Talk:Dershowitz–Finkelstein affair/Archive 1

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some anonymous jackalope cut this from the text:" Finkelstein is a figure of some controversy himself, having been accused of Holocaust denial and Revisionism, and in some cases, anti-semitism. " with the comment "removed polemics from dissapointed irgun sympathiser". I don't know enough to say if its true or not, but I would like to hear from those who do. JackLynch 23:53, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)

About the allegation that Finkelstein is a Holocaust denier: he himself acknowledges that such accusations have been made -- see this interview for example. Accusations of "revisionism", on the other hand, are problematic: to historians, at least, calling another historian a "revisionist" is like accusing a scholar of being a "studier" -- almost all would proudly acknowledge such a label. (See Historical revisionism.) --Mirv 23:56, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Ok then, so shouldn't the text be restored? JackLynch 00:00, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Great work Mirv JackLynch 00:01, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The comment was deleted becuase it was added by Leumi (who incidently named themselves after Irgun) purely for polemical flavor.
Who made the comment is unimportant -- it is true that Finkelstein has been accused of Holocaust denial, as he himself acknowledges -- and disliking the person who wrote a sentence is not a valid reason for removing that sentence; please stop doing so. However ridiculous it may be to accuse the child of Holocaust survivors of Holocaust denial (and he is not a Holocaust denier in the conventional sense of the word -- see the previously-linked interview), the fact remains that such allegations have been made. --Mirv 00:22, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)
he is not a holocaust denier in any sense
It is said that he has been accused of it, not that he is. We are not dealing with the validity of the accusation. Furthermore, I am not named after the Irgun, it was not added for polemical flavor, and stop your incessant personal attacks, which amount to polemics themselves, and debate on the issues. -Leumi

I don't think we should be dealing with the validity of the accusations, which may or may not carry weight, as that is an issue without any one definitive scholarly viewpoint and this is an encyclopedia, not a courtroom. As such, I request that the user 81.130.75.224 (The same one who removed the text on the mentioning the accusations earlier and the one who is continually attacking me personally as an "Irgun" sympathizer) stop constantly reverting to his perspective of events and state his case in a calm, reasonable manner.

-Leumi
stop removing factual information
I think we should mention, for necessary context, that Finkelstein denies the allegations: some "Holocaust deniers" wear the label proudly, while he does not. --Mirv 00:48, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)
81.130.75.224 (and I advise you acquire a User Name if you intend to continue here for anything other than calling me names), the facts you refer to are not relevant to the article. The one about him being the child of survivors belongs on his biography page, Norman Finkelstein, and the other deals with the validity of the accusations, an issue of which is not something we should be dealing with on an encyclopedia, as there is not as of yet any definitive factual position on that.

Mirv, I agree that we should mention that he denies the allegations, but the latter matter I don't think has much relevance to the case, as one can be a Holocaust Denier, via delegitimization, and not wear the label proudly. Furthermore, it doesn't seem to be something we can factually verify. Bravo on proposing the compromise, however and suggesting we add that he denies it. -Leumi

Excellent. I've added his denial of the accusations and a reference for it, also a mention of the book that started the furor. --Mirv 00:58, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)
If the FACT that he is a child of Holocaust surviors doesn't belong on this page, then the ACCUSATION that he is a Holocaust denier certainly does not.
It is a FACT that he has been ACCUSED and this page is to deal with his ACCUSATIONS of Alan Dershowitz, so that spots a certain flaw in your LOGIC. Furthermore, the FACT that he is a child of holocaust survivors is about him, not the Dershowitz-Finkelstein affair and therefore goes only on his biography! -Leumi
There is more information on this entry about Finkelstein being accused of being a Holocaust denier etc than anything to do with Dershowitz-Finkelstein Affair.
I think the accusations do belong here. Finkelstein has been involved in a number of public controversies centering around Jews and Israel before, so mention of his previous record is relevant to another public argument centering around the same subject. --Mirv 01:11, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly Mirv. I've just reverted the accusations that whatever his name is deleted again! This is getting old... -Leumi
The accusation is only relvant when put in context - either mention of the accusation together with the fact that he is a child of holocaust survivors - or no mention at all. Otherwise, the article becomes about something else.
The fact that he is a child of Holocaust survivors is more than clear in his biography, which someone who wished further knowledge on this will refer to. It is not relevant to the topic which is his accusations against Alan Dershowitz. The accusations against him are necessary to put his accusations in context. -Leumi
Oooo, a lovely little edit war, how nice! Let's see:
-- Leumi, if you want to write that the ADL made some accusation you have to prove that they made it. Show us where the ADL accused NF of Holocaust denial. I bet you can't.
-- If we are going to mention accusations (however idiotic) against Finkelstein, why not accusations against Dershowitz? Let's write that he has been accused of dual loyalties, professional hypocrisy, of proposing the use of torture, and of urging Israel to commit crimes against humanity. After all, "this is not a courtroom" so the truth of the accusations doesn't matter. Deal?
-- What is really missing from this page is some reference to Dershowitz's reply to the plagiarism charges. It ought to be given similar length to the accusations themselves.
--Zero 01:26, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Welcome Zero! To our lovely little tea party of fire! ;) 1. The claim that the ADL made the accusation was 81.130.75.224's, not mine. I only added that other groups made that claim. However you make a good point. I haven't seen any verification of his claim, and will remove it till he can supply it, as I too have some doubts on the veracity of that claim. Thankyou for pointing that out. 2.Accusations against Finkelstein are necessary to put Finkelstein's accusations against Dershowitz, which is what this article is about, in context. Furthermore, your exaggeration of these accusations, some of which are not carried by a significant enough amount of people to register here, is not necessary and counterproductive. 3. You're absolutely right. That is missing, and I have been looking for it and intend to put it up later. Thankyou again Zero. Simply lovely to have you on board this discussion.-Leumi

Contents

Dershowitz Vrs. Finkelstein

I was unfamiliar with this subject until just recently, and only came to investigate this page because of all the reverts. I since have learned quite a bit, including that basically nobody who knows much about these guys is unbiased. I brought it up w a jewish friend of mine, and she gave me the impression that she might like to give mr. finkelstein a thrashing personally. In fact, she got so steamed up at the mere mention of him that it seemed wise to change topics ASAP. My point is that maybe this page needs to be locked by a sysop. Maybe we need to put some basic info, some balanced links, and just leave it for the reader to investigate further. To be honest, the more I learn, the more even I start to want to have some kinda bias, even if I'm not sure who to cheer for yet ;) JackLynch 19:10, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)

*chuckles* Any topic related to the mid-east tends to do that to oneself, I think. Or topics in general, some people say. Should you study any one side for too long you will either take on the characteristics of that side or those directly opposed. One of those funny quirks of the human brain, I think. I disagree, however that this page should be locked. If we were to lock all pages that make our blood boil then we wouldn't have much of anything to edit. The principles of Wikipedia center on debate, and locking this page from debate completely would go contrary to those principles. Bravo, however on taking the time to research the various positions and it's excellent you're looking for a solution, even if I disagree with the one you suggested. -Leumi
  • removed personal attacks, as allowed by rules (checked with sysop on that*
Note- Leumi removes legitimate criticism and calls it a personal attack, and as another user said, her contributions bring shame on Wikipedia.


Okay, I think everything seems to be in order in my book. You agree 168...? Leumi

Hu..whuh? I haven't read anything on this talk page except the question above, the posting of which I only noticed because I put the Affair article on my watchlist this afternoon. The editing of the article seems have coasted to a halt, which makes it seem like there's no controversy left to hash out. Given that, and given that the article seems neutral to me, I propose to delve no further into whatever the fuss was about. Well, actually I can't say I didn't notice somewhere that an issue was whether accusations were fair to quote as such. Given the credibility and prominence of the accusers in this case (assuming it's the ADL, as I read someone write somewhere) I think it is indeed reasonable to mention them. But anyone who is bristly about the accusers or the accusations I think would have some grounds to demand that the accusers be named. Still, I think the accusations are worthy of mention and that it's fair to mention them.168... 03:07, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The article, as it stands, seems fairly balanced to me; it contains background on both parties to supplement the current controversy. However, 81 has taken it upon him/herself to remove all mention of past accusations leveled against Finkelstein while retaining all charges against Dershowitz. 81, why don't you explain your actions. (I've reverted the page to 168...'s last edit.) --Mirv 06:47, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I have entered facts about Dershowitz, whereas you seem to believe false allegations are more worthy of inclusion
My complaint was that you removed all background material on Finkelstein. Allegations of Holocaust denial by the Anti-Defamation League, which is, as I have said before, a major public voice, are worthy of inclusion -- as are Dershowitz's past sins. Charges against Finkelstein, true or no, are also facts, even if you don't like them. Also please pay more attention to what I say: I did not claim that the allegations against Finkelstein were more worthy of inclusion, only that if the article is to give relevant background on one party, it should give relevant background on both. --Mirv 07:07, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Both are now included
Jim-dandy. Thanks for being reasonable. --Mirv

Isn't it about time that someone actually identified a single person or organization that says Finkelstein is a Holocaust denier? The only thing I can find is that Finkelstein accused Deborah Lipstadt of making this accusation and Lipstadt denied it. --Zero 07:50, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The Anti-Defamation League explicitly called Finkelstein a "Holocaust denier" in a letter to Georgetown U., duly linked to from Finkelstein's bio. ---Mirv 07:53, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Re: "Finkelstein has repeatedly ignored invitations by Dershowitz to dispute their accuracy."

"Accuracy" here refers to whether the people Dersh attributed words to indeed said exactly what he said they said. What else could it be understood to mean? 168... 09:01, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)


round and round and round we go

I've snipped this piece of the debate transcript:

"To which Finkelstein said, "This is why lawyers have a bad reputation. Because you are playing a game now. I've read the book twice. In fact I've read the book six times because I've read Peters four times and yours twice that makes six times."

Why? We already know that Finkelstein thinks the book plagiarized; his opinion has been spelled out in the first paragraph, and this section of the transcript is incoherent. If you disagree, 81.I.really.wish.you'd.log.in, fire away. --Mirv 14:33, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The discussion has direct relevance to the article's subject,... unlike, for instance, the 'Holocaust Denier' libel - which for some reason is mentioned in EVERY article which connected to Finkelstein. It makes sense to mention things directly related to the subject. Logically, the Finkelstein quote belongs here whilst the Denier crap doesn't (BECAUSE IT IS MENTIONED IN EVERY ARTICLE CONNECTED TO FINK ALREADY)

Try reading carefully and responding to what I said before ranting about something entirely different. Repeated, this time in bold so the important bit will be easier to spot: We already know that Finkelstein thinks the book plagiarized; his opinion has been spelled out in the first paragraph, and this section of the transcript is incoherent. <—note: this is the important part. What Finkelstein is saying is one part repetition of his earlier charges -- that Dershowitz ripped off Peters -- and one part meaningless accusation of "playing a game", which he does not explain further. Also please stop SHOUTING thanks. --Mirv 14:55, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Given that 'Finkelstein=Denier' is repeated 3 times throughout Wikipedia, you seem to have a unusually selective attitude to repitition
Is there a difference between repeating information in different articles and repeating information in sequential paragraphs? I think so. The other half of my argument, which you seem to have overlooked (should I use an extra-large font? Blink tags? What would it take to get you to read it?) is that the section of the transcript that does not repeat the charge of plagiarism spelled out in the previous paragraph doesn't relate to the main issue of the article: it is simply an attack on Dershowitz; it has nothing to do with the book or the plagiarism therein. --Mirv 15:09, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Actually, Finks sentence refers to the numerical discrepancy, not the plagiarism charge, so it's not repetition. The 'Fink=Denier' thing obviously is though.
Please note which sentence I removed and try again. Thank you. Mirv
Also, the accusations against Finkelstein are necessary in pages dealing with his claims, views and himself as they provide a context to his views, and as such are perfectly legitimate. Leumi

81 has just completely deleted the entire page except for one link. This is patently ridiculous. I have noted that the page is now protected for discussion. Might I request that the previous version of the page be protected before 81's mass deletion, as obviously we will not leave it completely deleted like this and we will want to easily refer to it. Thankyou. Leumi 15:24, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The page is protected in a fairly reasonable state. Thanks.

In a reasonable state? There's absolutely nothing on it. How is that possibly reasonable?Leumi 15:27, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it reasonable either, but I would call it fairly neutral. Which of the previous versions would be better is not up to me, it should be accomplished by some sort of consensus. - Hephaestos 15:29, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I am happy to work via consensus, but with the constant biased vandalism, I see the page as it is as a neutral compromise
If you don't like vandalism 81, then stop vandalizing. You constantly remove anything that is remotely critical of Finkelstein. An encyclopedia must be balanced and not only reflecting your worldview.Leumi 15:36, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I won't comment on the irony of your statement as you are probably right now deleting a quote on The Holocaust Industry page...
A: you talk the talk, but your walk-walking skills lack, yo -- the only standard you've applied consistently, here and elsewhere, is that the articles should say nothing bad about Finkelstein. 2: You blanked the page, yet you accuse others of vandalism. III: Sadly, you're right. Why don't you lay out your idea of a consistent standard for what to repeat, what not to repeat, what to include, and what to leave out? Mirv 15:38, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)


On the contrary. There is only one negative thing that anyone seems to have to say about Fink, and that's that he was accused by someone of being a Holocaust Denier. This single fact is being spread very thinly over three articles. I only wish people could look deeper at Fink so that they could find something a bit more tangibly critical of him. I would be happy if 'Fink=Denier' isn't endlessly repeated (it can have one home on one page).
Note also that I didn't say the link is to a neutral site. I somewhat suspect that it's heavily biased, but I haven't looked at it, nor do I care to. What's actually on the Wikipedia now contains neither defamatory language nor hagiography, however, and that works for me for now. As I said on Wikipedia:Protected page, if other admins who are more familiar with this particular edit war would like to revert to an earlier version, that's fine with me. But I'm not going to weed through and find something that I think suits, since I know next to nothing about the subject, and the edit war extends past the "last 50." I would expect when there's an edit war going on when I go to sleep, it would be resolved in some manner (if only by page protection) by the time I wake up, but perhaps I'm expecting too much. - Hephaestos 15:38, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The link is to an unvarnished transcript of discussion between Fink and Dersh - therefore it is entirely fair.
I disagree, the accusations are necessary here. However, I think we should include a short quote of Finkelstein's response to these accusations and restore the page back to what it was before with that as an addition. Is that an acceptable compromise?Leumi 15:55, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

(We don't seem to be able to reach a compromise here.) Alright then. Can you, 81, and you, Leumi, agree that the article should not repeat biographical information? This would include past accusations against Dershowitz as well. Or how something like this: "Finkelstein and Dershowitz have both been involved in previous controversies. See their separate biographies for more information." Agreeable? Mirv

I could agree to that principle, but sadly Leumi is starting his propoganda again on The Holocaust Industry page now (three negative quotes to one positive)
I think that while you definitely have a good idea there Mirv and we should make some sort of compromise, that particular one is not practical as if we want to give a balanced impression in the article, we need to include the accusations from both sides, because won't necessarily move onto the biographies and will leave with a false sense of the word "controversy" and the entire matter. I think both accusations should be included. They balance each other out. As for 81's attack on me here, I refuse to dignify it with a response and would appreciate it if he would stick to the issues. Leumi
(As would I.) I also think they balance each other out, providing context for both sides; however, 81 does not agree, hence the attempted compromise. Mirv 16:11, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
There is always a chance for one person not to agree, however when the majority thinks differently their opinion takes precedence as goes the principles of Democracy. I still think we should make a compromise however, but not by deleting all of it.Leumi 16:14, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)
81, your thoughts? How much of the background on D and F would you be willing to keep? Mirv
The article is about the Dersh-Fink affair. It is not about Holocaust Denial or anything else. I would be happy with an article which just summarized the Dersh-Fink affdair, and nothing more. This is not going to happen though. Leumi's predjudices can't help rising to the surface. Any claims of 'providing context' are insincere on Leumi's part - just look at his The Holocaust Industry edits. He has a habit of providing very selective information and quotes to follow his agenda. Notice also that Elan Steinberg is Executive Director of the World Jewish Congress, Greville Janner is chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, while Raul Hilberg, probably the world's foremost historian of the Holocaust has been edited down to just 'Historian-Author Raul Hilberg'. Not only that, but the important parts of the quote have been removed. This is symptomatic of Leumi's less-than-humble attitude. Leumi seems incapable of discussing these matters reasonably. Notice his request to remove List of destroyed villages during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war on Wikipedia:Lists for deletion. Leumi iss purely ideologically driven, and does not belog on a site which should provide a haven of neutrality. Another user, User:Zero0000 notes "I will not work on this page any more as it is a waste of time. ... Leumi's long paragraph is just standard right-wing "bash the victims" stuff. ....two standard junk "quotations" from people who are so important that that the internet never heard of them except for endless regurgitation of these "quotations". (I bet nobody here can even prove they existed.) Having it there brings shame on Wikipedia, but with people around who think it is "scholarly" what is the point of trying to do anything about it?" I agreee that Leumi brings shame on Wikipedia. Leumi's propaganda drive meant that evetually 3 articles had mention that Fink was accused of Holocaust Denial - sometimes this claim took up half of the article, and had nothing to do with it. Any criticism he pretends is a personal attack so he can delete it.
81, those are personal attacks. They have no relevance to the topic at hand. And you raise a valid point that Raul Hilberg should be further clarified, I will do so. See how reasonable I can be? Welcome to compromise 81. It's a beautiful thing. I provided a very valid reason on Lists for Deletion why that should be deleted, as it was inaccurate and didn't have any use as it was made up entirely of links, almost none of which worked. However this is not the place to discuss that. The Holocaust Denial issues are necessary to add important context to the report.

Who deleted everything and then blocked edits?

I think thats terrible. Worst case scenario, really. An encyclopedia is to inform, not give a link to resources. Links (plural) are cool, but not instead of the article itself! Whats the deal? JackLynch 21:43, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I made an edit to the article, even though it was protected. As far as I know, we have no rule stating that no one is allowed to edit an article, when it is protected. Rather, it says sysops who were involved in an edit war on the article should not take advantage of the power to "get their way" in a protected article.

But, as always, I follow Uncle Ed's Rule of Geniality which says that if anyone objects to an edit I make to a protected article, I will gladly revert that edit. --Uncle Ed 21:58, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It's now unprotected; I'm leaving my listing on Wikipedia:Protected pages for the time being though because the pessimist in me insists it will save time later. - Hephaestos 22:07, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The qualification of ADL allegations

Zero, the ADL did explain these allegations, which you would have seen if you had read to the bottom of this letter http://israel.georgetown.edu/ADL-letter.pdf , which I am adding to the links section. The explanations read as follows:

However, Mr. Finkelstein?s lecture was a one-sided program,

intended to promote hatred of Israel and perpetuate classic anti-Semitic stereotypes. In his highly publicized book, ?The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering,? Finkelstein argues that the Holocaust ?has become a straight-out extortion racket.? Finkelstein is well known for his anti-Israel rhetoric and his claims that Jews have exploited the Holocaust to make money. He has said that he ?truly honored? Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon for ?having inflicted an exceptional and deserving defeat on their foreign occupiers,? and that, ?I can?t imagine why Israel?s apologists would be offended by a comparison to the Gestapo.? To have Georgetown University provide a platform for a Holocaust denier to spread his hatred for Israel is profoundly disturbing to ADL. Finkelstein?s views about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are widely known.

Now, can you please stop removing essential parts of the article? Leumi 02:46, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Like I thought, you can't give any examples at all. The above shows the ADL using the label "Holocaust denier" without giving a single example of Holocaust denial. Just like I said.--Zero 03:41, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It is not our business to decide the veracity of the accusations. We simply state facts, and the fact that the ADL has made this accusation, with examples they feel adequate, and is a major public voice, is enough to have it included.Leumi 03:52, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
They didn't even claim to be giving examples. They just used the label as a smear. You know that. You are using it for the same reason. --Zero 04:02, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
There's no need to get angry Zero. For your convenience, I've specified the examples they use in their accusation, since you seem to have missed them in what I posted above. "Mr. Finkelstein?s lecture was a one-sided program,

intended to promote hatred of Israel and perpetuate classic anti-Semitic stereotypes." shows their example on the anti-semitism charge. Second, the quotes, "claims that Jews have exploited the Holocaust to make money." and "I can?t imagine why Israel?s apologists would be offended by a comparison to the Gestapo." are their examples of what they view as Holocaust negationism (and remember we don't discuss the validity of them, only that they're there), and "He has said that he ?truly honored? Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon for ?having inflicted an exceptional and deserving defeat on their foreign occupiers,? " is the example of what they say about his incitement of violence against Israel. They have provided examples, and whatever you may think of their validity, that is not what we're discussing here.Leumi 04:13, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

What is "Holocaust negationism"? I thought holcaust denial was being discussed. The charges that you list above are not examples of holocaust denial. --snoyes 04:19, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The Negationism article in Wikipedia says it is "the denial of historic crimes. The word is derived from the French term négationnisme, which means Holocaust denial". I considered it a (later clarification: slightly broader)synonym. Do you object? Leumi 04:28, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The French word negationnisme was coined to mean Holocaust denial but its use in English is sometimes wider. Maybe Leumi is trying to play games with the words. The key point is that the ADL has never given any examples of Holocaust denial on the part of NF, and as far as anyone has shown here they never "even claimed to give examples". I don't believe such examples exist. --Zero 04:26, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I detailed the examples they provided above. As I said, it is not for us to decide whether the examples carry merit, only that they were given, which they were. Leumi 04:28, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Hmm. "it is not for us to decide whether the examples carry merit". I would tend to disagree with that statement. It is useful to point out if allegations are patently false, as they ammount to slander. Instead of being a holocaust denial, uttering the sentence "Jews have exploited the Holocaust to make money." shows that one believes that the holocaust did happen. Hence the accusations of being a holocaust denier are plain false. --snoyes 04:39, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
In the context I think ADL meant, "Holocaust Denial" referred to a broader matter of delegitimizing the Holocaust and what is viewed as it's unique role in history. As a form of compromise, perhaps Negationism, which I pointed out above, would be a better word for their accusations? Your thoughts?Leumi 04:42, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Denial is (quoting the m-w dictionary) "assertion that an allegation is false". Seeing as Negationism is a synonym, it is obviously not any better. Now we are dealing with an issue in which players such as the ADL have engineered the term "holocaust denial" to be much broader than mere denial. This with the intent to equate people who have legitimate criticisms with lunatics who deny that the holocaust happened. It is indeed difficult to phrase this correctly. I think the best is probably to address this (the 'normal' and the 'extended' definitions) in holocaust denial, and leave away the phrase that the ADL has not provided evidence of holocaust denial. Noting only that the ADL uses the expression in the broad/extended sense. --snoyes 04:59, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The letter doesn't really offer an explicit reason for their use of the term "Holocaust denier." The quotes aren't truly germane to that specific charge and the way the letter is structured doesn't make it clear to me that they think they are. Perhaps they issued an earlier statement about him? They say he is "known" to be one. 168... 04:29, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I will look for that. However for now, I think the text still qualifies as an example. One can dispute the accuracy of the example, but they obviously intended for it to be one, which is enough to qualify as providing one, as it was their intention. As I said before, we don't decide validity, only facts.Leumi 04:37, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Well, it's been suggested that the label "Holocaust denier" is being used by the ADL as a "smear", meaning that even the labellers don't believe it to be deserved but are using it anyway to achieve the goal of discrediting their adversary, who they oppose for some reason other than that he is a Holocaust denier (and oppose instead, for instance, because he is setting back the cause of obtaining reparations). The suggestion is not a priori false. What evidence do we have against? If it's false, the labeller either has a good reason or thinks that he or she has a good reason for applying the label to the labelee. I don't think we've seen evidence from the desk of the ADL for either. 168... 05:26, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)


The F quote regarding the $10k is a quip and not very pertinent. I don't think the D quote adds much either, without the explanation of what D means by "subphase." The paragraph is misleading also by implying that D had nothing else to say in defense of the mistake. The most important thing he had to say, and which I find utterly persuasive and don't see how anyone couldn't, was that the mistake could not have been intentional, because the bigger numbers would have only supported his argument better. Also, typos 'do' happen in publishing all the time, so that is not as far fetched a hypothesis as it is liable to seem to people who think of books as utterly professional. Finally, given this possible interpretation, it is non-neutral to say that what F showed is that D "changed" the numbers. D may not have been the one who put 2000 instead of 200,000, and whoever did I believe it was an honest mistake and not a willful act of transformation. So to my mind a change resulted, but was not made. That said, he still owes the $10k. 168... 15:12, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I suggest that you try not to get into a war over including information from another article. I realize that if it isnt important to the article, it shouldnt be included, but dont fight about it. Try spending more time writing other articles and doing other stuff for a while. Alexandros 18:40, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

psychologically disturbed Irgun sympathiser?

Who is 195.92.168.173 ? Are they the same as 81.130.175.55 ? Whoever you (they) are, will you please create an account(s)? Also, calling names (psychologically disturbed, for example) is unhelpful and not particularly scholarly. Thank you in advance for your much needed cooperation. JackLynch 19:58, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Indeed. Given the close nature of their speech, sentence structure, insults and ideology, I think it is reasonable to assume they are either compatriots, or the same person. Personal attacks, might I add, are illegal under the rules of Wikipedia, and furthermore not constructive. I respectfully ask you to stop them and apologize for what I'm sure was something you regret, done in the heat of a passionate argument. Oh, and this is Leumi. I forgot to log in. Sorry about that. Leumi 21:00, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Anonymous User, please stop attacking me personally. You recently put in the summary section the following "WARNING: LEUMI IS MAKING IDEOLOGICAL EDITS EVERYWHERE". That is highly unjustified, not in the spirit of proper debate, and without merit. I would like an apology please, but what's more important is for you to stop these personal insults. I thank you for your time. Leumi 23:48, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

In all fairness, we don't know for sure that Dershowitz wasn't deadly serious about the $10k, though it may seem obvious that he wasn't -- but "quip" is still prejudicial language, so I think "said that he would donate" or "offered to donate" would be a fairer representation. (Leumi, why not use his talk page?) --Mirv 23:50, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I suppose that will work. I did thing quip was a better manner of saying it, and that we could be reasonably sure it was his intention, given the sheer unlikeliness of him donating to the PLO ever under any circumstances. But I can definitely see how someone would have a problem with it, and it's by no means big enough to cause so much contreversy. No need to have a Stalingrad over such a slight difference, especially considering all the tank battles we've been having already. As for his user page, I wasn't aware he had one, as he is still operating only on an IP address and doesn't have a username. Leumi 00:06, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The remark I meant to refer to as a "quip" was Finkelstein's reply about lawyers. It's neither an argument or evidence or even really an accusation. It's just a retort that shows he thinks little of Dershowitz's defense and wasn't persuaded by it. Rather snarky too, I thought. 168... 01:16, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I agree it was rather snarky. Do you think we should use the word "quipped" in relation to that? As you first brought up the word, I'll follow your lead on that score.Leumi 01:19, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I don't think it necessary to characterize parts of the debate. Stick with the nice neutral "said" -- nobody can complain about that, and it's cleaner writing anyway. --Mirv 01:20, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Anonymon: Will you please explain your constant reversion of 168...'s edits? Thanks. --Mirv 01:02, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Anonymous User, I think that putting in the whole quote is too bulky, as it doesn't really have reference to what we're discussing in that paragraph, which is the issue of the numerical discrepancy. I do appreciate you stopping the reversions to the much earlier version though, and hope we won't have that problem again. Leumi 01:13, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Anonymous User, as a compromise between you and 168... will you accept the having the part on Dershowitz's "lightning rod" status kept, while keeping the rest of the controversy on him only in his bio? And is that acceptable to you as well 168...?I hope we can come to an agreement.Leumi 02:13, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Has Cockburn attacked Dershowitz before? Because I think that would be relevant. And Anonymous Prime, it's funny that you should complain about others' reversion-without-discussion when most of your edits have been carried out without a word of chatter -- something about a pot and a kettle springs to mind here. --Mirv 02:10, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I think perhaps a better question is whether Dershowitz has been attacked by palestinians advocates similar to and including Cockburn, as his support for Israel is the reason some people think Dershowitz was attacked, as opposed to a personal issue. I'll look for examples of that. And Anonymous, I respectfully think you should heed Mirv's words on that matter. Leumi 02:13, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Also to anonymous user, I, and I suspect others, felt that the language in 168...'s edits was sufficiently neutral. Could you detail why you changed it and why you feel yours is more neutral? Also, correct me if I'm wrong on this, but did you make those changes from scratch, because I think they resemble strongly an old version of the page. And there is no need to yell, and I have discussed it on the talk page, now and before this. Leumi 02:17, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

F's point about the page numbers is evidence that belongs with his accusation of plagiarism and prior to D's defense against the charge. To put it later makes the text longwinded and backandforthy and redundant and it makes D look like a talking parrot for repeating his defence while unfairly giving F the last word. The lightning rod status is not mere bio but is germane. I'll try to Google up prior Cockburn remarks about D, since I agree that would be germane too, if not even more so. The lawyer quip is very long and not worth the price of admission, I feel. In any event, a reiteration of the charge of plagiarism in the paraphrase that follows the quote is unnecessary and unfairly gives the prosecution the last word.168... 02:18, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

OK, I give up. But everyone should know that this page IS NOT NEUTRAL DUE TO LEUMI'S OBSESSIVE PARTISANSHIP.

So put an NPOV dispute header on it, and remember what I said about pots and kettles, and note that you reverted edits which Leumi did not make (the detailed exposition of the radio argument was mostly 168...'s), and try for constructive debate instead of name-calling ok thanx. --Mirv 02:35, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

No longer a problem

User 195.92.168.174 has finally been banned, having apparantly crossed a red line when he attacked a medical condition I have. Here is the report I made in the vandalism section, followed by the sysops mentioning that they banned him/her. While I will avoid commenting on whether I am please by this new event (you can guess) I will point out that we can now continue on in the editing of the article without one of the obstacles we had previously. I look forward to a more pleasant working environment. :)Leumi 02:58, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)


I added the original exact source text for the first example directly from the Royal Commission Report. Now readers can judge the example for themselves. My opinion is that it is pretty damning of both Peters and Dershowitz. Peters claims that the figure is "according to the British investigation" but the source clearly states it is Jewish tradition. (This is a representative sample of Peters in action.) Dershowitz has failed to correct this deception, so either he didn't consult the original text or he didn't care that he was misleading his readers. Further evidence is that he didn't notice that Peters' page numbers were incorrect. In fact all the quoted text appears on page 11 of the Report and none on page 12. Finally, no serious historian would ever quote a 1937 British document for a 16th century fact. If Peters was what she claims (i.e., not a mere propagandist) she would have consulted one of the specialist studies on Palestinian population, such as the study of Cohen and Lewis that uses the Ottoman taxation registers. --Zero 07:08, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

NPOV?

This sentence is ripe for the NPOV tutorial:

As a staunch defender of Israel, Dershowitz is a popular target of criticism by advocates for the Palestinians, whom both Finkelstein and Cockburn have championed in the past.

Now flip the adjectives ("staunch defender" and "advocate" could apply equally well to all three depending only on what connotation you wish to imply) and re-read:

As an advocate for Israel, Dershowitz is a popular target for criticism by staunch defenders of Palestinians, such as Finkelstein and Cockburn.

"Staunch defender" has a definite positive connotation, plus it implies that "Israel", like Dershowitz, is under constant harrowing attack that requires defending, whereas "the Palestinians" apparently don't have "defenders" only whiny "advocates". If we're going to characterize poeople who write on political topics, we can't use such bias in our word choice. DanKeshet

Point taken. Connotations can be subtle. But I would say this is a matter of interpretation. One might as well speak of "staunch defenders" of segregation and "advocates" for peace. I considered the words neutral when I wrote them and I still think they would be viewed as such by many readers. That said, if there's a way to do it that will work for more readers, I'm not opposed to changing them in principle.168... 18:57, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)
So. . . why haven't you fixed it? :) (I don't know who wrote that sentence originally; if I did, I apologize and thank you for the help.) --MIRV 18:45, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I usually wait for an article to calm down for a few hours before editing it because I hate edit conflicts. Plus, the article is so terrible right now if I tried to edit just one paragraph, I'd be very frustrated. DanKeshet
Hey, please consider that the activity that you are waiting to calm or to cease in fact reflects somebody's or some group of people's hard and altruistically motivated efforts to make the article good, and not terrible. Consider also that it has been arrived at through a long process of compromise, which was necessary due to the sharply differing and strongly held perspectives of contributors who weren't initially able to see the issue from any other perspective than their own (i.e. before participating in discussion). 168... 19:05, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Sorry if it was harsh. The fact that I'm waiting for edits to die down doesn't mean I think it's bad people are editing it, just that I don't want to edit at the same time. There are definite improvements being made to the article. But while I see a lot of hard work, I disagree with the basic orientation of the article and all the phrase-NPOVing we do won't change that. This article is framed as a personal dispute between two men and not the evaluation of the scholarship of The Case for Israel. Even the name Dershowitz-Finkelstein Affair draws attention away from the scholarship and into the peculiars of the two men. DanKeshet 21:54, Dec 8, 2003 (UTC)
Apology accepted. The orientation you describe, which I'd say is accurate, I think is totally apt for an article of this one's title. I also think this article is an appropriate way to approach the subject. What we're dealing with is an accusation that a lot of people consider hyperbolic if not indeed undeserved. Furthermore, it's hardly the whole world that's after Dershowitz and scrutinizing what he's done. It's Finkelstein and Cockburn and readers they've inspired. But I believe a lot of people are also looking at Finkelstein to question his motives and scrutinize his specific accusations, because the latter don't square well with the labels he's used, such as "plagiarism" and "lies." There is an examples section to this article, which has material in the vein you seem to be talking about. That could be expanded. Or a second article with a different title could be created. But I think this one serves a reasonable purpose and is true to its title. By the way, you could edit offline and post your edits all at once if you don't like the thought of having to merge. 168... 22:11, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I changed it around a bit, noting that Dershowitz is strongly pro-Israel, which is indisputable -- possibly his more reprehensible views (like advocating collective punishment) could be mentioned, but that might be construed as bias also. "Advocates" is, I think, a reasonably neutral word. --MIRV 19:01, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I agree, now that it's been pointed out, that "defender" and "advocate" carry POV connotations, and I definitely think they should remain changed. Thanks for pointing that out. I do think we should use the same word though, in describing both Dershowitz's views and the advocates of the palestinians, thereby instead of "pro-israel views" I've changed it to "advocates for Israel". Thereby it provides more balance and equivilant phrasing. Also, since the word "turnspeak" was a variation on Orwell's "Newspeak" I think we should include that, to provide further context as to why he possibly may have attributed it to Orwell instead of Peters. Leumi 20:39, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Sayles Rudy

If somebody wants to quote a manual of style for an independent and authoritative perspective on what constitutes impropriety in academic scholarship, I think that would be a great idea. But I think Rudy adds nothing but bias to this article. I'm glad that someone found him at a university in Amherst, so that I do not have to consider Cockburn a fabulist, but I stand by the statement I made in summarizing my edit of him out of the article: He is no authority. Furthermore, he can not be assumed to be independent: His opinion was solicited by Cockburn. Finally, I consider it bad structure and unfair to Dershowitz to put Rudy's comments after D's reply to Cockburn. That reply is his defense to the very same charge that Rudy is making, which is just a sort of an elaboration of Cockburn's. Putting Rudy after D is giving him another whack with the same old stick. Furthermore, I believe the cultural custom is that the prosecution rests its case before the defense. The man has been accused, so let him make his defense, and let the jury decide.168... 00:30, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly 168... I propose we put the matter of Rudy's inclusion to a vote and abide by the majority opinion of those involved in the article. Reasonable?Leumi 00:45, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I was just studying Finkelstein's examples at this page and thought to check the one from Encyclopedia Britannica 1911.
Peters wrote: Persians […] Kurds…German `Templar' colonies […], a large Algerian element […] Sudanese, […] the Samaritan sect.
Dershowitz wrote: Kurds, German Templars, Persians, Sudanese, Algerians, Samaritans, Tatars, Georgians
Note that Dershowitz gave two that Peters did not, which would seem to suggest that Dershowitz did consult the source rather than just copying Peters. However, when I turned to the source here, I was unable to find either Tartars or Georgians there at all! The others are there. Dershowitz cheated for sure. By the way, notice what Peters left out of her proof that the population was highly mixed: The sedentary population of the country villages the fellahin, or agriculturistsis, on the whole, comparatively unmixed; but traces of various intrusive strains assert themselves.. That's about half the population Peters deliberately omitted. --Zero 14:05, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Look, the fact is it's not our job to decide whether or not he plagiarized. We're only here to put down the accusations, the responses and as I think it's said somewhere in the Wikipedia Rules the things that fit in with the constraints of "human knowledge". What that means in practice is that it doesn't matter if you or I think he plagiarized, or what proof we find, if that proof has not been used on a public forum as part of the issue. We're not writing about it, we're just reporting. Leumi 22:52, 9 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Leumi, you added the following link to the article:

The article linked there is, in fact, about anti-Semitism, not Finkelstein. It mentions him once, as an "acolyte" of Noam Chomsky, on the tenth page, in one paragraph, which says nothing substantial about him or his views. Please explain. --MIRV 00:07, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I apologize. I intended to add that to a different article, not this one. My mistake. Leumi 00:23, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Then what link did you intend to add? Your edit summary, which matches the other edit you made to the page, also states "added additional link". --MIRV 00:26, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I did not intend to add any link. The link that I added was intended for the anti-semitism page. There's really no reason to make such a big deal of a minor mistake, which has already been fixed. Leumi 00:33, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I suppose it was an honest mistake, then. --MIRV, who thinks it's about time to archive this baby.

Previous conversations archived at Talk:Dershowitz-Finkelstein_Affair/Archive_1


I suggest a new structure for the page. It switches around between the two sides of the argument here. I think it would be clearer if it had a structure that delineated the sides of the debate and the arguments on both sides.

1. Accusations by Finkelstein 2. Responses by Dershowitz 3. Opinions of Others

I agree. Actually this entire entry appears to be little more than chirping from the stands of the Finkelstein Fan Club (see Clinical Narcissism). I think the idea of a true debate eludes you guys. By the way, I've actually read the Peters book. Much of it is cut and paste that does nothing but make it thicker, but much of it consists of of explosive ideas and documents that should be refuted on the evidence. Finkelharping and Chomskychomping amount to little more than obfuscation unless the central thesis, that Arabs immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in large numbers due a prospering economy, can be refuted on its own evidence. My experience, based on nearly 40 years of Middle East studies, is that Arabists don't want that particular issue studied -- at all. 68.5.64.178 07:38, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

... Cttck 14:52, 18 December 2005 (UTC)


Glad we came to a conclusion on that and yeah, it did seem to be getting on the long side. I added From Time Immemorial to the Relevant links page, by the way. No problems with that, I hope? It does say on the FTT page that it was one of the central issues in the Dershowitz-Finkelstein Affair.Leumi 00:49, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Anonymous Finkelstein fan (I assume it's the same person, since you're making the same damn changes over and over again): PLEASE don't go changing the article back to your version without discussion. --MIRV 17:06, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Here's what the anonymon changed, and why those changes don't make any sense:

  • "plagiarism" to "fraud, falsification, plagiarism, and nonsense"; senseless because Finkelstein only provided evidence of plagiarism: the other stuff was just a cheap shot.
Exactly, it provides context, and shows that Finkelstein is man who makes cheap shots.
Fair comment, I suppose, but we shouldn't be trying to bias the case either way. --M
  • In the description of Cockburn, "polemicist" became "commentator". Cockburn is a polemicist; he's a skilled and often-correct polemicist, but he's still a polemicist.
A polemicist is not a neutral POV phrase.
It is, however, true -- but you're right, it's not entirely neutral. --M
  • Necessary description of Sayres Rudy changed; all mention of Cockburn's request was removed, making it look (wrongly) like Rudy had jumped in of his own free will. Such was not the case.
I haven't seen any evidence that Cockburn requested this quote. The fact that Cockburn has mentioned this quote does not mean he requested it.
The only place this quote was published was in one of Cockburn's articles; therefore, we can assume that he asked for it. Changed to "Cockburn has quoted Sayres Rudy. . .", since we can't be sure that he asked for the quote, but we can attribute it properly.
  • Re-insertion of Finkelstein's snarky little quip about lawyers and the number of times that he's read the book. Everyone else agreed that quoting his exact words was irrelevant and made him look bad besides.
This 'making him look bad' is necessary for to provide balance from the Dershowitz point of view.
Well, now we have two quotes that make Finkelstein look like a shrill, disagreeable jerk. Is that really necessary? Do we need to report all the insults that obnoxious people like Finkelstein and Dershowitz hurl at each other? I don't think so. --MIRV 17:47, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

POV

My reading of this article is that Finkelstein is desperately trying to discredit Dershowitz. I presume Finkelstein's motive for this is to get people to stop listening to Dershowitz.

I gather that Finkelstein disagrees with Dershowitz's 32-point defense of Israel. But, instead of refuting any of the points has resorted to the ad hominem tactic of directing his arguments against the man rather than against his points.

The main thrust of Finkelstein's attack is that Dershowitz copied too much from Peters, and didn't give her enough credit. (He's not saying that Dershowitz misquoted the original sources Peters quoted; only that Dershowitz should have checked all the originals himself.) He also seems to hint that Dershowitz should have done more research himself, rather than rehashing any of Peters's work.

Basically, he's saying through out Dershowitz's case, because of technicalities -- rather than because he doesn't have a case.

This seems unfair to me.

I know that my personal POV is not relevant here, but I think it provides a basis for fixing the article.

If indeed Finkelstein is trying to discredit Dershowitz, then we should write the article that way. That is, the article should say that Finkelstein is trying to discredit Dershowitz much the same as that Danish committee was trying to discredit Bjørn Lomborg.

The Wikipedia should not endorse or aid this attempt, but only report that it was Finkelstein's aim. If Finkelstein's motive is known (or other writers have speculated on it), we should report about his motive, too. Otherwise, stick to reporting on all the WAYS Finkelstein (or others) have tried to discredit Finkelstein.

What we should NOT do is try to take sides in the dispute. We should neither say that Dershowitz makes an execellent case, but Finkelstein resorted to unfair means to muzzle him; nor should we say that Dershowitz is a liar, or incompetent, or shoddy or unethical merely on Finkelstein's say-so.

If you came away from reading this article, as you say, feeling that Dershowitz has been unfairly denounced by Finkelstein, then that shows, I would say, that it it does not disfavor Dershowitz. If you managed to come to the conclusion you did, then I expect some fraction of others will too. I do take your point. I insetred into an earlier version stating D's "lightning-rod status" for Palestinean advocates and identified F and Cockburn as Palestinean advocates. It's gone now, but I think the section with Elie Wiesel in it accomplishes the same task of showing readers a possible motive for Finkelstein's attacks. But since we aren't mind readers and since Finkelstein hasn't confessed to any motive besides upholding standards of scholarship, it's speculation to actually attribute a specific motive to him and wrong to report that as fact. I suppose if someone had prominently speculated on the motive in public, we could quote them. But since Dersh does that himself we don't have to. We could line up people who side with D to strengthen his case. But F has plenty who would line up with him. Best to just have each man make his case and let the reader decide. 168... 06:15, 16 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This is a fight between two public figures with opposing points of view. We should merely identify and report on those POVs - not endorse or oppose them. --Uncle Ed 20:47, 15 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I agree. I will suppress my natural tendency to say simply "Finkelstein ripped Dershowitz a new anus," and stick to the facts. Hello Ed. ;) -戴&#30505sv 20:56, 15 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Okay, then I won't call you a hot-head, an ignoramus, or a troll! :-) Uncle Ed 18:17, 16 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Quite clever. I wont be talking to you again, Ed. Have a nice day.-戴&#30505sv 01:17, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Also, these should be reported as events -- a time for the on-air debate, the way which Dershowitz repetitively interrupted Finkelstein, Dw's uncertainty about his own facts, his attempt at distancing himself from Joan Peters' book, while at the same time defending it -- despite the fact that he also credits Finkelstein for exposing Peters' book a fraud. Really silly stuff. -戴&#30505sv


168, you have already mutilated a previous lengthy addition I made some time ago, which I tolerated only because back then I didn't have the time nor the emotional stamina to engage in what would become yet another heated Finkelsteinian discussion. Unfortunately, it appears that you took that decision as a sign that I was not the type of Wikipedian who cared about what other people do with their comments.

WordNet gives the following definitions of "acerbic"

"an acerbic tone piercing otherwise flowery prose"; "a barrage of acid comments"; "her acrid remarks make her many enemies"; "bitter words"; "blistering criticism"; "caustic jokes about political assassination, talk-show hosts and medical ethics"; "a sulfurous denunciation".

It is clear from reading this list that predicating "acerbic" from Alexander Cockburn conveys the idea that his accusations are a reflection of his "acid" temperament and not the result of factually compelling evidence.

"Left-wing" is also inappropriate, because the left-right axis is completely irrelevant in this controversy. As Finkelstein himself notes,

those on the Left ridicule the book as a defense of "the banks".

Qualifying names that have Wikipedia entries is only admissible when the attribute is particularly relevant to the issue discussed. As this is not the case, "acerbic left-wing" should go. Sir Paul 19:22, Feb 17, 2004 (UTC)

It's highly relevant. When someone opines "that piece of art stinks," it matters whether it is Sister Wendy or Sid Vicious. If you know who those two people are, then you will interpret the remark differently, depending on who said it, and you are liable to attribute different moods, motives or mental states to the speaker who uttered it. Neutrality does not require the cloaking of the character and reputation of the people we quote. Judges permit defense attorneys to point out that the star witness for the prosecution is a convicted murderer who is being released early in return for his testimony. Do you think this shouldn't be allowed to be pointed out? I have no doubt that Cockburn is attacking Dershowitz in large part because of Dershowitz's politics. Do you? I have no doubt that he has attacked Dershowitz in the manner he does because this is the manner in which he attacks all those whose politics he disagrees with. Do you? 168...|...Talk 21:28, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Your words prove my point: you didn't need to add any qualification whatsoever to Sister Wendy or Sid Vicious to make the obvious point that the identity of the writer is relevant to assess the plausibility of the writing. Readers of Wikipedia are not stupid, and do not need your interpretation of who Alexander Cockburn is to determine whether they should give credit to what he says. If they know nothing about Cockburn, they will click on his name and they will hopefully get an accurate picture of who he is (and if the picture is not accurate, go to that article and fix it). Unless we are talking a property which is contextually crucial, factually indisputable and presumably unknown, the practice of hysterically stockpiling epithets is inadmissible, and should not be allowed. Sir Paul 01:08, Feb 18, 2004 (UTC)

I suspect our disagreement lies in differing philosophies of linking, and I think my philosophy is closer to what you'll read espoused on the meta pages. My feeling is that if a reader would have to link out to appreciate the full intent of an article or paragraph, then then the desired interpretation needs to be made more explicit within the article itself. Linking out should be an option for those who wish to learn more, not a way for writers to avoid writing an individual article in such a way that it is not fully intelligible to a wide audience on its own.168...|...Talk 01:17, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Not fully intelligible?! You really are pushing the bounds of sense here. As regards your claim that your "philosophy is closer to what [I]'ll read espoused on the meta pages", take a look at the discussion over The Holocaust Industry and you'll see the same issue raised over qualifying the Anti-Defamation League. This is what Ed Poor has to say abou it:

Why describe them here at all? The reader can always click on Anti-Defamation League if they don't know what sort of group it is. That's what the links are there for. Otherwise, we'd drown in a sea of labels: The notorious right-wing extremist Mr. A calls the well-known center-left writer Mr. B "a far-left zealot" and stuff like that. Better to say that A regards B as "a far left zealot" and let people follow the links if they really want to get into it.

And this is what Mirv replied:

Someone suggested just this solution over at Wikipedia:Guidelines for controversial articles, but it bears mentioning again: when there's a controversy over labeling, let the reader decide. Otherwise, you might end up with something like this: "The ADL, which Commentator X calls a "radical pro-Israel advocacy group", and Commentator Y characterizes as a "moderate civil-rights group", and Commentator Z thinks is a "front for our Reptiloid slavemasters", says. . ." -- it just ends up looking silly.

If you follow the link to the guidelines, you'll read that

if the status of the source itself is disputed, it is best to avoid such characterizations altogether.

I, and I presume many others, dispute the connotations of characterizing Alexander Cockburn as "acerbic left-wing", so the epithet should be dropped. Sir Paul 03:27, Feb 18, 2004 (UTC)

BTW, if the above doesn't settle our disagreement, I'd appreciate if you would answer my questions and address the rest of the points I took the trouble of raising.168...|...Talk 01:19, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

What I said is, I think, sufficient to solve the dispute, so I see no reason to answer your other points. Sir Paul 03:27, Feb 18, 2004 (UTC)


I guess we're at an impasse then. But I'd be interested in examples of Cockburn displaying what you perceive to be his mild and centrist behavior. I'm not interested in disputes per se as in simple, rational disputes. I suspect that's what Ed meant too. But Ed flies off the handle some times, which is one reason to read further on the subject of linking. I could dig up a reference for you if you'd like. 168...|...Talk 03:46, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)


(via edit conflict, somewhat redundant) The dispute over "acerbic" is fair, I think, since it is a slightly prejudicial term, so leaving it out would be appropriate. "Left-wing", however, is undisputable and relevant to understanding why Cockburn promoted this particular scandal: he makes no secret of his left-wing politics, and nobody calls him anything else; also he didn't rail against Stephen Ambrose quite so loudly, neh? Leaving out a brief description of Cockburn's politics would leave the reader wondering why he chose to get involved in the flap over The Case for Israel, since he's shown no special dislike of plagiarism in the past. This is what Viajero said about the issue, and I think he has a point:

". . . a Wikipedia article should be an organic whole; one should be able to print it out and have the integral story on that sheet of paper. Links are pointers toward additional information, not for supplying essential information."

I also suggest looking over Norman Finkelstein, which has a relevant brief description of the ADL -- also written by 168..., I believe -- which is necessary to understand why that organization decided to make the laughable accusation that Finkelstein is a Holocaust denier. --No-One Jones 04:02, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Search google news for "acerbic". It's a common epithet, and undeniably apt for the writings Cockburn seems to be famous for. It's only disputable to the extent that there aren't codified standards for establishing "acerbicness" or "acerbicity" and so people have to leg to stand on when they protest its application. Nevertheless, people can tell acerbicness when they see it, and I doubt very strongly that even 1% of people would sincerely regard trademark-Cockburn editorials as anything less than acerbic. It's probably on the basis of reasoning like that that many would-be objective reporters evidently feel that it's fair to use the term.168...|...Talk 04:22, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I don't dispute the accuracy of the term -- Cockburn's tone is nothing if not acerbic. However, I don't think it is relevant. Does it make sense to say "Cockburn, who is an acerbic commentator, attacked a book which is strongly pro-Israel"? This phrasing does describe his tone, but it tells the reader nothing about why he chose to take up this cause. On the other hand, the phrase "Cockburn, who is a radical left-wing commentator, attacked a book which is strongly pro-Israel" says a great deal to anyone who is familiar with American -- and European -- far-left politics. Running the two descriptions together into one clause obscures the fact that the use of "acerbic" doesn't say anything especially meaningful or important about Cockburn's involvement in the affair.
"Acerbic" is also, as I said, a slightly prejudicial description; replacing it with a similar but stronger word would yield ". . . caustic left-wing commentator", "humourless left-wing commentator", and so on -- all of which are true and accurate, but prejudice the reader against Cockburn's opinions.--No-One Jones 05:20, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I have mixed feelings: it does seem somewhat relevant that he's an acerbic commentator. However, it seems more relevant that he's a "radical left-wing" commentator, so that seems like a better description. --Delirium 06:07, Feb 18, 2004 (UTC)


Acerbic is not "prejudicial" in this case because it is applied after-the-fact of observation and based on those obervations. It is a judgment, but not a pre-judgment, and it is accurate. It is relevant because people who are acerbic employ hyperbole and theatrical rhetoric. Cockburn is calling for a response to Dershowitz's alleged crime (firing from Harvard) which we have good reason to doubt he does not consider appropriate to the alleged crime in the abstract, and a key reason for doubting it is that his style in expressing criticism, in general, is acerbic.168...|...Talk 06:14, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

"radical left-wing" seems tolerable (I have some qualms about the connotations of "radical", but I'm ready to go with this proposal).

I went to the Norman Finkelstein article and saw that the "conservative, pro-Israel advocacy group which says it fights anti-Semitism" qualification was dropped. Consistency demands that it be restored.

Perhaps we could associate some standard epithets with certain individuals and institutions in a separate page so that anyone debating the appropriateness of qualifying them in a particular way can learn from previous discussions and stick to the consensus reached back then. I'm sure questions about labeling the ADL as a conservative pro-Israel advocacy group would surface in the future, and it would be a waste of time and effort if the same arguments had to be replicated each time that happened. Sir Paul 13:51, Feb 18, 2004 (UTC)

What a dumb topic. It is completely obvious that Finkelstein is attempting to discredit otherwise serious scholar based on politics, not scholarship. This became transparently clear when he pointed out an error in Dershowitz's book that was actually in the Palestinians' favor. He tried to do the same thing to Wiesel

The man is a lowlife, a hothead, and carries on like a small child when someone dares to disagree with him.

98.18.122.187 (talk) 02:22, 18 September 2011 (UTC)How is it "in the Palestinians' favor" if two to three thousands of them were driven out of their homes, as Dershowitz erroneously cites Benny Morris, when actually according to Morris, UN mediator Count Bernadotte and most reliable reports, 200,000 to 300,000 were refugees by the expiration of the League of Nations' British Mandate in April (correction: May). Supporters of Zionist actions in 1948 used to make energetic efforts to minimize the ethnic cleansing that began long before before the Arab states' intervention, and it is my guess that Dershowitz's "unintentional error" was motivated by that same tendency. To me, Dershowitz's rationalization sounds like a lawyerly 'post facto' invention. Fork over the $10,000 already, Alan.98.18.122.187 (talk) 02:22, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Authorship

This article focuses on the trivial charge that Dershowitz cited primary sources of quotations when he actually learned of these quotations from a secondary source. I call this charge trivial because it is standard scholarly practice. The article did not mention at all (until I added it) the very serious charge that Dershowitz's did not write The Case for Israel. This seems seriously imbalanced to me. What gives?


Plagiarism

The first sentence of this article claims that Finkelstein has accused Dershowitz of plagiarism. Although this seems like a reasonable claim, I have not actually seen a citation where Finkelstein makes this serious charge. Can somebody point me to where Finkelstein says this?

"In fact Mr. Dershowitz has concocted a fraud which amazingly in large parts, he plagiarized from another fraud." [1]. Cadr 09:56, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! With your tip, I found the quote in the first sentence: [2] I think it's important to note that Finkelstein has never made this charge in print (as far as I'm aware), and now seems to have backed off. He now asks (rather than states) "Is this scandalous scholarship, or is it plagiarism, or is it both?" [3] Ragout 10:18, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Sure, but he's only backed off because of the threat of libel. He's called it plaigerism in lots of articles online.
I'm sure you're right that it's the threat of libel that's caused him to back off. Of course, the article should point this out.
I'm not so sure what we should say about the allegation that Dershowitz didn't write the book. That's another area where it's not clear whether Finkelstein's views have changed (after the appearence of the handwritten manuscript) and whether he originally made the accusation seriously or rhetorically. Cadr 10:21, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
If you think Finkelstein makes such strong accusations unseriously, the article should certainly point this out. Perhaps the plagiarism accusation is also unserious. Really, though, I find your accusation hard to believe. What is your evidence that Finkelstein's ghostwriting charge was not serious? Ragout 10:42, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

First, regarding the ongoing edits, I'm happy with your new paragraph after thinking about it again. The only thing I'd like to do is to get a proper cite from the Chicago Manual of Style. Does it really advocate citing primary sources exclusively, even when you have only read them via secondary sources?

Ragout 17:06, 29 March 2006 (UTC) My understanding is: cite the primary source if you go look it up, otherwise cite the secondary source. My source on the Chicago Manual of style is here A better quote is from "Writing with Sources." Apparently, Finkelstein relies on the definition of plagiarism from there. Writing with Sources says:
QUOTING OR CITING A PASSAGE YOU FOUND QUOTED OR CITED BY ANOTHER SCHOLAR: when you haven’t actually read the original source, cite the passage as “quoted in” or “cited in” that scholar—both to credit that person for finding the quoted passage or cited text, and to protect yourself in case he or she has misquoted or misrepresented (see “Indirect Source” pages 48–9). Always read for yourself any source that’s important to your argument, rather than relying on an abstract or a summary in another source.

I always got the impression that Finkelstein was never intending to make a serious claim about Dershowitz's not authoring the book, in the sense that he wasn't intending to provide any direct evidence for it. It was presumably just his opinion based on the quality of the book, etc. But I think that's a bit vague to go in the article. I tried to qualify it a bit by adding in the "almost certainly" quotation. Cadr 10:50, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Citations.

A recent statistical study [2] has found that about 80% of citations in academic literature are not derived from the originals, but copied from secondary sources. However, the authors of the study do not endorse or defend this practice.

The link given is discussing only scientific papers, not historical ones. I would be quite astonished if 80% of citations in historical works were actually cribbed from secondary sources. john k 17:08, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Introduction

Help! The introduction is swallowing the article! (unsigned comment by User:ragout)

Is citing sources without reading them "extremely widespread" in academia?

(Note: this issue also applies to Talk:Norman Finkelstein). The main (but not only) point of debate at the moment is about two links that user:Ragout wants to include. They supposedly support the claim he wants to include in the article that citing sources without reading them "is extremely widespread in academia" and, by implication, academic historical writing which is what this discussion is really about.

The first link, [4] is an anonymous web page with uncited information itself. However, from following the links, the claim refers to a single study of citations of a single scientific paper from 1974, not a historical paper.

The second link is subscription-only and should be removed for that reason alone. Ragout has changed it to a non-subscription version in Norman Finkelstein, but it is clear the study only applies to anatomical writing and the actual rate of citation without reading is fairly low (27%) which is not consistent with "extremely widespread".

I not only believe these links are inadequate sources to claim that citing sources without reading them "is extremely widespread in academia" but to use studies like this to make a sweeping claim about academia, a statement which is not in either paper, is an egregious violation of the "no original research" policy. If such practices are "extremely widespread" User:ragout should have no problem finding many reputable sources that say so explicitly. Deuterium 08:34, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Work required to reach NPOV

I found this article by responding to the RFC; however, I think there is a larger NPOV problem with the article. Overall, the article does not present both sides of the argument in a balanced and an unbiased fashion. The article largely expounds on the accusation of one side, with short explanation of the reaction of the other side, creating an appearance of favoring the accusing side.

I would suggest the following improvements: 1. Summarizing the accusations and expanding the rebuttals could help the article to appear to be more balanced. 2. The intro section currently dives into too much detail too quickly. It could be beneficial to describe the overall conflict, and dive into the details in later portions of the article. 3. It appears that most of the controversy is over the citations, and not about the book itself. It also appears that the accusing side is not saying that the citations are incorrect either, but rather that they were copied from another book. This is an important distinction, and if so, should be explained to the reader to properly introduce the nature of the debate. Currently, the introductory paragraph does not do that.

--CommonGround 19:34, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

That Peters's book is incorrect is generally assumed - it was widely debunked and has few remaining defenders. So if Dershowitz copied them from Peters it goes fairly far towards debunking them. john k 04:35, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
If this were so, the case against D. could be stated very briefly, don't you think?
No, because Finkelstein is accusing Dershowitz of plagiarism, not of relying on a discredited book. Sir Paul 02:47, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Of course CommonGround is right, this article is not remotely NPOV. My suggestion is to leave the biased stuff in the F's Accusations sections, since F's fans are never going to allow an accurate presentation. For balance, leave D's response in a separate section, without interleaving F's charges between every sentence. There is no need to expound D's response at great length, since D's case is straightforward: F's "evidence" proves nothing serious, and F has ulterior motives and a history of baseless accusations against Jews.Ragout 05:15, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Strange, above user, how none of these unbiquitous 'F fans' you refer to have made the kind of unfounded claims against D as you have just made against F: 'history of basesless accusations against Jews [yawn]'.... please. Even if F is wrong in all cases his accusations are always sourced and have some sort of base... unlike (as F points out) D's claims . I think your accusation displays some NPOV issues itself.--86.142.165.62 (talk) 22:37, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Finkelstein did say Peters book "discredited", there is no reason for an edit-war.

It's difficult to understand why there is an edit war over Finkelstein calling Peters book "discredited".

This is the exact word that Finkelstein used eg [5].

And the paragraph is intended to be a direct paraphrase of Finkelstein's words - what are people doing changing it? PalestineRemembered 13:09, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

What is "a direct paraphrase" of someone's "words"? When exact words are in dispute, please use exact quotations and proper citations. Paraphrasing controversial and dubious and contested claims using POV is not permissible. --NYScholar 00:31, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Other accusations and replies

Finkelstein has claimed that Dershowitz accused Walt & Mearsheimer of the same thing he was accusing Dershowitz of. I added that in under this section. Could probably be phrased better and maybe moved to an appropriate section.

'Tewfik' removed this, no explanation given, no discussion. Assuming good faith I reinserted the paragraph given that it has immediate relevancy to a section on "Other accusations". Please do follow due process and discuss on talk before removing again.

Cleanup and other tags added

This article is a mess. It needs cleanup throughout with regard to removing POV and adhering to Wikipedia:Neutral point of view and Wikipedia:Reliable sources. Wherever possible, primary sources, not the subject's personal website, should be cited as sources in bonafide notes, with proper format for notes citations. The References section needs total cleaning up, see the embedded editorial notes, and the External links section needs to feature only one reference to the subject's own website. The rest of the items need to be converted to proper bibliographical references in the list prior to External links: last name, first name (linked as possible), using dashes for subsequent sources by same author, title of article or book, publication, date of publication, date of access. I don't have time to convert all these problematic references. The article needs work to be done by other editors.

Vigilance is key. See editorial interpolations in editing mode in the article. --NYScholar 22:21, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any further discussion on this, and since your concerns appear to be more related to article formatting than content, I'm removing the POV tag.--Gloriamarie 23:14, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

The current article structure

This also is not effective. It needs a better organization and a clearer and more neutral presentation of topics within the subject (which one would think from the way that it is edited is Finkelstein; it is not; the subject is the controversy. I think that "affair" is an overused word in Wikipedia articles dealing with such controversies--e.g., "Plame affair". The word appears to be misused. It is a controversy and could easily be called that. This is an encyclopedia article, not a POV advertisement for people relating to its subject. Its editors need to be neutral and to stick to facts, not to repeat everything Finkelstein says as if it were fact. What he says is interpretation, not fact. It is his interpretation. Finkelstein's interpretations of Dershowitz's work are controversial and contested (by both Dershowitz and others). This controversy (mostly about two books--one by Dershowitz and one by Finkelstein responding to Dershowitz) needs to be defined clearly and in neutral terms. This is an article that deals with more than one living person; WP:BLP applies to both Finkelstein and to Dershowitz and to any other living persons mentioned in the article. See the linked guidelines in the tags above and on the article page. --NYScholar 22:21, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Questionable material

The following material needs work or deletion; I've moved it to talk page. It is not neutral point of view. It just repeats Finkelstein's arguments from his own personal website.

<<

Some similarities between Dershowitz's and Peters' references

Here are two similarities between the books as an example. Far more are featured at Norman Finkelstein's webpage on the matter.

Similarity 1

The Case for Israel p. 17, "In the sixteenth century, according to British reports, 'as many as 15,000 Jews' lived in Safad, which was a 'center of rabbinical learning.'" (Source cited: Palestine Royal Commission Report, pp. 11-12.)....
From Time Immemorial p. 178, "Safad at that time, according to the British investigation by Lord Peel's committee, 'contained as many as 15,000 Jews in the 16th century,' and was 'a centre of Rabbinical learning.'" (Source cited: Palestine Royal Commission Report, pp. 11-12.)
Both excerpts are somewhat misleading and commit the same error....

Palestine Royal Commission Report (i.e. the document that both books cite), "Safad, which according to Jewish tradition contained as many as 15,000 Jews in the sixteenth century, became a centre of Rabbinical learning..." [emphasis added] (Occurs on p.11, not pp.11-12 as cited.)....

Similarity 2

The Case for Israel p. 20, "Several years later, the same consul attributed the plight of the Jew in Jerusalem to 'the blind hatred and ignorant prejudice of a fanatical populace,' coupled with an inability of the poverty-stricken Jewish community to defend itself either politically or physically." (Source cited: Wm. T. Young to Viscount Canning, January 13, 1842.)

From Time Immemorial p. 188, "In Palestine, [it] was reported: 'It is a fact that the Jewish Subjects... do not enjoy the privileges granted to them. This Evil may in general be traced...: I. To the absence of an adequate protection whereby they are more exposed to cruel and tyrannical treatment. II. To the blind hatred and ignorant prejudices of a fanatical populace....IV. To the starving state of numerous Jewish population.'" [emphasis in original] (Source cited: Wm. T. Young to Viscount Canning, January 13, 1842.)

>>

All the sources cited need to be checked for notability and reliability and they need conversion to proper citation format as notes. This material read like a regurgitation of Finkelstein. That is not NPOV and one is not supposed to engage in original research either Wikipedia:NOR. This needs better sourcing if it is to be included in the article at all. It was impossible to follow in the original format in the article; see editing history for original material attempted to move here. --NYScholar 22:32, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

While I respect NYScholar's contributions I believe that similarity's between dershowitz's book Peters book need to be included. I feel it is important to show the similarities and I also believe it is intellectually dishonest to delete relevant material. If someone wants to come along and see if he can fix the sources up like NYScholar suggested by all means go ahead. However I think to arbitrarily delete them is wrong. I am now debating this on the talk page so any further attempts to block me from editing now stand as bullying and intimidation.annoynmous 06:01, 5 March (UTC)

In addition to the content angle, such massive amounts of information being inserted in the manner they are is a major stylistic problem that negatively impacts on the ease of reading WP. As an aside, I'm not sure why you think so, but posting to Talk does not mean that you then have free reign to do whatever you wish in the article. TewfikTalk 08:30, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


Excuse Me! Did I go on a mass edit frenzy and delete a bunch of the stuff that NYScholar added NO! Did alter any of his words or contributions NO! All I did was reinclude the section on the similarities between dershowitz and Peters books. This section has been in the article for a long time before NYScholar decided to delete it. I think that was wrong. NYScholar originally said that this section needed to be redone. Sense no one came along to do it I guess he decided to just delete it. I think the section should remain because it contains relevant information.

There's a lot I could have done to this article and I think I've been remarkably restrained under the circumstances. I resent the notion that I somehow radically vandalised and altered the article. All I did was reinclude something I thought was relevant and I got banned for it.annoynmous 10:55, 5 March (UTC)
You got blocked becuase you reverted something 4 times in 24 hours. Please read WP:3RR. After you are done with that, read WP:NOR - which is what you are doing here. The similarities you list appear to be the result of your personal research, which is not allowed. Isarig 15:01, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


This is a flat out lie! This section was in the article long before I ever made any edits to it. Just look at the history section. Jayjg, Isarig is engaging in intimidation tactics because he wants the article his way or no other way. He knows that this isn't my own personal research and that this section was originally deleted by NYScholar. He simply wants to bias this artcle and the one on Kurt Nimmo. Isarig and I have had arguements before and I think it's rather strange that he only took in interest in these two articles when I started contributing to them. I implore you Jayjg remove the blocks on this article and the one on Kurt Nimmo and let me and Isarig work it out on our own.annoynmous 04:16, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
It does not matter who put this in the article first. You have added this material 4 times or more after it had been deleted - which means you reverted 4 times, and broke WP:3RR. There's a reason why I keep encouraging you to read WP:3RR - it is obvious you have not done so, as all of this is clearly explained there. Reading it, and following it, will save you much frustration in your futire editing. Isarig 04:56, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Please, spare me your condescending tone. If anything your the one who should have been banned. I added something and then you reverted it, so why aren't you the one who got banned. It's obvious that because you have friends like Slimvirgin on your side that you were able to shut me out of the debate. Stop hiding behind the rule book and debate me like a person.annoynmous 05:29, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Do I really have to say this again? Read WP:3RR. I reverted your edit (becuase it was WP:OR), but did not break WP:3RR. You did. That's why you were blocked, and I wasn't. It's really not that hard. Go read the damn page already. Isarig 05:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Your the one who reverted me three times, not the other way around. I added something and you deleted it. Why do these rules only apply to me and not you.annoynmous 05:38, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

For the fourth time: READ the damn page already. You will find that "adding" something 4 times is 4 reverts, just like removing something. It is not that hard, and I'll help you with any paragraph you don't understand. But read the page already, this is getting tiresome. Isarig 05:45, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I have read it and it says that reverting another editors edits is violation of this rule, just like you did to me. You just don't like it that I'm throughing you own rules in you face. I may have added something 4 times, but you also deleted something 4 times so why was the decision made to side with you instead of me. I am now discussing my reasons for my edits on the talk page so banning me now seems like a case of bias in favor of you over me.annoynmous 05:51, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

No, I did not revert anything 4 times in 24 hours. Go back and look. No one is out to get you, or to favor me over you. You broke the rule, I did not. Isarig 06:00, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Really! Well it sure looks like it on both February 27 and March 3. It's interesting that you reasoning has now changed from "adding is reverting" to "I didn't within a 24 hour period". By the way there isn't anything in the 3RR rule that says adding is reverting.annoynmous 06:06, 6 March 2007

By the way this section isn't original research. It comes from Finkelsteins own website. Original research implies I did it on my own. A cursory examination would reveal that this section is almost as old as the article itself. Had you bothered to look at the history section you would have know that, but no, you saw my name on the edit sheet and decided anything I did had to be reverted. I get the feeling if I had added a missing "the" to a sentence I would have been reverted.annoynmous 06:42, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Grammar mistakes

Singular possessive nouns ending in 's' still take an apostrophe and 's' after. Thus, the possessive of Joan Peters is "Joan Peters's." The labeling of "Peters's" with a [sic.] is in itself a mistake, as us using the improper form "Peters'". Apostrophes without 's' are, in the case of possessives, used for _plural_ possessives, such as "The boys' books." Consult any standard English grammar authority and you'll find that. Rayamberg 12:02, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Google "Singular possessive nouns" and first up is [6] where you find "3. If a singular proper noun ends in s, add an apostrophe.{e.g.,]Chris' exam scores were higher than any other students". And "Peters's" just looks UGLY to me (and doesn't sound right either). The position in the canon of a "standard English grammar authority" who says otherwise needs to be reconsidered, IMHO. Anyway, provide cites, please, or the [sic]s stay. Andyvphil 03:51, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Both ways are generally deemed acceptable. Example: "Some writers become confused when they must make a possessive of singular nouns that already end in s. As usual, you make the possessive by adding ’s to the word; however, some writers and editors argue that the two s’ are redundant and that therefore you can eliminate the second s, ending up with the s’. That is, they argue that there is really no need to include an s after the apostrophe, since the apostrophe already tells readers that the word is possessive. Others argue that you should drop the final s only on words of several syllables but retain it on short words. Since there is no agreement on this difficult problem, you must make your own choice. However, regardless of which option you choose, do remember to be consistent." [7] smb 18:21, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. As long as I'm not asked to believe Rayamberg that Peters' is wrong, I can live without the (sic)'s (nb the unmentioned but valid extension of the third case at your cite). The implication that Desch is illiterate should be avoided if possible... That extra "s" certainly offends me esthetically, however. There must be statistics on the usage somewhere... Andyvphil 20:16, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't articles like this use the past or perfected tense in the main text-- I'm not talking about the quotes but the main text.--Bwthemoose 01:55, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Noam Chomsky defends Norman Finkelstein

Professor Noam Chomsky defended Norman Finkelstein on the April 17 2007 broadcast of Democracy Now!

New Source to add to "External Links"

http://www.counterpunch.org/menetrez04302007.html —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nizamarain (talkcontribs) 03:45, 3 May 2007 (UTC).

Improper synthesis

I removed a section that is nearly identical to what the section in No Original Research: Synthesis of published material serving to advance a position [WP:SYN] says 'NOT' to do.

Section removed: "If Dershowitz's claim that he always consulted the original sources is false, this would be contrary to the practice recommended in the Chicago Manual of Style as well as Harvard's student writing manual, but neither of these sources calls such presentation "plagiarism."[citation needed]"

What [WP:SYN] says not to do: "If Jones's claim that he consulted the original sources is false, this would be contrary to the practice recommended in the Chicago Manual of Style, which requires citation of the source actually consulted. The Chicago Manual of Style does not call violating this rule "plagiarism." Instead, plagiarism is defined as using a source's information, ideas, words, or structure without citing them."


This entire paragraph is original research, because it expresses the editor's opinion that, given the Chicago Manual of Style's definition of plagiarism, Jones did not commit it. To make the paragraph consistent with this policy, a reliable source is needed that specifically comments on the Smith and Jones dispute and makes the same point about the Chicago Manual of Style and plagiarism. In other words, that precise analysis must have been published by a reliable source in relation to the topic before it can be published in Wikipedia.

A list of mistakes?

I think it would be appropriate to add a list of mistakes Finkelstein alleges Dershowitz has made in his book, if such list exists. Currently it is quite difficult to find out what the dispute is really about. Perhaps Finkelstein made a such list himself? -- Heptor talk 21:13, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Professor Stockton

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/24/1730205

I can't find any reference to the Professor nor his work in the text of the debate, nor did I hear any reference to it or him while watching the video of the discussion. Is the supposed citation of his work in the broadcast erroneous, or did I simply somehow miss the reference?

Chronology

This is a relatively minor question, but does anyone know the chronology of the debate itself? I am confused by what the videos show (since I didn't hear it when it was originally aired); in Part II of the video, Amy Goodman thanks the guests for coming on for a "second day", but in Part I she says that she is going to ask the next guest to wait because she thinks Finkelstein and Dershowitz are more important--implying that she is just extending the show. Also, in the second part both guests are wearing the same clothes, which seems odd if they bothered to come on the show then next day. I'm probably missing something. 71.76.134.116 18:37, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

dersh's involvement in finkelstein's tenure

this section in the article is currently written out of chronological order and is confusing. dershowitz's letter to depaul faculty was written (according to his harvard crimson interview) in september of 2006, while the tenure decisions took place between april and july of 2007. any opposition to rearranging the two paragraphs for continuity? Potashnik 03:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I think it's less confusing to keep the tenure process in one paragraph and Dershpwitz' involvement in another rather than attempt a chronological interleave. But I've added dates to the latter paragraph in an attempt to address your concerns. Andyvphil 10:07, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

thanks, andy, this version is a lot less confusing. i still have concerns, though, that this section on dershowitz's involvement in finkelstein's tenure denial treats his actual involvement (i.e. his letter to depaul) as an afterthought. that is to say, while the harvard crimson article uses the phrase "lobbying" to describe his efforts in sept. 2006, this article first describes his tenure process, then briefly explains the fact the dersh sent his "dossier of Norman Finkelstein’s most egregious academic sins," then says it was unwelcome. to me, that arrangement of facts doesn't make sense.

if, as the harvard crimson claimed, dershowitz was lobbying against finkelstein's tenure, i believe this should noted briefly at the outset of this section. here's the harvard crimson article, if you'd like to take a look: http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=518002Potashnik 19:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

What you really want to look at is http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=519265, which contains Finkelstein's allegation that Dershowitz was sending two to three e-mails a day to members of Finkelstein's department and the statement that "Dershowitz said that his only interactions with those involved in the DePaul tenure litigations(sic) came in a [requested] September e-mail to the former chair of Finkelstein’s department." (BTW, Dershowitz is mostly unapologetic, so I'd like something more than the Crimson's paraphrase to decide he actually made that denial.)
I take your point on structure and if I were to attempt a rewrite would begin with Holtschneider's affirmation of the Board decision, his denial of outside influence and Finkelstein's allegation of Dershowitz lobbying. I think. But the bureaucratic history of the denial is complex and I don't want make it unclear... I agree that there is missing information though, so have a go at it... Andyvphil 22:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Plagiarism

The first sentence of this article claims that Finkelstein has accused Dershowitz of plagiarism. Although this seems like a reasonable claim, I have not actually seen a citation where Finkelstein makes this serious charge. Can somebody point me to where Finkelstein says this?

"In fact Mr. Dershowitz has concocted a fraud which amazingly in large parts, he plagiarized from another fraud." [8]. Cadr 09:56, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! With your tip, I found the quote in the first sentence: [9] I think it's important to note that Finkelstein has never made this charge in print (as far as I'm aware), and now seems to have backed off. He now asks (rather than states) "Is this scandalous scholarship, or is it plagiarism, or is it both?" [10] Ragout 10:18, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Sure, but he's only backed off because of the threat of libel. He's called it plaigerism in lots of articles online.
I'm sure you're right that it's the threat of libel that's caused him to back off. Of course, the article should point this out.
I'm not so sure what we should say about the allegation that Dershowitz didn't write the book. That's another area where it's not clear whether Finkelstein's views have changed (after the appearence of the handwritten manuscript) and whether he originally made the accusation seriously or rhetorically. Cadr 10:21, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
If you think Finkelstein makes such strong accusations unseriously, the article should certainly point this out. Perhaps the plagiarism accusation is also unserious. Really, though, I find your accusation hard to believe. What is your evidence that Finkelstein's ghostwriting charge was not serious? Ragout 10:42, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

First, regarding the ongoing edits, I'm happy with your new paragraph after thinking about it again. The only thing I'd like to do is to get a proper cite from the Chicago Manual of Style. Does it really advocate citing primary sources exclusively, even when you have only read them via secondary sources?

Ragout 17:06, 29 March 2006 (UTC) My understanding is: cite the primary source if you go look it up, otherwise cite the secondary source. My source on the Chicago Manual of style is here A better quote is from "Writing with Sources." Apparently, Finkelstein relies on the definition of plagiarism from there. Writing with Sources says:
QUOTING OR CITING A PASSAGE YOU FOUND QUOTED OR CITED BY ANOTHER SCHOLAR: when you haven’t actually read the original source, cite the passage as “quoted in” or “cited in” that scholar—both to credit that person for finding the quoted passage or cited text, and to protect yourself in case he or she has misquoted or misrepresented (see “Indirect Source” pages 48–9). Always read for yourself any source that’s important to your argument, rather than relying on an abstract or a summary in another source.

I always got the impression that Finkelstein was never intending to make a serious claim about Dershowitz's not authoring the book, in the sense that he wasn't intending to provide any direct evidence for it. It was presumably just his opinion based on the quality of the book, etc. But I think that's a bit vague to go in the article. I tried to qualify it a bit by adding in the "almost certainly" quotation. Cadr 10:50, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Citations.

A recent statistical study [2] has found that about 80% of citations in academic literature are not derived from the originals, but copied from secondary sources. However, the authors of the study do not endorse or defend this practice.

The link given is discussing only scientific papers, not historical ones. I would be quite astonished if 80% of citations in historical works were actually cribbed from secondary sources. john k 17:08, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Is citing sources without reading them "extremely widespread" in academia?

(Note: this issue also applies to Talk:Norman Finkelstein). The main (but not only) point of debate at the moment is about two links that user:Ragout wants to include. They supposedly support the claim he wants to include in the article that citing sources without reading them "is extremely widespread in academia" and, by implication, academic historical writing which is what this discussion is really about.

The first link, [11] is an anonymous web page with uncited information itself. However, from following the links, the claim refers to a single study of citations of a single scientific paper from 1974, not a historical paper.

The second link is subscription-only and should be removed for that reason alone. Ragout has changed it to a non-subscription version in Norman Finkelstein, but it is clear the study only applies to anatomical writing and the actual rate of citation without reading is fairly low (27%) which is not consistent with "extremely widespread".

I not only believe these links are inadequate sources to claim that citing sources without reading them "is extremely widespread in academia" but to use studies like this to make a sweeping claim about academia, a statement which is not in either paper, is an egregious violation of the "no original research" policy. If such practices are "extremely widespread" User:ragout should have no problem finding many reputable sources that say so explicitly. Deuterium 08:34, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Work required to reach NPOV

I found this article by responding to the RFC; however, I think there is a larger NPOV problem with the article. Overall, the article does not present both sides of the argument in a balanced and an unbiased fashion. The article largely expounds on the accusation of one side, with short explanation of the reaction of the other side, creating an appearance of favoring the accusing side.

I would suggest the following improvements: 1. Summarizing the accusations and expanding the rebuttals could help the article to appear to be more balanced. 2. The intro section currently dives into too much detail too quickly. It could be beneficial to describe the overall conflict, and dive into the details in later portions of the article. 3. It appears that most of the controversy is over the citations, and not about the book itself. It also appears that the accusing side is not saying that the citations are incorrect either, but rather that they were copied from another book. This is an important distinction, and if so, should be explained to the reader to properly introduce the nature of the debate. Currently, the introductory paragraph does not do that.

--CommonGround 19:34, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

That Peters's book is incorrect is generally assumed - it was widely debunked and has few remaining defenders. So if Dershowitz copied them from Peters it goes fairly far towards debunking them. john k 04:35, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
If this were so, the case against D. could be stated very briefly, don't you think?
No, because Finkelstein is accusing Dershowitz of plagiarism, not of relying on a discredited book. Sir Paul 02:47, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Of course CommonGround is right, this article is not remotely NPOV. My suggestion is to leave the biased stuff in the F's Accusations sections, since F's fans are never going to allow an accurate presentation. For balance, leave D's response in a separate section, without interleaving F's charges between every sentence. There is no need to expound D's response at great length, since D's case is straightforward: F's "evidence" proves nothing serious, and F has ulterior motives and a history of baseless accusations against Jews.Ragout 05:15, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Strange, above user, how none of these unbiquitous 'F fans' you refer to have made the kind of unfounded claims against D as you have just made against F: 'history of basesless accusations against Jews [yawn]'.... please. Even if F is wrong in all cases his accusations are always sourced and have some sort of base... unlike (as F points out) D's claims . I think your accusation displays some NPOV issues itself.--86.142.165.62 (talk) 22:37, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Finkelstein did say Peters book "discredited", there is no reason for an edit-war.

It's difficult to understand why there is an edit war over Finkelstein calling Peters book "discredited".

This is the exact word that Finkelstein used eg [12].

And the paragraph is intended to be a direct paraphrase of Finkelstein's words - what are people doing changing it? PalestineRemembered 13:09, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

What is "a direct paraphrase" of someone's "words"? When exact words are in dispute, please use exact quotations and proper citations. Paraphrasing controversial and dubious and contested claims using POV is not permissible. --NYScholar 00:31, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup and other tags added

This article is a mess. It needs cleanup throughout with regard to removing POV and adhering to Wikipedia:Neutral point of view and Wikipedia:Reliable sources. Wherever possible, primary sources, not the subject's personal website, should be cited as sources in bonafide notes, with proper format for notes citations. The References section needs total cleaning up, see the embedded editorial notes, and the External links section needs to feature only one reference to the subject's own website. The rest of the items need to be converted to proper bibliographical references in the list prior to External links: last name, first name (linked as possible), using dashes for subsequent sources by same author, title of article or book, publication, date of publication, date of access. I don't have time to convert all these problematic references. The article needs work to be done by other editors.

Vigilance is key. See editorial interpolations in editing mode in the article. --NYScholar 22:21, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any further discussion on this, and since your concerns appear to be more related to article formatting than content, I'm removing the POV tag.--Gloriamarie 23:14, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

The current article structure

This also is not effective. It needs a better organization and a clearer and more neutral presentation of topics within the subject (which one would think from the way that it is edited is Finkelstein; it is not; the subject is the controversy. I think that "affair" is an overused word in Wikipedia articles dealing with such controversies--e.g., "Plame affair". The word appears to be misused. It is a controversy and could easily be called that. This is an encyclopedia article, not a POV advertisement for people relating to its subject. Its editors need to be neutral and to stick to facts, not to repeat everything Finkelstein says as if it were fact. What he says is interpretation, not fact. It is his interpretation. Finkelstein's interpretations of Dershowitz's work are controversial and contested (by both Dershowitz and others). This controversy (mostly about two books--one by Dershowitz and one by Finkelstein responding to Dershowitz) needs to be defined clearly and in neutral terms. This is an article that deals with more than one living person; WP:BLP applies to both Finkelstein and to Dershowitz and to any other living persons mentioned in the article. See the linked guidelines in the tags above and on the article page. --NYScholar 22:21, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Some similarities between Dershowitz's and Peters' references

Here are two similarities between the books as an example. Far more are featured at Norman Finkelstein's webpage on the matter.

Similarity 1

The Case for Israel p. 17, "In the sixteenth century, according to British reports, 'as many as 15,000 Jews' lived in Safad, which was a 'center of rabbinical learning.'" (Source cited: Palestine Royal Commission Report, pp. 11-12.)....
From Time Immemorial p. 178, "Safad at that time, according to the British investigation by Lord Peel's committee, 'contained as many as 15,000 Jews in the 16th century,' and was 'a centre of Rabbinical learning.'" (Source cited: Palestine Royal Commission Report, pp. 11-12.)
Both excerpts are somewhat misleading and commit the same error....

Palestine Royal Commission Report (i.e. the document that both books cite), "Safad, which according to Jewish tradition contained as many as 15,000 Jews in the sixteenth century, became a centre of Rabbinical learning..." [emphasis added] (Occurs on p.11, not pp.11-12 as cited.)....

Similarity 2

The Case for Israel p. 20, "Several years later, the same consul attributed the plight of the Jew in Jerusalem to 'the blind hatred and ignorant prejudice of a fanatical populace,' coupled with an inability of the poverty-stricken Jewish community to defend itself either politically or physically." (Source cited: Wm. T. Young to Viscount Canning, January 13, 1842.)

From Time Immemorial p. 188, "In Palestine, [it] was reported: 'It is a fact that the Jewish Subjects... do not enjoy the privileges granted to them. This Evil may in general be traced...: I. To the absence of an adequate protection whereby they are more exposed to cruel and tyrannical treatment. II. To the blind hatred and ignorant prejudices of a fanatical populace....IV. To the starving state of numerous Jewish population.'" [emphasis in original] (Source cited: Wm. T. Young to Viscount Canning, January 13, 1842.)

>>

All the sources cited need to be checked for notability and reliability and they need conversion to proper citation format as notes. This material read like a regurgitation of Finkelstein. That is not NPOV and one is not supposed to engage in original research either Wikipedia:NOR. This needs better sourcing if it is to be included in the article at all. It was impossible to follow in the original format in the article; see editing history for original material attempted to move here. --NYScholar 22:32, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

While I respect NYScholar's contributions I believe that similarity's between dershowitz's book Peters book need to be included. I feel it is important to show the similarities and I also believe it is intellectually dishonest to delete relevant material. If someone wants to come along and see if he can fix the sources up like NYScholar suggested by all means go ahead. However I think to arbitrarily delete them is wrong. I am now debating this on the talk page so any further attempts to block me from editing now stand as bullying and intimidation.annoynmous 06:01, 5 March (UTC)

In addition to the content angle, such massive amounts of information being inserted in the manner they are is a major stylistic problem that negatively impacts on the ease of reading WP. As an aside, I'm not sure why you think so, but posting to Talk does not mean that you then have free reign to do whatever you wish in the article. TewfikTalk 08:30, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


Excuse Me! Did I go on a mass edit frenzy and delete a bunch of the stuff that NYScholar added NO! Did alter any of his words or contributions NO! All I did was reinclude the section on the similarities between dershowitz and Peters books. This section has been in the article for a long time before NYScholar decided to delete it. I think that was wrong. NYScholar originally said that this section needed to be redone. Sense no one came along to do it I guess he decided to just delete it. I think the section should remain because it contains relevant information.

There's a lot I could have done to this article and I think I've been remarkably restrained under the circumstances. I resent the notion that I somehow radically vandalised and altered the article. All I did was reinclude something I thought was relevant and I got banned for it.annoynmous 10:55, 5 March (UTC)
You got blocked becuase you reverted something 4 times in 24 hours. Please read WP:3RR. After you are done with that, read WP:NOR - which is what you are doing here. The similarities you list appear to be the result of your personal research, which is not allowed. Isarig 15:01, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


This is a flat out lie! This section was in the article long before I ever made any edits to it. Just look at the history section. Jayjg, Isarig is engaging in intimidation tactics because he wants the article his way or no other way. He knows that this isn't my own personal research and that this section was originally deleted by NYScholar. He simply wants to bias this artcle and the one on Kurt Nimmo. Isarig and I have had arguements before and I think it's rather strange that he only took in interest in these two articles when I started contributing to them. I implore you Jayjg remove the blocks on this article and the one on Kurt Nimmo and let me and Isarig work it out on our own.annoynmous 04:16, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
It does not matter who put this in the article first. You have added this material 4 times or more after it had been deleted - which means you reverted 4 times, and broke WP:3RR. There's a reason why I keep encouraging you to read WP:3RR - it is obvious you have not done so, as all of this is clearly explained there. Reading it, and following it, will save you much frustration in your futire editing. Isarig 04:56, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Please, spare me your condescending tone. If anything your the one who should have been banned. I added something and then you reverted it, so why aren't you the one who got banned. It's obvious that because you have friends like Slimvirgin on your side that you were able to shut me out of the debate. Stop hiding behind the rule book and debate me like a person.annoynmous 05:29, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Do I really have to say this again? Read WP:3RR. I reverted your edit (becuase it was WP:OR), but did not break WP:3RR. You did. That's why you were blocked, and I wasn't. It's really not that hard. Go read the damn page already. Isarig 05:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Your the one who reverted me three times, not the other way around. I added something and you deleted it. Why do these rules only apply to me and not you.annoynmous 05:38, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

For the fourth time: READ the damn page already. You will find that "adding" something 4 times is 4 reverts, just like removing something. It is not that hard, and I'll help you with any paragraph you don't understand. But read the page already, this is getting tiresome. Isarig 05:45, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I have read it and it says that reverting another editors edits is violation of this rule, just like you did to me. You just don't like it that I'm throughing you own rules in you face. I may have added something 4 times, but you also deleted something 4 times so why was the decision made to side with you instead of me. I am now discussing my reasons for my edits on the talk page so banning me now seems like a case of bias in favor of you over me.annoynmous 05:51, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

No, I did not revert anything 4 times in 24 hours. Go back and look. No one is out to get you, or to favor me over you. You broke the rule, I did not. Isarig 06:00, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Really! Well it sure looks like it on both February 27 and March 3. It's interesting that you reasoning has now changed from "adding is reverting" to "I didn't within a 24 hour period". By the way there isn't anything in the 3RR rule that says adding is reverting.annoynmous 06:06, 6 March 2007

By the way this section isn't original research. It comes from Finkelsteins own website. Original research implies I did it on my own. A cursory examination would reveal that this section is almost as old as the article itself. Had you bothered to look at the history section you would have know that, but no, you saw my name on the edit sheet and decided anything I did had to be reverted. I get the feeling if I had added a missing "the" to a sentence I would have been reverted.annoynmous 06:42, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Grammar mistakes

Singular possessive nouns ending in 's' still take an apostrophe and 's' after. Thus, the possessive of Joan Peters is "Joan Peters's." The labeling of "Peters's" with a [sic.] is in itself a mistake, as us using the improper form "Peters'". Apostrophes without 's' are, in the case of possessives, used for _plural_ possessives, such as "The boys' books." Consult any standard English grammar authority and you'll find that. Rayamberg 12:02, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Google "Singular possessive nouns" and first up is [13] where you find "3. If a singular proper noun ends in s, add an apostrophe.{e.g.,]Chris' exam scores were higher than any other students". And "Peters's" just looks UGLY to me (and doesn't sound right either). The position in the canon of a "standard English grammar authority" who says otherwise needs to be reconsidered, IMHO. Anyway, provide cites, please, or the [sic]s stay. Andyvphil 03:51, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Both ways are generally deemed acceptable. Example: "Some writers become confused when they must make a possessive of singular nouns that already end in s. As usual, you make the possessive by adding ’s to the word; however, some writers and editors argue that the two s’ are redundant and that therefore you can eliminate the second s, ending up with the s’. That is, they argue that there is really no need to include an s after the apostrophe, since the apostrophe already tells readers that the word is possessive. Others argue that you should drop the final s only on words of several syllables but retain it on short words. Since there is no agreement on this difficult problem, you must make your own choice. However, regardless of which option you choose, do remember to be consistent." [14] smb 18:21, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. As long as I'm not asked to believe Rayamberg that Peters' is wrong, I can live without the (sic)'s (nb the unmentioned but valid extension of the third case at your cite). The implication that Desch is illiterate should be avoided if possible... That extra "s" certainly offends me esthetically, however. There must be statistics on the usage somewhere... Andyvphil 20:16, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't articles like this use the past or perfected tense in the main text-- I'm not talking about the quotes but the main text.--Bwthemoose 01:55, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

New Source to add to "External Links"

http://www.counterpunch.org/menetrez04302007.html —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nizamarain (talkcontribs) 03:45, 3 May 2007 (UTC).

Chronology

This is a relatively minor question, but does anyone know the chronology of the debate itself? I am confused by what the videos show (since I didn't hear it when it was originally aired); in Part II of the video, Amy Goodman thanks the guests for coming on for a "second day", but in Part I she says that she is going to ask the next guest to wait because she thinks Finkelstein and Dershowitz are more important--implying that she is just extending the show. Also, in the second part both guests are wearing the same clothes, which seems odd if they bothered to come on the show then next day. I'm probably missing something. 71.76.134.116 18:37, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

dersh's involvement in finkelstein's tenure

this section in the article is currently written out of chronological order and is confusing. dershowitz's letter to depaul faculty was written (according to his harvard crimson interview) in september of 2006, while the tenure decisions took place between april and july of 2007. any opposition to rearranging the two paragraphs for continuity? Potashnik 03:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I think it's less confusing to keep the tenure process in one paragraph and Dershpwitz' involvement in another rather than attempt a chronological interleave. But I've added dates to the latter paragraph in an attempt to address your concerns. Andyvphil 10:07, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

thanks, andy, this version is a lot less confusing. i still have concerns, though, that this section on dershowitz's involvement in finkelstein's tenure denial treats his actual involvement (i.e. his letter to depaul) as an afterthought. that is to say, while the harvard crimson article uses the phrase "lobbying" to describe his efforts in sept. 2006, this article first describes his tenure process, then briefly explains the fact the dersh sent his "dossier of Norman Finkelstein’s most egregious academic sins," then says it was unwelcome. to me, that arrangement of facts doesn't make sense.

if, as the harvard crimson claimed, dershowitz was lobbying against finkelstein's tenure, i believe this should noted briefly at the outset of this section. here's the harvard crimson article, if you'd like to take a look: http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=518002Potashnik 19:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

What you really want to look at is http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=519265, which contains Finkelstein's allegation that Dershowitz was sending two to three e-mails a day to members of Finkelstein's department and the statement that "Dershowitz said that his only interactions with those involved in the DePaul tenure litigations(sic) came in a [requested] September e-mail to the former chair of Finkelstein’s department." (BTW, Dershowitz is mostly unapologetic, so I'd like something more than the Crimson's paraphrase to decide he actually made that denial.)
I take your point on structure and if I were to attempt a rewrite would begin with Holtschneider's affirmation of the Board decision, his denial of outside influence and Finkelstein's allegation of Dershowitz lobbying. I think. But the bureaucratic history of the denial is complex and I don't want make it unclear... I agree that there is missing information though, so have a go at it... Andyvphil 22:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Missing material?

The article mentions nothing of Dershowitz's list of proof for Finkelstein's dishonesty apart from the fact that he made one.
For example a very good claim that should be included is where Dershowitz says: "Finkelstein claims (in Beyond Chutzpah) that in The Case for Israel I never once, I mean literally, not once, mention any mainstream human rights organization. Never a mention of Amnesty's findings, never a mention of Human Rights Watch's findings, never a mention of B'Tselem's findings, none. But a simple check of the index reveals that I repeatedly discuss and criticize the findings of these very organizations."
What Finkelstein actually wrote in Beyond Chutzpah (pp. 92) was: "The most fundamental and telling fact about the chapters of The Case for Israel devoted to human rights issues is that never once does Dershowitz cite a single mainstream human rights organization to support any of his claims." a statement that is undeniably true.
There are a few similar instances where Dershowitz misquotes to prove his case. I was pretty much neutral on the dispute until I looked past the plagiarism. As mentioned in the article Finkelstein himself has always said the plagiarism was of little importance (in fact it is barely mentioned in his book) as the false claims in 'The Case for Israel" are the main issue yet the article concentrates almost solely on the plagiarism which is POV as, if you ignore the plagiarism, Dershowitz relies on ad hominem arguments to support his book and seems to have been unable to prove a single false statement in Finkelstein's. Wayne 20:18, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

There is no mention of plagiarism in the book partly because Finklestein had to remove it. If you can cite a list of problems Finklestein has with the book, include it, otherwise it's original research. Bartleby 08:54, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Support for Dershowitz

Here is the paragraph in question, unaltered, from The American Conservative:

In the wake of a number of similar complaints against Dershowitz and two of his Harvard Law School colleagues, Laurence Tribe and Charles Ogletree, former Harvard President Derek Bok conducted an investigation-the details of which were not made public-that predictably vindicated Dershowitz.

Here is what I removed:

As Desch acknowledges in his book review of Beyond Chutzpah, "In the wake of a number of similar complaints against Dershowitz and two of his Harvard Law School colleagues Laurence Tribe and Charles Ogletree, former Harvard President Derek Bok conducted an investigation—the details of which were not made public—that...vindicated Dershowitz" (32, col. 3).[1]

At best, the text I removed was added by an author who misunderstood the article and did not understand the importance of the word "predictably", which was elided in the paragraph in question. In case it is just a misunderstanding, let me make it clear that the word "predictably" is of utmost importance. One must infer that the author places little confidence in the investigation and the conclusion reached. 70.58.99.239 03:05, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Desch is an author who sides with Finkelstein, so using his article in the "Support for Dershowitz" section is problematic to begin with. Secondly, the "predictably" only reveals his own suspicions or feelings about the investigation. The point of quoting him there is presumably to reveal that an investigation took place that vindicated Dershowitz, not Desch's opinion of the investigation. Bartleby 07:31, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Allegedly similar

My understanding is that somethings are either similar or they are not. There are undisputed similarities between the texts (and references), whether these similarities are coincidence or not is what is being disputed. I am unaware of any reasons to include alleged in 'alleged similarities'. Delad (talk) 07:44, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Technically, 'alleged' functions to confirm policy on WP:NPOV, practically it functions to insinuate that the case is not proven (in court or elsewhere). Menetrez's examination of the evidence is thorough, and one would think few scholars would doubt that, by any norms of textual analysis, Dershowitz did get his quotes from Peters' text, for there is no other way of explaining the minute similarities. Menetrez has therefore 'proven' Finkelstein's case. It was not an 'allegation' (unproven assertion) except in a very loose use of the term (not proven in court) originally, since Finkelstein gave concrete evidence that has now been substantiated in great detail by secondary peer review, and Dershowitz, in his reply to Menetrez, made no effort, unusually for a brilliant defence lawyer, to pull Menetrez's evidence apart. If 'allege' is continually used, even at this point, its function is to assert that Menetrez's analysis is nothing more than a series of 'unproven assertions', which is untrue. To avoid these innuendos and complications I have suggested therefore that the heading read 'evidence given'. Eventually, if Finkelstein and menetrez's analyses are answered by Dershowitz and his allies, we shall insert these arguments in coprresponding order into the section.Nishidani (talk) 08:47, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Nishidani, that clears it up for me. Delad (talk) 14:32, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

A list of mistakes?

I think it would be appropriate to add a list of mistakes Finkelstein alleges Dershowitz has made in his book, if such list exists. Currently it is quite difficult to find out what the dispute is really about. Perhaps Finkelstein made a such list himself? -- Heptor talk 21:13, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

The list could at least begin with the D error mentioned by F during the "Democracy Now" $10,000 challenge debate. That is, D's erroneous citation of Benny Morris as having written that 2,000 to 3,000 Palestinians had fled their homes in the April to June 1948 period, when actually it was 200,000 to 300,000.98.18.115.133 (talk) 17:57, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

A good template?

I made quite a few edits in order to make this article more readable, but it's still rather jumbled and confusing. I was trying to find another article that might serve as a good template and I came across Pál Schmitt academic misconduct controversy. I think that it's a little long, but is rather well organized and might serve as a model for this article. Capscap (talk) 17:59, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

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External links modified

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  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Desch was invoked but never defined (see the help page).