Talk:Beta Israel

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No permanent tags[edit]

Last September User:ליאור added a tag to the DNA evidence section, asserting that it was missing studies. In November he readded the tag, listing studies he felt should be added to the section. He did not, however, add material from those studies. This month I removed the tag, which was subsequently readded by User:אדעולם. Tags are not intended to permanently deface articles. If this editor(s) feels material should be added from other DNA studies that discuss the Beta Israel, then he should add it. If he doesn't care to, then he has no obligation to do so. However, the time for the tag is done, and it will not be returning to that section. Jayjg (talk) 00:35, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Is there a policy that says that tags aren't permanent? I agree that the editor who knows that the article can be updated from other sources, should add the content himself, but until that is actually done a tag that tells the user that the information is not up to date is completely reasonable. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 11:17, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Tags are intended to alert editors to issues; they are not badges of shame. If an editor thinks material is missing, and has actually listed all the sources he thinks belong, then he should add the material. Jayjg (talk) 01:00, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is written for its readers, not for its editors. If a certain section is outdated or factually incorrect, as in this case, it should be either removed or properly tagged until the matter is resolved by a qualified editor. Removing tags certainly makes any faulty article look prettier, but it might mislead our readers into thinking that the article is fine. If you wish to contest the present tagging policy, please do it elsewhere.
Moreover, please refrain from casting doubt over the unique identity of your fellow editors. אדעולם and I are two different persons, with two different active accounts, and have been collaborating over the Beta Israel WikiProject for more than four years. ליאור • Lior (talk) 06:00, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. Alerting readers to issues is about a hundred times more important than alerting editors. If it makes the article look like it has a problem, it's perfectly fine, because the article really has a problem. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:03, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I am, however, not aware of any problem; apparently only you and ליאור are. Since you both insist there is a problem, and apparently know exactly what the problem is and how you want it fixed, why don't you fix it rather than tagging it for 10 months? Jayjg (talk) 21:08, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
To expand on Jayjg's concern, if the references are known to editors and only need to be added to the article, why hasn't it happened? Especially after almost a full year? With that kind of a time lag in play, either update the section with the intended references, or simply remove the material in question, including the tag. To do less serves no positive purpose for either the article or Wikipedia as a whole. --Alan the Roving Ambassador (User:N5iln) (talk) 21:11, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree. If the two associated editors who feel there is a problem refuse to try and fix it, and other editors do not believe it is a problem in the first place, then the tag has gone stale long ago and should be removed. — Satori Son 21:14, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
You need to provide evidence that a page is out of date in order to have that tag: either it needs to be blatantly obvious (e.g. a page that speaks about a past event in the future tense), or you need to produce citations that demonstrate that more recent information is available. Purely the word of an editor, or two editors as is the case here, is insufficient for keeping such a tag: the only way you can know that it's out of date is if you have reliable sources that should be used to expand it. Nyttend (talk) 23:36, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
To be fair, he's provided a list of sources that he thinks should be used. However, he apparently refuses to actually use those sources; it's very odd, he seems to know exactly what material he wants added, but he won't add it. I don't know how anyone else is supposed to know exactly what he thinks is missing, though. Jayjg (talk) 23:51, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
This dicussion has been going on since 2005, with several editors arguing that the genetic section is incorrect and should be removed, and a single editor (namely, Jayjg) arguing that it's credible and resisting its removal. It's all there in the archive: First round (2005), second round (2005), third round (2006), fourth round (2008), and finally my own dispute with Jayjg back in 2009: Grave problems in the "DNA evidence" section. The revision history of this article attests of additional editors who tried to improve this section long before I have flagged it, for instance in 2006, 2007 and 2008. No trace of their contribution is left in the present section, which dates back to 2003.
As said before, this field of research deserves its own coverage in Wikipedia, as part of the racial discourse on the origin of the Jewish people.([1][2],[3],[4]) The findings cited in this article should reflect solid scientific concensus. At present, the 1999-2002 studies that are cited in this section report of preliminary findings later found to be invalid. In response to the update tag, Jayjg has added a 2004 study which he claimed shows that "Beta Israel were likely descended from local Ethiopian populations". However, the only relevant review article to cite this study sums it differently:
"The various Jews communities, although sharing a relative common variability, maintain traces of their historical provenience, as the Ethiopian Jews, characterized by the east African A3b2-M13 haplogroup (Shen et al., 2004), and the Ashkenazy Jews who show high frequencies of the eastern European R1a1-M17 clade (Behar et al., 2003)". They do not claim that Beta Israel are local Ethiopians who converted to Judaism, but that they are the descendants of Levantine Jews who arrived to Ethiopia, with some degree of genetic admixture with the local population, as observed in any other Jewish diaspora. Indeed, recent genome-wide association studies fail to reproduce the findings reported in haplogroup studies back in the 1990s and early 2000s.
To conclude, I suggest that one of the following two measures is taken:
  1. Remove this section altogether, as practiced in Mizrahi Jews and Sephardi Jews. Once a relevant review article is published in a peer-reviewed journal, we could cite its conclusions here without worrying about original research and biasd editing.
  2. Rewrite this section, as practiced in Ashkenazi Jews. This section will be moved to the bottom of this article, open up with a review of the racial discourse on the origin of Beta Israel, then proceed to relevant findings in contemporary peer-reviewed literature. This will definitely be a more difficult task, and I'm not sure it will be more fruitful, given that the findings of present-day genetic studies are way more preliminary and less robust than one may infer from our genetic section.
Either way, the genetic section cannot be left as is without a tag warning our readers of its incorrect content. ליאור • Lior (talk) 08:40, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Did you even read the comments above? Cleanup tags are for editors, not to “warn” readers. And since it seems clear you do not intend to actually make the edits you propose, I've removed the tag. Continuing to re-add this temporary cleanup tag in the face of opposing consensus, and common sense, serves no purpose other than to "shame" label the info you don't like. Again, you should feel free to add a new paragraph that includes the links you believe are relevant and appropriate, but a permanent cleanup tag is definitely not the place for them. — Satori Son 13:01, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
The separation between editors and readers that you assume is artificial. We are interested in as many readers as possible becoming editors, and tags are actually one of the ways that we have to invite readers to become editors (by fixing outstanding problems with the article). About the issue itself, I am not an expert and therefore don't have a strong opinion, but if there is indeed material to be added, and the sources are available, I suggest that Lior and Jayjg collaborate on adding the material instead of arguing about it. —Ynhockey (Talk) 14:54, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Even if you are correct in your assertion that cleanup tags serve a secondary purpose of inviting new readers to edit an article for the first time, that is not at all the same as placing a permanent tag on a section with the sole purpose of "warning our readers of its incorrect content." We simply do not use temporary cleanup tags for that reason. Ever. — Satori Son 15:19, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm happy to work with Lior or anyone else on this, but I don't know what it is Lior insists must be added. Only he knows that, but he refuses to add it. Jayjg (talk) 21:49, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Satori Son, is there a written policy that says that the cleanup tags are temporary? I searched for it and couldn't find it.
Common sense says that cleanup tags are supposed to stay there as long as the article needs to be cleaned up. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 17:25, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I would agree with you up to a point. If it's actually the case that (1) someone thinks the article needs improvement, then (2) identifies the steps toward improvement, but (3) never takes those steps, then I'd say the article doesn't need to be cleaned up. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 17:40, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Common sense says that if an editor insists a section needs additional material from specific sources, then he would add it, rather than refusing to do so, and instead tagging it for almost a year. I don't know what is allegedly missing from this section; do you? Jayjg (talk) 21:49, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
If there is no active discussion than the tag should be removed. Tags are not for readers and are not to be used as to shame an article as mentioned. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:22, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Amire, there is no official, written policy specifically about any aspect of clean-up templates (or, so far as I know, any aspect of any kind of template). The principle, however, is widely supported (making it the community's real policy, even if the WP:Instruction creep has not yet extended to producing a written policy or guideline), and it is expressed in a number of places, such as the lead to WP:NDA and the documentation for Template:POV. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:36, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, there's a pretty strong consensus both here and at the AN/I thread that the tag really isn't appropriate, but based on Lior's statements that he needs a little time to develop his material, I'll leave the tag on until September 1. Jayjg (talk) 01:13, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

The repeated claims about a consensus to remove the tags are completely wrong.
  • There are claims that there are sources that say that the current information is out of date.
  • There is no policy that says that tags should be removed after a particular time.
  • There is no policy that says that tags are "only for editors".
I agree that Edaolam (אדעולם) and Lior (ליאור), who are far more knowledgeable in this topic than i am, should just invest a couple of hours in rewriting the section according to their sources. However, until that happens, the tags must stay. Another option for removing is to prove that the sources that the tag mentions are irrelevant. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 06:53, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Alan the Roving Ambassador (User:N5iln) , Nyttend, Satori Son, Gyrofrog , Doc James, WhatamIdoing, Casliber, Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) and I agree that the tags are inappropriate. You and Lior think they should stay. Your loyalty to your friend Lior is admirable, but the consensus is clear. I'll leave the tag on until September 1st, which will give Lior plenty of time to "fix" whatever problem he thinks exists with the section. After that, the tag will go. Please respect the views of your fellow editors. Thanks! Jayjg (talk) 00:42, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Jayjg, regardless of the issue at hand, the condescending attitude isn't helpful. Even if there is consensus to remove the tag, you are in no position to set deadlines.
Lior, if you will be able to fix the section yourself, the existence of the tag or lack thereof until you do so doesn't make any difference. That is assuming that you indeed intent to fix the problem soon and not in another year.
In conclusion, I think there is an agreement that Lior will fix the section as soon as he can, and I remind everyone to assume good faith that he will do this. Therefore, the issue of the tag becomes a moot point, so please stop arguing about it. —Ynhockey (Talk) 06:52, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, it wasn't my intent to be condescending in any way. Anyway, we do have a consensus as indicated, and Lior still has several days to add whatever material he thinks is important, as he has said he will do. I'm confident he will have added it by the 1st, and therefore this will indeed be a moot point. Jayjg (talk) 21:11, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Ynhockey, in practice, WP:3RR makes 2:1 be an enforceable majority on Wikipedia. If Jayjg removes the tag, you restore it, I remove it, you restore it, and we repeat that sequence once, the result will be that you get blocked for 3RR.
When we can't have a true consensus in the sense of every single person fully and voluntarily agreeing, then we have to go with the closest thing we can get. Unanimity is not required. A substantial majority like this (nine opposed to the tag vs two in favor) may be as close as we can come. You may be interested to learn that WP:IAR is labeled as an official policy today because of a discussion some years ago that closed with similar proportion of editors on each side—and that's a high level of support for a policy adoption discussion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:15, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

It's now September 5. Per above, I've removed the tag, and added references in the article to all the studies Lior has brought up. If Lior wishes to add more material from these studies, of course he is free to do so. Jayjg (talk) 19:58, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Odd organization[edit]

To me, the most interesting questions are - who are these people? what were their origins. As presently organized, the article first gives way too many derogatory names (must they all be listed?), then has cryptic sections about religious practices, then finally gets to origin and DNA. I think the "Terminology" or Etymology section should be made much shorter, or perhaps better integrated into history - because those aspects are interesting; then Origins and History, then DNA. Put the religious facts later - they're in Israel now. That's my suggestion.Parkwells (talk) 20:22, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

DNA Evidences[edit]

Does someone know if Beta Israel has some kind of heredity regards like modern Ashkenazim or Kaifeng? IIf not, given they time they've been there, it wouldn't be weird for Y-chromosomes or mythocondries to have disspeared, so only full DNA tests would be valid in order to make theories.--79.157.1.185 (talk) 13:31, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Not being learned in the secret handshakes that guarantee protection from instant wiki-reversion I won't change the actual article but just note here that the article brought in support for the 2012 genetic study does not say what the wikipedia article currently says that it says. The Wikpedia article says that "the Beta Israel have some distant Jewish ancestry, going back 2,000 years", the Reuters article brought as a source for such a claim does not say that but only politely shrugs its reportorial shoulders if forced to broach the subject.

To be sure, there's some strong likelihood that some Beta Israel (and perhaps a billion other people) have some Jewish ancestry and that in the case of the Beta Israel this ancestry might have had some influence on the direction their Judaized culture took but the Reuters article does not say that the study has brought evidence for this claim. I (Moshe Rudner) discuss the Beta Israel in my own work on Exotic Jewish History (www.exoticjewishhistory.com) and was at an unfortunate loss to find strong evidence for any sort of strong genetic basis for the popular claim that they are predominantly descended from ancient Jews. Of course studies to date may have been going about this the wrong way and, by most metrics that concern people it doesn't matter anyhow (for most practical reasons they are now considered to be Jews by more or less everyone, regardless of whether they descend from ancient Jews or not), but the Wikipedia article ought to be more correct about what many readers of this piece have come here to find out.

I would suggest, Mr. Rudner, that you have a read of the article I cited in the DNA section of this entry on Beta Israel, by Pagani, L., et al., "Ethiopian Genetic Diversity Reveals Linguistic Stratification and Complex Influences on the Ethiopian Gene Pool," The American Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 91 (July 13, 2012): pp. 83-96. It really does clarify and correct the earlier DNA studies you looked at, and is of fundamental importance. It turns out that the entire Ethiopian people as presently constituted are a highly diverse genetic group, with some 40 to 50% showing genetic similarities to populations in Egypt-Israel-Syria stemming from massive admixtures about 3,000 years ago. So studies showing the closeness of Beta Israel to other Ethiopians do not refute the Beta Israel claims of antiquity and Jewish origins at all. There really may have been an emigration, or series of emigrations as Beta Israel traditions assert, of the tribe of Dan and other Jewish tribes then existing, into Ethiopia between 3,300 to 2,700 years ago (the study authors give a range of 3,000 years ago +/- 300 years).110.22.140.136 (talk) 23:33, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Intermarriage with non-Ethiopians[edit]

I'm going to make edits to the discussion of intermarriage between Ethiopians and non-Ethiopians in the section "Ethiopian Jews in Israel". Because it would be hard to fit the explanation for my changes in a brief edit summary, I'm putting the explanation here. The last paragraph of that section reads: "Despite progress, Ethiopian Jews have so far largely failed to assimilate into Israeli-Jewish society. They remain, on average, on a lower economic and educational level than average Israelis. Also, while marriages between Jews of different backgrounds are very common in Israel, Ethiopians have largely resisted intermarriage. According to a 2009 study, 90% of Ethiopian-Israelis – 93% of men and 85% of women, avoid marrying non-Ethiopians.[124] A 2011 study showed that only 13% of high school students of Ethiopian origin felt "fully Israeli"." That gives the impression that the rates of intermarriage are low due to Ethiopian opposition to integration and the sentiments/actions of non-Ethiopian Israelis plays no part. When one actually reads the reference, it doesn't really say that. The word "resist" comes from the headline, not the article itself. The statistics on Ethiopian Israelis marrying within their community doesn't explain whether they are reluctant to marry outside their ethnic group or others are reluctant to marry or both (or some other explanation). In fact, the article goes on to note that 57% of Israelis say it is unacceptable for their daughter to marry an Ethiopian and 39% say it would be unacceptable for their son to marry an Ethiopian. The article also quotes Avi Masfin saying there are barriers to intermarriage among both Israeli society generally and the Ethiopian community. The text in our Wikipedia, therefore, gives a one-sided view in attributing low intermarriage rates only to the Ethiopian resistance. I'm making edits to better reflect the source article. --JamesAM (talk) 19:09, 26 December 2013 (UTC)