Talk:Gaza War/Archive 22

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Archive 15 Archive 20 Archive 21 Archive 22 Archive 23 Archive 24 Archive 25

This is the former lead discussion page. Lead discussions will now continue at the ordinary talk page. Reasons:

  • The huge size/high traffic during the conflict making the split necessary will be reduced as the conflict is over.
  • Lead discussions happened here as well as on the ordinary talk page (forking)
  • No unsolved issues left on this page.

Skäpperöd (talk) 15:42, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

[THIS] is hardly suggestive that there are "No unsolved issues left on this page". In fact the existence of an ongoing NPOV Dispute is emphasized at the above link just prior to the archiving edits. Please restore this page to so that the disruption can be mitigated. Doright (talk) 00:47, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Closed as per WP:TALK: no value in discussion to add to article

Hello everyone. I created this page so that we can discuss the lead, and how to best improve it.VR talk 21:06, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Intro once again

This is how it stands now, I find it long, but otherwise pretty good. And it covers all the stuff including the cease-fire. Can we discuss it as we should be doing? --Cerejota (talk) 05:56, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict is an ongoing conflict, part of the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict, between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas as well as other smaller Palestinian militias, which began at Gaza in 27 December 2008 with a series of air strikes, called by Israel Operation Cast Lead (Hebrew: מבצע עופרת יצוקה‎‎, Mivtza Oferet Yetzuka) following an end to a six-month temporary lull in hostilities between the Hamas-led de facto government of Gaza and Israel, which ended on 19 December 2008. Israel sustains it started the operation following a major increase in Hamas rocket attacks into Israel, culminating with 80 rockets on Christmas Eve, they also contend that the attacks are being undertaken in order to destroy Hamas' capability and motivation to launch future similar attacks on Israel. Hamas blamed Israel for the end of the temporary lull, saying it had not respected its terms, including the lifting of the Gaza Strip blockade. By the first evening, Israeli Air Force fighter-bomber aircraft had deployed approximately 100 tonnes (110 short tons) of explosives. Israel bombed roughly 100 Hamas-operated security installations (including police stations, prisons, and command centers) in four minutes during the first wave of the strike.[1][2] Israel also hit Hamas-operated security installations in all of Gaza's main towns, including Gaza City and Beit Hanoun in the north and Khan Younis and Rafah in the south.[3][4][5][6][7][8] This conflict is the deadliest conflict since Hamas established political control of Gaza in early 2006.[9][10][11] [4].[12][13]

At least 225 people were killed on the first day of the Israeli attack, making this the single highest casualty day in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.[14] Later strikes resulted in casualties as well, with the total Palestinian toll having risen to 507 by Sunday 4 January 2009.[15] The attacks have also hit civilian infrastructure, including mosques and housing, with a great number of civilian casualties reported. Israel asserts many of these hid weapons and personnel, and that it is not targetting civilians.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

The Israeli Navy has shelled targets in Gaza, instituting at the same time a naval blockade of Gaza, which has resulted in one naval incident with a civilian boat.[23][24][25][26]

Hamas had decreased the amount of rocket and mortar attacks during the cease-fire period, and has renewed them, increasing the distance of attacks to as far away as 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Gaza border, hitting civilian communities like Beersheba and Ashdod. These attacks have resulted in civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure, including a school.[27][28][29][30]

The IDF started massing infantry and armor units near the Gaza border and engaged in an active blockade of Gaza.[31] On 3 January 2009, a ground invasion began, with mechanised infantry, armor, and artillery units, supported by armed helicopters, entering Gaza.[32][33]

Both Israel and Hamas are under pressure for a humanitarian truce, while Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Hamas' Damascus-based political leader, Khaled Meshal, had changed his earlier calls for ending the lull and started calling for a truce.[34][35][36] Israel has said its military action could last weeks, while Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak stated that this will be a "war to the bitter end." Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip have also dismissed the idea of a cease-fire.[34][35][37]

International reactions to the conflict have either condemned the Israeli operation, or Hamas' attacks, or both. Many countries and organisations have called for an immediate ceasefire and have expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip[38][39]. Israel maintains that a humanitarian cease-fire is not necessary at this point.[40][41]


Hi, I think maybe this bit could be taken out....I better elaborate on that a bit. Reasons = many -> it's the kind of statement that is problematic and causing instability in the lead e.g. 95% accuracy vs 25% civilian casualities probably has implications for many people who then feel obliged to mess up the lead, it's perhaps a bit of a military-geek focused statement, they are dropping big bombs which in seems are taking out much more than the target (as highlighted by the UNHRC), if I were living in Gaza I might understandably find the statement a bit bizarre and misleading etc etc. You get the idea.
with an estimated 95 percent reaching their intended targets, according to IAF sources. Sean.hoyland - talk 06:20, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
(1)I agree. Not only is this is a "military geek" statement, claims of accuracy made by the IAF have been seriously questioned See [here] and in the absence of independent verification, these claims should not be taken at face value. (2) The references that support this claim dont actually mention a 95% figure. In fact one of the references mentions "alpha hits" supposed to mean direct hits. (3) This line has been discussed since yesterday and in the absence of proper referencing and a coherent justification, I think it should be removed. I'll do that now. If you would like to reinstate it, please discuss here. Jacob2718 (talk) 06:41, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
This 95% accuracy is criticized on a BBC article here. --Darwish07 (talk) 06:53, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I realized now that the reference to the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict was taken out. I am restoring. This very key contextual stuff that definitely belongs in a lead. (btw, as per above, I don't feel strongly either way, thats is stuff that belongs in the article, not the intro, but since it has survived I left it). Thanks!--Cerejota (talk) 06:50, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
If the Hamas attacks on the Israeli school is to be mentioned in the introduction (a sad accident ofcourse), then it should be also mentioned that Israel attacked schools, infrastructure, the Islamic university, government buildings, mosques, and civil police stations. [42] .--Darwish07 (talk) 06:53, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I think we need to edit "Israel sustains it started the operation following a major increase in Hamas rocket attacks into Israel". The use of the word "sustains" implies we are somehow casting doubt on the causality. "Israel started the operation following a major increase in Hamas rocket attacks into Israel" is a factually correct statement and "sustains" just makes it look like some sort of fudge. -- Noung (talk) 11:26, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Another thing: Hamas did not really "establish political control of Gaza in early 2006", because they were not allowed to. The establishment of control implies de facto as well as de jure authority, and Fatah and Israel frustrated their attempts to govern to the extent that they could not establish control fully until they did so forcefully in the 2007 Battle of Gaza. I am going to change this to read "since Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election in 2006". -- Noung (talk) 11:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
If it is a "sad accident" that Hamas sent over rockets that landed on a school, why is it not a "sad accident" that Israel actually hits her target?Tundrabuggy (talk) 17:46, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
There must be a mentioning of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. I suggest putting the UN statement "a human dignity crisis in the Gaza strip, entailing a massive destruction of livelihoods and a significant deterioration of infrastructure and basic services". [42] This would sum up this important situation pretty well. --Darwish07 (talk) 06:53, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I would be interested in knowing just exactly what the livelihoods of the militant Hamas consisted of? What has Hamas done to create or improve "infrastructure and basic services? Tundrabuggy (talk) 17:46, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
And how is your question related to my query of adding the humanitarian crisis of Gaza to the introduction? --Darwish07 (talk) 18:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Why saying that Hamas attacks made civilian causalities and then no mention of Palestinian civilian causalities exist? What about the 62 women and children reported by the UN? --Darwish07 (talk) 06:59, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Of course there is plenty of mention of Palestinian "civilian" casualties all over this article. In fact, it hardly talks about anything else. Tundrabuggy (talk) 17:46, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Your statement did not give a reason why the Palestinian causalities should be omitted while the Israeli ones are mentioned in the introduction. --Darwish07 (talk) 18:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Why not acknowledging that in all Arab media, it's called the Black Gaza Massacre? Isn't the Arab opinions half the equation as supposed to be? --Darwish07 (talk) 07:05, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
In fact there has not been a decent reference WP:RSto that effect as of yet. Tundrabuggy (talk) 17:47, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think there is perhaps a unconcious tendency amongst many editors to be shy of including things like 'The whatever Massacre' because they consider it 'emotive' etc and then simply accepting sanitised terms like 'Operation whatever' without appreciating that those sanitised US network-friendly terms are just as emotive to many people. It is an important point that the article mustn't unconciously and thoughtlessly adopt the language of one of the belligerents. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:00, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Darwish07, if it's widely called "Black Gaza Massacre" in Arab media please provide some links to reliable sources and we can include that information in the article for certain. RomaC (talk) 11:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I have Arabic references mentioning the incident as "Gazza massacre" all over the place including Aljazeera, Al Arabiya and BBC Arabic, can those be combined to one reference? --Darwish07 (talk) 18:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I think so, bring on the links and we'll have a look. RomaC (talk) 02:21, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Some Arabic references:
--Darwish07 (talk) 06:27, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I've archived the above entries just in case of some URL changes occurrence. They are, by order:
Thank you. --Darwish07 (talk) 04:02, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Please see new "Gaza Massacre" talk section below. RomaC (talk) 02:07, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Can youse guys stop the 2008-2009 Palestinian Lovefest :D a second, and read this:

Hows it does?--Cerejota (talk) 08:40, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

That's a fairer sentence. Now how about adding something about the thousands of Arabic phone calls made by Israel warning people that if they were living where weapons were stored that they should go somewhere else? Under the Geneva Conventions the presence of protected peoples in ammo dumps, or other military installations (targets) does not need to deter a military op. Tundrabuggy (talk) 17:52, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
"Now how about adding" the UN reports that mention that the extreme increase of leaflets have multiplied the fear and panic of Gazans and people are with no shelter anyway cause of the density of the Gaza strip? --Darwish07 (talk) 19:08, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Ooh, a bit of fresh air in comparison. Past introduction made the Pope more sinful than Israel. (no offense) Thanks for your efforts Cerejota, you're working really hard on all those stuff --Darwish07 (talk) 09:08, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
That's good Cerejota. You're doing fine work under difficult circumstances. Sean.hoyland - talk 09:10, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

In the paragraph:

Hamas had decreased the amount of rocket and mortar attacks during the cease-fire period, and has renewed them, increasing the distance of attacks to as far away as 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Gaza border, hitting civilian communities like Beersheba and Ashdod. These attacks have resulted in civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure, including a school.[28][29][30][31] ,

I think the bits I have put in Italics should be taken out. These details are too detailed for the intro, and give too much weight to these rocket attacks which are not of most concern next to airforce bombings of the entire Gaza strip.

Please sign your comments by typing four tildes (~), like this: ~~~~ RomaC (talk) 02:19, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

The lead

  • An article that starts poorly will remain poor unless it is fixed. It is simply inaccurate to say that the Israel-Gaza conflict began in December 2008. The only thing that started then is Israel's offensive against the near-daily barrage of attacks from Hamas, ie Operation Cast Lead. Tundrabuggy (talk) 16:43, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree. Every once a while I pass through and add the fact that it came in response to the Hamas attacks, but it doesn't stay for long. Pretty surprising. Its removal is a major wp:npov violation. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 16:54, 5

January 2009 (UTC)

Lol, tell me about it. I have been reverted so many times it isn't funny anymore. In fact, I have been warned and even accused of 3RR vio for doing that as well. Since a certain viewpoint wp:POV seems to have control over the article, I will only put the perspective here in talk and wait until (and if) it dawns on someone ... Tundrabuggy (talk)
  • This statement is also just plain wrong: "This Israeli-Gaza conflict is the deadliest conflict since Hamas established political control of Gaza in early 2006." The way this is written implies that in all the conflicts in the world since Hamas established control, the Israeli-Gaza conflict is the 'deadliest'. Even among mid-level conflicts, the total casualties in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict numbers are relatively small. [1] If someone wants to correct this mistake, they will need to rewrite the sentence. Tundrabuggy (talk) 17:02, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
IMO the statement makes sense in the context given by the title. It's the deadliest conflict in the Gaza region since Hamas took power. It can be clarified easily by explicitly adding the words "in the region" or "in the Gaza region"Chikamatsu (talk) 17:51, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Whatever the lead says, it is too long. Can we summarize it down to four paragraphs? - Mailer Diablo 19:49, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    • I think there needs to be a separate discussion board for the lead, much like that for changing (keeping) article title.VR talk 20:15, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
      • Given that threads get archived real quick, a separate centralized discussion on getting the lead accurate, concise and NPOV sounds good to me. - Mailer Diablo 20:19, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  • OK, I created it: Talk:2008–2009_Israel–Gaza_conflict/Lead.VR talk 21:07, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

It continues to be bad from the git-go. Please try to read this neutrally and ask yourself if it is accurate:

"The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, part of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began on 27 December 2008 (11:30 a.m. local time; 9:30 a.m. UTC)[28] when the Israel Defense Forces launched what they codenamed Operation Cast Lead (Hebrew: מבצע עופרת יצוקה‎, Mivtza Oferet Yetzuka), targeting the members and infrastructure of Gaza's governing party, Hamas.[29][30][31][32] "

I will strip it for accuracy and clarity:

The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, part of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began on 27 December 2008 when the Israel Defense Forces launched what they codenamed Operation Cast Lead (Hebrew: מבצע עופרת יצוקה‎, Mivtza Oferet Yetzuka), targeting the members and infrastructure of Gaza's governing party, Hamas.[29][30][31][32] "

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Tundrabuggy (talk) 05:01, 8 January 2009 (UTC)


The current breakdown of the lead, paragraph by paragraph, is like this:

  • Basic intro containing involved parties, and the operation cast lead.
  • Giving background info, and demands made by both parties.
  • First few days of the conflict
  • Israeli airstrikes and naval operations
  • Hamas rocket attacks
  • Ground offensive
  • End to the conflict/ceasefire
  • International reactions and humanitarian situation

In my opinion certain changes need to be made. The lead needs to be condensed down to 4 paragraphs. And it should include an additional half a sentence to one sentence on each of the following topics, which are are discussed in detail in the article:

  • Humanitarian crisis
  • Legal perspectives
  • Civilian protests
  • Media campaign/coverage

Thoughts?VR talk 01:06, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Legal perspectives, that's bull. (Like the bumper sticker I saw today: Cows come and go, but bull lasts forever.) Lawyers never resolved wars and they never will. In a war, the objective of both sides is to get the other to surrender. We don't need lawyers' hot air. A background section would be nice, one that mentions what Hamas was doing the preceding 360 days of the year, what their rocket range is, the numbers, and maybe mention of the fact that the Israeli nuke plant is in range. Imagine if one of those indiscriminate rockets hit the power plant? THEN you'd have bit of a "humanitarian crisis" on your hands, no? and it wouldn't be only the Jews. But then as Mullah Rafsanjani, former President of Iran, said once at Friday prayers, "We can destroy Israel with one nuclear bomb --- Yes, Israel will retaliate. But the Muslim world is so big, it can absorb the losses." Tundrabuggy (talk) 03:23, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Please calm down, and reconsider all of your points. A legal section is already present, and should be indicated briefly in the lead, whether you and I agree with the points raised or not. There is already a background section, and the background has already been covered in the lead. It is true you'd have a humanitarian crisis if (God forbid) a rocket hit a nuclear plant. However, that hasn't happened, nor is this possibility as widely reported as the existing humanitarian crisis. Finally, random comments about nukes by Iranian politicians don't belong in the article, and most certainly not in the lead.VR talk 03:31, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I've removed the casualty numbers from the lead, as they are already in the infobox.VR talk 05:01, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Background info. Can we also include some of Israel's military action against Gaza since, say 2001? As stated now, it gives the impression that this conflict is a one-sided affair...

If perhaps, we could include that since 2001(or well before then) actions have been taken by the two parties involve in this war?

I agree with the factual number of rockets(from whatever source) but in a lead is not so much about what information is given, but when.

It should look something like this..."Since 2001, Hamas and Israel have take unilateral military actions against one another. Hamas has fired well over 7000 rockets into Israel while the Gaza Strip has been the target of Israeli military excursions" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:12, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Some notes, reposted from the main page.

(1) 'This is the deadliest conflict since Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election in 2006.'

This is wrong for all sorts of reasons. The deadliest conflict in the world? The deadliest conflict between the two. Well, yes. But 'deadliest' is a superlative, implying a series of conflicts: Israel killed 830 odd Gazans by individual missile strikes and targeted assasinations from 2006 to 2007. That was an ongoing conflict culminating in the invasion now underway, and that was, so far, more deadly. This one is certainly more destructive. Whatever, it is just an ugly sentence, adds nothing to the text, and pads the lead with dull, pointless prose. I suggest it be considered for removal. Nishidani (talk) 14:50, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

My bad, I tried to take out all the adjectives in front of Hamas and must have messed up the already messed-up phrasing. I agree and removed "deadliest conflict" as we have figures in graph three that illustrate that. RomaC (talk) 14:55, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

(2) We read.'A six-month truce between Hamas and Israel ended on 19 December 2008. Hamas blamed Israel for not lifting the Gaza Strip blockade, and Israel blamed Hamas for increased rocket fire directed at southern Israeli towns and communities.[21]' ref.21 reads:

'Humanitarian aid. Hamas blamed Israel for the end of the ceasefire on Friday, saying it had not respected its terms, including the lifting of the blockade under which little more than humanitarian aid has been allowed into Gaza'.

Our text limits this to the blockade. The source says the blockade lifting was one of the terms of the truce, among others which Israel, according to Hamas, had not respected. The nuance is important.

We need also an article on the terms of the truce brokered between Hamas and Israel. Anyone?Nishidani (talk) 15:00, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

(3) 'Hamas-operated security installations' is repeated twice. The 'Hamas-operated' is a rather unsubtle attempt to condition the reader's negative associations of Hamas with some shady illegal terrorist group, and is in any case pleonastic. All of the administration of Gaza is operated by Hamas, since that body was elected to govern ther territory by the Gazan population in free elections. We know that, and harping on 'Hamas-operated' is rather ridiculous. All areas hit by Qassams are 'Israel-operated', but we don't say that, as we shouldn't qualify the infrastructure hit as 'Hamas-operated'. The adjective therefore is redundant, and insinuates an image of irregularity where there was none. Nishidani (talk) 15:12, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

(4)'Hamas had decreased the amount of rocket and mortar attacks during the cease-fire period, and has renewed them, increasing the distance of attacks to as far away as 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Gaza border.'

- Who's the clunk responsible for this? Each sentence should be sourced precisely. This one isn't. 'Decreased the amount'? is question begging. Hamas has consistently asserted, rightly or wrongly, that it withheld rocket and mortar attacks when the truce was made, and those that did occur either were launched by non-Hamas elements, or by Hamas as a retaliation for an Israeli violation of that truce. 'Decrease' is editorializing. It suspended mortar and rocket attacks after the truce came into effect. It 'resumed' them (we require a precise time line for the truce period, with Israeli and Hamas shootings in chronological order). In any case, the passage is an editorial construction, since it is not directly sourced, and no evidence therefore exists, until 'decreased the amount' type of phrasing is given for the passage. If no RS source is available to underline the text, it should be elided as padding.Nishidani (talk) 15:24, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Ok I changed it.VR talk 00:41, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

(5)'The IDF started massing infantry and armor units near the Gaza border and engaged in an active blockade of Gaza.[41).

If you read the source, the China News note 41, there is no mention of an 'active blockade', which thus emerges as another editorial intrusion. In any case, this is also false since Gaza had been actively blockaded long before the military assault began. The words therefore should be removed. Indeed the source should be substituted, as marginal. Many of the previous sources note the massing of infantry units. There is, as per Occam's razor, no need to multiply sources uselessly.Nishidani (talk) 15:32, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

(6)'On 3 January 2009, a ground invasion began, with mechanised infantry, armor, and artillery units, supported by armed helicopters, entering Gaza.'

As per notes 42, and 43, that should be 'entering the Gaza Strip'. The city of Gaza, like Khan Younis, has not yet been breeched, but these places are surrounded. One must distinguish Gaza the town, from Gaza the strip, invariably. Otherwise one misdescribes the battle by confusing an area with a point in that area.Nishidani (talk) 15:37, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

(7) The quote from Livni (that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is "completely as it should be".) is unsourced, either by the preceding note 51 or the following note 52. In the interi,m, the wording has toned her comment down. Livni said Israel keeps the 'humanitarian situation (crisis) as it should be', she didn't note that 'oh, this is how it happens to be, and we approve'). She said on the 2 Jan.'"In this operation, Israel distinguishes (between) the war against terror, against Hamas members, from the civilian population. In doing so, we keep the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip completely as it should be."

That is the precise wording, 'we keep' has dropped out, and the source has been lost. An RS for the statement is James Hider, Hamas rockets threaten Israel's N-plan, The Australian January 03, 2009 Nishidani (talk) 15:47, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Israel's "stated aim" now "evolving"

The current introduction reads: "Israel's stated objectives in this conflict are to end Palestinian rocket fire and prevent the rearming of Hamas, but not necessarily to topple the regime.[22]"

But -- what a surprise! -- according to Time Magazine, Israel's aim is now "evolving":

First off, Israel has no interest in stopping its military mission until its primary aims have been achieved, and those aims appear to be evolving from simply stopping rocket fire into southern Israel into what Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni calls "changing the equation" in Gaza — i.e., hobbling Hamas to the point that it loses control of Gaza. The Israelis believe they have Hamas on the ropes, and may be in no hurry to back off from trying to deal a mortal blow to the radical group. That means their diplomatic posture will be to seek more time for their military operation and then to hold out for truce terms that essentially codify a military disabling of Hamas. [43]

Any enthusiasm for including this new information in the introduction? LOL! NonZionist (talk) 22:39, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

It seems that Livni may have contradicted Olmert. However, it is more likely, that Israel's objectives are adapting to the situation at hand. I'll move it elsewhere. Thanks for the heads up.VR talk 23:20, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

"Gaza Massacre"

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
This is an old/legacy discussion of the topic. The newer and much-wider discussion was in Archive 9. Please look there before discussing the topic any further --Darwish07 (talk) 05:59, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Following on Darwish's links in the Discussion talk section above we have to consider balancing the Israeli name "Cast Lead" given in the lead with "Gaza Massacre." Reasoning: Whether we agree or not, we must represent Arab as well as Israeli naming of this event; increasing number of news hits and Arab leaders are using the term, including Bashar al-Assad and Mahmoud Abbas; we have the many Arabic links above and Arabic and other international media's English-language portals using the term[2][3][4][5][6]. Suggest the lead be adjusted as such:

The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict is part of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which began on 27 December 2008 (11:30 a.m. local time; 9:30 a.m. UTC)[18] when the Israel Defense Forces launched a series of airstrikes targeting the members and infrastructure of Gaza's governing party, Hamas.[19][20][21] The Israeli codename for the (conflict? assault? air, sea and ground offensive?) is Operation Cast Lead (Hebrew: מבצע עופרת יצוקה‎, Mivtza Oferet Yetzuka), while Palestinians and many in the Arab world are calling it The Gaza Massacre (Arabic: مجزرة غزة).

I can't see how we can (or should) avoid calling Cast Lead an "assault," or "attack" or "invasion," ~maybe "offensive" will work? Mindful of the opposition from some editors I've provided several possibilities. Comments? RomaC (talk) 02:07, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Your proposed paragraph is fair enough. Thank you. --Darwish07 (talk) 03:38, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Is there a source that says that Arabs or others are calling it "Gaza massacre"? For example, does a source say "many in the Arab world refer to the events as مجزرة غزة)? Even if the source is in Arabic it is acceptable. But is there such a source?VR talk 04:26, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Hi VR. I've just found those source by googling - FoxNews: Arab leaders call for unity during this "terrible Massacare", Reuters: Gulf leaders tell Israel to stop "Gaza Massacre". Note: those double quotes aren't mine. Ismail Haniya, Hamas leader, called it a massacre in several places. I also remember the Arab representatives calling it a Massacre/Holocaust during the UN debates and appeals to stop the Israeli attacks by UN power. I'll search harder for references about my last two statements. Thank you --Darwish07 (talk) 04:59, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Ok, one final question: what will you say when a user accuses this of being POV?VR talk 05:11, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I'll reply: how it's a POV if we're balancing the Israeli POV with the Arabic POV to make the lead NPOV ;-) ? --Darwish07 (talk) 05:18, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
(Chuckles). In that case, I support adding it in the way you've described. But before you do that, can you give your thoughts to the first point at Talk:2008–2009_Israel–Gaza_conflict/Lead#NPOV? Thanks.VR talk 05:21, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Of course. Thanks for the care. I've mentioned them in the top of the current "Discussion" section but I'll put them in a list format under this new NPOV section for clearer view. See you there --Darwish07 (talk) 05:39, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Nope. The article at this point is about the general conflict. Gazans are only referring to the first day as the "massacre". --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 08:16, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I would support placing the bolded term later in the article, in the section on the first day. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 08:19, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes the first day was called the "Black Saturday Massacre," in the sources the ongoing conflict is the "Gaza Massacre." RomaC (talk) 08:55, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with this change. In order to introduce this term we need to find sources which say exactly “The Gaza Massacre” or at least “Gaza Massacre” to demonstrate that this is a widely used term. The capitalization is important if we are to enter it as an official name for this conflict. So far, Wikipedia is the only English language news source I can find which does this. Wikipedia should not be the source to introduce and popularize certain terms.
Darwish, you quoted the Reuters Article as saying “Gulf leaders tell Israel to stop "Gaza Massacre"” when in fact it says “Gulf leaders tell Israel to end Gaza "massacres."” You added capitalization, slightly changed the word, and moved the quotation. Similarly, in the FoxNews article the word “massacre” is never capitalized except for the all-caps headline. I will AGF but surely you understand that the manner in which you changed the quotes bolsters your view when the articles really don’t support your claim.
As far as I can tell the word “massacre” is being used in a descriptive way; not as a name for this conflict. I’m sure this is not the first time (and sadly not the last time) Arab leaders have called Israeli activity in the Gaza strip a “massacre.” Do we need to start calling them Gaza Massacre I, Gaza Massacre II, etc.? Of course the word "massacre" can be quoted within the article but bolding "Gaza Massacre" is inappropriate.
The term “Black Saturday Massacre” seems legit if we have RS. Andi Hofer 12:20, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Andi, on this Gulf News page[7] the style of the news site is not to use Caps in their headlines, but they use "Gaza Massacre" (with Caps) to head their section on coverage of the event[8]. Anyway, do you really want to dispute whether this descriptive term is used in Palestine and the Arab world to apply to the current events in Gaza on the basis of where quotation marks or capitalization are applied? RomaC (talk) 13:04, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
In the #Discussion section above I just showed a sample media from different Arab countries and the Islamic conference calling this operation Gazza Massacre. It's called a Massacre allover the place in the Arab and Palestinian world news agencies. Most of them post the news under a section named "Gazza Massacre". It's how the operation is called over there and it's important to balance the Israeli name in the same paragraph. --Darwish07 (talk) 18:06, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm thankful for assuming AGF about the title, no really I didn't notice it. But anyway as mentioned on #Discussion, all the Arabic references call it "Gazza massacre", except that in Arabic grammar the world "the" can not be added to the term "Gazza Massacre". You can see the links I posted and their translation, and if you have some doubts about this translation accuracy, give Google translate a shot. --Darwish07 (talk) 18:32, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Per above, I am adding {{refimprove}} and {{pov}} to the article. Please don't remove until the sourcing is resolved. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 15:58, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I think Darwish's point must be accepted. Apart from the Arabic sources that Darwish has pointed to above, it is instructive to do a Google News Search for "Gaza Massacre"(in quotes): When I did the search, the first result had about 38,000 news articles linked to it. That is definitely notable! This is about the same number of hits that "Operation Cast Lead" returns. Both of these names should exist in the intro. I agree with Darwish's phrasing above.. putting the name in quotes makes it clear that its a name and not a value judgment. Jacob2718 (talk) 05:04, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

BTW people, I'm going to return it to "Gazza Massacre" with capitals. This has been debated to death in Archive 10. --Darwish07 (talk) 05:53, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Stated aims

Are discussed in the article, and in the lead. They do not belong in the first sentence and paragraph. Please do not restore without discussion.--Cerejota (talk) 03:39, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


Are there any NPOV concerns about the lead?VR talk 04:43, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Just a note: the reasons for Israeli and Hamas' actions are discussed in the *second* paragraph of the lead. There is no point in repeating them elsewhere in the lead.VR talk 04:44, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I think the title is a wimp out and violates Wiki policy, the lead then adds the term that Israel is using for the conflict, so (as above) I strongly believe we should also add a term the Palestinians and Arab world are using.
As for details, I don't think "...instituting a naval blockade" is accurate because before the events, Israel already had blockaded the Gaza coast. Would say "...tightening their naval blockade" instead. Similarly in graph five we have "engaged in an active blockade" -- I dunno what that means.
Specifically about POV, the lead makes no mention of the grossly disproportionate fighting strengths of the sides in this "conflict." That is ridiculous but English Wiki has this bias and as long as some editors can use their numbers to bulldoze over policy we will continue to have this bias. RomaC (talk) 05:34, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Add what we agreed on above (second Cerejota proposal) that "Gaza got hit in its schools, universities, infrastructure and homes"; balancing the statement "These [Hamas] attacks have resulted in civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure, including a school".
  • "Israel claims that all of those are Hamas targets", we'll add the Hams POV that those sayings are not true.
  • As above discussions, we'll add that the Arab world call the attacks the "Gazza Massacre"; balancing "Operation Cast Lead" and the silly "poem" thing.
  • We'll mention the worst and most important part of this war, a.k.a the Gaza Humanitarian Crisis. We'll say it's described by the UN as a "human dignity crisis" and by the red cross as "intolerable full blown humanitarian crisis". We'll balance this by Tzipi Livni quotes that the "humanitarian situation is as it should be".

--Darwish07 (talk) 06:22, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

First of all, once consensus on talk is reached, you should take the initiative and add things yourself too.
  • No. We shouldn't mention what was hit by either Israel nor Hamas. I know its important, but the lead, as it stands, is really big. If the lead already mentions something, it should be removed.
  • Very briefly, go ahead.
  • Isn't that info already there? Secondly, I'd suggest that if you want to to increase info somewhere, find another place to cut back info. This way, if we're not reducing the size of the lead, at least we're not increasing it either.
Cheers, VR talk 06:34, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know I can make the edit right now, I thought we'll try to reach consensus on the whole Lead first. I'll add what have been agreed to so far. Thanks. --Darwish07 (talk) 06:47, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Wile it is completely possible that the Arabic speaking world is using the term "Gaza Massacre" to refer to these events, isn't it clear that they are calling it that in order to rally support for their side? I know the discussion for the inclusion of Gaza Massacre is above, but really this boils down to POV and while you may be quoting Gaza Massacre from a source, that source is rife with bias. If you are going to argue that we must present it, because thats what people are calling it, then I believe that the words "terrorist organization" should be mentioned in regards to Hamas in the lead because contrary to popular belief, they are not just another political party but in fact a terrorist entity. The lead falsly implies to the casual reader that Hamas are the rightful poitical leaders being oppressed, not a terrorist faction with a history of suicide bombings and random acts of violence, that took over Gaza in a bloody coup. (Oh and if you want a souce, wikipedia it.)

It's absolutely known that all the Arabic and Israeli sources are biased. They are all mentioned with "As said by X". The lead says "it's called in Arab as ..." not that it is a massacre. --Darwish07 (talk) 20:27, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
As heated as my last paragraph was, i am serious about the incorporation of a form of the word terrorst at least once when discussing Hamas in the lead. It is fact and it is what many sources do call it. Thucydidies (talk) 16:12, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
WP:TERRORIST --Darwish07 (talk) 20:27, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Ok, dont say terrorist. Include the word Militant. The article says that it is a neutral/acceptable word. I think it is important to make the reader aware that Hamas is not just a governing body, as that would lead one to assume it has a legitimate military. Militant is an important conclusion because it lets the reader know Hamas is more then a governing body but an organization that has had a history stretching much farther back then this incident and that it is an organization with a much wider scope then politics. Anyone read the Hamas charter? Thucydidies (talk) 10:06, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
It's Gaza governing party. Whether it's a corrupt, fool, rotten baby-killing organization is not the topic of the lead. --Darwish07 (talk) 05:45, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
If we're going to say Hamas is X and Y in the lead, then we may also mention that Israel is also an occupying force by UN laws since it calls Palestinian territories the "Occupied Palestinian Territories". Are you willing to enter all of this useless debates? It's Israel and Hamas. Those who need to know more click on their links. --Darwish07 (talk) 05:50, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

POV problems with the first paragraph

Besides for "massacre" which should be removed as unsourced (explained above), the paragraph states that:

Israel Defense Forces launched a series of airstrikes targeting the members and infrastructure of Gaza's governing party, Hamas

There should be mention of the intention to remove weapons and to destroy launching pads. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 08:26, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

In the second paragraph, there is a mention of "prevention of the re-arming of Hamas". The only reason why "targetting members and infrastructure of Gaza's governing party, Hamas" is there is because some users objected to having "targeting Gaza" there, arguing that Israeli air strikes was against Hamas, not Gaza. The exact targets are mentioned in the third paragraph, which include more than just military targets.VR talk 15:14, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I understand, I'll add it to the first paragraph now. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 16:00, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
How's the "massacre" term was unsourced? Cited references mentioned being called a massacre: in:
I've also showed on #Discussion a sample of Arabic references. So what's the point? This statement is clearly and powerfully sourced. --Darwish07 (talk) 04:19, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
And here was the cited references: [44][45][46][47][48]
And No, the cited sources referred to the whole conflict as "massacre", not only the first day as your edit summary claim. --Darwish07 (talk) 04:48, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Your edit has been reserved. User:Cerejota said while reversing your edit that "sources clearly, unambiguously support the statement that "The conflict has been called the Gaza Massacre". --Darwish07 (talk) 04:34, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Since this is an ongoing conflict(the current 'conflict' in itself) who's to say that this won't become a holocaust?(i say this from the Arab world's POV) so i think it's too early to termed this conflict alas "The Seven Days War"...
As a wikipedia editor, it's not your call to judge what others say about an event or whether they are right or wrong about it. Any, yes. If everyone there will move from "massacre" to "holocaust" we'll say they use the term "holocaust". It's not our problem. --Darwish07 (talk) 05:11, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

The statement seems forceful, specially at the end of the paragraph...let users read about the casualties and let them call this conflict as they see fit.

Forceful or not, it's not WP editors call to judge it anyway. It's massively called so in the Palestenian and Arab world, so the fact will be reported. --Darwish07 (talk) 05:11, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I do understand, that because the name giving to this 'operation' by the Israelis(Operation Cast Lead) is included as well, it would seem appropriate to also include how the Arab world or the Palestinians themselves would classified. If that's the case, then i would support the inclusion of that last statement(with obvious reservations).

You will be setting a precedent here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cryptonio (talkcontribs) 05:20, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I leave it to Western media to "properly" censure sensitive issues. I come to Wiki to get additional info and, more importantly, the sources of that info. Don't need things ruminated for me, I can draw my own conclusions. Thanks. Tell someone (talk) 12:36, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

POV problems with the second paragraph

The current version is badly written and misleading. The paragraph starts off with a "truce" which we know nothing about and just begs a whole bunch of questions which are not answered until a later section. What truce? Why truce? When truce? Truce over what? But that in of itself would not bother me if not for the fact that it's misleading and grossly in favor of the Palestinian POV. The paragraph implies that the rockets only began after the truce ended. That's not true. They were firing rockets since 2001 and Israel had plans of initiating this action long before the truce ended (all sourced, of course). In addition, unlike the paragraph's implications, there was nothing called "cross-border fighting" after the truce ended and before Dec 27 airstrikes began. Hamas fired over a 100 rockets within that span while Israel shot once at Hamas members Israel claims was about to fire a rocket. No reliable source refers to these intermittent days as "cross-border fighting". --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 08:40, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

 DoneI addressed some of the concerns in his talk page, and added a reliable source that specifically refers to "cross-border fighting", Tipping Point - After years of rocket attacks, Israel finally says, ‘Enough!’ - The Baltimore Jewish Times, not that we cannot say something like without quoting in a lede, mind you. --Cerejota (talk) 13:08, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
NOT DONE. The Baltimore Jewish Times is small unnotable newspaper. I didn't even bother checking the provided source. The fact that you were only able to find the quote in this one little newspaper after there are tons of newsprint on this issue is itself proof of the term's lack of notability.
Besides, it's a red herring. The real problems with the article, that fact that it's misleading in it's nature has yet to be addressed. The POV of the lede is shameful. I am adding {{pov}} to the article. Please do not remove until these issues are resolved.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 16:11, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  • The job of the lead is to briefly provide the background. Unfortunately, the lead can't provide the Hamas-Israel conflict since 2001 (the date you keep going back to) without being too big. In fact, as the lead stands right now, it is already too big by WP:LEAD standards, making further enlargements correspond to a decrease in article quality.VR talk 01:52, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
    • Brewcrewer is absolutely incorrect: I just provided verification that the term is *not* POV as he alleges (it can be from a small non-notable publication, but the operative here is that it is Zionist and pro-Israeli - smaller sources are reliable for verification, not as principal sources) TIMELINE-Israeli-Hamas violence since truce ended. That actual sourcing, used in the lede is from a Reuters (very notable!) article that states: "Dec. 18 - Hamas declares the end of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, which expires the next day with a surge of cross-border fighting.". This is the source used to support the statement int he paragraph. To further address the POV concerns, this article was republished, intact, by Haaretz TIMELINE / Israeli-Hamas violence since truce ended. Brewcrewer: this is not the first time you present objections that do not bear fruit when confronted with the evidence. Please be more careful and read the sources before making claims like these. Just because you assert somethign does it make it true: you have to provide evidence. --Cerejota (talk) 05:04, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

The ref/link that is supposed to give information on the truce, is not working(at least not for me) its supposed to be from the New York Times [9]

In my opinion, it wouldn't matter what or who ended the truce unless we are pointing fingers at two sides that HAVE broken truces before and in my POV have been behaving like "irrational" animals.

I am sure, that users will be able to find more detailed information right here in Wiki about the truce, but the ref/link must be fixed ASAP.

This[10] from the BBC is dated June 18, 2008 and should take care of some of these concerns.

Now, if I'm reading and understanding Brewcrewer correctly, he seems to prefer the second paragraph to start the way that it was, something along the lines of "Since 2001, Hamas has been misbehaving"...if thats the case, that his prerogative, but it would tilt the current balance that exists as the paragraph stands.

Since this is an ongoing 'conflict', the explanation of the truce is to only give 'foot' to the latest resumption of violence, it is why then, the title of this page is "2008-2009 Israel-Palestinian conflict".

A user, who feels the need to read about this story in Wiki, is most likely to ask the question "why are they fighting this time". Now, he/she should know they've been entertaining the world for some time now, so they will need to know that there was a 'truce' in place, that had been abide by for the most part by both parties, and that both sides had reasons to break that truce. and so the paragraph should state the reasons these two 'parties' are giving to resume their fighting to another level.

In my humble opinion, the only ones who should read past the second paragraph(as it stands now) should be us. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cryptonio (talkcontribs) 04:28, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

The last line of lead re Israel (per Livni)'s position that there was no crisis

Lacked sourcing, and I have provided three, since there is some dissonance in the various reports as to exactly what Livni did say. Anyone checking the refs can make up his own mind. I have also adjusted the tense, since Livni said that on I January, but Israel's position has changed.Nishidani (talk) 19:03, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

The last line says that Aid agencies have "stated that it is inadequate due to the breadth and severity of the humanitarian situation". This refers to a NYtimes article. In fact, the article starts with the lines: "International aid groups lashed out at Israel on Thursday over the war in Gaza, saying that access to civilians in need is poor, relief workers are being hurt and killed, and Israel is woefully neglecting its obligations to Palestinians who are trapped, some among rotting corpses in a nightmarish landscape of deprivation". I dont think the current phrasing accurately reflects the source. I'm going to change it to make it more reflective of this source and other media reports that have been appearing for the past 24 hours or so. Please discuss here before you revert. Jacob2718 (talk) 04:47, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Have condemned either vs. Have either condemned

I propose changing the following sentence:

International reactions to the conflict have either condemned the Israeli operation, Hamas' attacks, or both.


International reactions to the conflict have condemned either the Israeli operation, Hamas' attacks, or both.

I think that's semantically more accurate. Because "the Israeli operation", "Hamas' attacks", and "both" are all supposed to be targets of international condemnation, respectively. As written, the sentence might be read to apply it only to the first of these three. Not a super big deal, but can't hurt.

Balonkey (talk) 06:31, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Agreed on the grammar but why "Israeli operation" and Hamas attacks"? Is this NPOV? Are there more sources actually saying "___ condemned the Israeli operation" or saying "___ condemned the Israeli attacks"? In the sources provided, no. In the sources, the terms "Israeli assault," Israeli attacks" and "Israeli bombardment" and "Israeli strikes" and Israeli raids" are used repeatedly, but "Israeli operation" appears just once. RomaC (talk) 07:11, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
That's a good point. Interesting. Balonkey (talk) 08:00, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

i support changing wording to reflect the sources. Untwirl (talk) 05:27, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Is someone going to change any of the stuff suggested? Or give a reason not to? Balonkey (talk) 05:57, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

First sentence has weasel words?

"The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, part of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began on 27 December 2008 (11:30 a.m. local time; 9:30 a.m. UTC)[27] when the Israel Defense Forces launched what they codenamed Operation Cast Lead..." "What"? A letter-writing campaign? Propose "what" be changed to "an offensive," So: "The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, part of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began on 27 December 2008 (11:30 a.m. local time; 9:30 a.m. UTC)[27] when the Israel Defense Forces launched an offensive codenamed Operation Cast Lead..." This says what "what" was. RomaC (talk) 07:11, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

It's probably not a weasel word but it is poor writing. I have no problem with changing it to "offensive" but some might consider that term POV. Perhaps you could say "military operation" or "military campaign"?--Andi Hofer (talk) 10:17, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Andi, glad you agree the phrasing isn't informative enough, I agree this may not be intentional. I'm seeing more Google News matches for "Cast Lead" +offensive (2,565) than for "Cast Lead" +campaign (1174), shouldn't RS&V be the determining factor in the word choice? In any case for now I'll use "military campaign." Comments? RomaC (talk) 11:56, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I think military operation is more neutral than offensive.VR talk 12:20, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
The words "After Hamas fired rockets into southern israel" Should be added. Israel went after Hamas only after that... The Three or four references put in after that first sentence are AFTER the event started and makes it like Israel started this fight.Knowledgekid87 16:34, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Qassam rockets are mentioned plenty of times in the article. Israel did start "Operation Cast Lead," it's an IDF campaign. RomaC (talk) 02:04, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Name of the conflict

The first pargraph discusses the various name of the conflict, from "2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict", to "Operation Cast Lead" (Israeli POV) to "Gaza massacre" (Arab POV). We quote both Israeli and Arab POVs for the sake of NPOV.

Now, Israel doesn't call it "Operation self-defense", though it makes the argument that the operation is a self-defense one. Hence I disagree with this edit[11]. The first paragraph is for names (and dates and places etc.) but not for arguments. The arguments are in the second paragraph. Note that Arab arguments are also not quoted.

Finally, I note that the user who made the edit didn't even bother to put the reference in ref format, which annoys me a little bit.VR talk 03:10, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I also don't understand why the user keeps changing "Gaza massacre" to "massacre" (which is a general word referring to dozens of events).VR talk 04:15, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I have acknowledged in the lede that Arabs are referring to the situation as a massacre. But NOT as "The Gaza Massacre" Not one of the sources mentioned referred to it in that way. In fact, I was surprised to see that some of the titles had been not been accurately quoted in order to give the appearance that it had in fact been referred to in that way. I urge people to look at the references carefully and ask themselves if they truly support the assertion. I believe an honest reading will show it does not. Interestingly, this idea of "The Gaza Massacre" vs "a Gaza massacre" is an important distinction, & has its parelell in UNSC Resolution 242 with the final wording was 'withdrawal from territories,' not from 'the territories' or 'all the territories' occupied during the war. The massacre name is maintained in the lead and should be balanced with Israel's view, which I have done. Many here have said the article in toto and the lede, in particular, suffers from serious one-sidedness. Let's try to fix that with putting both views in at the very beginning. Tundrabuggy (talk) 04:24, 9 January 2009 (UTC) Moved from main talk page.VR talk 04:35, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi one problem with your edit is your efforts in trying to insert arguments in the first paragraph, while they are obviously covered in the second. The first paragraph is for naming purposes (and to identify time, date and location), not for presenting arguments. Please see my points above.VR talk 04:37, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, to repeat, the Israeli name for the military action, i.e. "Operation Cast Lead" is already in the lead.VR talk 04:38, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

[edit conflict]::Many here have said that the article is onesided and makes it appear as if Israel just woke up one day and decided to bomb its innocent civilian neighbors just for the hellofit. Somehow it is OK to say the Arabs call it a "massacre" and not even give Israel's interpretation of it based on some spurious idea that it "self-defense" is an "argument" but "massacre" is ...what?... a fact? It is absolutely a requirement of WP:NPOV:

Neutral point of view is a fundamental Wikimedia principle and a cornerstone of Wikipedia. All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. This is non-negotiable and expected of all articles, and of all article editors.

Israel view must be represented fairly, ie right there with the Arab view that it is a "massacre." Tundrabuggy (talk) 04:40, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

There is no Arab "view" that there's a massacre, but an Arab name. It's not a fact either, just a commonly used name. If it was not a name, I'd be the first to remove it from there. Israeli views are there in the second paragraph, along with Arab views. Now if you can find a source in which Israel many, many sources which calls this "Operation self-defence" (like the sources that call this "Gaza massacre") then I'll gladly agree to you inclusion.VR talk 04:46, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Tundrabuggy is engaging in disruptive editing. I have warned him and he blanked the warning from his talkpage. What is to be done? RomaC (talk) 04:51, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

You in fact accused me of someone else's edit. That is why I removed your nasty warning from my talk page. It was in error.Tundrabuggy (talk) 05:03, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, whether he is a respected editor, or a ninja (like some claim) the best thing is to discuss with him on the talk page. Once there is some sort of agreement through discussion, then we can proceed and make changes on what was agreed upon. Also, patience must be exercised.VR talk 04:52, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
And don't worry he won't be blanking this talk page.VR talk 04:53, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
What is a ninja and who claims I am such? Is this a personal attack? Please address the content. You have not demonstrated with RS that it is a commonly used Arab name for this event. So far it is merely OR. The lede must be balanced. The way you would have it, it is blatantly POV as you are being told by many who have been on this page and the myriad of other talk pages associated with this article. The lede is utterly and factually wrong. The sources do not reflect what we are told they say, and it is completely POV. Perhaps we should go for an RFC. In the meantime, both views belong in the lead. Tundrabuggy (talk) 05:03, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Tundrabuggy is neither respected nor a ninja, he's an intelligent editor with passionate beliefs. But a crusade of singleminded determination and wikilawyering cannot be allowed to bulldoze Wiki polices. I for one am getting tired of searching through edit histories to revert stubbornly repetitive disruptions. This is now now bordering on vandalism. RomaC (talk) 05:07, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Tundrabuggy, I'll repeat myself again: the name used by Israel is already in the lead. The lead already quotes "Operation Cast Lead", which is the name used by Israel. Do you disagree? It is only fair that it also quote a name used by Arabs i.e. "Gaza massacre".VR talk 05:11, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Oh, I just noticed this discussion. I noticed the first paragraph had been altered from what was discussed above. I'll re-post a bit of my comment here. A Google News Search for "Gaza Massacre"(in quotes): results in about 38,000 news articles. That is definitely notable and about the same number of hits that "Operation Cast Lead" returns. Both of these names should exist in the intro. Putting the name in bold makes it clear its a name and not a value judgment. I think the first para should be reverted to the original version discussed about two days ago.Jacob2718 (talk) 05:12, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

It has been. And I agree that we are treating it simply as a name, not an argument or a value judgment.VR talk 05:16, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Tundra says: "You have not demonstrated with RS that it is a commonly used Arab name for this event." There are numerous Arabic sources. So then the argument is whether there are English-language sources. Those are produced, then the objection turns to semantics and capitalization...
Once again: on this Gulf News page[12] we find "Gaza Massacre" (With Caps) to head their section on coverage of the event[13]. It is tenuous at best to dispute whether this term is used in the Arab world to name the current events in Gaza. RomaC (talk) 05:18, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Let me also point out that the original term by the Arabs is in Arabic: مجزرة غزة‎. A google news search provides links to over 4,000 Arabic sources that use this name[14] many in their headlines.
Finally, in English sources, you may not always see "Gaza massacre", but also "massacre in Gaza" as a translation of مجزرة غزة.VR talk 05:20, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Finally, let me point out that Israel's self-defense is already argued in the lead, it says "Israel's stated objectives in this conflict are to defend itself from Palestinian rocket fire".VR talk 05:26, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
VR it is just like top billing in the movies. When you have two lead movie stars they both get their names up front. Here you have a conflict. One side does not get paragraph one and the other get paragraph two. As for your contention that the Arabic uses it as "a name" -- you have not demonstrated that. When the articles were quoted by English RS they were not quoted in that way. It is clear they are talking about a generic massacre in Gaza, "a massacre." Fine. Israel's name is generic and neutral. A "massacre" is not. Name or not-name. It either goes out of the paragraph and in paragraph 2 or is balanced by Israel's view that it is in self defense. It is an issue of NPOV and is not-negotiable. I will take it to an RFC tomorrow. Going to bed now. Tundrabuggy (talk) 05:41, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether the Arabic name is neutral, non-neutral, or is in martian, or written backwards. A name is a name, whether you like it or not. If Hasan Nasrallah's name glorifies him ("Nasrallah" means help from God, clearly POV) that doesn't mean we're going to strike it out of the first paragraph of his article. Secondly, I want to remind you ocne again: *the name Israel commonly uses, i.e. "Operation Cast Lead" is already in the lead.* So if we take the Israeli name, why can't we take the Arabic name?
The purpose of an RfC is to gather other viewpoints. I see that this section is already doing that. You may, however, start whatever you wish, as long as it is on this page (or the main talk page) so that everyone can participate.VR talk 05:47, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Oh, hai, *YAWN*, wake me up when there is something interesting. First of all the lead is way too long, but I give up on that because apparently there is consensus the intro has to be an article on its own. Second of all, if Tundrabuggy cannot trust us when we tell him that the article is balanced in its first paragraph of the lead, then I suggest he seeks a third opinion: ANY quality uninvolved editors in Wikipedia will agree that this is one of the best lead paragraphs in the entire sorry series of WP:NPOV/WP:COATRACK/WP:POVFORK/WP:SYNTH violations the entire I-P and A-I topic is.

On the content, to repeat once again to Tundrabuggy:

  1. Opens with article name - MoS suggests this
  2. Give immidiate context - Links to Mother of all Mother articles on the whole I-P stuff
  3. Correctly identifies the start and the name given by one side to the start of the events - "Operation Cast Lead"
  4. Quickly goes over the reasons each side has
  5. Gives a neutrally presented, and even additionally caveated by YET ANOTHER Israeli statement (I would take it out as this name is a response to the "Operation Cast Lead" name), view on what the governments and media that represent about 325 million (moar than the entire USA) people think this event is called.
  6. This paragraph is more reliably sourced and verified than 99.9% of the articles in Wikipedia. I mean Exploding whale (a FA) has 19 sources and 10 references for the entire article. This lead has about that, and this paragraph more than half, with the "Gaza massacre" sentence having a quarter of that. Come on, give me a break, common sense tells you that there is point when arguing against evidence is futile. This is a snowball issue and edit warring will only result in somebody losing their patience and taking this to ArbCom sanctions, which would be severe and automatic - and a sad signal to everyone else in wikipedia that the entire I-P should be deleted and locked form recreation. No admin in their right mind would rule this as a productive editing dispute where there is validity on the policy-based arguments, or that article quality is suffering to the point you can ignore the rules.

Any regular uninvolved GA reviewer would only comment on the intro lenght and the source overkill but would approve this paragraph without blinking.

I mean, freaking Poke-cruft has more FAs and GA than this I-P thang because people can't behave like good wikipedians and hang their POV-Superman capes at the door...

Lastly, my droogs, cite sources doesn't mean we quote directly: It means we do no original research or synth.

But you have to be a cynic to argue that when sources call this event a massacre, we cannot put Gaza as an identifier. Its the spirit and with some ambuiguity the letter of WP:RS and WP:V: Proper sourcing always depends on context; common sense and editorial judgment are an indispensable part of the process. In the given context, sources are calling it "Gaza Massacre" as shown by a wealth of reliable sources that verify each other. This is common sense, Tundrabuggy. Just saying without demonstrating any evidence, that we are violating RS doesn't cut it. You must at least have the decency of explaining why you say that: for me it is patently obvious that inclusion of the term is needed for balance and bias issues, and that its inclusion is not OR because it is super-mega-ultra-plus-quadruple realiably sourced and verified and this would be obvious to any reasonable person. Yes, I am saying your position, unless you argue it with more than a "I said so" is not a reasonable one: it is not appealing to our reason, asking us to consider evidence we have not cosnidered, or bringing elements that are not being considered to the discussion.

I will defend, actually I have defended, your right to push for some views, and in fact you have been useful in catching certain things but I also reserve the right to not have my intelligence insulted and condescended by means of the push being I said so.

Of all the controversies, I find this the most petty and most unproductive... If it smells pointy, walks pointy, looks pointy, it probably is pointy. Of course, I haven't verified it as pointy, that would be original research. :D--Cerejota (talk) 06:10, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't see the problem here. There are uncountable amounts of other articles that use different, often conflicting names to describe a conflict, incident, etc. The Israeli name - Operation Cast Lead - is in the first paragraph and the Arabic name - Gaza massacre, or a variant of that term - is too. We might not yet find an official Arabic name for it, but the fact is, many Arabic news agencies (minus Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, some others), but more importantly the Palestinian/Arab leadership (of all statuses and far-reaching scope) and the general Arab populace refer to the events as "Gaza massacre", "massacre in Gaza", or other variants. So why must there be two names for the Israeli offensive in the first paragraph? Is there even a widely-used second name? --Al Ameer son (talk) 06:20, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd also like to add that the "massacre" thing has been debated to death on Archive 9. Grammar, Capitalization, usage, Arabic grammar, other cases of conflict articles in Wikipedia, and lots. --Darwish07 (talk) 06:25, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, mercy sakes let this die -- this is not discussion logically progressing from premises toward conclusions; this is an anti-logic born of a conclusion "I don't want this phrase," then dragging editors backward, wikilawyering down every possible avenue, picking at every possible premise, desperately hoping to prevail on some technicality. Enough is enough. RomaC (talk) 07:40, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Can we merge the discussion here with the one on the main page, would be helpful. Nableezy (talk) 08:45, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Definitely would help to merge the parallel discussions. Also, while trying to grasp one of the many many many spurious arguments (argument 3.b2 I believe) against "Gaza Massacre," namely that names have to be NPOV, I realized that "Israeli Defense Forces" may not be NPOV at all, as it suggests that the forces act in defense even while they are now involved in an offensive... Perhaps we need to find a new term for this group :-) RomaC (talk) 11:08, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Tightening the lead without deleting relevant content

We. can. do. it. For example I think we can cut:

  1. ...after both sides blamed the other for violations. (details about the blaming comes in next line)
  2. The IDF started massing infantry and armor units near the Gaza border and engaged in an active blockade of Gaza. (invasion has began)
  3. International reactions to the conflict have either condemned the Israeli operation, Hamas' attacks, or both. (covers everything and communicates nothing)
  4. While Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak intially stated that this will be a "war to the bitter end", Israeli defense officials have suggested as recently as January 6 that the operation could be "over in the next 72 hours". (sound bites and speculation)
  5. Both Israel and Hamas are under pressure for a humanitarian truce. (repeated in following graph)
  6. All schools in the area are closed.(school closings?)

That's a decent chunk, plus some (careful) rewording here and there to tighten it further. Comments? RomaC (talk) 09:34, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree with 4, as the 72 hours have passed and the operation hasn't ended.VR talk 16:24, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with 2--6 above. I think what the two sides "blame" on each other may be of interest. Jacob2718 (talk) 16:29, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Have trimmed the lead a bit, feel free to revert anything but it's all what is presented above, careful not to make POV shifts I hope. RomaC (talk) 18:28, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Alternative names for the nature of the conflict

There is no consensus yet how to adress that conflict (conflict? crisis? war? massacre? operation?), neither here (see move debated) nor with published sources. I suggest to explicitly state this in the opening paragraph, and add the alternative categories (vs "conflict"). CNN (int) live coverage calls it a "crisis" (in the logo) or a "conflict" (in headers), Al Jazeera (int) live coverage calls it a war in the logo (is the arab. Al-Jazeera calling it a "war" also?), BBC calls it a "conflict" - that's the big news agencies. Can we agree on a sentence or two including the yet missing and the already stated names and on an order in which they are presented (eg Anglo-Saxon coverage, Israeli coverage, Arab coverage)? Skäpperöd (talk) 15:42, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if we necessarily need synonyms of the current title. For example if we say "Israel-Gaza conflict" then I think most users will recognise that it is the same event as the "Israel-Gaza crisis" that CNN is talking about. However I think mentioning the Israeli and Arab names (e.g. the IDF operation name) is of value - e.g. "The 2008 Israel-Gaza conflict, known as Operation Cast Lead by the Israeli Defence Force". Cynical (talk) 18:52, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

A single word change

Why not "intensified" instead of "began" in the lede? It is a matter of opinion that the 2008-9 Israel-Gaza conflict "began" on 27 Dec with Operation Cast Lead. Did it begin with the end of the cease fire? With the intensification of rocket attacks by Hamas in November? With the November raid by the IDF? However, it is objectively true that the conflict massively intensified on 27 Dec. Can we make this small change? Kaisershatner (talk) 17:18, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

This sounds like a strong argument for just reverting the title of this article back to 'Operation Cast Lead'. I don't like 'began' either but I like 'intensified' even less. The Israeli military offensive that began on 27 December was not a mere escalation in an ongoing conflict but a major step change with a clearly defined start point. (talk) 23:05, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
What about the name December 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict? I see your point about how the wider conflict did not begin, but I think this subject merits its own article, a more encompassing article can be created that references this and the list of rocket strikes page, and other such things. But to call it Operation Cast Lead, when this is not the name in the majority of English sources would be incorrect in my mind. We do refer to the current hostilities being called Operation Cast Lead by Israel, but I dont think the English name of the article needs to be the translation of the Israeli government's name for it. We have a ton of source calling it the Israel-Gaza conflict, and they say that they are referring to the Israeli Operation Cast Lead. Nableezy (talk) 02:22, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I am going to re:enter for the upteenth time Kaisershatner's suggestion. It is eminently logical and has been offered by numerous others as well and consistently reverted by the same people here. Tundrabuggy (talk) 18:09, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

NOR noticeboard

Tundrabuggy opened this up,, yall might want to comment. Nableezy (talk) 01:50, 10 January 2009 (UTC)


Moved from Talk:2008–2009_Israel–Gaza_conflict

Article lead is just ridiculous, anyone without deep knowledge into the history of the situation is going to scratch their forehead and say "wha?".

Clearly, the conflict did not start on the day Israel started its military operation, this is quite unclear from the way the article is written. I'm open for suggestions on this but otherwise, there must be a pretty big change in that regards.

p.s. I also suggest clarifying that the conflict refers to the ongoing situation between Hamas, The Palestinian people (Fatah mostly), Israel, The Arab world (Egypt-Saudi, Syria-Iran mostly), Islamist activism and the rest of the world.

p.s.2. this article is written too much like a news piece and we need to write it on a bit more "long term" style.. i.e. the exact hour Operation Cast Lead started fits in the body of the article and not in the lead. JaakobouChalk Talk 21:56, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I do not fully agree with your specific proposal, but I want to fully express my agreement with your PS2 and with the spirit of this intervention, you are bringing fresh thinking and doing it in a productive way. I hope we all catch the fever. :D Thanks!--Cerejota (talk) 03:17, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion 1

First paragraph:

The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, also known as Operation Cast Lead (Hebrew: מבצע עופרת יצוקה‎, Mivtza Oferet Yetzuka), refers to the second major Israeli incursion into the Palestinian Gaza Strip since Israel disengaged the area in August 2005 and Hamas became the governing body in January 2006.

The events of the conflict are currently ongoing as the Israeli incursion ensues and Hamas is launching rockets into Israel.

Move the rest to the body of the article.


  • Thinking this would ease all the mess in the introduction and clear out the way for a more neutral and encyclopedic article. JaakobouChalk Talk 21:56, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Jaak, your suggestion suffers from the same problem you bring up. The 2008 conflict did not begin with Operation Cast Lead. Operation Cast Lead was an "acceleration" or "intensification" of the 2008 conflict. Nor did Operation Cast Lead happen in a vacuum, as the lede would have us believe. Tundrabuggy (talk) 01:17, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Tried to keep it short and to the point while understanding the problems of lack of clarity. Hamas are mentioned as launching rockets into Israel after winning over the territory and Israel leaving it (without explaining anything further, this is enough to show that there is no vacuum). Other, more controversial information, can be battled out (hopefully in a civil and consensus building way) in the body of the article IMHO (starting with how/where to start the 'background' section). We need to get a stable intro that allows people to actually want to read the article and this seemed like the most neutral and relevant intro that won't be overly objected to other than points that can be quickly sorted in the article's body by adding each side's POV and objections to the other side's POV. I'm hoping to get support on this version from both sides rather than raising of objections/concerns that I've already given a lot of thought to... we can all dream :) JaakobouChalk Talk 08:49, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Please do not ignore the discussion about the title. It doesn't support your contention: this article is clearly about the events that began with Operation Cast Lead. That we have been unable to decide on a better name, its our collective shame, but this should not be construed as a lack of a consensus as to what this article is about, as per that discussion. Including, at one point, your own support. I do not know what changed your opinion, but change it did. --Cerejota (talk) 06:05, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Jaakabou you are basically saying that "2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict"="Operation Cast Lead". If so, then I don't see why the current lead isn't good enough.
Secondly, I think that the disengagement and Hamas takeover are too much info for the lead (should we mention Egypt brokering the truce as well?). The lead needs to be about this conflict, not the Israel-Palestinian one.VR talk 06:35, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
I think I answered both raised concerns here with my other comments, but please repeat anything that I may have missed. Cheers, JaakobouChalk Talk 09:01, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Clarification: I gave some thoght to the issue that this refers to an escalation of violence between Hamas and Israel starting a bit earlier than the moment Cast Lead has begun and decided the slightly avoid that issue in the lead and explain it in the body. Clearly some people confuse the entire altercation with the Israeli operation alone and some people understand that there is a bigger conflict behind this. I chose to avoid the issue by noting the reference to the second major Israeli incursion (including the small operations beforehand IMHO) since Hamas took power. Egypt brokering the peace (what peace?) has nothing to do with who is in control of the territory but those in control of the territory is certainly a fitting lead for getting the reader into the background of events quickly. Does this help clarify the concerns? JaakobouChalk Talk 08:35, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
I understand the concerns about the controversy as to whether the conflict began at the operation, or escalated at that point. I still think that mentioning the "second Israeli incursion" and "Hamas takeover" is too much detail for the lead, although feel free to mention it in the body. I think it is enough in the lead to say that this is part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - an obvious statement, I know, but one that no one will debate.VR talk 08:41, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
The 'part of the Israeli-Palestinian' conflict is totaly false and I had to think clearly of a way to avoid this issue as it is not entirely clear to people who are not heavily familiar with the neuances of the Arab-Muslim-Israeli situation. Hamas are, in general, not accepted as the representatives of the Palestinians and, in fact, consider themselves as the fore-front representatives of the Islamist revolution rather than anything else. I left out the violence between Hamas and Fatah in 2007 but that should be mentioned in the background section as should be other relevant information. Clearly, Hamas is the main issue as far as Israel and the Fatah and the Egyptians see this issue and the takeover is the focal point of the Gaza blockade as well... this information is probably more relevant than anything else for the lead as it is the clearest starting point of the current Hamas-Israel violence. JaakobouChalk Talk 08:55, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
p.s. I'd like to stress out that I registered the Hamas issue as "governing body" without making note of the perspectives as takeover or anything else. Seemed like a good way to avoid all the POVs on this. JaakobouChalk Talk 08:57, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Well I completely disagree with the notion that a conflict between Hamas and Israel is somehow not an Israeli-Palestinian conflict (or in other words, Hamas are not Palestinians). I think you'd be hard pressed to find sources that say that.VR talk 00:01, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
You misunderstood me. Obviously, Hamas is a Palestinian faction but this is really not the issue of this recent rise in violence. There is a clear breaking opoint in the Palestinian struggle when Hamas won the elections in 2006 and grouping the Hamas struggle for acceptance despite their extremist ideoloy with the Palestinian national movement does injustice to the Palestinians and confuses the reader. Sure, the general conflict should probably be mentioned in the background section but it is not an integral part of immediate Hamas goals which are only to solidify their staure as rulers of Gaza. We could go furthe and lump this with the Arab-Israeli conflict but it's still a t of a stretch for the current events and the topic of thearticle. JaakobouChalk Talk 00:46, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I disagree, not acknowledging that Hamas was democratically elected by the palestinian people does injustice to them. As of 2006 Hamas is the chosen representative of the palestinian people. As far as confusing the reader, I dont think anybody would assume because a party won an election it means that its views are supported by 100% of the population. Nableezy (talk) 01:46, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

One problem with your suggested first paragraph is that it removes the fact that, in the Arab media, this is commonly called the Gaza massacre from the first line. This issue has been discussed to death and I think the consensus is to give this term the same weight as Operation Cast Lead. You need to edit your suggested first line accordingly. Jacob2718 (talk) 20:00, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

This standard "massacre" naming convention doesn't work well for Wikipedia as it is applied to each and every Israeli operation regardless if it's foe calls himself victorious (Nasrallah's divine victory / massacre, for example). I have no objection to listing this controversial accusation/nickname next to POVs from both sides in the body of the article rather than the lead as that a proper location. The main problem here is that Hamas is attacking Israel and has made declarations that they are martyrdom seekers... clearly we can't play up the double speech of Hamas on one side while ignoring the other side of the coin. This is just too controversial to tackle in the lead in a neutral fashion and should be avoided like fire. That said, if someone can come up with a neutral and wide-scale acceptable version then I'd be ok with having it included in the lead as well as in the body. JaakobouChalk Talk 20:25, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
The "[Gaza] massacre" is not an accusation, but rather a name. Let me ask you a simple question: are you denying that a significant number of Arabs are calling the conflict as "massacre"?
Also, I'll repeat my argument about POV and naming. Names, whether POV or not, must be included in the first paragraph of the lead. For example, "Nasrallah" means "divine help", clearly POV. However, we included Hassan Nasrallah's last name in the first paragraph of the article Hassan Nasrallah. Why? Because "Nasrallah" is a name, not an argument, and thus must be mentioned before any arguments are. Similarly "[Gaza] massacre" is a name, and thus must be mentioned just like "Operation Cast Lead".VR talk 00:07, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree with VR once et al again. Include the names both sides are using for the conflict. We have seen POV, OR, and RS&V arguments on this, including challenges based on the application of quotation marks and capitalization. Enough is enough.RomaC (talk) 00:38, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Fine. We can add the Arab title with a note that Hamas declared a desire for death. That is the only way to add this info and keep the lead neutral. I personally think it woud be best to keep that controversial allegation for the body of the article though. Which one do you prefer body or lead? JaakobouChalk Talk 00:48, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Does Hamas call the conflict "desire for death"? If yes, provide the sources, and it will be (with consensus) added to the lead.VR talk 02:07, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Jaakobou please refrain from unilaterally removing content in the lead, respect the community and present your arguments here per Wiki policy. thanks. RomaC (talk) 01:10, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Excuse me but it is not "unilateral". There are some of us here who agree with him. Tundrabuggy (talk) 04:41, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
If Hamas has, as insinuated, declared a death-wish, then it has found an accomplice or willing executioner, and by the same token, we should add Arnon Soffer's declaration (since he was one of the minds behind 'disengagement') that Israelis, if (they) want to remain alive, ... will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day. One thing draws out another, and with this logic, the lead is wrecked by absurd niggling over the nuances of POV balancing. As VR said, just leave the names as they are, and get on with the real problems of the narrative.Nishidani (talk) 17:03, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion 2


Move it to [[15]], which is a page specifically dedicated to the issue you raise. Things, like events, are moving far too fast for the forseeable future for editors to do much more than keep revising as events unfold, reports come in, are summarized, edited in, contested and discussed throughout the article. In a month's time, a thorough review will no doubt be undertaken by new and old, wiki-hardened editors.Nishidani (talk) 22:13, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Removed the following controversial one sided text from article's lead.

The conflict has been called the Gaza Massacre (Arabic: مجزرة غزة‎‎) in the Arab World. [49][44][45][46][50][48][51][52]

-- JaakobouChalk Talk 00:52, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Jaakobou please refrain from repeatedly removing this. Regarding this content, multiple discussions have resulted in consensus for inclusion, see Talk Archives. Thanks. RomaC (talk) 01:10, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

This has been debated to death in full 3 days. Read the archive. --Darwish07 (talk) 01:35, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
There is absolutely no controversy in this. We are not calling the events a massacre, we are giving the name that one of the involved parties is calling the events. It cannot possibly be controversial to accurately report the names that both sides are calling this conflict. There are a plethora of sources that give these names, both english sources that translate statements from Hamas and other arabs (eg SBS World News Australia, quoting a Hamas spokesmon "Basically what is happening is the fault of Israel because it is impossible to contain the Arab and Islamic world after the Gaza massacre." [16]; turkish news agency quoting hamas spokesman 'Hamas leader Muhammad Nazzal made the announcement for his party during an interview with Al-Arabiya television Monday evening. Hamas will not try to make any political gains on the backs of the Gaza massacre, he said.' [17]; Aljazeera magazine english 'since Israel's Gaza massacre started on December 27' [18]; gulfnews 'Emirati and Palestinian citizens, who expressed their anger at the Gaza massacre in interviews to Gulf News' [19]) and arabic sources that are without question reliable that use the arabic term: (eg BBC Arabic Al-Jazeera) It cannot possibly be POV to give the name that both sides use, we are not endorsing or denying that the events are a massacre, we are merely stating what one of the sides is calling the conflict. And as noted above, this has been debated to death in the archives. Nableezy (talk) 02:25, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to add all those references and the Arabic references too to put this topic to an end. --Darwish07 (talk) 02:44, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

It is not true that consensus has been reached on this! This was taken to the WP:OR noticeboard [20] and the only uninvolved opinions did not reflect yours, and neither does ours. The only reason it is still there is because you and your compadres have reverted every time a NPOV compromise has been attempted. Your reversions back to this unacceptable POV sentence are disruptive. You are not attempting to find common ground. Tundrabuggy (talk) 06:14, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Would you like to take a vote on it to see if consensus has been reached? There have been 4 (i think) editors who say that this is either OR or POV, the rest have discussed their accusations and presented abundant sources to disprove them. You have sources for both the arabic words that are used and for their english translation. What else do you want? Or do just want the lead to only mention the english and hebrew names for the conflict and not the arabic? That would be the definition of POV. Nableezy (talk) 06:55, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Further, and I repeat this for perhaps the 50th time, it is not a POV violation to accurately report what both sides are calling the conflict. In every battle or war page that I can think of in the entirety of the A/I conflict has both names in the lead. That the name the arbas have used is objectionable to you does not make it POV violation. The article is not calling the events a massacre, it is merely reporting that arabs are calling it the 'gaza massacre'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nableezy (talkcontribs) 06:58, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Majority editors are in favor of keeping the line. This includes Darwish07, RomaC, Jacob2718, Al Ameer son and Nableezy. Also, your choice of words (e.g. "unacceptable POV sentence") is hardly one in spirit of finding common ground.
If we are to find common ground, some acknowledgments need to be made. You need to realize that whether Arabs name events/conflicts as "Gaza massacre" or "FDgdsf aofe;hnaoefaf", we should faithfully report the name of the subject as it is, and that is not a violation of WP:NPOV. The real question should be whether or not reliable sources back up the claim that Arab media has referred to the events as "Gaza massacre".VR talk 07:06, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Not even a question, we have bbc arabic and aljazeera (clearly reliable) using the term, we have countless other arabic sources that most users wouldnt be familiar with that use the term. And the list of editors in favor was much longer than that, in the archives or the parent talk page. Nableezy (talk) 07:14, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
To be frank, all I see is a 4 man "democracy" and a pretty bad one side's narrative promoted against consensus with censorship on that same POV when it becomes too extreme. Either we leave this ridiculous terminology for the body, or we lump it together with both the 'holocaut' narrative that Khaled Mashal[21] (Hamas no.1 in Syria) and the Arab world are repeating feaverishly as well as the Hamas "we desire death"[22] rhetorics. JaakobouChalk Talk 09:21, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Jaakobou, are you trying to use youtube as a source for "we desire death" being the name of the conflict? Can you come up with more reliable sources in which Arab media names this conflict as "we desire death", and provide the Arabic term as well.VR talk 09:25, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
You know what, there might not be consensus for the inclusion of the term, but I ran through the archives and here is what I found (apologies to anybody I missed or am misconstruing their opinion)
against: brewcrewer, rabend, nomaed, coreywalters06, tundrabuggy, wandersage, drork
for: jcdenton2052, nableezy, Jacob2718, nonzionist, chikamatsu, romac, darwish07, dbw, , cerejota, sean.hoyland, nickhh, viceregent, Thrylos000, Al Ameer son. Tiamut, (as per below), Nishidani.(last two added by Nishidani (talk) 16:54, 11 January 2009 (UTC))
I think you missed a few who might not be on this page but that seem to have made their (against) views known: including jaakabou, omrim, cryptonio, tomtom9041. Either way, don't forget that WP is not a democracy, but works on the best argument. It strikes me that only one side has been debating this in good faith, as is evidenced by the way the lead stands and has stood from day one. Every attempt at a balance has been reverted by your side almost immediately. Photographs of the Holocaust have been put up on talk pages as justification for putting up graphic pictures of Palestinians. The "proper" name of "Massacre" has been included in the first two lines of the lead without any corresponding Israeli justification. Any attempt to even reduce the concept to "Arabs say it is a massacre" is insufficient. Innumerable people have weighed in that the whole article is heavily weighted on the idea of Israeli atrocities. Other pro-Israel editors have got so frustrated now that the archived discussion runs to fifteen or twenty pages that they have taken it off their watchlists. I think it is getting time for some serious arbitration here. Tundrabuggy (talk) 18:41, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
We are not presenting the arab argument in the lead, its like you dont even read what other people write. the argument that it is legitimate self-defense is in the second para. And like I said, I just ran through the talk archives, if I missed somebody Im sorry. Nableezy (talk) 19:28, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
And I do not see Omrim taking a position either way in any of the discussions upon further review. Nableezy (talk) 19:56, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
So it might not be a consensus, but surely there is no consensus to remove it and it was a lil more than a '4 man democracy' Nableezy (talk) 09:58, 11 January 2009 (UTC) (edit adding names from this page's discussion earlier) Nableezy (talk) 10:05, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget me "for" too. And Rabend, if you want to use such simplistic categories, the "pro-Israelis" are disproprortionately much better represented at Wikipedia than their numbers in the "real world". Tiamuttalk 14:50, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Come on, guys. We can't count to decide. A-priori there are more "anti-Israelis" than "pro-Israelis" (forgive me for this generalization, but in reality most of us do fall into one of these categories, based on our history of edits here), so what are we actually counting here? Rabend (talk) 10:19, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree counting will be a mission in futility, but how else to decide. It is well sourced that arabs are using the term as the title of the conflict, those who dont want to include it are saying so because they dont think it is a massacre. That is truly irrelevant, how can somebody possibly argue against keeping the common name for the conflict among one of the involved parties. I completely understand, even sympathize, with those who find the name objectionable. But nobody can refute that it is the name given, and nobody can explain why one of the parties names for the conflict should not be in lead. To emphasize one point, the article is not endorsing the view that it is a massacre, it is just reporting on the names that both sides have called it. I dont understand how somebody can argue against this on anything other than they dont like the phrase. Nableezy (talk) 10:35, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
And Im sure some editors will 'toe the party line' but I am equally sure there will be plenty disregard their bias and judge it on the merits. But you are right, some will just come down on one side no matter what. Nableezy (talk) 10:38, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
As far as the 'holocaust' comment it can be included, but not in the lead. If you want to include that in the reactions fine, but there is no evidence to suggest that title has gained any traction in the press or among anybody other than Meshal. And they didnt name the conflict 'we desire death' they were saying they were prepared to die in the conflict. Nableezy (talk) 10:00, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
And how incredibly dishonest to come here and say they have called it the Gaza holocaust when he clearly uses is it as a description, not a title. Nableezy (talk) 10:08, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
You DO NOT have consensus to add Gaza Holocaust to the lead. Bring your sources here that this is being used as a title in the arab world. Nableezy (talk) 10:24, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Okay, it seems there is no way I can stay out of it any longer. Here is what I think: The reason don't take active part in this discussion (as well as in many others) is that I am having a hard time to crystalize an opinion. I must say that I am appalled by the "massacre" terminology, as I find it to be nothing short of simple case of racism, yet, I can't see how we can ignore the fact that most of the Arab world does call it that way (i.e. "Gaza Massacre"). That said, I guess I would have no objection to include the term in the lead. However, most Israeli media outlets call it "the Gaza War". If "massacare" goes in so should "war"--Omrim (talk) 20:00, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Are you satisfied with the way it is written in the lead? I notice you say "Gaza Massacre" and then a bit later you talk about massacre with a small "m." So I am not satisfied that I understand your opinion. Why not illustrate it with a draft sentence or two? Tundrabuggy (talk) 05:12, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Completely down with that, NPOV says we have each sides name fairly represented, if the Israeli media is calling 'Gaza War' that should go with the Arabs calling it 'Gaza Massacre' Nableezy (talk) 20:10, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Most of the sources cited and google news hits state "...Gaza massacre". It is being reffered to as a massacre but not actually titled as one by most news sources.Cptnono (talk) 20:23, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

There alot of sources that use the term Gaza massacre as the title, specifically ones that quote Hamas in english, and a multitude that use the term as the title in the arabic news channels/websites. Nableezy (talk) 20:26, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I know it sounds like pulling hairs but most of the sources cited after the line use it in the headline but not as a title which is why it is not capitalized and why it is put in quotations whenever an Arab leader uses the term. In regard to your last edit, there is more than Hamas I just thought it was getting drawn out and didn't feel like listing.Cptnono (talk) 20:32, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you on that, but Hamas is the one engaged in hostilities, that they use the name is more important than that Syrias, Irans, Jordans . . . have used it. They are one of the involved parties in the battle, so what they call it is clearly relevant, what the other call it can be questioned as to its relevancy. Nableezy (talk) 20:36, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
The change from "Arab leaders" to "Hamas leaders" isn't a concern to me. I was just originally trying to tie it to the sources currently being used a little better. Before it said many commentators. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cptnono (talkcontribs) 20:39, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
And I would be willing to drop the capitalization, just seems odd to say that some are giving it the name (proper noun) of 'whatever' and not capitalizing 'whatever' Nableezy (talk) 20:37, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I was conflicted on what changes should be made since it could easily start looking pretty silly and awful. I think a few good sources (regardless if it is a western news agency or not) calling it The Gaza Massacre and getting rid of the others would be perfect.Cptnono (talk) 20:43, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
How about these (copied from above): english sources that translate statements from Hamas and other arabs (eg SBS World News Australia, quoting a Hamas spokesmon "Basically what is happening is the fault of Israel because it is impossible to contain the Arab and Islamic world after the Gaza massacre." [23]; turkish news agency quoting hamas spokesman 'Hamas leader Muhammad Nazzal made the announcement for his party during an interview with Al-Arabiya television Monday evening. Hamas will not try to make any political gains on the backs of the Gaza massacre, he said.' [24]; Aljazeera magazine english 'since Israel's Gaza massacre started on December 27' [25]; gulfnews 'Emirati and Palestinian citizens, who expressed their anger at the Gaza massacre in interviews to Gulf News' [26]) and arabic sources that are without question reliable that use the arabic term: (eg BBC Arabic and Aljazeera) Nableezy (talk) 20:45, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Hamas leaders are definitely calling it a massacre.Cptnono (talk) 20:49, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I was just rereading some of it and sometimes it is being reffered to as a massacre. I think my biggest concern is that it is being referred to as a massacre and not titled a massacre. I don't think it history will label this event as The Gazan Massacre so if it stays for now (which will prevent the lead from becomming to argumentative) I anticipate it will need to be changed sooner or later.Cptnono (talk) 21:01, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I think, at least from the translations in my last response, it is clear that at least Hamas is calling 'the gaza massacre' and not just 'a massacre.' And I agree if the name in the arab world changes, so then should this article. Nableezy (talk) 21:06, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
This has again been reverted by tundrabuggy, and reinserted by tariqabjotu, i think this is now crossing into deliberate disruption by tundrabuggy. tundrabuggy: all of your assertions as to whatever policy you think have been violated have been addressed. There can be no dispute that the term is being used 'by Hamas leader and much of the Arab media'. To argue that is clearly futile. Your only other argument has been it is not NPOV. Please explain what part of NPOV says we carry the name one side uses for a conflict but refuse to carry the others. You have said that there needs to be an Israeli response to such claims. We are not presenting the name as anything other than then name given by one side in the conflict. We are merely accurately reporting what one side has called the conflict. There is no need to justify or respond to the name, we are not endorsing it. Arguments for the legality or morality of the conflict for both sides are in clear abundance throughout the article. There is no rational explanation for refusing to carry the Arab name of the conflict, other than you dont like it. Im sorry but that is not a reasonable answer. Nableezy (talk) 21:47, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Comment: You can't decide on (a) adding an allegatory title, (b) removing the part of the allegation that is stronger to give more credibility to the initial charge than it holds (c) ignore the main problem in that narrative. Clearly, Hamas are demandig civilians play along with them. There were TV broadcasts where they call out civilians to run to someone's house because Israel noted him to leave the place before they will bom it and we've seen rallies where Hamas takes pride in perfecting this tatic. There is simply no way to rev up the terrorist agenda by calling the event 'massacre' without giving a vice to the other words noted by that same side - i.e. "we desire death as you desire life". Personally, I think this entire thing is too controversial for the lead and have suggested as such. However, if some editors prefer to make note of how much of the Arab world describes the event, then the full descriptors and the doublethink within this rhetoric much be noted for neutrality. There is no proper justification for keeping from their words only the part that makes od propaganda, this is not the purpose of wikipedia. JaakobouChalk Talk 12:15, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

You cannot demonstrate that anybody has called this event 'we desire death' or 'the gaza holocaust'. That you keep saying this demonstrates bad faith. That you think the name given is not true or somehow unfair to the israelis is irrelavant. The lead has the englisbh title, the israeli title, and the arab title. That you fail to see that this represents NPOV is not our fault. Nableezy (talk) 16:57, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
And many would feel that 'the terrorist agenda' include the indiscriminate bombing of women and children by your precious IDF. That you consider Hamas terrorist is also irrelevant, there are plenty of people who think the state of israel is a terrorist entity which actively engages in state sponsored terrorism. Nableezy (talk) 17:00, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I still doubt this situation will be termed "The Gaza Massacre of 2009". It might be referred to as a massacre but it won't be the title. It looks good as it is now (with the massacre as a title) though. I think it will have to be removed some day but right now that is me speculating. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cptnono (talkcontribs) 02:56, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree if another name gains traction in the arab world the name on the article should be changed to reflect that. Nableezy (talk) 03:55, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Closed as per WP:TALK: no value in discussion to add to article

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
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  46. ^ a b "[[Organisation of the Islamic Conference]] denounces Massacre in Gaza". Arab News. 2008-12-28. Archived from the original on 2009-1-7. Retrieved 2009-1-7.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |archive-date= (help); URL–wikilink conflict (help) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "gazza_massacre3" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
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  48. ^ a b Libya calling the operation a "horrible massacre" - "United Nations Security Council 6060th meeting (Click on the page S/PV.6060 record for transcript)". United Nations Security Council. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2009-1-7.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "UN_council_6060" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
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