given that at least 80% of Jews are Ashkenazi. As for Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews siding with their "Arab brothers", the ones I know are rather more militant about doing the exact opposite, since they have unpleasant memories of their experiences of their treatment at the hands of their "Arab brothers". Jayjg (talk) 23:16, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The date is far from arbitrary, as you surely realize, and the charter includes their descendants. And yes, "history denial regarding the Temple" does mention Mt. Gerizim (at least, the only forms I've ever come across), not that it's any more than a silly negotiating pose. Nor does anyone claim that "Palestinians" insist, but that "some people" insist. The implausibility of Sephardis siding with their Arab brothers (despite occasional examples) does not stop this from being commonly given as a flip side to the Ashkenazis being Khazar. Not that it would matter - having been somewhere 2,000 years ago is never a good excuse to take it over now. - Mustafaa 23:27, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Maybe we're reading different PLO Charters. From what I can see, Article 6: The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians. makes no mention of descendents. As well, Article 20: ...Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong. denies that Jews have any historical or even religious connection to Israel, regardless of whether they are Ashkenazi/Sepharadi/Mizrachi, and also denies that the Jews are a people (several years, by the way, before Golda Meir said Palestinians were not a people). As for the Temple argument, I've seen mention of Nablus, but nothing specific about Gerizim (which is outside of Nablus) - do you have a link? And in response to your last argument, I could say that have been somewhere 60 years ago is never a good excuse to take it over now. Jayjg (talk) 23:41, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

But if you did claim that "having been somewhere 60 years ago is never a good excuse to take it over now" (as Israel does...) you would at the very least have to acknowledge that having been there 2,000 years ago was an excuse many times worse. Gerizim, Nablus - same thing, for this purpose; the point in both cases is the idea that the Samaritans were right. As to the charter, recall Article 5: "Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father - whether inside Palestine or outside it - is also a Palestinian." Thus if they are Palestinian, so are their descendants. - Mustafaa 23:56, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I personally think that efforts to deny the historical connection between the Jewish people and Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular are rather pathetic and really only undermine the credibility of the PNA, Waq'f, etc. But I think it's worth parsing the issue you're getting at. Prior to the birth of modern Zionism, there were plenty of Jews that wanted to return to what they perceived as their homeland in Palestine, for a variety of reasons. They were looking for the right to live there in peace, but had no national aspirations beyond that. The Dreyfus affair gave Herzl the conviction that the nationalist impulses of Europe could only be met by a Jewish nationalist movement that included the formation of a Jewish state. The Shoah made the movement an imperative of great urgency. The ongoing conflict with the Arabs only served to reinforce the perspective that a secure Jewish homeland (which was needed to ensure survival of the Jewish people) could only be achieved with great struggles, sacrifices, and - tragically - armed conflict. The canard of the "Zionists" as colonialists, imperialists, etc., therefore comes across as an absurdity. Most Israelis - and indeed Jews - are deeply troubled by the fact that Palestinian Arabs are suffering because Jews needed desperately a homeland, and they resent the implication that they had much choice in the matter. --Leifern 23:53, 2005 Mar 22 (UTC)
Indeed, efforts to deny the historical connection between the Jewish people and Israel in general are rather pathetic; they actually backfire, insofar as they suggest that if Jews do have a historical connection (which of course they do) that would somehow legitimize Israel. And I do appreciate (if not entirely agree with) the perspective you outline - the idea that Jews needed a homeland as a matter of physical survival, and Palestine was the most readily available and (for them) desirable one available. However, while their motivations were, at least in part, substantially different from typical colonialists, their effect on Palestinians was much the same as it would have been if their motivations were identical. - Mustafaa 00:07, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Now, does "the idea that a nation should be completely abolished because it favors a particular ethnic group" have any adherents? Not that I know of, nor that the article claims. If not, why is a "rebuttal" of it worth including here? If so, who? - Mustafaa 00:17, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Um, any person who claims that the whole notion of Israel is "racist" is making that claim. Jayjg (talk) 00:23, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Any person who claims that the whole notion of Israel is "racist" is claiming both that "it should be completely abolished", and that the reason it should be abolished is simply because it's racist? Scarcely. You might conceivably find someone who claims this is one of many reasons which together add up to implying it should be abolished, but certainly not that a nation should be abolished for this reason alone. - Mustafaa 00:35, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Farouk Kaddoumi (chairman of the PLO central committee), who told Newsweek "This Zionist entity of Israel must be destroyed", and who insists that the two-state solution is only a temporary measure, is an adherent. Jayjg (talk) 15:51, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I would like to express my satisfaction at the great deal of civilized consensus reached in the last few hours, not least of which was the removal of that problematic Bauer quotation. I am still analyzing the changes and evolutions, but it seems very promising so far.--A. S. A.

I think this article is well written, surprisingly balanced and of good quality, considering the circumstances. It gives a good overview of the conflict and of the different views held by each side. Please keep up the good work.

Sources, sources, sources: Yehuda Bauer revisited

"If you advocate the abolition of Israel ... that means in fact that you're against the people who live there. If you are, for example, against the existence of Malaysia, you are anti-Malay. If you are against the existence of Israel, you are anti-Jewish." (As this is quote, it needs a citation)

Bauer never says State of, he says "Malaysia" and "Israel," and I think he may be using (possibly a product of imperfect English), the word 'abolish' and 'annihilate' interchangebly, but this isn't a published work, it takes place during unrehersed conversation. From the interview with Michael Krasny, Tue, Jan 11, 2005:

A. Contd. There are [Unclear: certain intellectuals who] ... propogate a type of anti-Israeli propaganda which crosses the line between a perfectly legitimate criticism of any Israeli or any other government, I mean, one can and should perhaps be opposed to policy they dosen't [sic.] like, one oppose things that are wrong, certainly I would be part of that. But, on the other hand, the Israeli media that are probably more critical of the Israeli government than any one outside of Israel, are critical because they want to better Israel, have a better and more prosperous and secure and humanistic and so on and so forth Israel. Now, when you cross that line and advocate, in fact, a war against Israel in some form or way, you are getting very near to a genocided [sic.] propaganda against the Jews of Israel. [unclear few words] But, again, you have to emphasize, this is a minority, and the majority of media and intellectuals and so on would not subscribe to that, but, it's the ones who raise their voices which one hears.
Q. That's a very vexing question, though, where do you distinguish, how do you distinguish, between anitsemitism and being anti-Israel, well, you know [unclear; Bauer interjects]

A. Well, it's simple, if you advocate either the abolition of Israel, or you support a war -not only of words, but you know, terrorism and so on and so forth - to reduce Israel to compliance with a policy which would abolish it, annihilate it, that means, in fact, that you are against the people who live there. Now, if you are against the existence of Malaysia, for instance, you are anti-Malay, if you are against the existence of Israel, you are anti-Jewish.

So this underscores how important it is for one to cite their sources, qualify them for what they are, and be cautiuous and very selective in ..., well, you know ... El_C 04:28, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for clarifying this; it's good to know that this was just a badly phrased throwaway comment rather than something he seriously believes. Out-of-context quotes can be a terrible thing... But it seems kind of off-topic here; do you think it might be better to move this to Talk:Arab-Israeli conflict? - Mustafaa 10:44, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, which is why I wrote: Heh, I seem to have placed the link where the contents should be, and the contents where the link should. Bah. El_C 10:11, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC) at Talk:Arab-Israeli conflict#Revisited ! What? El_C 11:02, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Please see my comment here. El_C 04:57, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Do you think the article needs to change as a result? Jayjg (talk) 08:32, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm not acquainted enough with the article to tell, I'll leave that as an open question. I just wanted to correct those who, on the basis of that incomplete quote, go on to suggest that Yehuda Bauer subscribes to crank theories. *** Heh, I seem to have placed the link where the contents should be, and the contents where the link should. Bah. El_C 10:11, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I still think it's a crackpot idea - but sure, calling it a "theory" was hyperbole. It's obviously just a throwaway line which he would no doubt have had the sense not to come up with in more planned circumstances. And yet someone thought it was worth citing... - Mustafaa 10:37, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
A crackpot idea? How so? He's speaking about war and annihilation. El_C 11:06, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I mean the specific throwaway line that "Now, if you are against the existence of Malaysia, for instance, you are anti-Malay, if you are against the existence of Israel, you are anti-Jewish" , not the broader argument, which is certainly defensible, although it leans somewhat heavily on this very questionable equation of abolition with annihilation. - Mustafaa 11:15, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Moving backwards from your comment: again, note what I said above about possible language discrapencies; that is, existence as physical existence. I'm still not following you with regards to the throw-away line. In this context, what are your specific objections to it? El_C 12:16, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If being "against the existence of" meant "being in favor of the annihilation of it and its citizens", then he'd be right; but it actually means "being in favor of the abolition of it", in which case he's wrong on both Malaysia and Israel. - Mustafaa 12:22, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Exactly. El_C 12:26, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This is turning into an issue of "choosing the right euphemism." It may be worth asking what precisely rejectionist anti-Zionists are advocating when they want to put an end to the state of Israel. If actual governmental policy in Jordan; and proposed policy in the West Bank and Gaza are any guide, it means "expulsion by any means necessary of all but a small remnant of Jews from our area." --Leifern 15:25, 2005 Apr 3 (UTC)
We can pierce through euphemisms with the concrete. In this case, mass expulsion; very pertinent to physical existence of a peoples. El_C 07:29, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Related links / External links

so, does anyne want to organize this? headings like treaties, summits, etc.? gren 07:41, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

POV qualifiers

  • It is not POV to write that Israelis "claim" such and such; and it does not make the article less POV to take out such qualifiers when it comes to the Arab POV.
  • It would really take a sick mind to dispute that Jews in continental Europe between 1933 and 1945 desperately needed a safe haven from persecution. This does not need a qualifier.
  • The only edit that might need further clarification has to do with the ability of the land to absorb more people. But from what I know, there are no or very few Israelis that doubt whether there is room for all the world's Jews and all the world's Palestinians - the reason they're resisting letting Palestinians move in, is because they have noted that a) that would lead to an Arab majority in the country; and b) Palestinians are demonstrably hostile toward the existence of a Jewish state. You may disagree with that as well, but let's be clear what the assertion is. --Leifern 13:04, 2005 Apr 2 (UTC)

I have just introduced an edit to these contested phrases. NPOV does not mean placing "they claim" before Arab views and leaving Israeli claims as statements of facts. Please refrain from inflammatory rhetoric (like "sick mind"). The acute need for relief from persecution is not disputed. It is the some-time Arab view that they were being made to pay for European atrocities that is a valid POV to be listed in an encyclopedia. --AladdinSE 13:43, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

Of course it is valid to state the contention; what I object to is questioning the need Jews had for protection against Nazi atrocities; so I think we're in agreement about that. I made on correction - "mainstream Zionists" (whatever that means these days) aren't - as I've pointed out - concerned about it being too crowded in the area; they fear than an influx of Arabs/Palestinians would cause an intolerable demographic situation. There are (solvable) issues related to fresh water supply. --Leifern 16:38, 2005 Apr 2 (UTC)

Works for me. --AladdinSE 17:37, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

There is nothing POV about the fact that "the Zionist immigrants arriving in Palestine from the late 1800s on did so with the intention of taking it over and establishing a Jewish majority state, in some cases by force". That is the definition of Zionism: an effort to establish a Jewish national homeland. As Israelis (including Leifern's own edit) constantly remind us, this involves establishing and maintaining a Jewish majority state, and that was their stated intention. And indeed, the need for relief from persecution is not disputed - but the a Jewish state in Palestine would not have prevented the Holocaust any more than it prevented the persecution of Soviet Jews, and if someone claims it would have that needs to be labelled as a claim. - Mustafaa 10:22, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Your own premise is counter-factual: would not have, that itself needs to be labled as a claim just the same as the opposite one which you cite. El_C 10:29, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Indeed it would, if I were attempting to insert it in the article - but I'm not. Making your claim meta-counterfactual... ;) - Mustafaa 10:34, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Supra-counter-factualities aside, it's just a bad example. Sorry. :) We should probably avoid including historiography that speaks in these what if terms (unless it's especially notable, at least). El_C 10:53, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

One sided caricatures

Why are there only anti-Israel caricatures? Where are the anti-Arab ones? --Ezra Wax 17:22, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That's NPOV. ;-) Jayjg (talk) 17:38, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You are more than welcome to find and add some. More importantly, the Nasser kicking the Jew into the sea caricature is extremely detrimental to the Arab position, and as such is used to great advantage. I cringe when I see it, because I worry that it perpetuates the myth that all Arabs literally want to drive the Jewish population in Israel, to physically drown in the sea. I have never thought of deleting it because it's a valid measure of what was in the 1960s an overwhelming pan-Arab desire to abolish the Jewish state. While there are mudereous factions on both sides of this conflict, implications of mass genocide is a myth used to demonize the Arabs. It's nothing to wink at. --AladdinSE 04:58, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)

I think I understand your emotions, but please don't be so self-centered. Nobody says "all Arabs", but it doesn't even matter. I am sure all Germans were not ready to murder Jews either. First, all are not required. Second, with leaders reckless enough, propangda loud enough, technology advanced enough and some economic incentives, it's possible. I am afraid finding a similar Israeli anti-Arab cartoon won't be so easy, because AFAIK the mainstream Israel's press (while brutal towards the Israeli govt) does not demonize/dehumanize/calls to genocide their neighbors. I have a 1949 picture of Arab women voting in Israel that can be considered. Humus sapiensTalk 10:18, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I was talking in the context of a myth, and moreover I explicitly stated "overwhelming pan-Arab desire" so surely I am not being self-centered. Also, again I stress that cartoons like that are not a call to genocide, although murderous factions do exists on both sides. Calls for the abolition of the Jewish state, using the metaphor of Jews being driven into the sea, is not the same as a genocidal call for the destruction of Israel and the massacre of her citizens. As for anti-Arab caricatures being hard to find, nothing easier. Women in Green [5] have a bevy of both anti-Arab caricatures as well as plenty of snipes against any Israeli figure that advocates the least modicum of rights for Arabs. I think the one of Arafat passing the dynamite to Abbass is a good candidate for possible inclusion in the article. --AladdinSE 01:03, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)


This one is so touchy I feel I should explain even one word changes... (Settlement building in disputed areas) is roundly condemned by most of the world except Israel and usually the United States. I have added "usually" as the U.S. does occasionally criticize Israel over settlements.

A few other notes:

  • The shark cartoon is on the mark in terms of relevance and I really see no merit in the above arguments for its removal.
  • I think a separate section on the Israeli-Egyptian "cold" peace is warranted as it provides the template for future normalization(s). It's mentioned discontinuously at present. Marskell 09:21, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Just came across this on a random link... I see a lot of arguing about whether something is POV, which is understandable considering such a contentious issue. A couple of things that would, IMHO settle a few of them:

  • Simple wording:
An example:
Israelis and supporters cite a source of the Arab-Israeli conflict as the traditional interpretations of...
If this were reworded to avoid an us-and-them sentiment then it would appear less POV. As in get rid of the Isaelis and supporters and change it perhaps by deleting it all and making it start "Traditional interpretations of...".
And another:
Some Israelis contend that one of the primary reasons for continued Muslim Arab hostility towards Israel is that sharia forbids Jews or Christians from being considered equal to Muslims.
Could be changed to
(Also) Sharia forbids Jews or Christians from being considered equal to Muslims - if this is not a fact then add Some interprettations at the start.
And the picture:
Caricature illustrating the US as biased towards Israel, a view predominant in (but not limited to) the Arab world.
Even I've seen this picture before and so:
A often cited example of a caricature illustrating the US as biased towards Israel.
Adding the "often cited" makes it clear the articles not trying to push a POV case. Taken out the Arab world because it is very disdainful, and kind of obvious. It would be great if it could be referenced and most importantly dated (I seem to remember it was the 60s/70s). I'd just like the say the other caricature's labeling is a good example.
In summary, talking about "Arabs/Israelis view this ...." sounds inherently POV (and adding "Generally", "Some" or "Predominantly" before doesn't help). It doesn't mean what it's trying to be asserted is POV. Use "Observers", or "Reasons for the conflict may include" rather than "Israelis" and "Arabs".
  • More refereces:
Wikipedia aims at being an accademic resource so sorting as many statements as possible especially the contentious ones would be great. If possible every subsection within "Reasons for the conflict" should have something supporting that it is not an original idea.
  • Length
The article is hideously long. Not related to POV, but would be nice if new articles were made out of it. I probably only managed to read a fifth of it before giving up.

It is a good article, and if you sit down and read it without the points above it is reasonably NPOV. Thoughts welcome. -- Tomhab 22:52, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Irishpunktom's edits of April 20

Tom, rather than deleting well cited information and POVing the rest, why don't you bring your suggested edits to Talk: and get consensus first on this controversial topic, as per the Wikipedia:Be bold policy? Jayjg (talk) 13:24, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • The pieces I cleaned up contained whole paragrpahs taken from a book by a "Historian" who advocates Whole-scale Ethnic Cleansing. It's lop-sided and opinionated, which is ok (It's also largly Wrong, wheter by errors of Ommission, or simply factually dishonest), but it's unchallanged, so it should be removed.--Irishpunktom\talk 13:41, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)
Nonsense; those are well-cited summaries of an eminent historian on the subject; if you want to bring the views of historians who differ, you are free to do so. Jayjg (talk) 13:44, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Ignoring the copyright issue (he's not been dead for 50/70 years, and its a book so probably not public domain), its a hefty summary. How about adding "Despite the pact, Morris (2001) documents persecutions continued to occur." onto the paragraph before. Listing every one of them over 900 years isn't necessary as none are of special interest and pads out the article unnecessarily.
Also on the commented out paragraph, I'd very much like to see a historical reference for the stone throwing and the quote seems out of context. -- Tomhab 14:58, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Irishpunktom's edits have no credibility and diminish the quality of the project. This article will probably always be a hotbed for edits and attendant debates/arguments, but I think we should all try to resist the temptation to edit it to conform with our worldview at the expense of other's. As for source criticism, even people you disagree with are capable of producing facts. Read about Ad hominem rhetorical fallacies. --Leifern 16:45, 2005 Apr 20 (UTC)
I think we should all try to resist the temptation to edit it to conform with our worldview. Bare in mind that reverting IrishpunkTom's edits does just that. I think saying it has no credibility is harsh. Going through his edits paragraph by paragraph:
  1. This paragraph he's labeled that sharia (Islamic law) which requires, among other things, that Muslim territory encompass all land that was ever under Muslim control. is contended. Unless this is a stated fact there is nothign wrong with that. Some of the wording would need taming though.
  • I contend that That is simply not true. I'd like to know from what scholar said is was so, and from what maddhab that scholar was from, and the exact wording of any Fatwa that says such. Comparrisons here should also note other lands that were once Muslim but are no longer. Spain, India and Sicily being obvious examples. --Irishpunktom\talk
  1. Muslims->Others is one of the things I've suggested above so I quite like. As for the quote removal, may not be right - IMHO it should just be a [6] link as its saying exactly the same thing as the rest of the paragraph so redundant.
  2. First sentence looks fine from whoever's view. Adding Jewish in front is also fine, although I would word it "Pro-Israeli" - it makes it clear his bias (unless you're going to tell me that Morris represents the vast majority of views). Removal of the tear-up sentence, I don't know enough about. Sounds an odd thing to do, since if they were that rash they could happily just ignore it and expel all jews anyway.
  • I'd agree. The Bias of the author is obviously important in an article of this nature. --Irishpunktom\talk
  1. As said above, there is no need to go into each of the persecutions. This article isn't about documented persecutions, its about what caused the conflict so as above "Despite the pact, Morris (2001) documents persecutions continued to occur" is plenty.
  • Link to another site containing this paragraph. There is no reason to keep it, as it contains a Lopsided POV. For example, it mentions an attrocity in Granada as an example of Muslim prejudices against Jews in Spain, yet at that time the Most Major Muslim City in Spain was Cordoba where Jewish Persecution was non-existant. I'm not trying to deny that Persecution existed at that time in Grenada, but the way it is presended is Lopsided and Pushes a POV in to the direction of Bias of the author. --Irishpunktom\talk
  1. If its contentious and doesn't have a reference, then you can't really use it. If its from one of the links below adding a note would be handy so readers can know whether its an accepted fact, old wives tale etc.
  • Frankly, I would like a decent reference to most of this from a verifiably NPOV source. --Irishpunktom\talk
I don't really see how you can just knock down all his edits as simply "no credibility and diminish the quality of the project". Most edits were reasonable, and a couple are contentious. -- Tomhab 17:37, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

He deleted huge amounts of well-cited information (which, by the way, violate no copyrights), and inserted completely un-cited personal opinions, filled with spelling errors. It astonishes me that you would suggest that any of his edits were reasonable. As for the other specifics, I'm not sure which you're referring to, but I should point out that labelling Morris as "Jewish" and Kadourie as "Iraqi Jewish" is poisoning the well, and it rather surprises me that you accept his labelling Morris and Kadourie this way, but prefer "Others" to "Muslims"; I haven't seen anyone but Muslims defend Sharia. As well, he removes information asking for sources, when Morris is clearly listed as the source. He moves the "repressive regimes that lasted a short time" disclaimer from the distinctive clothing dhimmi regulation to cover all dhimmi regulations without any sort of justification, etc. There's not an edit I can see that isn't either censorship, POV, uncited, or simply wrong. Jayjg (talk) 18:00, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Jay, Firstly, as you yourself have argued previously, not every israeli agrees on any one subject. So me inserting "Certain" in front of Israelis, i thought, would have met with your approval. Secondly, what these People, apparently, believe is the shariat seems to be woefully far from reality. I Cannot accept that that remains without the Caveat that it is a non-muslims belief of what the shariat entails. I am not defending the Shairiat, I am simply not believing this non-Muslim interpretation. I am non-Muslim. As I've stated previously, Morris is a Historian who crticisizes previous israeli Governments for not doing enough Ethnic Cleansing of the Arabs of Israel, and is a proponent of mass expulsion of Arabs from israel and the Occupied Territories, he is far far far far from having a NPOV on this matter.--Irishpunktom\
There's no point in inserting "certain" here; otherwise you'd have to put it before every single argument listed, since no single argument here is advanced by every single person in every single group on each side of the debate. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't beleive that that view is he;d by the majority of Israelis, nor have I heard it expressed by any representative of the Israeli State. Correct me if I'm wrong. Israelis are a wide and Varied group, but assigning a minority opinion to blanketly to them all should not be tolerated.. Do you understand?--Irishpunktom\talk
Everybody is a wide and varied group; the arguments are clearly not held by every single Israeli, or every single anti-Israeli. Inserting "certain" or "some" or various other modifiers is silly. Jayjg (talk) 21:16, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Apologies, my Computer was slowly crashing last night so i decided to save what I had written and come back to it. I'll continue. I'm making this statement comparring my Edits to the reverts of Jayjg. 'Israel', in its present form was under Muslim hands since the time of the second caliph, save for the brief periods when it was under Crusader control. It was more that just the Ottomans is what i'm trying to say here, it's a connection that dates back to when islam was in it's infancy. Now, regarding that "Times of London" piece. The link is clearly not the Times of London, and if the Times of London ever Published it it seems apparent that it was posted as an opinion piece. Can you supply evidence that (1. The Times of London Published it, and (2. That is was not an Opion/Commentary piece? Irishpunktom
The British got it from the Ottomans, but that wasn't the critical issue; rather, your "NPOVing" inserted statements like "these Israeli's and their supporters promote their belieif", when the argument that this is Muslim land is clearly advanced by many Muslims, it's not just something "Israelis and their supporters" made up. As for the link, it was referenced properly, and it is purely your opinion that it was an opinion piece. In any event, I've cleared up the link issues. If you doubt source is reporting properly, go look up the Times article yourself. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Considering you are referring to "Muslims" earlier, and Not the Ottomans, I think the origin of the Muslim link to the land should be stated here. Anyway, So, I went looking through the times Website and couldn't find the piece. Not saying it doesn't exist, but all I can find are references to that same sentence. I did a search on Google and found nothing but Mirrors and defunct Forum Pieces reposting it. Furthermore it's statement that only 2% of people living in the occupied Territories are Christian is factually incorrect, stands to be challenaged, and should be challanged or removed. Likewise, the only reason cited for the obvious decline in Christian Numbers is Hostility with their Muslim neighbours, surely even you can agree that they are other factors at work here? --Irishpunktom\talk
My opinions don't matter; the properly cited source listed that as a reason. What percentage of Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip do you believe to be Christian? Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Also, Christians and jews *were* considered ahl al Kitâb, for more information ytou can look up People of the Book. The were given Dhimmi Status, which made them a protected people. Surely not even you would dispute this?
It's not particularly relevant to their dhimmi status; in any event, if you keep mixing in a tiny number of less controversial edits combined with a huge number of POV edits, they're all going to end up being removed. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • It should still be added because it highlights a particularly relevent article. --Irishpunktom\talk
Relevant in what sense? Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • As I've said previously, the Bias' of Benny Morris should be stated before posted anything on the sublect to which he has a clear bias. I agree with Tomhab's suggestion of putting Zionist, or Pro-Zionist instead of 'Jew', but leaving it settle as though he is some sort of neutral observer is incorrect. Irishpunktom
No-one is completely neutral, but your emendation was an obvious attempt at poisoning the well. His name is linked, anyone can click on the link to find out more about him. It is merely your assumption is that he is "biased", and that this bias would lead him to falsify the historical record. In fact, he is generally considered to be a "post-Zionist" or "anti-Zionist" historian, and has been harshly criticized as such. Would you like to call him "anti-Zionist historian Benny Morris"? Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Obviously no one person can ever be completely neutral, and I would have no problem with Morris' paragraph being added if it were highlighted that this was merely the conclusions of man who advocates Ethnic Cleansing of Arabs, and should not be treated as fact. --Irishpunktom\talk
Attempts to discredit a well-respected historian are poisoining the well. Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • though a later insertion to the pact allowed Muslim rulers to tear up the agreement at will and expel the protected communities - Eh? I mean this seems to state that all ahl al Kitâb living under Muslim rule where all ruled by one leader and one set of laws. Thats simply not true. There were mixed and varying Muslim rulers. Compare the Chinese Muslims with those in India, and again with those in Spain. Differenet Rulers, Different set of laws for different groups of Non-Muslims. Irishpunktom
I don't understand your point here; it is a statement of fact, not the implication you believe it to be. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • no, it simply is not. Cite the source that says such. Again, Compare the rules for Governing in the Chinese Muslim Areas with that in India. There you will see significantly different laws, and not some unifrom set of Muslim Laws as you suppose. --Irishpunktom\talk
Explain what you are talking about, please. Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • And I've removed Morris' lengthy quote because it stands as a Statement of Fact when it clearly is not. --Irishpunktom\talk 09:14, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)
Huh? How do you know it is not a "Statement of Fact"? In any event, it is properly attributed to Morris, as the WP:NPOV policy demands. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Simply repeating yourself is not helpful. Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Regarding the Benny Morris quote, it was inserted because an editor (possibly more than one, I don't recall) insisted on having a full quote and would not accept a summary or paraphrase. If we do summarize or paraphrase it, all that will happen is that another editor will come along and delete it for not being properly referenced. As for Morris being Jewish, he's a respected academic historian with a doctorate from Cambridge University writing about his area of academic expertise; is the implication here that, because he's a Jew, he would make these things up or in some way deliberately obfuscate evidence to the contrary? Furthermore, politically, Morris has often been held to be pro-Palestinian, though his views have changed somewhat in recent years. As for the copyright claim, there is no copyright issue here. It's not that long a quote and we attribute it. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:00, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)
And, of course, Irishpunktom knows this well, since he was involved in editing the page on the very day the discussion regarding the quote happened and the quote was added. Jayjg (talk) 19:08, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Benny Morris' article shows a quote "Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history." He admits that Israel committed War Crimes, making him a member of the New Historians regarding the foundation of the state of Israel, however, he supports Mass expulsion and Ethnic Cleansing and as such cannot be used a Neutral source. His Statements are charged with his own Bias and should be countered fully, in detail, point by point, or removed. His Bias should also be stated. --Irishpunktom\talk
What on earth are you talking about? The items listed here by Morris are uncontested by historians; if you think they are, then find some who contested. You can't remove quotations from well respected historians simply because you disagree with them politically. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • There are plenty of historians with Differing Views. Indeed David Irving can be considered a good historian, but is a Racist, a Nazi Sympathiser and a Holocoust Denier. As such, I would simply not use any of David Irving's work in article concerning the Second World War, or the Holocoust, etc. Morris supports the Ethnic Cleansing of Arab Palestinan Muslims. That you can not see this as a Bias is a Clear reflection of your own. --Irishpunktom\talk
No, David Irving was found by a judge in a court of law to be a bad historian; in particular, he falsified information, made tendentious use of sources, etc. Your constant repetitions that Morris is biased are simply not adding anything to the discussion. Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The claim that David Irving is a good historian, the quality of whose work can be compared to Benny Morris, is absurd and can't be allowed to stand. Irving is an unqualified, self-taught writer, who has been shown in a court of law to be a fraud and whose work no one will publish anymore. Morris has a PhD in history from Cambridge University, holds an academic post at a respectable university, and is writing about his area of expertise. This isn't Noam Chomsky, a linguist, waxing lyrical about Iraq. This is an academic historian doing history, and that makes Morris a reputable source as far as Wikipedia is concerned. If you find opposing academic views regarding the issue we quoted him on, by all means add them with a citation, but Morris's views do not have to be qualified by referring to your perception of his bias. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:27, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)
The difference is that labeling Moris as Jewish is that he is a person. Talking about Muslims as whole is different - it implies that they have a collective viewpoint which many consider offensive and thus the POV allegations. If you note that in the section above I prefer the term others whenever it talks about what Muslims think AND Israeli's think. As said I prefer pro-israeli as it is more open (ie leaving the opportunity Jews may be pro arab and non-israelis may be pro israeli which obviously are around).
Anyway that is a very small point. My problem is that strawman arguments are being built against him and his whole collection of edits are gone.
I still so no relevancy to quoting the entire paragraph though - we don't need a list of attrocities here - this article is about the reasons for the conflict. It doesn't matter where, when and how the attrocities happened. A small note to say that despite the pact, persecutions did occur is sufficient. They belong in an article Pre-1948 persecutions of Jews by Muslims. The only reason I can see for the details being stretched out is to demonize Muslims.
As ever this is just an opinion, and I'm fine with changing it if there is good reason. -- Tomhab 19:56, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Regarding Morris, he is known as a historian; actually, the most famous of the New Historians, not as a "Jewish historian". As for the quote, as SlimVirgin pointed out above, the whole reason that quote was included was because some Muslim editors insisted that these things never happened, so they removed any reference to them, and refused to accept paraphrases, thus necessitating the use of exact quotes. Now that the quotes are here, people who were involved in the page at the time have suddenly decided they don't like to see them, and are trying to delete them. Next will come the denial that these kinds of things happened at all, followed by another round of inserting references, which will be rejected as biased paraphrases, followed by exact quotes. I prefer to break the cycle here, where the exact information is included, and properly sourced. Jayjg (talk) 20:49, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think it's also worth mentioning that the Morris book the quote comes from is about the Arab-Israeli/Arab-Zionist conflict, so in using this quote, we're not simply lifting information about the persecution of Jews that no one has argued is connected to the conflict, and using that information to build a case. The inclusion of the information in Morris's book is part of his thesis that these issues are connected: that the current conflict is connected to previous conflicts. No demonization of any group is intended; rather, an historical context is being provided, with reference to a scholarly work, which is what Wikipedia articles are supposed to do. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:58, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)
I never said no mention was needed. My reasons for asking for a reduced mention of the quote is that he was writing a whole book whereas we have one article which is supposed to be kept well within the 32kbyte limit (suggested value of around 20kbyte and we're up to 56kbyte). Only guidelines but still.
I'm not questioning Morris's fame. He is certainly a contraversial character. Anyway. I better understand your thought processes (and dispite believing it should be drastically shortened) respect the view that it should stay. -- Tomhab 21:26, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

About adding Jewish in front of Morris is poisoning the well, does anyone agree that Muslim scholar Muhammad Hamidullah writes in... is in a similar situation? -- Tomhab 23:20, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

We've been through that one before. He is widely reknowned as a Muslim scholar; that is, in fact, how he is most widely described. He is not a historian, but a Muslim scholar. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It seems more like another example of your Bias Jay. Maybe you honestly do not see it, but time and time again I've seen it from you. No Disrespect, as you have said yourself nobody can be completely Bias free, however, it has become apparent a number of times. you also seem to have developed a paranoia regarding me. Rest assured, I am not stalking you. --Irishpunktom\talk
Actually, you have demonstrably stalked me on a any number of occasions, sometimes with rather amusing results. But in any event, that's off-topic. Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This seems like an aggressive attempt to turn this article into a soapbox for Irishpunk's political views. Disregarding all the rules and coming in here with guns blazing is not going to earn your edits any respect here. So tone it down.

Guy Montag 05:45, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

    • Thats Not very fair, nor true. There are some statments here that are written as though they are fact when in fact they are opinion. What some people believe of the Shariat is written as thought it was in fact the Shariat, when clearly it is not. I don't mind if it is said that "some people believe that the Muslim Sharia says...X,Y and Z", but to state that the Shariat Bluntly says something that it simply does not should be cleaned up or removed. --Irishpunktom\talk 09:22, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)
It's completely fair; you keep making claims about fact without any sources to back them up, then claiming that other well-sourced information from respected historians needs to be removed because it is also not "fact" (again, with no evidence). Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • What unsourced claim have I made Jayjg? That Morris is jewish? He is. That he supports Ethnic Cleansing? he does What Specific unsourced claim have I made? Please tell me and I will source it for you. --Irishpunktom\talk
That the persecutions that Morris describes never happened. Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Also, Guy Montag, Judging from your statement "I am primarily here to represent the nationalist right wing in Israel", is it possible that your own Bias could be tainting your view here?


Other than the fact that you are using a logical fallacy (poisoning the well) to lead this conversation in another direction, I have nothing to say on the issue. I have stated my position clearly on my page. Yet, I do not burst into threads and do some unileteral redecorating without cooperating with other posters on the issue. I know there is a tendency for new users to come in and do something controversial to get their name out, but it is not acceptable in wikipedia. If you disagree with something, take it to talk. If you have a wider disagreement with the take on Sharia, take it to the Sharia article and work to change it from there. Like I said, I have my position, and there are times when I find something I do not agree with, but I work within the system to change it through agreement, and if that is not possible, I leave it alone until I find something to support my position or someone more knowledgable does. And if not, I just leave it alone.

I have no vested interest in your edits. I never liked Benny Morris, like I never like any New Historian, and after he changed his conclusion, my views of him slightly improved. Even I grudingly accept his historical nerrative. In the end, you erased supported historical information from a controversial historian, and that doesnt fly here.

Guy Montag 17:10, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

tom, you're an Irish convert to Islam; is it possible that your own bias could be tainting your view here? Everyone has their own biases, and from what I've seen, you more than most. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Which part of "I am a Non-Muslim" do you not understand? I will not be your Straw-Man Jay. --Irishpunktom\talk
LOL! Tom, you're a convert to Islam; or don't you recall saying this last February? "Salaam, of all the hadiths, this is My favourite (is it right to have a favourite?). Whenever people misquote Islam, or ask why I converted I can qupte it back to them. It's.. perfect As salaam alaikum" [7] If you were more honest here you wouldn't have so much trouble editing. Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Jayjg , with the exception of Tomhab and myself, everyone who has posted here has done so at your Request. Is there any reason why you chose these users, including a user who states on his userpage "I am primarily here to represent the nationalist right wing in Israel", in particular? Can you really say that they are a neutral third party? --Irishpunktom\talk 10:21, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

From what I've seen they range from vastly more neutral than you, to (in the case of Guy) somewhat more neutral than you. In any event, they're people who have an interest in the issue; most people won't touch Arab-Israeli articles with a ten-foot pole. Jayjg (talk) 15:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • An interest in the issue from a Biased source is not really that good for maintaining a NPOV, don't you think? --Irishpunktom\talk 17:05, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)
Well, perhaps, but you persist in editing anyway. Jayjg (talk) 21:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Heh they have a point. By the way if you do a search on the Time's archive page you can find an abstract from the article (but nothing more without paying (UK£10):
"Alleged intimidation by Muslims has made many Christians reluctant to celebrate the birth of Jesus in public, writes Christopher Walker in Bethlehem. LIFE in Bethlehem has become insufferable for many members of the dwindling Christian minority..."
Getting an exact quote doesn't mean that much to me however -- Tomhab 15:33, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Areas of dispute

This is all getting very confusing and bordering on personal. I suggest we start subsections regarding EACH of the edits discussing their relevance rather than whitewashing Irishpunktom edits as no credibility and diminish the quality of the project and He deleted huge amounts of well-cited information (which, by the way, violate no copyrights), and inserted completely un-cited personal opinions, filled with spelling errors. It astonishes me that you would suggest that any of his edits were reasonable. Both are unfair comments attempted to squash all of his edits rather than considering each of them in turn. Granted, many may be without merit, but he deserves to have his say without being flamed.

The same can be said about the converse - Mass expulsion and Ethnic Cleansing and as such cannot be used a Neutral source doesn't mean he's wrong and bringing up other irrelevant historians who are Nazi Sympathiser and a Holocoust Denier is a blatent atempt to get a rise out of the Jewish quarter on this talk page. Also labeling biases are irrelevant. They may still (and often do) have valid points.

Splitting up this section:

Sharia law

Irishpunktom labels different interpretations of sharia law mean that not all might agree:

Certain Israelis and their supporters cite a source of the Arab-Israeli conflict as what they view as the traditional interpretations of sharia (Islamic law) which they believe requires, among other things, that Muslim territory encompass all land that was ever under Muslim control.

I guess it depends on whether there are different opinions of sharia law or not... I have no clue :) -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it is controversial that some Muslim groups insist that Israel (and Spain etc.) are Muslim land, is it? Al-Qaeda has made the claim often enough. Jayjg (talk) 22:04, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Clarification of when Muslims controlled the area


Since the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine once was part of the Ottoman caliphate, some Islamic clerics believe that it is unlawful and unacceptable for any portion of it to be usurped by non-Muslims.


Since the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine was ubder Muslim rule from the time of the second Caliph, these Israeli's and their supporters promote their belieif that some Islamic clerics believe that it is unlawful and unacceptable for any portion of it to be usurped by non-Muslims.

Not sure I see any problem (other than the spelling) or unless wrong. The line these Israeli's and their supporters promote their belieif seems out of place however and IMHO should go. -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm fine with the change it you take out the POV "these Israelis" section. Jayjg (talk) 22:04, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Since the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine was under Muslim rule from the time of the second Caliph, some believe that Sharia law dictates it to be unacceptable for any portion of it to be usurped by non-Muslims.

Hopefully we can at least get this one done. I know this may seem like a petty change but its these kind of consessions which revolve conflicts. -- Tomhab 22:32, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You left out "Islamic clerics"; it's not Jews or Christians who claim this. Jayjg (talk) 23:25, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Muslims -> Others

Changing the wording from Muslims to Others.

As said above I feel this is very relevant. Its not only Muslims who might say this. -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Which others defend sharia, or say that it does not say that? Muslims comment on Sharia, not non-Muslims. Jayjg (talk) 22:06, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
But the wording at present implies that only Muslims could possibly comment on sharia nicely (which irishpunktom has shown is he's not a muslim). It just sounds very POV and relatively offensive and thats why you'll get people agreeing with the {{disputed}} or {{totallydisputed}} tags. I think its a very small concession for making the article sound less judgemental. -- Tomhab 22:26, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
First of all, if non-Muslims have defended sharia in this way, I'd like an example. Second of all, Irishpunktom has not shown that he is not a Muslim, but rather that he has been deliberately misleading in his comments. In fact, he admits converting to Islam, as his "Whenever people misquote Islam, or ask why I converted I can qupte it back to them." here shows. Jayjg (talk) 23:28, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Assuming that the Wikipedian is the same person as the poster who chose that username on ezboard - which has not been proven. - Mustafaa 23:50, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Right, there must be dozens of Irishpunktoms roaming around, all incredibly bad spellers who like to capitalize random words, and who are obsessed with Islam and bashing Israel. Well, aside from those no-doubt coincidences, there are a number of other pieces of information which I will not reveal publicly in order to protect Irishpunktom's identity, but which are easily available to anyone who cares to spend 5 minutes investigating this, and which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is indeed the same person. Jayjg (talk) 00:00, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
K no need to go ape over this. -- Tomhab 00:10, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Irishpunktom has been fundamentally dishonest about any number of things, including this, his stalking, his reverts out of pique, etc. from the very start. He has reverted pages time and time again without even looking at the content, often complaining about text that wasn't even in articles, or alternatively claiming sources weren't there simply because he failed to read them. He has inserted POV that is rarely, if ever, supported by sources, and in general completely ignored Wikipedia policy. His every edit is for the purpose of propaganda, yet has the nerve to accuse others here of "bias". I think there is a reason to go a bit "ape" over this. Jayjg (talk) 03:42, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Oh well - can't comment on his religion, but the point remains that its just an interprettation. Unless you're implying the only reason why they defend it is because they're Muslim, I still don't see your point. If you are saying the only reason why they defend it is because they're Muslims then it sounds very judgemental, thus making it POV. -- Tomhab 23:48, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Removal of Christian problems within the PA ruled area

In December 1997 The Times of London noted: "Life in (PA ruled) Bethlehem has become insufferable for many members of the dwindling Christian minorities." (Source: The Beleaguered Christians of the Palestinian-Controlled Areas)

Personally, I think this quote should be changed for a short summary such as
"In recent years tensions between the Muslim majority and Christian minorities have occures[8]."
Thats a personal preference as I never like quoting direct for copyright reasons and they often may be POV (as this one can be seen as). Definitely think it deserves a mention. -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I prefer quotes, especially when I don't think the paraphrase captures the essence of the quote, as in this case. And quoting like this is specifically allowed under copyright law, there is nothing whatsoever controversial about it. Jayjg (talk) 22:08, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Its just a preference which I'd like others to consider (but not necessarily support). I believe my point is made. -- Tomhab 22:23, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Dhimmi clarrification

dhimmi, or protected people


ahl al Kitâb, or People of the Book, and given Dhimmi, or protected, staus

A very relevant change for a uninformed reader. Nothing even contentious about it -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Possible poisoning the well



to describe Benny Morris.

Looking at what was written and the fact that he has a wiki link I personally don't think its entirely needed as all he does is summaries without any POV language (unless he is refuted - which he isn't at present within the article). Don't think its necessary. (I realise this goes against what I said above but what can we do) -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Removal of "right to tear-up"

Removal of

though a later insertion to the pact allowed Muslim rulers to tear up the agreement at will and expel the protected communities

I can see why this might be contentious but does sound odd and only semi-relevant IMHO. If a Muslim ruler were ever want to expel the protected communities they would. Certainly would stop and go "oh no - theres this pact so we can't do it". Fair comment? Anyway, I can see why others might disagree. Tear-up is emotive and should be changed to terminate. -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Terminate is fine. Jayjg (talk) 22:12, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Moving of line

Moving the line

and under particularly repressive regimes that lasted a short time

implying that the statement also covered

were allowed to ride asses only, not horses or camels, and then only sidesaddle; were not allowed to build new houses of worship or repair old ones;

This depends on if it is correct. Was a Jew or Christian never allowed to ride a horse or camel normally, or build a house of worship during the period of the dhimmi? I don't know enough about it. Perhaps a reword may be relevant. -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Possible poisoning the well


Iraqi Jewish

to describe Elie Kedourie.

I take it this is correct? I notice that Muhammad Hamidullah is described as a Muslim. Although I felt Morris didn't require labeling Jewish, this quote is quite emotive and his bias needs labeling. I personally feel that both should stay (although pro-israeli rather than iraqi jewish). -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Removal of Morris quote

Removal of Morris quote documenting persecutions by Muslims over the previous 900 or so years.

As above I'd much prefer a summary - no direct quotes as the wording is not important. I don't feel it requires deleting however. -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Direct quotes is the only way to go to ensure accuracy; and, again, there are absolutely no copyright issues with this. Jayjg (talk) 22:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but generally, quotes are not needed unless the exact wording is what you're after (which its not). There is no need for it to be so long. Anyway small point which I think I'm heading towards conceeding -- Tomhab 22:20, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Commenting out last paragraph

The status of the dhimmi improved marginally with the rise of the Ottoman empire, when the Sublime Porte declared in 1856 that all Ottoman subjects were equal, but it worsened again when the empire collapsed. Morris gives as an example of the treatment of the dhimmi, the phenomenon of stone-throwing at Jews by Muslim children, which, he says, amounted to a local custom in Yemen and Morocco. The Jewish dhimmi were forbidden, under pain of death, to defend themselves by striking the children. The Syrian delegate to the United Nations, Faris el-Khouri, told the U.N. in 1947 that: "Unless the Palestine problem is settled, we shall have difficulty in protecting and safeguarding the Jews in the Arab world, (New York Times, February 19, 1947).

I am very cautious about the bit about stone-throwing. I threw stones when I was a kid. Without a decent reference that can be fairly disputed I'm not too sure. The Syrian quote needs better context. I think it could be relevant but in a different paragraph. Sounds more like a warning perhaps? -- Tomhab 18:54, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for doing all this work, Tom. It's very helpful. A point about the stone-throwing. (Did you really throw stones at adults as a kid?) It wasn't only that children threw stones at Jews, but that: "The Jewish dhimmi were forbidden, under pain of death, to defend themselves by striking the children." You may have thrown stones as a boy, but if any adult had taken you to task for it, they would not have been killed. Additionally, we have a decent reference, and we've attributed the information to him. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:11, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)
Oh errrm sorry - completely missed the bit about Morris and I've read it several times :). Without a reference challenging it I don't see much wrong. Would be very nice if we could get a timeline or do we just assume its between the young turk revolution and 1947? -- Tomhab 19:27, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Great "example" - Morocco and most of Yemen were never under Ottoman rule. - Mustafaa 20:03, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Good point.... Doesn't mean the quote is useless though. It's still about Arab Muslim treatment of Jews. -- Tomhab 20:16, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Tomhab, even nothing ends up changing, thanks and well done for your Mediation. --Irishpunktom\talk

Heh well I'd helped start the mess. Lets just see how people respond. It is important to remember that the changes are important, not who and why it was done. -- Tomhab 21:12, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Oh, there's a talk page?

Am I invited? Why not? Erm, I mean [9]. Incidentally, this section often read like an overdarwn polemic (at times, sophomorically so) rather than an encyclopedia article, and unfortunately, these issues have yet to be fundamentally remedied. Unincidentally, I have yet to read the article in full, only that section in isolation, so why am I editing it? Someone revert me, STAT! El_C 05:55, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

El C, would you mind if I put back the quote from Benny Morris about the massacres? The reason it's there is that a number of editors put us, as I recall, through hell. I remember paraphrasing it in various ways they weren't satisfied with until they demanded a quote, which is why it's there. One of those editors now want to get rid of it; in a few weeks, they'll be back trying to delete the section because there's no quote. As Jayjg said above, we should break the cycle now, and leave the quote where it is, and I agree. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:17, Apr 22, 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I haven't participated in —nor read— the discussion (by which I mean: who? why? and to what end?), but I fail to see why Morris needs to be cited at such lengths, listing these massacres individually. It seems an off-topic issue to the Arab-Israeli conflict. What am I missing? El_C 06:37, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As I said above, the whole reason that quote was included was because some Muslim editors insisted that these things never happened, so they removed any reference to them, and refused to accept paraphrases, thus necessitating the use of exact quotes. Now that the quotes are here, people who were involved in the page at the time have suddenly decided they don't like to see them, and are trying to delete them. Next will come the denial that these kinds of things happened at all, followed by another round of inserting references, which will be rejected as biased paraphrases, followed by exact quotes. I prefer to break the cycle here, where the exact information is included, and properly sourced. Jayjg (talk) 06:38, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have not read the above, so I have no rights here! You two have chosen to speak to me rather than revert me (and for that you have my sympathies). Anyway, why not embed it with the arrow and dash thingy, whatever you call it (and what do you call it?), do you not find it to imbalance and hinder the flow of that section? At any rate, hypothetically, someone on the other side may ask for the Hamidullah passage to be expanded for this or that reason. I only wish to avoid overquotationing. You can't please everyone, and it seems to me that verifiability for the passage has been established. I hold no strong opinion on this aside from form and format. El_C 06:52, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

At least if it remains the stated opinion of Benny Morris, the reader is not led to believe that it is taken for fact. The "Muslim editors" (who a quick check of the archive reveals were not all identifiably Muslim) can always add in contrary opinions from other sources. That has to be a better way to go than endlessly inserting our POVs and reverting anything we don't agree with.Grace Note 06:47, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is taken for fact; no-one disputes these specific matters (or at least no-one knowledgeable on the subject disputes them). Jayjg (talk) 06:55, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What is? The (raw) account itself seems historically sound, I believe the contention has more to do with his interpertation. At the event, it remains the stated opinion of Benny Morris with my changes, just not at such length and in such detail. El_C 06:59, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't see any way to discuss that with you, Jay. You have basically poisoned the well by suggesting that anyone who disagrees with the factualness of Morris's opinions is not "knowledgeable" on the subject. That rather closes the discussion, which, in any case, I do not wish to have.Grace Note 07:05, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I see a way to discuss this with you, Jay. :) El_C 07:12, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Hamidullah does not dispute the factualness of the various massacres, just the overall tenor of the relationship. You're right about Zen though, not Muslim. Sorry about the well poisoning. Jayjg (talk) 07:54, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That's how. Yes, let's avoid inter-editorial ethnic/ religious/ political/ etc. (Jewish, Muslim, Zionist, Arab, Palestinian, Israeli, etc. editor) identification, and address the issues, with calculated detachment (can I get any more pompous and pretencious? Yes, I can. And I will! For a little while). El_C 08:39, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I enjoy a nice bit of pompousness (pomposity?) myself, so long as it's not coming from me. SlimVirgin (talk) 08:59, Apr 22, 2005 (UTC)
Just point and laugh. My work is done/has just began here! El_C 09:10, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

El C, the discussion on the dhimmi passage is in archive number 3. It seems that Dr Zen (a peculiar name for a Muslim) suggested that Morris had not said that Muslims "rose up" against Jews in the incidents mentioned. It all seems rather flimsy justification for quoting so much of one person, but that's a matter of judgement for the interested editors. Since one is SlimVirgin, whose judgement I generally trust, I wouldn't demur. Dr Zen also gave a reference to Hamidullah's article. I believe Hamidullah's works are widely available. He's quite well known and respected on this and other subjects, although apparently not "knowledgeable". Grace Note 07:05, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Ah, yes, I remember Dr. Zen. Okay, well if he objects, send him my way. My circular ramblings should do the trick, trust me (though you have no reason to). El_C 07:12, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Again, does Hamidullah suggest that these particular massacres never happened? Jayjg (talk) 07:54, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
No but I think the point is rather that he suggests that the overall relationship was favourable to dhimmi. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with either view, Jay, simply suggesting that that is what the views in question are. The massacres are not necessarily indicative of a broader bad relationship nor does what happened in 900 necessarily reflect what happened in, say, 1800. Times and people change. For instance, the Protestants were severely persecuted in France, often by their neighbours, in the most savage way, but that doesn't mean that a Protestant would today encounter problems in Paris, or that recent French history, for example, has been characterised by anti-Protestantism, or that the same thing necessarily happened in other Catholic countries. It doesn't even suggest that the anti-Protestant feeling was particularly widespread (although other things do confirm that). That's not to say, either, that Jews might not have the feeling that previous discrimination is indicative, only that we ought not to be too quick to endorse the inference from one to another, or to draw too broad a conclusion about how widespread it was from one incident or another.Grace Note 00:52, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Exactly, the section is already personified with the two of them (at least, that's the logical conclusion I've drawn to make the whole thing coherent) — perhaps this in itself needs to be rethought. More specifically, Morris depicts his point poorly for us. Maybe he just didn't think this through (I don't know, I never heard of him), considering his rather propagandist line (unless, again, he elaborates, clarifies and qualifies elsewhere), the only concrete casualty figures he gives us amount to less than ten thousand. This paints a glowingly favourable picture of Islam's treatment of Jews in past Centuries — at a minimum, one tenth of of the Chmielnicki massacare. The rest is uninformative for the purposes of such a (pivotal) comparison: casualty-less massacres, a district almost being destroyed (which tells very little in and of itself), and a few dozens murdered by Nazi mobs. As for such an underlying attitude by Muslims (just) towards Jews (?), I mean, 'infidelism' is a property of every religion that I know of, without exception, whatsoever. It's all about degrees, which we measure foremost with human lives. El_C 08:39, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yikes, I leave wikipedia over night and I come back and this is all done. The sections certainly has a less repressive feel to it (dispite, not removing any facts). By the way, I feel that a massacre is largely irrelevant to the amount. In my books it refers to the attitude of the murderers (ie indiscriminant, largely without reason). -- Tomhab 12:45, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, that's called yikes (which aptly sums up my reaction to reading that section) copyediting. I am afraid that your own (in my view, peculiar) opinion as to the predominance of intent versus consequence in massacres is largely not in par with the standards of a general, social-scientific historical account; one which, again, concerns itself foremost with the broadest demographic strokes. El_C 13:27, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Just getting a web definition "the act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly." My point that its the latter part which is the difference between a lot of deaths and a massacre (take for example the siege at Stalingrad - around a million soviet troops died but its not a massacre). I do get your point actually come to think of it. Comparing a few dozen with other wholesale murders may be a little overly emotive. -- Tomhab 13:46, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm glad you get my point. I don't wish to get too deeply into the semantics of it at this point in time (as it goes beyond the scope of my comment), only to note it as a key indicator for our immediate purposes here. El_C 02:24, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I never disagreed. Just pointed out that massacre may refer to a "blood bath" which does not depend on size. However after thinking on it, I couldn't see them being the same in a NPOV way. -- Tomhab 03:03, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Ah, fair enough. Thanks for the clarification. El_C 03:10, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think you ought to get deeply into the semantics of it, El C. Let's see what you're made of. ;-p SlimVirgin (talk) 03:12, Apr 23, 2005 (UTC)
No need, I can tell you what I'm made of. I'm made out of People's! Sorry, I'm a bit distraught right now, trying to protect the sceintific credentials of my cat. So tragic. :( El_C 03:17, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

== watch that neutral point of view ==

I just want to let everyone know that this article is very biased. Just a little inside note, be careful about any sources that date prior to the 1980's. This is when the Israeli government opened government vaults for selected access. Much has been discovered about the war since then, which is why websites are untrustworthy.

How very pedgogically magnanimous of you, anonymous editor. ;) But that link is, at present, inaccessible. El_C 04:15, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

And so it is.

Heh, yes, well, you could always choose to actually share your thoughts with the other editors about any specific items you would highlight as most in need of Wikipedia:NPOVing. A daring thought! El_C 15:09, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Israeli Arguments section creates a misleading impression

The arguments about sharia law are interesting, but if you ask 100 Israelis what the reasons for the war are, I doubt even one would say this.

If the Israeli arguments section is supposed to explain what the arguments are that Israelis make, then it is at best extremelly misleading.

This section should leave the reader with an understanding of what Israelis would claim are the reasons for the conflict. It should be an NPOV description of the pro-Israeli POV.

The most common pro-Israeli explanation of the conflict is that they believe the Arabs want to eliminate Israel. I've started a section summarizing the most frequently encountered version of this. I will try to add to this in the future.

Somebody else should explain the argument (made by some Israelis) that god promised them the land. I am not qualified to elucidate this argument. ~~~~ Jsolinsky 22:09, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

So you've met or know a lot of Israelis? Also, please sign your comments with four tilde signs, like this: ~~~~ Jayjg (talk) 22:28, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
I've conducted my own (badly biased as is the nature of personal experience) version of the 100 pro-Israeli argument survey. I don't think I can claim that the Israelis I have met and interacted with are a representative sample (for one thing, I'm much less likely to have this discussion with somebody who doesn't have strong views) but it is a large enough sample that when I hear arguments I hadn't heard previously, I want to figure out why. It could be a random bias in my sample. It could be an interesting bias in my sample. Or it could be that the argument is very rarely made. Whatever the explanation is, I am certain that this argument does not belong at the begining of the list. ~~~~ Jsolinsky 05:36, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Added Jsolinsky's signature for simplicity's sake. Although I understand his point, I don't think that it should ignore reasons that some (even a minority) may feel. It might be prudent to be explicit that this is a less commonly cited reason though. I don't really know about Israelis' views on sharia to be honest so note my generic wording. Jayjg, it would be useful if you commented that you actually disagreed rather than replying with a quick retort. Do Israelis commonly cite sharia as a reason for the conflict? -- Tomhab 00:06, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

I haven't deleted the sharia section. If somebody actually makes this argument, I don't think it needs to be removed. But it strikes me as being very far out of the mainstream. In the section I added, I have cited examples of pro-Israeli sites using the arguments I mentioned. I would be interested to know if there is any pro-Israeli literature that cites sharia law as the main or even a primary reason for the conflict. Even religious Israelis who claim that god has promised Israel to the Jews (again an argument that I am not qualified to elucidate) focus their arguments on the Jewish bible and Jewish law, ignoring Islam.
This section strikes me as an argument that would be advanced by a religious Israeli who has figured out that the people he is arguing with have a very negative opinion of the "god promised the land to the jews" argument. In this way they are saying "oh yeah, well Islam also claims the land on a religious basis, so you can't blame Israel".
Reguardless, I am arguing for its demotion in the list of Israeli arguments not because it is flawed or ineffective, but because I believe that it is difficult (if not impossible) to find Israelis that consider this a primary explanation for the Israeli Arab conflict. If there are lots of people who make this argument, I would have been interested in a reference, so I could learn more about their views. ~~~~ Jsolinsky 05:36, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

I think the Sharia issue is connected with Islamic fundamentalism that claims all of the Middle East for an Islamic state. Islamic terrorist groups such as Al Quada and Hamas consistently use their interpertation of Islamic law to legitimize terror against Jews. It is also connected with the idea that having an "infidel state" in the Holy Land would be blasphamous as it is their belief that Islam must rule the world.

Guy Montag 04:15, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

About the whole sharia thing... If someone asked me (not involved in this conflict at all, but find it interesting) why arabs might be less than amicable towards israelis I'd say it was to do with their belief that its their land. I guess thats not saying "sharia" but thats cuz I'm not too familiar with sharia law, on first glance it seems very similar. -- Tomhab 09:56, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Reorganizing the "reasons for the conflict" section

Looking throught the talk page, it appears that many people have made negative comments about the organization of this section (or of the entry as a whole). I think that there is some merit to the idea of reorganizing the entire "reasons for the conflict" section. I think the section often makes it difficult (for somebody unfamiliar with the conflict) to determine which points of view are representative of which side. I also think the section does a poor job of prioritizing (clearly some points of disagreement of created far greater amounts of discord than others) and of relating the various arguments to each other.

I propose reorganizing the section on a point by point basis. Each subsection ("Historical claim to the land" might be one) would have an Israeli position subsubsection that cites the arguments commonly used by pro-Israeli commentators, an Arab position subsubsection that cites the same for pro-Arab commentators, and where appropriate a reconciliation subsubsection section, citing points of commonality, arguments made by pro-Peace factions, and information that nether side likes to cite (like the recent study showing that Jewish and Palestinian mitochondrial DNA are more similar to each other than either is to European or Saudi Arabian).

The subsubsections would not try to argue the positions per-se. They would just try to provide an encyclopedic reference of the arguments that have been made and their relationship to each other.

Of course I acknowledge that the diversity of viewpoints on both the pro-Israeli and pro-Arab sides creates challenges, but it will create challenges no matter how we organize the material, and we shouldn't allow this difficulty to impede progress. Arguments that are made by extremist minorities can be cited as such, and positioned towards the bottom of their respective subsubsections.

I will leave this here for discussion and further ideas. If at the end of the month people seem to be in favor of this, I will use the talk page to propose an outline for a new "reasons for the conflict" and after discussion implement this.

--Jsolinsky 12:08, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

On a personal note I think it could work. The only problem is someone will have to do it. Can you be bothered? :). Wait for more comments than just mine though. -- Tomhab 12:40, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Genetics have very little to do with this conflict.

Guy Montag 21:16, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

I would advise some care over original research, here. There is always the urge to frame any war to seem pointless (Look, they have the same genetic background! or nobody liked Franz-Ferdinand anyway!), but, unfortunately, the conflict is real and needs to be addressed based on real sources. I would suggest that a good starting place are the pro-israel and pro-arab links that I added awhile ago when sorting the references for this article. They lay out the arguments from both sides, and address the other's posiitons. Use them as a framing device, rather than an orginal approah. --Goodoldpolonius2 00:31, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
My prefered approach is to cite directly from Pro-Israeli and Pro-Arab literature, as I did in the small edit which I recently made. Any failure on my part to do so will be a consequence of laziness, not a belief on my part that we need some new narrative of the conflict. As far as the possibility of making the conflict seem pointless, while I believe that there should be a place for including Pro-Peace arguments (certainly in recent years comparatively neutral arguments have become an important part of the dialog) I don't think there is any danger that including such arguments will make the conflic seem like a silly misunderstanding. --Jsolinsky 04:20, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
Suppose we had a "Historic claim to the land" section. It probably should reference the argument that Jews aren't native to Palestine, but instead are of European or Khazar descent because there are still some Arabs who make and publicize this claim, along with the standard rebutal. Similarly, it should probably reference the claim that Palestinians aren't a distinct people and/or are the result of Arab invaders from the period when Islam spread throughout the region because there are still some Jews who make and publicize these claims, along with the standard rebutal. Neither of these belong at the top of their respective subsubsections, but they ought to be discussed given the significant number of contemporary arguments that still make these claims. If we present those claims, shouldn't we also reference information that argues against both of them? --Jsolinsky 04:20, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Map Caption totally biased POV

"Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and the future of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights are at the center of the Arab-Israeli conflict."
But I'm not going to change it - let the readers form their own conclusions about the blatant Zionist bias of this article. 08:23, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Other than Israel's right to exist, Israel's right to be a primarily Jewish state, and the status of the disputed territories, what issues are "at the center of the Arab-Israeli conflict"?
This article is only going to improve if people make beneficial edits to it, but I'm surprised to see complaints about a Zionist POV direct towards the caption for a map that clearly shows the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as being separate from Israel. --Jsolinsky 16:46, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
As you get to know Wikipedia better, you'll come to accept that it is full of anonymous IPs and sockpuppets crying "Zionist bias" at the sight of any article that doesn't make out Israel to be the most repressive country the world has ever known, the Palestinians to be the most oppressed people in the history of mankind, and Zionism to be an ideology that combines the worst features of Apartheid and Nazism. Jayjg (talk) 17:07, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Arab - Israeli conflict?

There is no conflict between Israeli Arabs and other Arabs. Shouldn't this be called "Jewish - Arab Conflict"? or "Zionist - Arab Conflict". Even this is a matter of belief. Arabic is a language group and "Jewishness" is a religious belief. "Jewishness" has no more scientific basis than "White Race" or "Aryan". Any argument that uses terms like "Jewishness", "White Race" or "Aryan" must ultimately have a way of classifying individual humans into these groupings, like the Aparthied "Race Classification Board" or the "Israeli Rabbinical Courts". How could Israel exist without an official/legal way to say if a person is "Jewish" or not? 08:23, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

There have been official ways of deciding if a person is a Jew that have existed for thousands of years, the existence of Israel has nothing to do with that. But what do you mean by "There is no conflict between Israeli Arabs and other Arabs"? "Arab" has no more scientific basis than "White Race" or "Aryan". Any argument that uses terms like "Arab", "White Race" or "Aryan" must ultimately have a way of classifying individual humans into these groupings, like the Apartheid "Race Classification Board". Jayjg (talk) 15:10, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
There are several reasons for this name:
  1. It is more commonly used than any other phrase to refer to the conflict.
  2. It is a historical convention to label conflicts based on the nations involved. We don't say that Germans attacked Poles in 1939. We say that Germany attacked Poland even though many of the Germans living in Poland supported the Nazis.
  3. Jewish is used as both an ethnic group and a religion. There are many examples of people who are ethnically Jewish but not religiously Jewish. There are a number of examples of religiously Jewish people who are not ethnically Jewish.
  4. There are many non-Jewish (in either sense) non-Zionist Israelis who fight for and support their country. The Israeli Druze population is a good example.
  5. It is common to characterize the nations that oppose Israel as being Arab, both inside and outside of the Arab world. You might also want to take a look at Pan-Arabism
--Jsolinsky 16:19, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Quite right on all counts. The idea that countries don't have conflicts because not all of their citizens support the government position is silly at best; next we'll be saying that the United States wasn't at war in Vietnam because not all Americans supported the war. Jayjg (talk) 16:28, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Jewish and Arab militias?

I have heard of the Irgun and the Stern Gang but I am not aware of any Arab Militias. Can anyone provide a link? -- Anonymous

First of all, please sign your entries. Second of all, give me a break. The Jordanian Legion was a highly organized and trained military unit, commanded in part by British officers. Without question, among Arab military forces the Jordanian military has the most to be proud about in the wars against Israel, both from the point of view of conduct and accomplishments. Many of the Jewish/Israeli communities were attacked by Arab irregulars, i.e., people with guns and a cause. In at least one known case, soldiers from the Jordanian Legion prevented rape and massacre by these mobs By and large the irregulars were roundly defeated, and even when they weren't, the Israelis put up resistance way out of proportion to the odds. As for being "highly prejudicial" to Palestinian nationalism, it's hard to see how blowing up discos, pizzerias, restaurants, shooting at random cars, stabbing random individuals, etc., helps. --Leifern 19:47, May 25, 2005 (UTC)
Most of the attacks by local Palestinian groups are simply identified as "arab militias". For example:
On December 10, 1947, Arab militias attacked a convoy bringing food and water to Gush Etzion, and killed ten Jews.[10]
Abdul Khader al-Husseini was a famous (and very successful) leader of the Arab militias in and around Jerusalem. If you are interested in this subject you could research and write an entry about him. He was effective in leading and coordinating a series of attacks that made it extremely difficult for Jews to get food and supplies to Jerusalem during the months leading up to Israeli independence. His death on April 9th or 10th of 1948, seems to have been a big loss for the Arabs.
Also the Arab Legion attacked numerous Jewish settlements before Israeli independence (see, for example, Kfar Etzion massacre), but I wouldn't call them a militia. Although in this and many other instances, they acted together with arab militias, those militias remain poorly documented.
There is a good reason for this. Whereas Jewish terrorists like those in Irgun and Lehi often bragged about their exploits, even to the point of exagerating casualties (see Deir Yassin massacre), and claimed some credit for the ultimate result of the war, most Arab participants in the war consider it to be a catastrophe (Nakba). They are unlikely to brag about their role in the war. Also, written accounts of thousands of Arab militiamen shooting civilians and raping women would be highly prejudicial to the cause of Palestinian nationalism.
Here is a time line of events from December 1947 to March 1948[11], including numerous Arab attacks. Since it contains factual errors that are both pro-Arab and pro-Israeli, I suppose it satisfies some defintion of NPOV :) --Jsolinsky 15:59, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Some minor changes

I made some minor changes to certain sections. I changed the Israeli viewpoint on Muslim law section to show that Palestinian Christians themselves regard the creation of Israel as the cause of the diminishment of their community. I also took out the part that said "considered by many to be a pre-emptive strike" since it was a pre-emptive strike. My edits were reverted within 20 minutes by an anon ip. If you wish to revert my edits, please revert edits on specific sections and not the whole version.Yuber(talk) 17:29, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Most of your edits are too brief or too off topic to be made on this page. If you wish to add new information, than first add it in the relevent article (Six Day War, Palestinian Israeli Conflict ext.) After that we can check the factual relevency of these additions on each seperate article and then we can add it here.

Guy Montag 21:18, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

The point about Palestinian Christians is not off-topic. That paragraph contains a Pro-Israeli argument about the numbers of Christians dropping being a result of Muslim persecution. It is very relevant to that paragraph that Palestinian Christians themselves think that it is Israel responsible for their decline. I have re-added that edit for now, as for the others I will check other articles to see what I can reinstate.Yuber(talk) 21:35, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

You can add that, but do not broad stroke every Arab Christian in that line of thought. No one will object as long as you follow NPOV standards.

Guy Montag 05:23, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

I have added two more sources. One of them is a Christian zionist source that talks about Palestinian Christian revisionism and how Palestinian Christians blame Israel for their problems. It also says that Palestinian Christian theology cannot be disconnected from Palestinian nationalism. In reality, the sentence should say "most" but I kept it as "many". However, your reasoning that it is a minority view is very POV.Yuber(talk) 19:27, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Yuber, you keep adding links, but none of them show the information you keep inserting into wikipedia. You have shown one site about a man who blames American Christians for "turning their back" and leaving Palestinian Christians to the conflict, you linked to one which blamed the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict for the plight of Palestinian Christians, and now you are linking to one about an article which talks about an anti-Zionist group of Palestinian Arab Christians called the Middle East Council of Churches who are against the existance of Israel. None of this is directly linked to your claim that "many" Palestinian Christians believe Israel is persecuting them and making specifically them leave because of their religion, which is supposed to be a counter claim to what directly comes before it, mainly Muslim persecution of Arab Christians. Unless you can provide direct proof of:

  • widespread belief among Palestinian Christians that Israel is persecuting them because of their religion in effort to encourage them to leave (as they are in the PA and other Muslim countries (Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt ext.)
  • that they blame specifically Israel and not the conflict in general.

Then your edits will constitute conjecture and a personal pov that a majority and not a minority or whatever large number of people have this view. If it cannot be directly supported through sources, and it is a controversial viewpoint, than I have to use the information given to make an npov document. From the documents that you have provided, and I have read every one of them, I can only conclude that some Palestinian Christians blame the Palestinian Israeli conflict for their problems.

I have asked other posters, including Jayjg, and they have all concluded that your edit is reaching into territory that your sources do not support.

Also, remember that sources you provide to directly relate to the article as a counter to a claim must directly state this counter inside the source, if it doesn't, than it doesn't even belong in the article at all.

This means that if "some Palestinian Christians believe that Palestinian nationalism directly relates to Christian theology" and we are talking about Muslim persecution of Palestinian Christians, this information does not belong there as a counter. My edit stays until you can provide sources on the 2 points I have contention with.

Guy Montag 02:36, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Your removal of the part about the Anglican bishop is blatant censoring of information. I will reinstate that part and then address your points.Yuber(talk) 02:57, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

As for your two points:

  • widespread belief among Palestinian Christians that Israel is persecuting them because of their religion in effort to encourage them to leave (as they are in the PA and other Muslim countries (Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt ext.)

The fact of the matter is that all the Palestinian Christians that were in those sources specifically said the creation of Israel was the cause of their diminishing population. That section on Islamic law and non-Muslims in Israeli views is implying that it is Muslim hatred of other religions that caused the Christian population to diminish. I am simply providing sources that show that Palestinian Christians specifically blame the creation of Israel. You are being an obscurantist when you say that it is solely the conflict they claim has diminished their community.

  • that they blame specifically Israel and not the conflict in general.

There are numerous quotes in those sources that show Palestinian Christians blaming Israel in more ways than one. I have included a specific one, but if you truly are asking for it, I will include every single specific quote in that section. You seem to not want a simple one-sentence summary about what many Palestinian Christians themselves think, and instead you want specific references. This will be to the detriment of the article as it will double the size of that section, but if you wish, I will add them.Yuber(talk) 03:03, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Yuber, like I said, I read all the sources you provide. The specific instance that we are talking about is present Muslim persecution of Arab Christians because of their religion. The quote you have used is from an article that talks about Israeli fear of violent conflict between Arab Orthodox Christians because of the conduct of ex-Patriarch Ireneious. What you are trying to counter is a specific persecution of someone because of their religion despite their ethnicity. In all the cases provided, Palestinians, are singled out because of the current conflict, despite their religion. Arab Christians are singled out by Muslims because of their religion. What the sources you use say basically the same thing. How the sentences are constructed depend on the biases of the author. Like I said, it is up to you to prove to me that "many" Palestinian Christians feel this way. Specifically that Israel is persecuting them because of their religion and not because they are part of an enemy population. Also, try to make any changes so they are not detrimental to the quality of the article. If the changes will be detrimental as you say, I suggest you find a better way in making them.

Guy Montag 05:44, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

I just added a source from the American Jewish Committee that says that Christian groups around the world hold Israel responsible for the diminishment of the Palestinian Christian community. This refutation has to stay in order for the section to be NPOV. You can't claim that I'm using biased sources as it is the AJC that has recorded this, not a Pro-Palestinian source.Yuber(talk) 19:52, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Yuber, this actually depends on what the source says, not what you claim it to say.

Guy Montag 19:54, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Here is the exact quote from the AJC:

Mainline denominations increasingly relied on churches in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza as a primary source of information and spent time with Palestinian Christian counterparts during frequent visits to the Holy Land. Many viewed Israeli military operations as an attack on their Palestinian Christian brethren and, hence, on peaceful Christian communities. They also held Israel largely responsible for the shrinking Palestinian Christian population in the region.Yuber(talk) 19:56, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

So this talks about Presbyterian divestment from Israel and their warped reasons for why they are doing it. It did not actually talk about the views of Palestinian Christians but about American left wing churches, their beef with Israel, and how they view the conflict. It's still not on topic, but now I see what you did with the quote, and I have no problem with it.

Guy Montag 20:00, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, it's marginally close to the topic, once it has been NPOVd; unfortunately his summary of the source, as usual, didn't actually match what the source said. Nevertheless, since Yuber is so desperate to find anything at all to support his POV, and this is the best he can come up with, I think we should try to accomodate him. What do you think? I've edited his insertion to actually match the source in a NPOV way, let me know. Jayjg (talk) 20:05, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
The "best I can come up with" is a direct reference to Christians holding Israel responsible for the shrinking Palestinian Christian population. Not to mention it was from the American Jewish Committee, so none of your usual labeling of my sources as "hate-sites". If you are going to suppress this source as well, then it is clear to me that you are not committed to the NPOV policy. In any case, that information was included to refute an Israeli claim.Yuber(talk) 20:10, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Sigh. It only took a couple of minutes for you to add some completely unsourced claims again to that properly sourced, though improperly summarized, claim. Yuber, please do not insert information which is not supported by sources. There is no evidence that the claim that Muslims are responsible for oppressing Israeli is "widely disputed" by anyone; in fact, you have yet to bring a source which even comments on it. As for the "best you can come up with", it was indeed some American Protestant denominations which held Israel largely (note, not completely) responsible, which is why, though it didn't actually comment on the claim that Muslims suppression was (perhaps also) responsible, it was at least almost relevant, and why it was left in (after the obvious need to make your text actually reflect its source). Jayjg (talk) 20:14, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Do I have to pick specific paragraphs out of the sources? Here is another one:

There are two main religious-freedom issues. The first is whether Israel has accorded religious freedom to Christians, particularly Arab Christians. I have access only to data concerning the relative numbers of Christians in the Holy Land, which is one (albeit very limited) measure of the climate of freedom. Leaders of the Christian Arab communities have insisted for years that, as Greek Catholic priest Elias Chacour puts it, “the Holy Land is being emptied of its Christians.” The Holy Land Foundation (begun in Washington, D.C., in 1994 to alert Christians to the “dilemma that Christians are facing in the Holy Land”) declares, “Because of a policy of systematic discrimination that impinges on every facet of daily life, Palestinian Christians along with Palestinian Moslems, can no longer live peacefully and securely in their native land. Christians are departing from the Holy Land at an alarming rate, and it is possible that they could one day entirely cease to exist in the very land where Christ founded His Church.”Yuber(talk) 20:20, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

And another one: [12]

Recently I began reading a fascinating book by a British prizewinning author, William Dalrymple. It's an insightful travel diary of a young man's journey among the Christians all throughout the Middle East -- an elegy to the slowly dying civilization of Eastern Christianity and those people who have tried to keep the Christian faith alive. Yet I am finding it most informative and not a depressing book.

Dalrymple writes about the great monasteries of Palestine "before the Zionists expelled half the Palestinians and began to turn the country into an American suburb...."

I guess what also made this very real to me is that I had just set the book down and called a friend in the Bethlehem area. A frightened teenager answered the phone and told me of the bombing by the Israeli Occupation Forces of a house in their neighbourhood last night. She spoke of the screams, the fire and the smoke. It isn't easy for a Christian to live in this land....Yuber(talk) 20:21, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

I think this next source destroys whatever argument you may have had [13]:

3) There are some who mistakenly argue that Palestinian Christians leave because of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Research results on Christian emigration throughout the last 12 years show that people emigrate because of the bad economic and political situation. The rise of fundamentalism certainly poses some serious questions but in itself and by itself is not cause for departure. People, who are not familiar with Islam, as Palestinian Christians are, often see things in black and white. This is not our experience. We have lived with Moslems as neighbors for centuries, our children go to school with their children and make life-long friendships, and we experience together the same difficult political, social and economic conditions. The mutual tolerance of Islam and Christianity shows itself in practical activities of daily life: this is the real dialogue of life. But some would argue that there are Christians who are not comfortable and who have some concrete complaints, certainly not on religious freedom but on practical matters of daily life. This is true not only of Christians but of other Palestinians as well. What happens often is that a conflict over property or any other matter is reduced to religion as a cause. In reality, however, the causes of conflict can be found elsewhere: in legal claims, in some people wanting to usurp the property of other people or for a variety of other reasons. It is expedient to say that my Moslem neighbor is doing this to me because I am a Christian but this would not be the explanation, rather it would be sometimes a cover for it.

A Palestinian Christian himself citing the mutual tolerance of Christianity and Islam, and noting the unity of the Palestinian Christian and Muslim communities.Yuber(talk) 20:29, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

How could your finally bringing an on-topic source destroy my argument? My argument was that you hadn't brought relevant sources, which was correct. Remember, the Talk: page is not a place for re-enacting the conflict; we are not here to decide which side is correct, but merely to quote correctly sourced and relevant material. I'm quite pleased you have at long last found some relevant material to add, it helps bring balance to the article. This source actually discusses the argument that Islamic fundamentalism has led to the emgration of Christian Arabs. Please use this source as an example in the future for the kinds of sources which are relevant and on topic. Jayjg (talk) 20:56, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Actually, all the sources were relevant. Dr. Bernard Sabella is dismissing your unfounded argument. But even if you are quite pleased, Guy Montag has just removed all the sources and the quotes that were worked to a compromise.Yuber(talk) 21:11, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Again, I haven't made any argument here; the article simply quoted a properly sourced argument saying the cause is Islamic fundamentalism. Please stop personalizing this. As for the rest, Guy clearly explained why these sources were not relevant; some were dead, most were off topic. I explained that as well, so your claim about "compromise" was illusory. Jayjg (talk) 21:24, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Also, the sentence "this claim is disputed" along with the 5 sources that blame Israel (and not the PLO) for the diminishment of the Christian population is NPOV.Yuber(talk) 21:17, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
But the section isn't about that, it's presenting arguments regarding the effects of Islamic fundamentalism and Muslim law; as such, arguments pitting the PLO against Israel cannot possibly be included here, since the PLO is a nominally secular organization. I urge you to remove this sentence, since it is not only off topic for this section, but also indicates yet another complex revert 3RR violation. Jayjg (talk) 21:24, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

All information other than Dr. Sabella was irrelevent to the subject, couldn't be found, was innacurate as it relates to other wikipedia articles, or in one case actually helped the Times argument. Even though Dr. Sabella uses complex arguments, and not just economic ones, it is the only source that conforms to wikipedia standards.

Guy Montag 21:21, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Yom Kippur War

I replaced the embattled Yom Kippur War section with summary language from the Yom Kippur War page. The notion that Israel's victory in the war is a direct consequence of American assistance is one that I hadn't heard before. If true, something should probably be written about it on the Yom Kippur War page, and citations provided there. Reguardless, I am highly sceptical that US aid was of such magnitude that it belongs in a three sentence summary of the war. (I'm not disputing that the 1973 war was a textbook example of Cold War politics, but a) that's not what the old language said and b) I still don't it belongs in a three sentence summary of the conflict.) --Jsolinsky 03:46, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well, no surprise there; it was part of a huge unsourced POVing introduced by a User:Alberuni sockpuppet last December:[14] Jayjg (talk) 04:32, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Jewish refugees

Theres a section in the text that refers to "Jewish refugees from Arab nations and Arab-controlled areas of Palestine".

The most prominent definition of refugee in wikipedia is:

a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion... and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.

I agree it occurred in mass numbers, but refugees? When people moved to the Americas during the colonisation they weren't refugees because their religious rights were restricted in Europe but not in the New World (or were they?). My point is, wasn't the Jewish exodus voluntary because although they were persecuted, they had no intention of returning. In otherwords I'm suggesting it might have been emigration. I note that Emigration says ethnic cleansing is one push reason for emigration.

Compare this to Palestinian refugees who had the intention of returning. Even after the Arabs lost the 1948 war, they cannot possibly return. I think many would agree that a fair few would want to return even though an Arab victory over Israel is particularly unlikely.

Using the same word for both in this article is slightly misleading as it suggests equal or similar circumstances. Particularly unfair as being a refugee doesn't fit in with the original Zionist "returning home" idea.

In summary my arguments:

  • Arab Jewish exodus was voluntary and had no intention of return so emigration
  • Jews in a fair few places still could return (if the original person who emigrated/refugeed is still alive)
  • Palestiniain refugees had intention of returning but cannot

Just in case anyone's preparing a flaming reply, I'm asking this out partly of ignorance (not knowing any arguments against). If I was 100% sure I was right and no way of being convinced otherwise I'd have already made the changes. -- Tomhab 16:41, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The term refugee is consistently used with respect to conditions in the country of origin, not the country of destination. So yes, the Pilgrims have many times been characterized as refugees because they fled a place where they faced persecution and "took refuge" in a place where they did not. Many, if not most refugees have no intention of returning to the land they came from, and willingly choose to leave behind the place where they were persecuted. Not many people would want to return to a place where they felt they had been be persecuted. The Palestinians are the exception to this, in a large part because they have an expectation that they will be able to change the nature of Israel as a primarily Jewish state simultaneous with their return. --Jsolinsky 09:31, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, despite disagreeing with small points, the overall theme of what you're saying makes sense. I still think its an odd term though. -- Tomhab 11:41, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Interesting comment! I do get the impression though that many Sephardim and Mizrahim (Jews native to Arab states) left in fear for their lives. If these Jews don't qualify as refugees, then who does?

A related point is that Jews leaving the Arab states (or, for that matter, leaving Europe) did have somewhere to go, where they found a welcome. Although it is true that many arrivals in Israel suffered sadness and longing for their former homeland, can this really be compared with Arab refugees, who today, almost sixty years after leaving their homeland in fear for their lives are still living in squalid refugee camps? --Philopedia 15:55, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I was more questioning the status as a refugee but didn't realise it only meant some of the jews (I thought it meant every jew that wanted to go to israel rather than those expelled). My mistake. Although palestinians refugees endure harder times calling all of the jewish refugees emigrants would, imho be unfair -- Tomhab 16:16, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Jews didn't just "leave" Arab countries, they were forced out by persecution and in some cases expulsion. They suffered greatly when they arrived; the initial conditions were no better than what faced the Arab refugees. The subsequent difference is due to the fact that Israel integrated them into Israeli society, whereas Arab countries (except Jordan) kept them as refugees for political purposes. Jayjg (talk) 16:50, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Sources and a Proposal

I tried to put some organization in place without messing with the content, but it is clear that the "reasons for the conflict" section is unreadable for anybody seeking to understand what is going on. It makes it entirely unclear which reasons are generally believed and which are not as generally accepted as consensus views. Even worse, many of the "reasons" include arguments, counter-arguments, and debates in a way that often invalidates their own internal consistancy. The pages are so full of allegations and fuzzy words that the information content is very low, and the set of arguments on the page borders on original research, since they are not tied to any outside sources. I would propose that we take a bit of time to try and develop a way to make this page more useful and readable in the future. To that end, I wanted to suggest a few possibilities:

  • Proposal 1: Every "reason for the conflict" needs to be backed up with some sort of outside source that actually states that this is a reason for the conflict. Even better, these cites should come from something reputible, "Foreign Affairs," "Foreign Policy," or an author with some credentials. Enough people have written about this conflict that we should not have to construct our own arguments from scratch, and it is clear that many of the editors here are well read. We would cut issues that are not backed up.
  • Proposal 2: We work in teams to rebuild the page. I would propose that we entirely rewrite the Israeli viewpoint and the Arab viewpoint from blank paper. We limit each side to 15 kilobytes and no more than 5 "reasons." If we really want to embrace the spirit of NPOV, we could have people draft the opposite argument from their viewpoint. For example, Jayjg and Guy (or whomever) would write the Arab viewpoint, and Yuber and Irishpunktom write the Israeli viewpoint on some scratch page, then we exchange the content. We would then have a new, and hopefully coherent, section to work from, as well as a Wikixperiment(tm).
  • Proposal 3: We leave the page as is, but we at least start trying to make the tone of each section consistant, and spend some time attaching facts (like the poll numbers and NY Times quotes I added). Better to edit down for awhile rather than just adding new reasons.

I hope none of this sounds too naive, but it would be great to actually make this page work, so feel free to add your own suggestions as well. --Goodoldpolonius2 06:08, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Commendable. I support Proposal 3. The page reads like a diatribe at the moment. The section supposedly on Arab viewpoints, for example, is full of counter-arguments! --Ian Pitchford 09:11, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Azzam Quotation

Azzam quotation: BTW according to Google there are 631 references to this on the web, mostly on anti-Palestinian sites. I looked at about fifty, but none supplied a reference. I know of only one published reference (if you can call it that) Bard, M. G. (2002). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Middle East Conflict. New York, NY: Alpha Books, p. 145 - no source is given for the quotation. --Ian Pitchford 09:11, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The Azzam quotation was mentioned in letters to the editor and opinion columns of the New York Times, including one by the Israeli ambassador in 1952, so it clearly does have a longer history than just Bard's book, and there were never any corrections about it, so I assume it was real. It has also been sourced to Collins and LePierre as well as to Lieber, so they might help provide leads to primary sources. I don't have copies of Collins and LePierre's O Jerusalem handy, and have not read Lieber's 1972 The Case for Israel. If anyone has these sources, that would be great. --Goodoldpolonius2 16:03, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It's mentioned on p. 35 of Morris, B. (2003). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press - but again there's no reference.--Ian Pitchford 17:36, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Bard in Myths and Facts, p.175 says it was "in an interview with the BBC on the eve of the war (May 15, 1948)"--John Z 19:41, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I've searched all of my sources and this is the most detailed reference I've found: Azzam Pasha (Secretary General of the Arab League), Cairo Press Conference, May 15, 1948, New York Times, May 16, 1948. - I can't find anything with context or other information. However, the actual text of the NYT of May 16 places Azzam in Amman on that day and reads in full -- "AMMAN, Trans-Jordan, May 15 (Reuters) -- Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, stated here today that United States recognition of the Jewish state of Israel would not deflect Arabs from their determination to save the "Arab land of Palestine." Azzam Pasha discussed the American recognition by telephone with members of the Arab League Political Committee in Damascus. -- Rabbi Unger's letter in The NYT, 1951 also places Azzam in Cairo on 15 May; The letter from the Israeli Press Attaché published in the NYT in 1958 provides no additional information. --Ian Pitchford 21:36, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Despite the wrong source cited in some locations, I am inclined to believe that the quote is real, given that Azzam Pasha did speak that day about the invasion of the just-declared Israel. This, plus the content of earlier discussions by Azzam, and the cites to it from as early as 1952, as well as its invocation by historians like Morris, are strong evidence that the quote is genuine, and it becomes a matter of deciding whether we want to track down a primary source. Perhaps we should track down the BBC reference from May 15, 1948. The BBC offers free reference assistance from their archives[15], if anyone wants to follow-up. --Goodoldpolonius2 04:43, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ordinarily I'd agree that a reference to the quotation from someone of Morris' standing would be sufficient, but in this case the quotation itself doesn't actually say what is claimed of it. After all if Azzam does actually claim a massacre of Jews, then why doesn't the quotation say this. Instead all we have is "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades." Both massacres mentioned were of Arabs. We need Azzam's actual words in context to work out the meaning. I'm particularly skeptical because, although the interpretation could be correct, I find it difficult to believe that any career diplomat would use such language, let alone someone of Azzam's background and standing. I've also checked the reference to Leibler (1972) and most of these seem to be incorrect as well. The actual volume is Leibler, I. J. (1972). The Case for Israel. Melbourne: Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ISBN 0959898409). I can't check whether the quotation appears on page 15 as claimed because the volume doesn't appear to be available in the US or UK and isn't in the British Library or the Library of Congress. There are copies in the National Library of Australia and the Jewish National and University Library. Perhaps someone in one of these countries could check. BBC Research is a commercial service, but I'll see what they can provide at what cost. --Ian Pitchford 10:46, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I've had bad luck with the New York Times electronic archives in the past and many of the references are sufficiently specific that I am surprised its not there. Has anybody attempted to look for this on microfilm, or are all the failed lookups a result of using the electronic archives? I've become sufficiently curious that I'll try if nobody answers.--Jsolinsky 28 June 2005 19:01 (UTC)
I used ProQuest, which offers a searchable archive through the 1800s. It also offers the entire issue in PDF form, so I also read every article related to Israel in the May 15-17 issues, and didn't find anything like this quote. --Goodoldpolonius2 28 June 2005 19:47 (UTC)

Well, it's in O Jerusalem, p. 456 in the edition I have:

Even the Arab League's Azzam Pasaha, who privately abhorred the turn events had taken, was swept up by the emotion of the hour. "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre," he predicted in a phrase that would haunt him for years, "which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades".

--Jayjg (talk) 29 June 2005 22:07 (UTC)

The reference in that work is also to a BBC interview on 15 May 1948. As we've ruled out the New York Times this seems to be the most likely source. There's no reference to it in The Times though. There is an earlier quotation from King Ibn Saud "the Arabs are determined to wage war with the same determination and force as during the Crusades" --Ian Pitchford 30 June 2005 08:14 (UTC)

Land, water, improvements

The article doesn't say much about geographical facts that may be driving some of the conflict -- the quality of the land, access to water (apparently a huge issue), the military defensibility of Israel with and without the territories, the notion that Jewish settlers carved an oasis out of the desert.

For example, supporters of Israel sometimes make an argument that goes something like this: "Israel is tiny (smaller than 47 U.S. states including New Hampshire), and most of it was just desert before Jewish settlers got there. Arabs already had vast amounts of land, and could have spared a little sliver for the Jews, but chose to be petty. Now, of course, Israel is much more desirable land -- you can see on satellite photos that it is a green oasis in the middle of the desert, with flourishing cities. But that is only because of the hard labor and irrigation of Jewish settlers. Whether or not the U.N. was right to establish Israel, by now Israelis have surely earned the right to stay: in ordinary property disputes, a court would consider not just the land but also improvements made on the land. As for the territories, the Arabs are just being sore losers - they would still have them if they hadn't ganged up and attack Israel - and the main reason Israel has kept them is only to buffer tiny, skinny Israel against future attacks of the same sort, since it would only be 9 miles wide without the West Bank."

This argument clearly doesn't address Jerusalem, or sites of archaeological interest, nor the other reasons that right-wing Jews have settled in the territories. However, I wonder if it should be included in some form. I would also like to know about the part played by water issues - the fact that the Gaza Strip is along the sea and the West Bank is along the river.

I am not sufficiently informed to write about these issues myself, but maybe you are. 16:55, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

"Now, of course, Israel is much more desirable land -- you can see on satellite photos that it is a green oasis in the middle of the desert"
About one quarter of "Israel's water supply" comes from rainfall. The rest comes in approximately equal proportions from Lebanon, Syria and the Occupied West Bank. Any diversion of this water for the use of non-Jews is dealt with by the IDF. Hence the "green oasis". 03:29, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

Arab willingness to make peace

Humus, I wrote much of this section, and I have to say that I prefer my version and believe it to be more factually correct, neutral and relevant to the topic. SC 242 is a framework for peace, not a precise agreement. That the Saudi plan is contradictory to SC 242 is simply not correct. The Saudi plan is a more detailed plan that in no respect is inconsistent with 242. It doesn't even contradict the main Israeli interpretation of SC 242, which is (some) land for peace - for (all the) "territories occupied" is a possible value for (some). Suggesting that it is contradictory and that it only claims to be based on these resolutions seems to be original research to me; I have never seen a reputable source e.g. the government of Israel, say such things and I doubt one exists. Saying that it went beyond it is true. It made more clear that in line with their interpretation the Arabs perhaps asked for more - full withdrawal (while leaving the door open for "minor and mutual" border adjustments) but also offered more than SC 242 required - treaties with full normalization of relations. That Israel officially welcomed it is proved by the reference I provided ( the previous version incorrectly said Israel rejected it), that Israel thereafter ignored it is simply a fact. (At least that is what all sources I have ever seen agree on, there are no later references to it at the MFA site, either. If Israel made a major statement on it later, I think you should provide it) If the phrasing is thought to be in some way pejorative, or not assuming good faith (though this is a policy for Wikipedians, not States - should an article on say, North Korea and the USA assume good faith on either part?) you should change the phrasing but not the basic meaning.

Maybe to something like, "Israel officially welcomed it, but said that Palestinian terrorism was the main obstacle to peace, and has made no important statements since then." I think longer quotes from Peres's statement are out of place in a section entitled "Arab willingness to make peace".--John Z 08:12, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

John, we agree on many points, especially on it went beyond. I respectfully disagree on the "ignored" part. I added Peres' response because he stated specifically what is wrong with the plan:
  1. it is liable to founder if terrorism is not stopped
  2. the details of every peace plan must be discussed directly between Israel and the Palestinians
  3. problematic aspects and the harsh and rejectionist language at the Beirut Summit
Also, this initiative coincided with horrific Netanya suicide attack (IMHO, the association between the two is strong enough to go together), which Peres mentioned but the Saudis failed to. I don't think it is fair to blame Israel for merely "ignoring" the alleged "Arab willingness to make peace". BTW, I am wondering why there is no "Israeli willingness to make peace". Humus sapiensTalk 09:48, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Ok, well, I am not sure whether I put in ignored or not (it is certainly better than the false "rejected" though), I just tried to make the minimal fixes to the earlier version throughout Wikipedia, where the same false statements popped up. In place of ignored, just saying that there have been no additional responses as in my suggestion above would be OK with me. The Beirut Summit was a long planned international thing, and the unpublished plan came a few months before, so it is hard to really link it with the Netanya attack. It would have been good if the Saudis denounced it at the time, but that was hardly what could have been on their mind negotiating with the other states. The Saudis hoped for a more from Israel; it is too bad perhaps that this unambiguous plan was not put forward a few years earlier. I think it is better to say that the plan itself goes beyond SC 242 than to imply that full withdrawal goes beyond 242 because this is a contentious point, with arguments on both sides based on the text, and which is treated in this article and the SC 242 one. --John Z 10:53, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
The Saudis presented one of so many stillborn ME peace plans, the Israelis gave their reasoned response. Why do we need to stress that "there have been no additional responses", esp. from Israel? The Saudis never recognized Israel - not even before 1967 or 1948. They attempted to destroy Israel overtly (wars), covertly (support of terror), economically (boycotts) and politically (UN & Co), they voted against R242 because it calls for secure borders - and now they ask Israel to give up ALL the land won in defensive war (why Russia is not giving up Kaliningrad?) for ethereal "full normalization of relations" that can be withdrawn the next minute. "Land for peace" is a wonderful principle, but it is not a suicide pact and I can certainly understand Israel's reservations when asked for FULL withrawal to indefensible 1949 borders that tempted so many invasions. The lack of reaction to Netanya attack is notable here because it timely highlighted that the Saudis do not act in a good faith. Humus sapiensTalk 02:56, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Regarding the lack of "israeli willingness .." this section seems to be there partly to balance 2.1.1 Arab hostility. The divisions and their names, as often are peculiar because of the nature of Wikipedia, and could be improved but that might be a big or controversial job, which I rarely have done. More generally, you have a point, there is a tremendous amount of material on diplomacy that is nowhere on Wikipedia, that would help anybody understand the conflict better, and is often not too easy to find elsewhere for that matter, it is a long term plan of mine to help remedy this deficiency. --John Z 10:53, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Cool. Humus sapiensTalk 20:04, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Timeline for Jewish migration from Arab countries

The summary of the 1948 war gave a very misleading impression, in that it implied that 600,000-900,000 Jews fled to Israel from Arab countries during the fighting of the 1948-49 war itself. In fact, there was no Jewish migration from Arab countries anywhere near those numbers until the early 1950s, after the 1949 armistice was concluded and after Israel had already refused reentry to the Palestinian refugees.

The argument that there is a Jewish refugee issue symmetrical to the Palestinian refugee issue definitely belongs in the article, as it has been a mainstay of Zionist disourse for decades. However, the different circumstances of those two exoduses must be presented accurately. Brian Tvedt 11:31, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree, but the fact that the Jewish refugees also fled or were expelled from their countries of birth needs to be fairly presented. Jayjg (talk) 16:01, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Official Israeli statistics on immigration should prove useful in this context. [16] Of particular interest is [17] and [18], which shows the timeframe of immigration to Israel, broken down into country of residence. It shows the nature of Jewish exodus from Arabic countries (most of it) to Israel is somewhat different than that of Palestinians. It happened over approximately two decades as a process with several factors, some of which are not mentioned in this article (such as the role of zionist organisations and the Israeli government, as the WP article Immigration_to_Israel_from_Arab_lands reflects). --Cybbe 16:49, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
Very interesting documents. Might be worthwhile for someone to make a graph for the Immigration article. Brian Tvedt
Given the above, this sentence is poorly constructed:

Jews fled or were expelled from the Arab countries they were living in, and migrated to Israel, in many cases owing to anti-Jewish sentiment, expulsion (in the case of Egypt), or, in the case of Iraq, legal oppression (see Immigration to Israel from Arab lands)

If they fled or were expelled, then in ALL cases it would be because of anti-Jewish actions, not in "many"; why else would anybody "flee" or be "expelled" (well, apart from Arabic music)? And Cybbe brings up a good point, if it was "many" but not "all", were the rest encouraged by Israel to leave? Somebody with better knowledge ought to fix this. Ramallite (talk) 16:59, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
I've re-worded again to try to fix the issues. One could argue (and many have) that many Palestinians also were encourage to leave by their own leadership, though this in not reflected in the text either. Jayjg (talk) 17:32, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
I see understand why you made your changes, though we end up with the oddity "...not their flight or expulsion from Israel as the Palestinians believe." I don't think it's a matter of dispute that most Palestinian refugees believe they were expelled; few if any blame "flight" for their predicament. I don't plan on changing it for now because: (1) there are other parts of WP that are more in need of fixing; (2) I don't want to set off the whole refugee debate inside the history section.
As to "Jews fled the Arab countries they were living in". I won't change it but I remain skeptical. Certainly there are people to whom this description applies. But does this apply to whole 600,000-900,000? We are told, repeatedly, by the Zionists that Israel is the "homeland" of the Jewish people, that they have maintained a "connection" to it through two millenia, and that they yearn to make Aliyah ("ascend" to Israel). And yet, when it comes to the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa, they use statistics in a way that requires assuming not one of them came to Israel solely to make Aliyah, or to fulfill the Zionist mandate to realize the "ingathering of the exiles" in Israel. Instead, all of them are assumed to have been pushed kicking and screaming out of the countries of their birth. Again, I'm not going to contest the text for now but it seems something is not right here.
Brian Tvedt 02:53, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Accuracy: Nasser's "basic objective" statement misquoted

The article quoted Nasser's May 26, 1967 speech to the Trade Unionists as follows:

If war starts our basic objective will be to destroy Israel.

The article had a link to a translated transcript of Nasser's speech on the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. There is also a translation in Laquer/Rubin's Israeli-Arab Reader, and the texts are very close. What Nasser actually said that day was:

If Israel embarks on an aggression against Syria or Egypt the battle against Israel will be a general one and not confined to one spot on the Syrian or Egyptian borders. The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel.

The BBC broadcast of June 5, 1967, omits the crucial context "If Israel emarks on an agression..." and is therefore not reliable. I have deleted the reference to it and to the New York Times article. There is simply no reason to reference secondary sources about what Nasser said that day when the full transcipt of the speech is so readily available.

In the 1967 war summary, I have supplied the context, which shows that Nasser was clearly expecting Israel to launch the first blow. In the Arab Hostility section of the article, I have simply corrected the text. I'll leave it up to others to decide if the corrected quote is sufficiently demonstrative of Arab irrationality and hatred to be worth keeping in the collection.

I will point at that this is the only quote in the Arab Hostility section that I have been able to trace an primary source, and I have found it to be misleading as presented. This does not give me much confidence to the other quotes in that section, all of which are referenced only to Zionist advocacy literatare. Those who believe that Arab hostility can be demonstrated by "statements made by Arab leaders during and preceding the wars" would strengthen their case by finding primary sources for the quotes in this section. Brian Tvedt 05:11, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Article length

The article's getting very long; can I suggest a possible split along the lines of the "history" and "reasons" article? At least the second, and perhaps the both, could be split out into sub-articles and summarised here. Alai 03:57, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Request for more information on Reasons for conflict -> Israeli views -> Israel is forced...

I think this section need a little more information in following sentences:

"Israel maintains that it offered to return the Golan Heights to Syria and the Sinai Peninsula (including the Gaza Strip) to Egypt in exchange for peace treaties and various concessions". This sentence needs information on those various concessions. If they are significant, they should be mentioned, if not, it should be "various minor concessions".

"Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian President at the time, proposed negotiations towards peace with Israel in the early 1970s but Israel refused the offer, claiming that it held unreasonable preconditions." What were the preconditions? The reader should be given possibility to decide whether the preconditions were indeed unreasonable. --Heptor 14:15, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

The first refers to the June 19, 1967 cabinet decision to return the Sinai and Golan to Egypt and Syria. However, this decision was quite secret at the time, and the consensus is now that an offer was never in fact made. No Egyptians or Syrians ever heard of the offer at the time and their archives have been searched for it without finding anything. The US was to be the intermediary, and the US was told of the plan by Israel, but not that it was to send it on to the Arabs. It is a real historical tragedy - as far as I can tell, the person most to blame for the not-telling was Abba Eban. The various concessions were minor after the war - in comparison to territorial loss, but major points before it, like freedom of navigation through Suez and Tiran, etc. "relatively minor" might be the best wording in this general article to save space. "Israel maintains" is wrong, as far as I know, Israel has never said the offer was actually made, only "some Israelis."

The second refers to Sadat's February 1971 response to the Jarring initiative, which was important enough that I am slowly writing an article around it. The "unreasonable preconditions" part is not good here, as when one describes diplomatic offers one should keep as close to the actual text of the formal response as possible - governments weigh each word and comma very carefully, and we should respect that. The reason for the rejection was simply that it asked for complete withdrawal to the old international border.John Z 21:41, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

A recently deleted article

I have just deleted an article on the agreement that any useful information should be merged here. It was made by User: Ingoolemo talk 19:39, 2005 September 6 (UTC)

The text of the article is:


General Overview

        Since 1994, Palestine has generally been described as a semi-autonomous territory of Israel, with its official land area consisting of the Gaza Strip and roughly a quarter of the West Bank.  While the eastern half of Jerusalem consists of nearly one million Palestinians, thus forming a quarter of the nearly four million Palestinians in Palestine, Israel officially controls Jerusalem as its own capital.  To truly appreciate the complex nature of this irregular geographic definition, one must consider the history of Palestine - a history that is fundamentally rooted in border disputes, foreign interests, and bloodshed.  
Palestine is located in the Sinai Peninsula, a region of semi-arid land between the Red Sea to the South and the Mediterranean Sea to the West.  Palestine is surrounded by Arab nations with whom it shares its turbulent history:  to the North lies Lebanon and Syria, to the East lies Jordan, and to the Southwest lies Egypt.  
        With a land area of 5,860 square kilometers, the West Bank lies in the northeastern section of Israel, upon the western bank of the Jordan River, where it also borders the nation of Jordan.  Narrowly situated between Egypt and Israel, the Gaza Strip lies upon the far eastern border of the Mediterranean Sea and has a land area of 378 square kilometers.  Of this total land area of about 6,238 square kilometers, less than a quarter of it is controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Israeli-approved governing body of Palestine.  Israel strictly controls the remaining portion of this land area.  For example, since 1967, Israel has created settlements of its own in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, filling them with about a quarter of a million Israeli settlers who, in graven contrast to neighboring Palestinians, enjoy all the benefits of one of the strongest economies, protected by one of the strongest military regimes, in the Middle East.  Further, Israel controls virtually all the modes of transportation in and out of Palestine, holds the key to all borders, strictly limits the PA’s ability to nurture foreign relations of any type, and forbids the PA from creating a military force of its own.  In 2003, in violation of the Hague Regulations on Land Warfare and in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel commenced the building of a great wall of sorts along the borderline between the West Bank and Israel “proper,” and in so doing, has greatly changed and infringed upon the territory traditionally demarcated as the West Bank.  Much like Israel’s recent aggressive control of the Palestinian border has damaged the already ailing Palestinian economy, this physical barrier has further robbed Palestinians of equitable access to land and water, food sources, health care, and employment opportunities.  As a result, Palestinians are ever more beholden to Israel as their source of food, water, shelter, and safety.  
Although the once-rich soil of Palestine had traditionally been used by Palestinian farmers and shepherds for agriculture and livestock-grazing, over fifty years of Israeli-led military attacks against Palestinians, Israel’s destruction of the territory’s landscape, and Israel’s paralyzing blows to the Palestinian economy have more than simply eroded the topsoil and destroyed the practicality of subsistence farming.  Today, most Palestinians who are employed – about half of the workforce is unemployed – hold low-level jobs in the agricultural, construction, manufacturing, and service industries.  While farm work is the major form of employment for Palestinians, most of the farms employing them are located in Israel “proper,” and to a lesser degree, in the surrounding Arab nations.  As a general rule, Palestinians are far too poor to own their own companies or lands.  
Due to the Israeli government’s suffocation of Palestinians’ access to free trade, their free use of land and water, their free movement within and outside of their reserved territories, and their freedom from constant armed Israeli attack, more than half of Palestinians live below the poverty line of US$2 per day, more than half are refugees from the Israeli war machine, more than half are youth under the age of eighteen, and more than half are illiterate.
Since 1987, Palestinians have risen in mass revolt against Israel’s efforts to destroy them.  This Palestinian revolution is called the Intifada, or uprising.  It has come in two waves, now referred to as the First Intifada of 1987 and the Second Intifada of 2000.  In the name of nationhood, both sides have committed thousands of murders, and the fighting continues because neither Israel nor Palestine is willing to compromise on crucial issues.  In 1994, Palestine was granted partial self-governance by Israel as a result of negotiations between the PA President, Yasser Arafat, and the then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, both of whom received the Noble Peace Prize for their efforts.  The PA, with its eighty-eight member Legislature, President, and Judicial Body, was born as a result of these negotiations.  Its nascent political structure is still too disheveled to appropriately handle the crisis into which it was born.  Although it has been attempting to clarify its Basic Law, to draft a Constitution, to delineate the powers of its Judicial Body, and to barter peace with Israel, the PA is itself embroiled in political turmoil between its various factions, ranging from the moderate to the extreme.  Such a delicate lawmaking process is only further hindered by the constant military violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

History:  Ancient Period to the 20th Century

Precariously situated between the continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia, this ancient crossroads of diverse nations seems to never have known the peace that multiculturalism is truly capable of spawning.  There was one not so brief exception, however, to this grim view of history.  Between the Sixth and Fourth Centuries BC, the Persians ruled this region with respect and support for the varied array of people living there.  The Persian kings rebuilt the Temple of Solomon that the previous Chaldean warlords had destroyed, and they helped foster an intellectually appreciative climate which, among many other academic and cultural pursuits, promoted the writing of the Torah.  This example of peace serves as a pristine historical lesson in the restorative potential of compromise and collaboration – virtues which seem to be dreadfully lacking in the periods of time before and after this particular era of Persian rule.  
        Archeological evidence proves that people have inhabited the Sinai Peninsula as far back as 200,000 BC.  Evidence of agricultural and artistic pursuits notes that a substantially sized community of human beings lived in this area around 12,000 BC.  Jericho, a Palestinian city in the West Bank, is considered by most archeologists to be the oldest continually-inhabited city on Earth, with evidence of farming, herding, and craftmaking dating back to 7,000 BC.  Between 5,000 BC and 2,000 BC, various tribes settled and clashed in this region, starting with the Assyrians and Akkadians, and the Amorites and Canaanites.  The Jewish faith commenced with the birth of the line of Abraham at about 1,800 BC, which over the next few centuries, splintered into the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel, who strayed almost entirely from the precepts of the Jewish faith and who battled for dominion over the region.  This taut struggle between the Hebrews was exacerbated by the influx of Greek Philistines at around 1,200 BC.  Such divisive tribal fighting eventually led, in the Eighth Century BC, to the destruction of all local power by the foreign Chaldean invaders, who took military advantage of the havoc in the region to broaden the reach of their own empire.  The oppressive Chaldean grip on the peoples of the region lasted until the Persians wrested power from them in the Sixth Century BC.  As noted, the next two hundred years of Persian rule liberated the Hebrews, Philistines, and even the Chaldeans, from cultural oppression.  
In 300 BC, Alexander the Macedonian, also known as Alexander the Great, entered the region at the head of vast armies with the singular focus of spreading Hellenism to the world.  Though Greek did become the principle language of this region for centuries to come as a result of Alexander’s invasion, the stability of the region that existed under Persian rule was utterly vanquished – thus, lending much support to the ancient credo that states, “it is much simpler to destroy than it is to create.”  Over the next nearly two millennia, the Sinai Peninsula became enslaved to foreign interests battling for control over the region with all the bloody elements of political, military, and economic warfare, thus signaling to the world that the Sinai Peninsula is a region of pivotal importance – a geographic key to throw open empirical fancies onto the stages of three empires – Asia, Africa, and Europe.  Power hungry empires followed in the footsteps of Alexander.  The Romans came in the First Century BC; the Arabs followed in the Seventh Century AD; the Romans returned - now aided by the French, English and Germans - with the Crusades in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries AD; the Arabs regained control in the Fourteenth Century; and finally, the Ottoman Turks added the region to their list of conquered peoples in the Sixteenth Century, and held such dominion until the Twentieth Century, when European re-ascendancy over the region’s affairs became certain during World War I.  Certainly, history shows us that multicultural appreciation for minorities did not exist in the Sinai Peninsula during those two bloody millennia.
Neither did multiculturalism seem to exist in Europe, for it was this very lack of minority rights in Europe that led to the Jewish Zionist movement of the late Nineteenth Century – a movement that would soon collide with the interests, rights, and very lives of the Arabs of the Sinai Peninsula.  

Twentieth Century History

        After World War I, with the Treaty of Versailles, Palestine was granted its long sought-after independence from the Ottoman Turks in 1919, and thus the nation of Palestine was born.  Its sad fate, however, was sealed two years earlier.  In 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, which voiced support for the Jewish Zionist movement – a policy that sought to assist Jews, particularly those in Europe, to migrate en masse to the Biblical Holy Land in and around Jerusalem.  Moreover, the Zionist movement activated the 1896 dream of its German Jewish founder, Theodore Hertzl - a dream of “a land without people for a people without a land.” The obvious problem with this fancy bit of propaganda was the fact that the Sinai Peninsula was home to a large Arab population – a people, indeed, who would look harshly upon further European despoiling of their independence.  In the 1920’s, tens of thousands of Jews started to migrate to Palestine.  By the end of this decade, Palestinians began to understand that Zionist immigration into their country would continue despite their laws to the contrary.  Violence erupted between the Palestinian Moslems and the Jews in 1929, when a skirmish over the holy site of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem boiled over into a major street riot.  This initial confrontation over control of sites held sacred to Jews and Moslems alike marked the beginning of tensions that would carry forth to the present.  
        In the 1930’s and 1940’s, fleeing from Nazism and general European anti-Jewish fervor, European Jews began to illegally migrate to Palestine in ever-larger numbers, tripling the number of Jews that lived in Palestine before the commencement of the Zionist exodus, and quadrupling the amount of land owned by the Jews in Palestine.  The European Zionists’ purchasing power over the Palestinians was not the only factor involved in helping the Zionists to buy huge quantities of Palestinian real estate.  Since their immigration, the Zionists realized that they would have to fight for their right to stay in Palestine.  They began to form large and aggressive street gangs using thug-like activities to intimidate and destroy Palestinians at every opportunity.  Two of the most powerful Zionist terrorist groups were the Stern gang and the Irgun gang.  In order to send a clear message that anti-Zionist policies would receive violent responses, regardless of their state of origin, in 1944 these Zionist gangs killed the British High Commissioner after he expressed support for the Palestinians’ rights to limit Zionist immigration; in 1946, the gangs bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, a hotel that hosted various diplomats whom Zionists perceived as hostile to their cause; and in 1948, as part of the Deir Yassin massacre, these Jewish gangs killed 254 Palestinians.  Meanwhile, Zionists in the USA lobbied US support for their continued migration into Palestine and defended the Jews’ right to a homeland via careful alliances with the media and academic intelligentsia.  
These combined political, economic, and military tactics worked to drive Palestinians out of their own lands.  By 1948, after the Deir Yassin massacre and related threats of further violence against the Palestinians by the Zionists, 750,000 Palestinians fled their own nation, leaving behind all their real and most of their personal property, and sought refuge in the neighboring Arab countries, especially Jordan.  The Zionists claimed victory.  As a response to the Zionist’s terrorizing methods, and even more so, in order to reverse the flow of Palestinian refugees into their lands, the nations of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt declared war on Israel.  By the end of this Arab-Israeli War, the well-funded Zionist forces occupied 78% of Palestine, ceding the West Bank and the eastern half of Jerusalem to Jordan and the Gaza Strip to Egypt.  On May 14, 1948, Israel declared statehood, and the short-lived nation of Palestine was destroyed.  Sealing their unchallengeable dominance over the region, that same year, the Zionists murdered the United Nations mediator Count Sweden who was deployed by the UN to help bring peace and safety to the region.  Further, immediately after declaring statehood, Israel issued laws appropriating all the real and personal properties that the Palestinians left behind in their escape from Zionist violence, thereby vastly multiplying Israel’s wealth and real estate holdings in what was once Palestine.
Between 1948 and 1967, Israel declared Jerusalem its capital, it continued its attacks on Palestinians living in UN refugee camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and it repeatedly defied UN resolutions reprimanding Israel for its violence.  Feeling unprotected by the international community, frustrated Palestinians began to mobilize into armed groups, such as Fateh and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and used similar tactics as the Zionist gangs in prior decades.  Violence between Israel and Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip escalated to the point of war.  
On June 5, 1967, in a preemptive surprise attack against a poised offensive movement of troops by Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, Israel commenced the Six-Day War.  By June 10, Israel had defeated the three Arab nations, and had reclaimed the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as its own.  As a result, 325,000 fearful Palestinians fled these Occupied Territories and sought refuge in Jordan, Egypt and Syria.  As for the lands and properties abandoned by Palestinians fleeing their homes in the Territories, Israel appropriated these and established Israeli settlements in their place.  
The clashes between Israelis and Palestinians only worsened after this War.  In 1969, Zionists set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the most holy Moslem sites in Jerusalem.  Similar acts of violence were used by both sides of the confrontation; however, Israeli military, political and economic clout dwarfed Palestinian efforts.  Despite numerous documents issued by the UN and the international community, not one nation stepped forward to assist the Palestinians in their military struggle against Israel.  In the 1990’s, when hundreds of thousands of Zionist Jews migrated to Israel after the fall of the Communist bloc, and when 370,000 Palestinian refugees from Kuwait returned to the Occupied Territories and to Jordan after the First Persian Gulf War, the tension between Arabs and Jews naturally increased.
Palestinian resistance, left without effectual international support, eventually devolved into violent revolution, namely via the First Intifada of 1987 and the Second Intifada of 2000, caused by the Israeli Prime Minister’s surprise visit to the rebuilt Al-Aqsa Mosque – a show of great disrespect for Moslem’s rights in Jerusalem and a dashing of any pretense of Palestinian claims to partial-sovereignty in that holy and much-disputed city.  In response to these Palestinian uprisings, Israel has faithfully pursued what in 1988 it aptly named its “Iron Fist Policy,” a fierce course of action that includes a host of human rights violations against Palestinian revolutionaries and their ideological supporters in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and in any other part of Israel.  The official Israeli policy includes measures such as the “breaking of bones” that Israel publicly promised Palestinian detainees, mass arrests and minimum administrative detentions without trial, explosive home demolitions of suspected “enemies of the State,” strategic assassinations, and extreme methods of general warfare.
Such a dehumanizing level of oppression of Palestinian’s basic human rights has attracted much vocal and written international support, in addition to over four billion US dollars of aid earmarked for immediate relief and rebuilding efforts in Palestine.  Unfortunately, due to the disheveled structure of the new PA and the long standing war-torn status of Palestine, little of the international relief funds are effectively useable.  Further, the vocal support lent by the international community has not been backed by any actions aggressive enough to dissuade Israeli occupation and destruction of Palestinian life.  Despite the limited autonomy granted to Palestine after the 1994 peace accords, and despite internationally-bartered peace negotiations leading to the 2003 Roadmap, true independence for Palestine, the end of Israeli occupation, and a resolution to armed conflict in the region – indeed the very aims of the Roadmap – are, in the eyes of Palestinians, far-fetched hopes so long as Israel is effectively permitted by the international community to fearlessly employ hostile tactics against Palestinians.  
As it stands, Israel continues to deprive Palestinians of their rights to healthy food, land, air, water, shelter, safety, free movement, free expression, free worship, and among many others, the simple right to live in a homeland which Palestinians and their ancestors have held precious for thousands of years.  To justify its actions, Israel states that like the United States in its mission against Al-Qaeda and the nations that President George W. Bush has named the “Axis of Evil” – Iraq, Iran, and North Korea – Israel is a “freedom loving nation” fighting terrorist Palestinians in a war meant to bring democracy via a two-State solution.  Palestinians retort that they are not terrorists, but rather that they are freedom fighters, and are striving to overthrow a colonial regime directly headed by Israel and supported by the USA and Great Britain, whose oil interests in the Middle East arguably guide their necessity to find a sure foothold in the region from which to wage political, economic, and military warfare on all who hinder their access to such natural resources.  The truth of this dialectic remains clouded in the eyes of the international community.  
Meanwhile, what remains clear is that Palestine is falling, and Israel is on the rise.  Recently, one journalist embedded in Palestine captured a translucent image of this crisis on a brief video, which received little air time in the media of the USA.  The video shows an Israeli soldier with an M-16 chasing a young Palestinian boy, who seemed to be less than ten years old.  After being chased by the soldier for a couple of minutes through part of a village that had been dessimated by explosives, the boy stopped, bent down, picked up a rock, turned around, raising the rock fiercely over his head and aiming at the soldier.  Through the video, which was taken at some distance, one could see the boy yelling “Allah-u Akbar,” which means “God is great” in Arabic.  The soldier stood his ground and aimed his rifle straight at the boy’s chest, but he lacked the moral surety to shoot.  Instead, he turned around and started running in the direction from which he came, and the boy gave chase.  This image of the boy with a rock in his hand chasing a fully-equipped adult Israeli soldier shocks the conscience.  The reality, however, is that this scene depicts the actual differences in power between the two sides fighting this decades-long war.  The typical Palestinian “soldier” is a slingshot-armed boy - poor, hungry, and tormented.  Not only does this stand in stark contrast to a typical Israeli soldier, but this odd pairing of foes also clearly spotlights a frighteningly explosive situation to which the international community has failed to adequately respond.

Word Count:  3,420


1.      The United Nations at
2.      EUROPA:  European Commission External Relations at
3.      Human Rights Watch at
4.      Al-Jazeera Online News Service 

The West Bank

The West Bank lies in the northeastern section of Israel, upon the western bank of the Jordan River, where it also borders the nation of Jordan.  With a land area of 5,860 square kilometers and a semi-arid Mediterranean climate, the landscape of the West Bank is primarily used by its residents for animal grazing and agricultural purposes.  
More than 80% of its population of nearly 1.8 million people consists of Palestinian Arab Moslems, with Christian Arabs and Israeli Jewish settlers each forming just under 10% of the population.  More than half of the population of the West Bank is comprised of youth under the age of eighteen.  There are nearly 700,000 registered Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, with a quarter of them living in nineteen United Nations recognized refugee camps and the rest living in West Bank towns and villages.  Due to an unemployment rate of about fifty percent, with sixty percent of the population living below the poverty line of US$2 per day, and burdened by dismal infrastructure, public utilities, educational and communications systems, the West Bank suffers from severe levels of human rights violations, crime, pollution, and social unrest, including ongoing armed clashes between Palestinians and Israelis.  
        The history of the West Bank mirrors that of the Gaza Strip.  Both territories were created in 1949 after the Arab-Israeli War of 1948.  The West Bank was governed by Jordan from 1949 until 1967, when on June 10, 1967, Israel regained control of the West Bank after the Six-Day War, in which, via powerful surprise attacks, it quickly defeated the combined armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.  To secure control of this post-war hotbed of Arab resentment against Israeli domination, the Israeli government appropriated Palestinian-owned land, established fortified Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and maintained an active military presence throughout the territory.  
In 1987, the Palestinians mounted a major revolutionary effort against Israeli occupation known as the Intifada.  Finally, after thousands of deaths, in May 1994, the Palestinians and Israelis signed a peace accord whereby the Israeli government agreed to cede limited autonomy of the city of Jericho and the Gaza Strip over to the newly-formed Palestinian Authority (PA) under the leadership of Yasser Arafat.  In 1996, Israel agreed to give the PA partial control of the remaining Palestinian-occupied regions in the West Bank, totaling 27% of the West Bank’s land area.  Further important power concessions by Israel, however, were reneged in subsequent years.  
In fact, Israel continues to maintain absolute control of the remaining seventy plus percent of the West Bank’s land area, including extremely strict governance of all borders, armed forces, foreign affairs, Israeli settlements, all modes of travel outside of the West Bank, and road networks within the territory itself.  The mounting level of Palestinian frustration with the Israeli government’s control of daily life, compounded by failed peace negotiations, ultimately led to the commencement of the Second Intifada on September 28, 2000, which continues to embroil the region in military, social, and political conflict.  

Actual Article Word Count:  499


1.      Human Rights Watch
2.      MSN Encarta:  The Gaza Strip
3.      UNRWA 
4.      The USA Central Intelligence Agency World Fact Book 2000:  The Gaza Strip


The Gaza Strip

Narrowly situated between Egypt and Israel in the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip lies upon the far eastern border of the Mediterranean Sea.  A conflict-filled and impoverished territory created in 1949 by the armistice agreement between Israel and Egypt at the end of the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and governed by Egypt between 1949 and 1967, and then, as a result of the Six-Day War in 1967, by Israel from 1967 to 1994.  Of the 1.3 million residents of Gaza, at least 75% of them are Palestinian refugees who fled from the region’s war zones during the Arab-Israeli War and the Six-Day War.  
During the Israeli occupation, Jewish settlements were created in Gaza by Israel as a mode of increasing Israeli control over the territory, resulting today in about 7,000 Israeli settlers there.  Political, social, and economic differences between the well-supported Israeli settlers and the impoverished Arab refugees in Gaza, in addition to ongoing Palestinian resentment against the expansion of Israel’s control over their lives, led to the Palestinian uprising known as the Intifada in 1987, which lasted six years and claimed thousands of lives.  The Second Intifada, a similarly bloody armed revolt, commenced in Jerusalem on September 28, 2000, quickly spread to the Gaza Strip, and continues to rage today as a result of further disputes over human rights and border disputes between the Palestinians and the Israelis.  
To pacify that first major Palestinian revolt, in May, 1994, Israel redefined all of the Palestinian-occupied regions of the Gaza Strip as a quasi-autonomous zone to be governed by the newly-formed Palestinian Authority (PA) and its vociferous chairman Yasser Arafat, yet with borders, armed forces, foreign affairs, Israeli settlements, and the only international airport still to be controlled by Israel.  Since 1996, the 88-member Legislative Council of the PA has been headed by Arafat, who along with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his joint efforts in peace negotiations with Israel.  In recent years, the Legislative Council has crafted certain reforms, such as adopting its first code of law known as the Basic Law, granting greater independence to its judicial body, preparing to form a Palestinian Constitution, and holding regular elections.  In March 2003, the Council created a new post of Prime Minister, currently held by Ahmed Qurei, to balance the executive body of government and thus assuage the controversy around President Arafat.  
As a consequence of decades of military confrontations in the region between Arabs and Israelis and a destabilized local government, the Palestinian refugees living in the Gaza Strip are plagued with extreme overcrowding, a 60% poverty rate, a 40% unemployment rate, pervasive illiteracy, a very limited educational system, a poorly-trained workforce, terrible pollution, serious shortages of food and water, widespread crime, a dilapidated infrastructure, civil rights abuses, and ongoing terribly violent upheavals with Israel.  Despite nearly a billion US dollars in promised international aid to Gaza, few projects structured to improve life there have actually materialized.


1.      EUROPA:  European Commission External Relations 
2.      The Foundation for Middle East Peace:  Settlement Database
3.      Human Rights Watch
4.      MSN Encarta:  The Gaza Strip
5.      National Geographic.Com:  The Gaza Strip
6.      The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem
7.      UNRWA 
8.      The USA Central Intelligence Agency World Fact Book 2000:  The Gaza Strip
9.      Al-Jazeera News Online
10.      The Palestine Chronicle

Article Word Count:  500

Palestinian and other Arab views

About 70% of the text under this seems to be Zionist views:

"Their opponents argue" "Critics of this position argue" "However, supporters of the Israeli position maintain" "Supporters of the Israeli position note" "Finally, Israel's supporters argue" "Opponents of this viewpoint" "The detractors of this argument" "The supporters of Israel argue" "Others, particularly some Israelis, claim that these statements betray a hidden agenda"

The other 30% seems to be what Zionists imagine are "Palestinian and other Arab views".

There is not much that sounds like it was written by Palestinians.

I think most intelligent readers will smell the blatant Zionist bias.

And if they bother to look at the "Talk" pages, they will see how the bias comes about, and who is behind it. 04:25, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

You'll probably find you get better results if you assume good faith. Jayjg (talk) 17:36, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the article has a heavy pro-Israel slant. But the only way it will ever improve is if people with other views contribute. Find the most objectionable part and fix it. It's got a long way to go towards providing a truly balanced account of the conflict, but if we all chip away little by little it will get there. Brian Tvedt 01:50, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state

The caption on the map :"Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state". How is this neutral or unbiased? Any objection to adding the "Palestinian's right of return" to this caption? 05:17, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

No need to insert "Palestinian's right of return" as it is a euphemism for expression "destruction of Israel as a Jewish state". Humus sapiens←ну? 05:51, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
Thats POV, just as "Israel's right..." is. The refugee question is certainly central to the conflict. Oh, and you do realise your argument could be spun around to ""Israels right..." is just a eupemism for Israels refusal to allow the refugees their right to return"? --Cybbe 06:38, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
When you complained about this same thing last May 25, perhaps you failed to notice one response: This article is only going to improve if people make beneficial edits to it, but I'm surprised to see complaints about a Zionist POV direct towards the caption for a map that clearly shows the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as being separate from Israel. --Jsolinsky 16:46, 25 May 2005 (UTC) Be that as it may, I've edited it remove the word "right"; it now says "Israel's existence as a Jewish state", which should satisfy your concerns, and which also covers the Palestinian refugee issue. Jayjg (talk) 17:34, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

Recent changes

Heptor, it's unclear why you reverted the changes I made, which linked to the article on the 1949 Armistice agreements; the agreements themselves were quite clear that they did not create legal borders, at the insistence of the Arab parties. As well, Brian, I'm unsure why you think this is the page to promote the ex post facto Arab position, when the sections in questions are mere summaries, and should stick to stating bare facts, not creating arguments. Jayjg (talk) 05:03, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Good edits as usual, John Z. Jayjg (talk) 05:38, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
Jay, perhaps you haven't noticed that the existing summaries of the 1956, 1967, and 1982 wars already contain argumentative justifications of Israel's actions. While I would agree the History section should not be filled with "Israel proponents say..." and "Palestinian proponents counter..." type of narratives, I think it is reasonable to have terse statements of the crucial areas of disagreement, especially when it comes to the stated views of the major actors themselves. We are, after all, documenting a "conflict". And the Arab position as stated there is not "ex post facto", there is plenty of documentation (speeches at the UN and so forth) to back up that this was in fact their stated position at the time. I am not "promoting" their view by the way, I am simply presenting it, in the interests of making a better article: a reader interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict will want to know the positions of each side, right? It is not a "bare fact" to say that an "invasion" took place, because that presupposes the very issue under contention at the time, namely whether the proclamation of a Jewish state within Palestine, against the wishes of most of Palestine's inhabitants, was legal. Brian Tvedt 02:55, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Once John Z re-wrote your addition in a NPOV way I was fine with it. In its original form it stood out as being an out of place apologetic. Jayjg (talk) 17:11, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Much of Brian's changes were good, I thought, e.g. the outcome rather than the peace treaties that really don't belong there, he was better on the "pro-Israeli" fact of Jewish flight, etc. Of course I agree with you vs Heptor and am OK with your last deletion. The Arab justification might be shortened a bit more, mostly put in links. Mainly I just wanted to help point out to everyone that Khouri's old book is very, very good and absolutely belongs in the references, and I am very glad there is someone else reading it. IMHO it is one of the very, very best books on the conflict, a real model of neutrality, his "bias" being pro- League of Nations, old fashioned internationalism, not pro-Arab. He bends over backwards to give both sides of an argument, and there is a lot in there that belongs in Wikipedia, and is very hard to find anywhere else handy, and even seems to be forgotten, or is usually treated too briefly or wrongly, the problem being incomprehensiblity rather than bias really - e.g. the now-dead maritime issues.John Z 07:25, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

John, I am generally fine with your edits, but I'm not sure about the assertion that "most other states" called the Arab intervention in the Palestine War an "invasion". The first major Security Council resolution on the subject does not use the term. Brian Tvedt 02:55, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Thought it was in Khouri, but couldn't find it. It would be more likely in General Assembly resolutions and debates, where the US had enormous influence then, rather more than in the SC, 2/3+ voted for partition after all. Maybe the exact word was not used, but equivalents, but I may be wrong. I'll replace it with US, SU and SG Lie called it aggression, which is in Khouri. I shortened because this is such a (naturally) long article, arguments should be very skeletal and mainly just point to internal links.

The 1967 line has a much greater significance than simply an armistice agreement, significance that makes them without any doubt the de facto borders of the Israeli state before 1967. Another example of such de jure disambiguity are the Southern Kuril Islands. The territory is still disputed, with Japan still referring to it as "The Northern Territories". Because of this dispute, Japan and Russia have never signed a peace treaty, which means that the Second World War formally is still going on. Still, nobody is referring to the Kuril Islands as an "armistice line".

In contrast, not even the PLO is disputing the Israeli pre-1967 borders. Also, most of the western news agencies are referring to the green line as the pre-1967 borders [19][20]. The last edit by Jayjg may give an impression that the pre-1967 borders are disputed, which they are not. It will also confuse an average Wikipedia user, who is used to the term "pre-1967 borders". So, please, let things be as they were.--Heptor 13:40, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

The term is both inaccurate and POV; we have accurate links to accurate terminology. There's no point in inserting inaccuracy when we can insert accuracy instead. Jayjg (talk) 22:34, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Heptor, to expand, the main objection is to "borders" which may imply that the lines are de jure borders decided on by a peace treaty, which they are not. The 49 armistice lines and the pre-67 lines are very nearly the same. "Simply an armistice" makes no sense, "armistice" here strengthens, not weakens the lines' validity. The reversion removed the work of three editors - me, Jay and Brian; this usually is not a good idea, and is obviously unlikely to stick. I put back your CMIP correction, and also trivially changed the second use of 1949 a lines to "pre-67 a lines" while keeping the link to the armistice agreements article; you are right that "pre-67" is probably more common, and this could foster equating the two, which is a good idea for most purposes.John Z 23:24, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

I am not claiming that they were de jure borders at the time, and there are many borders on the World map that are defined by armistice agreements and not peace treaties. Kouril Islands are one of them. Anyway, I believe a good compromise will be "pre-1967 borders, defined by the the 1949 armistice agreements". The term is consistent with the general use in Western media and diplomacy, it reflects the importance of this line to the continuing peace effort and it reveals all available information. And, I simply do not agree with John Z that "... confusion could be beneficial.". Confusion is not beneficial to Wikipedia, clarity is. (He wrote it in comment to the edit on 23:23, 18 September 2005)
Also, I readded the intention of the Arab invasion to destroy the Jewish state. This intention is important as to understanding of the conflict, and should not be excluded. (I don't consider this a controversial fact, so I didn't provide any sources. I somebody disputes, I will provide quotations of some Arab leaders vowing to thow Israel into the see). In addition, I paraphrased that sentence somewhat to avoid saying that Jordanians entered Palestine. I think somebody mentioned that some part of Palestine was at the time a part of Jordan. Besides, the specific cause of the war was that they entered Israel as allocated by UN, and not the part of the Palestine allocated to Arabs.
--Heptor 22:43, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Again, the agreements themselves were clear that they were not creating borders. The wording you suggest is wordy, non-factual, and conceals more than it reveals; we have wording that is clear and factual, please don't change it. Jayjg (talk) 23:02, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Off cause they were not trying to create borders for the Jewish state; they were in fact trying to remove any such borders. Still the fact is that borders were created. --Heptor 23:13, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Heptor, I tried to pay attention to your concerns by the slight change in the second usage, where it was a little more appropriate also, to say 1967 lines. My point with "beneficial confusion" was that for almost all purposes there is no practical difference between the 49 lines and the pre-67 lines referred to in SC 242, but there are slight differences - the most important by far now is the border on the Sea of Galilee with Syria, so your new and more wordy suggestion is confusing in a way I think is bad - misleading that the lines were exactly the same. Clarity is not more important than accuracy. Having a link to the armistice article is the sensible way, because that is where the similarity and difference between the two should be explained, not in a general article, which should use either pre-67 lines or armistice lines, and not borders, which many feel could mislead. In any case, following Bush's statements last year, the "49 armistice lines" instead of pre67 lines has had a sudden surge of popularity in the media and diplomacy.
"Both" is poor English. Arguably, indeed probably, one of your statements is false, Jordan at least not entering to destroy the Jewish state, but rather to grab about half of the proposed Palestinian state and the holy places in Jerusalem, as it did. (Lebanon's casualty-free invasion is often described as "pretending to fight."), Additionally, practically all the fighting took place in the proposed Arab state area, except for one later Egyptian movement. The war is usually said to start when they entered mandatory Palestine, not then. The sourced "illegal aggression" seems enough, rather than adding a disputable fought to destroy the nascent (somewhat emotive, POV word) Jewish state. I am fine with "invading" which seems more an accurate neutral description than a pejorative to me, but Brian is not. Jordan entering Palestine creates no confusion as they were indisputably completely different entities at the time. So I am reverting to my version, except for your "maintained" which is better; it is shorter and obvious that these are the Arab justifications, and for the same reason I am taking out "as a result of the war." To compromise, I am also replacing 1949 armistice lines with pre-1967 armistice lines, as used later, your changes there seem to add nothing there but disputable verbiage. Here it may not be so good, Jayjg might want to change it back.
Wikipedia generally urges people to be bold, but I think you should realize this topic is also pointed to as one of the possible exceptions; the wording is often the result of much hard work, fine-tuning and negotiations, and has considered reasoning behind it, and you might want to explore more of the talk and archives to see if you are the first with your proposed changes. Particularly you should not use "borders", especially after two people explain why not. It does not matter what you claim or mean, it matters what the article says and might be interpreted to say. I hope you will realize that the chance is practically zero that "borders" will stay, for good enough reasons. Your last comment is very hard to understand; the above was a response to your earlier edits.John Z 01:06, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I didn't realize there were any substantial differences between the 1967 borders and 1949 armistice agreement. I agree that the wording "...1967 borders created by 1949 agreements" is not factually correct. Then I think that linking "1967 lines" to the 1949 armistice agreements creates wrong impression for the same reason.
As to what is a border and what is not: there are many other places where national borders are disputed. When you enter the Northern Kouril Islands or Chechnya, you have to cross Russian (in first case naval) borders. Russia and Japan are still in de jure state of war over the Kourils. The situation in Chechnya needs no further introduction. In similar fashion, when you go to Tibet, you have to cross the Chinese border, despite that the Chinese occupation of Tibet is widely criticized internationally (is it recognized at all?). When you go to Northern Ireland, you have to go through British border, indifferent of what IRA, or now rIRA, has to say. Please explain why you think borders of Israel are any different.
I agree with you that one of the Jordan's intentions was to put the Arab-designated part of the Palestine under its rule, still they were a member of coalition who's clear intention was to throw Israel into the sea. Or do you dispute that? Same goes to the Lebanese "pretending" to fight. Nice to know it was only a pretend-war to them. They should have told the Israelis, than they could pretend to die, instead of doing it for real.
I don't consider my edits especially bold, I am in fact trying to defend some parts of the article as it was on 05:02, 16 September 2005, before the "Recent changes". The edits remove the information on Arab intention to undo the State Of Israel, and this looks very much like an attempt to rewrite history in a POV fashion--Heptor 11:32, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Heptor - "pretending to fight" is pretty accurate and a common description for Lebanon. If the combined death figure on both sides in fighting between Lebanon and Israel was not precisely zero, as it was through much of the conflict, it was pretty close to it. Might have been a little later in the war, I don't recall exactly. There have been many terrorist incidents on both sides more lethal than the 48 Israel-Lebanon war. Too bad everybody didn't behave like Lebanon. :-) Even those who oppose the view that Jordan and Israel basically had a tacit or not deal to split up the Arab state and leave each other mainly alone outside Jerusalem agree that this is the majority view nowadays, so something that implies the opposite does not belong in a general introduction. So "Fought to destroy" has accuracy problems. How about 'proclaiming their aim of a "United State of Palestine" in place of Israel and the UN plan?'- quoting/paraphrasing/summarizing from their cable to the SG that I mention to Brian below. I think "pre67 armistice lines" gives a good balance of accuracy and common usage, as my OR has discovered that 1948 came before 1967. Jayjg and I have explained already why the word "border" is not going to stay in the article. This is something that I am sure is in the archives too, in many places on Wikipedia. It wouldn't bother me because I know the diplomatic/legal history fairly well, but there is a reasonable objection that other usually synonymous words should be used. Take a look at the armistice agreements article and links for more info.
Good points all together. The Arab coalition was anything but not solid, without a central command that functioned. Neither Jordan nor Lebanon were especially motivated to go to war, and Jordan may have even had its own agenda. In contrast, Israelis fought what they believed was a war for their own personal survival. As Golda Meyer put it, the Israelis had a secret weapon - no alternative (Arab-Israeli_conflict#Quotations).
Still, the Jordanian army was both well-trained and well-equiped. It posed a very real threat, even with one hand behind the back. Egyptians and Iraqis on the other hand had both of their hands (each) streched forward for the Israel's collective throat. I believe this is very close to what you were trying to say, so do we agree on the factual matter? --Heptor 21:37, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Heptor, to give you an idea of the bias of "...fought to destroy the nascent Jewish state" imagine a pro-Serb partisan describing the 1992-95 Bosnian War as an effort by Bosniaks and Croats to "destroy the nascent state of Republika Srpska". Separatist enclaves unilaterally declared by an ethnic group do not automatically become states just because the ethnic group in question says they are. To be clear, I am not questioning the legitimacy of the modern-day state of Israel, or its recognition by the international community. What I am questioning is whether there was an a priori legitimacy that sprung into existence in May, 1948. Implying there was is ahistorical POV.
I agree that nascent is biased, I am not the author of this expression. Newly-created would be better. I don't claim to know much on the Balkan wars, serbs didn't buy the land they were claiming, and they did not have support of the UN. --Heptor 11:32, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually the majority of the privately owned land in the area alloted to the Jewish state in the Partition resolution was titled to Palestinian Arabs. As for "support of the UN", I urge you to read the Security Council resolution I linked to in my comments to John below. It does not mention the "state of Israel" as being a party to the conflict, although the resolution was passed two weeks after its proclaimed founding. Brian Tvedt 23:50, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
As John Z wrote further down, Israel had support of US, SU and France with it, Britain choose to remain neutral and China supported Arabs. They may have not chosen wording "State of Israel" for many good reasons, but not because they did not recognize such state.
As far as I remember, Israel had good support in Europe about until they invaded Lebanon and clearly demonstrated that they were now a strong regional power. --Heptor 10:27, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
John, I think it's very significant that UNSCR 50 does not mention "agression" or "invasion". If indeed the US and Soviets both viewed the Arab intervention as such, a rare moment of Cold War agreement, the fact that they could not pass a Security Council resolution with that language is all the more striking. Most importantly, the Security Council did not refer to any state of Israel, but rather the "Jewish and Arab authorities of Palestine". This means the Arab states must have had some support for their position, so that mentioning the US/Soviet/UNSG views, but not other neutrals, is still misleading. The Arabs at this time were not isolated in the same way, say, that Israel was isolated in 1956. Brian Tvedt 02:32, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I think you are overestimating Israel's isolation in 1956 - don't forget it had Britain and France with it, and underestimating the strength of the SU, US, etc put together in 1948. The Arabs were not isolated, as Khouri notes, China gave broad support to their side, but I think it is clear that they were on the losing side diplomatically, and they knew it, of the other big powers, Britain was fence sitting, and France was with the US. Not everybody supported Israel as strongly as the US and SU or at all, but the support and influence was enough. Perhaps add the fact about China, though the section is getting a bit unwieldy; this was just my second attempt to arrive at something neutral sticking to utterly indisputable sourced facts. The best source IMHO for the Arab intentions would be the cable sent to the SG on May 14, that Khouri summarizes. Parts are here [21] an important and relevant history summary, though the cable is in full nowhere on the net, maybe I'll put it up at WS. There is some relevant stuff from earthsound years ago in the discussion for the 1948 war article that he never seems to have put in the article, though zero urged him to. That is the problem, there is not enough on such issues there, where it really belongs, and can be treated at length. If there had it would have filtered here naturally. Maybe we you, I heptor, etc. should continue discussion and editing there, we can then summarize it here. I suggested to Heptor something which could replace the "fought to destroy", and maybe this stuff I put in about US, SU etc which is getting longwinded.John Z 14:15, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree - at some point (when things die down elsewhere) I hope to continue this discussion with you in the 1948 war article. Putting the Arab League cablegram on Wikisource is an excellent idea. Brian Tvedt 23:50, 20 September 2005 (UTC)


Given the discussion of the difference between 1949 and 1967 borders (or armistice lines), I thought it was worth pointing out that there were actually agreed-to border changes between Egypt and Israel in Gaza that amounted to 43 square kilometers net gain for the Gaza Strip during this period. An article that discusses the difference, and trouble with "1949 borders" is here, from Haaretz. --Goodoldpolonius2 17:01, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Good find! For me, this URL[22] works, but not the one given. Belongs in the armistice lines article I guess - there's none on the June 4 lines, and probably shouldn't be; needs a section on the differences. Interesting Israeli usage of "internationally recognized borders" Last couple paragraphs are a bit confusingly written, maybe translation problem - Bush wasn't "surprised by" the "49 borders" he surprised everybody by using the words. Also interesting for Arieli to prefer to the SC 242 June 4 Lines over the armistice. Israel is starting to sound like Hafez al-Assad!John Z 13:52, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Did the Arab League "invade" Palestine in 1948?

Jayjg: Rather than getting into an edit war over the choice of words ("entered" or "invaded"), I'd prefer to discuss the matter with you. I have two questions at the end, which I would like you to answer directly.

I find it absurd to speak of "invading Palestine" for the simple reason that most of the residents of Palestine welcomed the "invaders", who were fighting on their behalf. But let me address your comparison to Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Lebanon in 1982 was an internationally recognized state with well-defined borders. Israel's invasion was therefore a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Since you're saying the situations are comparable, that means you recognize that Palestine was a recognized, sovereign state with well-defined borders, even after the termination of the British Mandate. If that's the case, one could argue that if anyone was violating the territorial integrity of Palestine, it was the Jewish Agency, who did so by declaring a new state within it. (The endorsement of the Partition Plan by the UN General Assembly was of course not binding.)

The questions I have for you now are:

  1. Was Palestine or was it not a recognized, sovereign state with well-defined borders at the moment the British Mandate ended?
  2. Did the Jewish authorities in Palestine intend their new state to be defined only within the areas alloted to the Jewish state in the Partition Plan, or did they intend to create their state in a larger area?

Brian Tvedt 11:20, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

What were the Arabs' proclaimed aims?

Heptor, you're version of the sentence is:

The Arab states proclaimed their aim of a unified Arab-dominated state in Palestine...

The term Arab-dominated is completely unjustfied. Remember we are talking about what the Arabs PROCLAIMED their aims to be. It's not about what you or anyone else thinks they "really wanted". What they actually "proclaimed" can be read in this document [23] which states:

In accordance with these principles, the Arabs urge the establishment in Palestine of a democratic government representative of all sections of the population on a level of absolute equality; the termination of the Mandate once the Government has been established; and the entry of Palestine into the United Nations Organization as a full member of the working community.


The Arabs are irrevocably opposed to political Zionism, but in no way hostile to the Jews as such nor to their Jewish fellow citizens of Palestine. Those Jews who have already entered Palestine, and who have obtained or shall obtain Palestinian citizenship by due legal process will be full citizens of the Palestinian state, enjoying full civil and political rights and a fair share in government and administration. There is no question of their being thrust into the position of a "minority" in the bad sense of a closed community, which dwells apart from the main stream of the State's life and which exists by sufferance of the majority. They will be given the opportunity of belonging to and helping to mould the full community of the Palestinian state, joined to the Arabs by links of interest and goodwill, not the goodwill of the strong to the powerless, but of one citizen to another.


The Palestinian State would be an Arab state not (as should be clear from the preceding paragraph) in any narrow racial sense, nor in the sense that non-Arabs should be placed in a position or inferiority, but because the form and policy of its government would be based on a recognition of two facts: first that the majority of the citizens are Arabs, and secondly that Palestine is part of the Arab world and has no future except through close cooperation with the other Arab states.

I urge you to read the document in full. It might surprise you how far it is from the "drive the Jews into the sea" rhetoric you may be expecting. One can of course question whether they truly meant what they said, but the fact is they did say that Jewish rights would be respected and very specifically that Jews would not be placed in a position of inferiority. Brian Tvedt 01:37, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

These are good words, but hardly anything more. First, it is a reply to a report from an Anglo-American committee, and not an official proposal to the Zionist organization. Second, I would like to know what the Arab Office was, and did they had enough power basis to come up with any such proposal. Third, much of the text contradicts what Arab leaders were saying other places, such as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Secretary-General of the Arab League, who were talking more in the lines of "war of extermination" and "Murder the Jews!" 1948_Arab-Israeli_War#Third_phase:__May_15.2C_1948_-_June_11.2C_1948.
Third, the stated goal in that document was to establish a democratic Arab-dominated state. How realistic is that? Some fifty years later Americans are trying to do establish democracy in Iraq, and the process is going slow, to say the least. Frankly, the term "Arab democracy" is a joke in some circuits. --Heptor 12:38, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
The Anglo-American Committee solicited comment from all parties to the Palestine conflict, and the Arab Office was formed to represent the views of the Palestinian Arabs (the Arab Higher Committee officially boycotted the committee). It is totally reasonable to take it as an official statement of the Palestinian Arab position in 1946, and is almost always included in compilations of documents related to the conflict. Of course it was not addressed to any Zionist organization. Why should it be? It was addressed to a committee formed by Great Britain, who was at the time officially administering Palestine in behalf of the ENTIRE population of that country (yes, the word "country" was used during this period). Official documents and comminiqués, whose words are always chosen very carefully with full knowledge of their ramifications, should be given much more weight than verbal statements made in the heat of the moment, whose authenticity can be difficult to verify in any case. There have been many embarrassing statements made by Israeli leaders as well. For example, at the height of the Suez crisis, David Ben-Gurion once stated, in a speech to the Knesset, that Sharm el-Sheik, which is 100 miles from the Israel-Egyptian border, actually belonged to Israel, based on a claim that an ancient Jewish kingdom once existed there. It would be absurd to take this as the official position of the Israel government.
As for "the stated goal in that document", nowhere does it use the term "dominated". The 1948 cablegram that John references does not use the term either. To insert that term into a statement specifically about the Arabs' "stated" or "proclaimed" goals amounts to putting words in their mouth.
Finally, this is not the forum for you to express your views about the prospects for Arab democracy, or to laugh at them. Brian Tvedt 15:16, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

I hope the quote with the reference I did not put in before resolves the matter and makes it clear this is a direct quote. Letting people speak for themselves is automatically neutral and almost always a good idea, and I hope the quote and footnote makes clear these are not scare quotes. I agree that without the footnote, it did look like scare quotes, I didn't realize that at first. Heptor, such frankness can justly offend, there are Arab editors here, and you should not rely on the fact that many of them are real menschs.John Z 16:10, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree - with the footnote, it's fine. Thanks for putting the cablegram on Wikisource. Brian Tvedt 15:16, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
It will offend those who want democracy, yes. Hopefully enough to make them do something about it. I have no doubt in my mind that most of the Arabs are good people. Unfortunatly there are religious fanatic SOBs among them who simply do not value human life. They are not many, but they are willing to murder indiscriminantly to achive their political goals. You see it in Iraq. The al-Qaeda terrorists led by Ayman al-Zawahiri kill scores of innoscent Arabs and moslems with the same ease as they kill just anyone else. If they are to be considered "menschs", I am not sure. --Heptor 08:51, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Israeli Treatment of Minorities

This section seems rather unfair. While the section above speaks of outside sources critiquing and supporting the Muslim treatment of minorities, the section on the Israeli treatment of Minorities is almost entirely from the mouth of Zionist beliefs. Far too many sentences start with "the zionist belief is..." or something to that effect. There is no critique of Israeli treatment of minorities. There needs be some balance in that section. I would even suggest deleting it, since all it adds is politicized information. Admiralakbar 05:01, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

AFAIK Israel is treating its minorities relativly well. They have both social benefits and voting rights. If you can document accounts of the opposite, do put it up. --Heptor 06:25, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Can all of the people residing in parts of Israel vote to leave, and make, say, the west bank or Jerusalem, its own nation? Does any minority group living in, or traveling to, Israel have the same rights for obtaining settlement lands and funds? Are they forced to have badges like stars, or separate license plates? Can 100,000 moslems, or 100,000 mormons (for that matter), get the same benefits as 100,000 jews, to move into settlements? Yes, they are treated "fairly" well, if dhimmi are treated fairly well, by the same yardstick.... which seems to mean the same way blacks were treated in the south during the 60s. Ronabop 11:59, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
Ehm, the Arabs in the West Bank are not a minority in Israel, as they are living in a territory occupied by Israel. In any case, minorities do not neccesarily have the right to create separate states on their land. AFAIK the Israeli Arabs indeed do not have the right to move to the settlements, that is what I meant by "relativly". Jews that are moving to Israel automatically get Israeli citizenship. Other european nations do the same: Somebody who can prove that he has some German anscestry can move to Germany any time, this applies to many Russians with German origin. Non-Jews may not move to Israel at any time, but neither are they a minority in Israel. To sum up, you are talking about people who are not a minority in Israel, and in any case are not mistreated. --Heptor 14:12, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
You're new at this. Most of the self-proclaimed "supporters of Israel" on Wikipedia will not admit that the West Bank is occupied by Israel. The reason is that the Fourth Geneva Convention limits what an occupier can do, and it explicitly prohibits much of what Israel is doing there: the settlements, the deportations, using the West Bank aquifier to supply water to Israel proper, and so on. This is a hugely important issue that is not treated well in this article (yet). Brian Tvedt 02:22, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Humus sapien's copy-paste

For the nineteen years from the end of the Mandate until the Six-Day War, Jordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip. In 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank, but this annexation was recognized only by the United Kingdom. Both territories were conquered (but not annexed) from Jordan and Egypt by Israel in the Six-Day War. Neither Jordan, Egypt, or Israel during their respective periods of control ever allowed the creation of a Palestinian state in these territories.

Problems with this:

  1. There is debate raging elsewhere in WP about whether on not the word "occupation" is neutral, but it is certainly POV to use it for Jordan and Egypt but not Israel.
  2. It is false to say that Egypt "never allowed the creation of a Palestinian state". There was in fact a short-lived All-Palestine Government based in Gaza. It was supposed to represent all of Palestine. The effort faltered largely because of King Abdullah's claim to Palestine, which nearly got Jordan thrown out of the Arab League. This is why the PLO called for the overthrow of the Hashemite Kingdom prior to the Rabat summit of 1974. By the way there are definitely quotes from Nasser before June 5, 1967 referring to the "rights of the Palestinian people". (unsigned by User:Brian Tvedt)
  1. I don't like the word myself, let's use one of its synonyms (rule, control, etc).
  2. In 1948, both Egypt and Jordan wanted to spread their infulence onto as much territory as possible, preferably the entire ex-Mandate territory. We can reword the text (for example to include Nasser's quote) but the fact is, no independent Palestinian state was established by either. "A key feature of the Arabs' plans was the complete marginalization of the Palestinians... This aptly reflected the political reality: The military defeats of April-May had rendered them insignificant. The Arab League through the first half of 1948 had consistently rejected Husseini's appeals to establish a government-in-exile... Under strong pressure from Egypt, which feared complete Hashemite control over the Palestinians, the League Political Committee in mid-September authorized the establishment of a Palestinian 'government.'" (Benny Morris, Righteous Victims 1999. p.222).
  3. I'd be happy to discuss 1974 but since the Six Day War changed a lot, I propose to leave it out of this talk. The Palestine National Charter of 1964 (Article 24) states: "This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area." Humus sapiens←ну? 03:26, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Your original edit did bring in post-1967 events, by referring to the "respective periods of control" not only of Jordan and Egypt, but of Israel as well. Since you inserted it into the historical timeline at the 1948-1956 interregnum, better to leave Israel out of it. Brian Tvedt 01:39, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Between 1956 and 1967

While I do believe that the History section should be expanded into more than just an outline of the wars, to have a whole paragraph on the founding of the PLO and when there is nothing else at all about the period between the 1956 and 1967 wars is just silly. This is giving too much weight to the founding of the PLO, which in fact was not very important during that period. An event far more important than its founding of the PLO in 1964 was its takeover by radicals after 1967, yet this is not even mentioned in the article. A discussion of the 1956-1967 period should include things like: the rise of Nasserism; the founding of the United Arab Republic and its collapse; the Israel-Syria border and water disputes; and the increasing Soviet role in the region. Brian Tvedt 01:46, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

You are welcome to edit or expand the text (and I agree that Nasser and the UAR absolutely belong), but complete removal of a section containing a relevant quote and a ref, looks like an extreme POV attempt to hide facts. "An event far more important than its founding of the PLO in 1964 was its takeover by radicals after 1967" - but this section is called Between 1956 and 1967. Even if we leave the issue of supposed "moderateness" of their 1964 charter aside, the creation of the PLO and the fact that "This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the WB, GS..." (BTW, does anyone know what Himmah is?) is crucial (this POV is mine, and not only mine). This is not the first time you are unjustly removing entire relevant sections, please refrain from this annoying practice in the future. Humus sapiens←ну? 03:07, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Brian Tvedt that there should be more in this section than just the PLO founding (and that quote about the PLO charter is as relevant in 2005 as David Ben Gurion's acceptance of the UN Partition Plan of 1947 is; the majority of the current population in Palestine/Israel wasn't around for either of these events). Anyway, to answer Humus' question: The "Syrian Himmah" region (as it is actually called) is a touristic region close to Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) close to the Jordan River that was part of Jordanian territory after 1948. It is a pretty nice place with parks and waterfalls (been there many years ago). Between 1950 and 1967 Syria somehow built up some of the area (since it's so close to the Syrian border) with some civilian dwellings as well as aquifers and such. Before this got to the level to really piss off the Jordanians, the war of '67 happened and Israel captured the area, and still controls it today. So there were negotiations between the Jordanian and Syrian governments as recently as last year to try and sort out some land swap because the Syrians had encroached on Jordanian soil and the Jordanians wanted a part of Syrian territory in return. These negotiations appear moot since Israel controls the area (I'm not aware that this has changed with the Jordan-Israel peace agreement). And I think some Palestinian officials have claimed that the area is part of Mandatory Palestine, and should be negotiated over with the Palestinians, but I don't think this is a widespread opinion. Ramallite (talk) 03:56, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Keep in mind that whatever is done, it should try not to overlap other articles too much. Jayjg (talk) 20:38, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Humus, maybe "radicals" isn't the right word to describe Arafat's Fatah faction who took over the PLO after 1967; "activists" would be better. This is the PLO everyone knows about today, and the one we should be talking about in this article (in the 1970's part of the timeline, of course, when they made their mark). You only want to talk about the Shukairi PLO of 1964-67, which really was content to be a tool of the Arab League, and was far less popular among the Palestinians for that reason. It was also far less important. I doubt you can find news accounts from the period just before the June 1967 war that mention the PLO as being a major factor. (Of course there were fedayeen raids, but they weren't at that time predominately under the PLO banner.)
The reason I deleted the "whole section" was that the whole section was about the nothing but the founding of the PLO and the phrases of its charter you find interesting. It made it seem like the writing of the PLO charter was the most important event of the period, when obviously it wasn't. Even if the section is expanded, the founding of the PLO wouldn't merit more than a sentence. Brian Tvedt 13:35, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
The founding of the PLO is rather critical to the conflict and its prolongation, and their denial of Jewish peoplehood is a critical component of that. The mere fact that they got permanent observer status at the UN and morphed into the current Palestinian government indicates that their founding is critical. Jayjg (talk) 04:35, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
There are quotes from Golda Meir and others in the Israeli government that could be interpreted as a denial of Palestinian peoplehood. It think it would be better to have these kinds of statements in the "Reasons for the conflict" section, where there is space to discuss differing interpretations, rather than in the historical timeline as if they were events. Brian Tvedt 19:01, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
Brian, instead of presenting the history of the conflict in disconnected chunks we should list relevant facts. I tend to think that the creation of the PLO was a crucial event and don't think complete removal was justified. I understand your POV is pre-1967 PLO is unimportant. I respectfully disagree. Googling for the text of the notorious Article 24 produces more than a 1000 links. It seems that many take it very seriously and even if some of us do not share that position, the cause of the concern deserves to be mentioned. I'll try to compromise, and look forward to collaboration. Humus sapiens←ну? 08:38, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
I appreciate your reworking of the text to take into account some of my concerns. It's much better now. Brian Tvedt 19:01, 9 October 2005 (UTC)