Talk:Golan Heights/Archive 5

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Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6

arabic text before hebrew - cont'd

Ok, if Haḍbatu 'l-Jawlān is the Arabic name, then why isn't the article named Haḍbatu 'l-Jawlān ? --Shuki (talk) 14:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

This is an english article, therefore the english name: Golan Heights.--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 14:59, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, and the Arabic article is titled that. Nableezy (talk) 15:20, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
So you're saying that the 'anglo world' has decided that the Hebrew name is more representative? --Shuki (talk) 19:19, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
What does that even mean? Heights is a Hebrew word? That they use the word Golan. Sure it may come from Hebrew, the Arabic name may too, but I have no idea what your point is. This isnt an article on the term Golan Heights. Nableezy (talk) 00:43, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Who says Golan is a Hebrew name? It was first mentioned in Deuteronomy, where an apparently already existing City of Refuge by that name was assigned by Moses to the Tribe of Menasheh, while the Israelites where still in Moab. There's no indication that the name is Hebrew, and I haven't been able to find anywhere what it may have meant in Hebrew. For all we know, it may be in any of the languages of antiquity of the Levant. What's your point anyway, Shuki, do you want to rename the article?--Doron (talk) 21:28, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

the jewish should be removed entirely or at the least removed from the introduction. it has never been the natural language of Golan Heights and never will be. i notice the jewish has been removed from other articles about arab items (like foods) that the jews have stealed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nosdena12 (talkcontribs)

response to Nosdena12, This is one of these attempts to try to make it look like I have written this to get me banned from wikipeda, --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 19:56, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Please don't throw around conspiracy theories. I was just about to mark the unsigned comment when I saw you had left me a message. Oren0 (talk) 20:12, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Conduct on this page

Note to all editors: please be aware that this page falls under the purview of the arbitration committee's decision regarding Israeli and Palestinian-related articles. What this means to all of you is that people should be extra careful to not edit war, not make personal attacks or inflammatory comments, and to use the talk page. The current edit war regarding whether to list Hebrew or Arabic first is both pedantic and unacceptable. If it continues, this page will be fully protected. All editors should also note that the three revert rule applies to all reverts on a single page, even regarding different issues. Oren0 (talk) 20:29, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

nsaum75 should be blocked from editing this and similar articles. it is clear he is zionist and only edits from that standpoint. his attempt at creating a stacked rfc with a "independent" closing admin being jewish is further examples of his attemp to hijack this article for the zionists. Freegolan (talk) 01:47, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

I posted a request for a third party admin at the Admin Noticeboards[1]; I had no influence over who chose to close it nor did I have a choice over their religion or beliefs. Furthermore, a review of my contributions will show I edit far more than just middle eastern related articles. --Nsaum75 (talk) 01:58, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
You should probably review Wikipedia's policy regarding no personal attacks. ← George [talk] 02:20, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


I'm wanting to alert people to the existence of the above request for arbitration. There's been a delay in my adding parties to the request as I wanted some guidance on whom to name and was away for the weekend by the time that my question weas answered. There are a couple of people whose names have appeared in the discussion. I'll add and notify them tonight, but I won't add anyone else until tomorrow (UK time). In the mean time, could I invite those who have been most talkative about this to add themselves as parties, as you're likely to get mentioned or added by me or someone else over the next couple of days anyway. I see that yet another thread on the subject has appeared here and the number of article talk pages where related issues have been discussed is into double figures. For that rerason I don't think that this is the best place to reach a decision, when editors of other articles might not feel bound by a decision here. People who agree or disagree with me on this or feel there is somethign else that needs a mention are also welcome to add themselves to the case and express their views.--Peter cohen (talk) 20:31, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Republic of Syria

  • These reliable sources -- [2], [3], [4] -- say the modern, independent nation of the Republic of Syria didn't come into existance until the 1940s/1946. Prior to that the land area of modern Syria was not independent, and in fact was part of different nations or mandates, some with names like "Ottoman Syria". Therefore, given the fact we have at least three sources that say the Republic of Syria didn't exist until gaining its independence in the 1940s, the infobox should reflect that, showing that it controlled the Golan "between 1946-1967", not "before 1967". Afterall, this article is about a dispute between the Republic of Syria and Israel, not the mandates or Ottoman Syria and Israel.

If this is disputed, reliable sources must be introduced that state otherwise, otherwise I move that someone change the infobox to represent the sourced material we have on hand. --Nsaum75 (talk) 14:51, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

These links says that Syria got its independence in 1946, nothing else, what you want to do is minimize the Syrian history in this article. If we only put "part of Syria from 1946-1967", the reader would believe that before 1946 it wasn't part of Syria which is not true, Today's "Syrian entity" is not something you can separate from the French mandate of Syria or the Vilayet of Damascus (smaller district in Ottoman Syria) as if they were completely different things. Now another thing I thought about, if it says in the infobox: "Part of Syria 1946-1967" or "part of Syria before 1967" It means that its not part of Syria today, which is the Israeli position and completely against Syria's, UNs, and the rest of the worlds position that still today it is Syrian. Is this fair? Is this neutral? --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 15:33, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody actually claims the land to be under Syrian control today. Syria and the UN claim that the land should be controlled by Syria, and that Israel's "occupation" is illegitimate, but I don't see how one could dispute that the land is currently under Israeli control. Oren0 (talk) 17:09, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
You are not wrong, but SD has a point. It would be better to say in the infobox "governed by Syria" or "controlled by Syria" and likewise for Israel as that doesnt imply that it is no longer a part of Syria. Nableezy (talk) 17:14, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Oren0, I didn't say it is under Syrian control today, I said that Syria and the rest of the world considers Golan to be Syrian land today, and the UN considers it to be undoubtedly Syrian land, thats why when Golan is mentioned in the UN it is called the Syrian Golan Heights. The Israeli presence is considered an occupation in southwestern Syria. The infobox is right now saying that as of 1967 Golan is no longer part of Syria, this is against 99% of the world views. Is this the neutrality that should be here on wikipedia? and Nableezy, "governed" and "controlled" by Syria is not a good thing to call it because it means that Syria was controlling a part that does not belong to it. Imagine if someone said that Syria was controlling Aleppo. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 18:06, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. As WP:Due says: "Neutrality requires that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each. Now an important qualification: In general, articles should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views..."--Peter cohen (talk) 19:18, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
The UN position is not a fact in any way. The UN position should be, and is, noted. But it should not be noted as a fact. The facts we have is that Israel controls the Golan, Syria claims it and that the UN is not recognizing it as Israeli. The UN view is not a fact. Per WP:Due: "Neutrality requires that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints". Now is the Israeli view sigficant/prominent? Yes definitely since they claim, control and has annexed the territory. Now is for example the Brazilian view significant/prominent? No. Fipplet (talk) 17:35, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

WP due: "articles should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views" So its Israel against the world. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 17:55, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

"Neutrality requires that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints". The viewpoint of the "majority of the world" is pretty insignificant in this case. The viewpoint of the involved parties is obviously more significant. Fipplet (talk) 18:20, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
No its not, we are all living in an international world and this is important and is highly significant if 99% of the world considers it to be Syrian occupied by Israel. And then the Syrian viewpoint which is not presented at all here. This whole article is hijacked. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 18:23, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Can you provide some reliable source saying 99% of the world considers it to be Syrian? Not to mention that the view of uninvolved parties is pretty insignificant compared to the involved. Fipplet (talk) 18:52, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
read what I posted in the "Is this article gonna follow the rules of wikipedia or not?" section. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 19:16, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Map caption

I have corrected the caption on the Golan Heights map to reflect that it shows the area as part of Syria. If anyone doubts this or thinks I am making an original interpretation, then please look at this which shows the original CIA map on which the Wikipedia map is based. (Trace back the successive image descriptions to confirm this.) The "S" of Syria is within the Israeli-controlled area and the "y" straddles the border with the UNDOF zone.--Peter cohen (talk) 19:49, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Ok, but the map that we use in the article doesn't show the Golan Heights as part of Syria so I don't see why you changed it. Now the caption doesn't agree with the map that we are using. Fipplet (talk) 20:50, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Hmm... so there's a couple issues. First, as Peter mentioned, the unedited map from the CIA (prior to Wikipedia editors modifying it) clearly shows the area labeled as Syria. A Wikipedia editor went in and modified the original from a reliable source, changing what it shows, which is a definite issue. I'm unclear why anyone would do that except to push a POV. Second, even the modified version shows the area as part of Syria. Notice that the line between Lebanon and Syria is thick. That's an international border, and the same border used between Jordan and Syria. Notice also that the line between Lebanon and Israel is dashed - that's the Armistice Line. The Armistice Line runs between Israel and Lebanon, and Israel and the Golan Heights. There is no Armistice Line nor an international border between Syria and the Golan Heights, clearly indicating that the area is within Syria (from the viewpoint of the map maker). ← George [talk] 21:53, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
But right now that is irrelevant since we are not using the unedited map. Secondly it is not true what you say, if it was shown as part of syria there would be an international boundry line between Golan and Israel, and there is a line between the Golan and Syria called line A. Furthermore it says at the bottom map that the boundry representation is not authorative. Fipplet (talk) 21:38, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
No. That's why I pointed out that the border between Lebanon and Israel is the exact same as the border between the Golan Heights and Israel. This is an Armistice Line, and carries the exact same weight as an international border. A country will never have an Armistice Line – a ceasefire line – running within it's own territory; that makes no sense. If the creator of the map wanted to indicate that the Golan Heights was Israeli territory, the Armistice line would have been on the other side of the area, between the Golan Heights and Syria. Likewise, it doesn't matter if the representation is "authoritative" or not – the caption is just a description of what the map shows, which is the Golan Heights as part of Syria, bordered by three other nations. Now, you can make the case that we shouldn't say what the map shows, but you can't make the claim that the map doesn't show the Golan Heights as being part of Syria. ← George [talk] 22:53, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
That's completely untrue. Even if an Armistice Line carried the exact same weight as an international border it still says 1949 Armistice Line, which means it isn't necessarily the international border of today. Regardless of that an armistice line is not the same as an international border. These lines are the result of agreements between Syria and Israel.
These are some of the provisions that were agreed upon [5]: It is also recognized that no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military, and not by political, considerations... It is emphasized that the following arrangements for the Armistice Demarcation Line between the Israeli and Syrian armed forces and for the Demilitarized Zone are not to be interpreted as having any relation whatsoever to ultimate territorial arrangements affecting the two Parties to this Agreement... The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Line is to delineate the line beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move... etc. An Armistice Line is a military border not a political one. An agreement were set up betwee Lebanon and Israel as well. Furthermore there is a non-dashed line between Syria and the Golan and there is no explanation to any of the lines so you can't say anyone of them is this or that. The current map does not show Golan as part of Israel in any way. Fipplet (talk) 17:59, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and the military ceasefire line acts as a de facto border between Israel and Syria, in lieu of a political agreement between them - the exact same way the ceasefire line between Israel and Lebanon does. This map was made well after 1967, so the year the line was agreed upon has little bearing. The lines between the Golan Heights and Syria are clearly outlining the region the UN controls as a buffer. No one can argue that those are meant to delineate international borders, as they are not weighted as internal borders. Nobody said that the map shows the Golan as part of Israel. It does, however, clearly show the Golan as part of Syria. Whether the map is right or wrong, that's clearly what the map shows, and to state otherwise is disingenuous at the very least. ← George [talk] 19:23, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Is this article gonna follow the rules of wikipedia or not?

Is the Israeli minority gonna dominate this article?

"Neutrality requires that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each. Now an important qualification: In general, articles should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and will generally not include tiny-minority views at all."

So why aren't this article calling Golan Syrian territory occupied by Israel?

EU: "Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan"

US: Israeli settlements in occupied territories, Golan.

UN: "Resolution adopted by the General Assembly 61/120. The occupied Syrian Golan The General Assembly, Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories,1 Deeply concerned that the Syrian Golan, occupied since 1967, has been under continued Israeli military occupation, Recalling Security Council resolution 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981, Recalling also its previous relevant resolutions, the most recent of which was resolution 60/108 of 8 December 2005, Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of resolution 60/108,2 Recalling its previous relevant resolutions in which, inter alia, it called upon Israel to put an end to its occupation of the Arab territories, Reaffirming once more the illegality of the decision of 14 December 1981 taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which has resulted in the effective annexation of that territory, Reaffirming that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible under international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,3 to the occupied Syrian Golan, Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967, _______________ 1 See A/61/500. 2 A/61/327. 3 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973. A/RES/61/120 2 Welcoming the convening at Madrid of the Peace Conference on the Middle East on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 aimed at the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, and expressing grave concern about the stalling of the peace process on all tracks, 1. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497 (1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, rescind forthwith its decision; 2. Also calls upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and in particular to desist from the establishment of settlements; 3. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, that purport to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void, constitute a flagrant violation of international law and of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,3 and have no legal effect; 4. Calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, and from its repressive measures against the population of the occupied Syrian Golan; 5. Deplores the violations by Israel of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949; 6. Calls once again upon Member States not to recognize any of the legislative or administrative measures and actions referred to above; 7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-second session on the implementation of the present resolution."

Show me now, how many countries sees Golan as Israeli and not part of Syria.--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 20:42, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

"published by a reliable source" is something quite different from UN resolutions. Countries voting do not decide what WP should say. Is this discussion right back where it started weeks ago? WP cannot take sides. We are here to report cited viewpoints, not to express them as truths in WP's own voice. Hertz1888 (talk) 21:23, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
"articles should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and will generally not include tiny-minority views at all."... I ask you again, how many countries sees Golan as Israeli and not part of Syria? How many countries considers it Syria occupied by Israel? How many countries views that as of 1967 Golan is no longer part of Syria? And yet look at the infobox now.--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 21:37, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Hertz1888 wrote that "We are here to report cited viewpoints, not to express them as truths". Correct, and I think that's exactly the point. A plethora of reliable sources – from news articles, to politicians, to noted scholars and historians – can be found that label the territory as "occupied". Oren0 wrote that "some do dispute that it is occupied", yet, despite my requests both here and on Oren0's own talk page, I have yet to see anyone provide any reliable sources that dispute the term "occupied". Does anyone, outside of Wikipedia editors, actually dispute the term? Where are the reliable sources that state that the term is inaccurate, or a misnomer. Without any sources to support it, I tend to question the validity of statements like "some do dispute that it is occupied". If you believe that those who dispute the term are not in the extreme minority (which would fall under undue weight policy), can you provide reliable sources that dispute it? ← George [talk] 22:03, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
If you're asking for a source of Israel saying "we don't like the term 'occupied'", no, I can't provide you that. Nor do I expect that you could provide a source of anyone saying "I don't like the term 'disputed'". What I can provide are sources, in abundance, where Israel does not use that term to describe the land. Similarly, most of the American news articles I've found on the subject also carefully avoid using the term occupied to refer to the current status of the land. Most American news sources I've seen either say "disputed", "considered to be occupied by Syria" or "capture by Israel in 1967." For example, Al Jazeera, CNN, The Associated Press WorldNetDaily, not to mention Israeli sources. I could go on all day. WP:WEIGHT is not about the opinions of people or even nations, it is about the opinions of reliable sources. Many sources avoid the use of the term "occupied" as an unqualified fact and therefore it does not violate WEIGHT to qualify the use of the term "occupied" with who it is claiming it. Oren0 (talk) 04:57, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I was looking for the source of your statement that "some... dispute that [the Golan Heights] is occupied". I read each of your sources, and none of them says that the fact that it is an occupation is disputed, only that the land itself is disputed – something we all agree on. What has been claimed and is still unsourced is that the occupation itselfnot the land – is disputed. Saying that the land is disputed – which is what your sources do, and which we all agree on – is completely different than saying that the occupation of that land is disputed. Likewise, we can't infer any "avoidance" of the term "occupation" from sources that discuss the disputed nature of the land but don't discuss the nature of the governance of that land (that is, the "occupation"). ← George [talk] 05:24, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
First off, your premise that "we all agree" that the land is disputed isn't true. Read the RfC above, several people claimed that the land is Syrian and that calling it disputed is incorrect. Secondly, I'm not saying that the article should state that the term occupied is disputed, as that would require a source. I'm saying that many sources avoid the use of the term "occupied" because occupation is a term that some use and some don't. You can't source a negative, and the fact that Israel hasn't come out and said "please don't call it occupied, that term offends us" is not the same as saying that Israel has tacitly accepted that term. Oren0 (talk) 00:54, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how you can translate what you perceive to be avoidance of the term "occupied" into an opposition to the term's reliably-sourced usage, without either providing reliable sources that counter the label, or resorting to original research. Following the same logic, I could say that many sources (especially in the US) that mention China choose to not mention that the government of China is communist (which is true, due in large part to political sensitives and close business ties between the US and China). Does that mean the the Wikipedia article on China shouldn't label it a communist country, because I perceive many sources avoiding the term communist?? Of course not. ← George [talk] 01:54, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Possible resolution

We should probably remember to keep in mind WP:Tendentious editing when discussing UNDUE and other issues. --Nsaum75 (talk) 23:04, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I dont see how that is relevant, but sure. But to the point, the question isnt how many countries say it is occupied, it is how do reliable sources overwhelmingly describe this place. The answer to that question is clear, but for reasons I care not to speculate about it has been ignored. To answer SD's question as to will this article follow wikipedia core policies, I think the answer is a resounding no. Sources, especially scholarly sources, tend not to matter in this area as much as personal feelings. Nableezy (talk) 00:15, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
The question here, as I seem to understand it, is a) whether or not "Occupied Territory" should be used exclusively with no mention that the land is under "dispute" by one/some countries, or b) should all different viewpoints and/or wordchoice be included.
"Dispute", as a matter of word choice, can many different things; Specifically, one can refer to the area as being disputed not in terms of who rightfully owns the land in question, but rather representative of a disagreement over whom should currently exhert civil or military control over a land which is almost "universally" admitted to being "occupied". For instance, I can certainly occupy my neighbors house and live in it, while acknowleding it belongs to him. The term dispute would not be over ownership but rather current control. Obviously my neighbor would want to exercise complete control over his house and occupy it, while I would dispute that and for whatever reasons say that while he may own it, I was most fit to currently control it. I know that may seem to be a silly argument, but is that not what is going on in the Golan right now? There seems to be an overwhelming amount of RS saying the land is occupied, and there are some RS that state even Israel refers to the land as "Occupied", but by virtue of their continued "occupation", Israel obviously disputes the fact with Syria over who should exert control over the land at this moment. I think that may be part of where the "dispute" over the terminology may be coming from. --Nsaum75 (talk) 01:04, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I believe your initial understanding is wrong, or possibly mine is. :) I do not support the exclusive use of the term "occupied territory" in the article, and I have no problem mixing use of the term "occupied" with "disputed" throughout the body of the article (which is currently being done). There are plenty of articles from reliables sources that call it a disputed region without mentioning that it is occupied, and vice versa. However, as the area is more often referred to as occupied, I think that the term should be used in the lead (as is currently the case) and infobox (where it was removed by Oren0). One slight problem with the term "disputed", as you illustrated, is that it's a bit ambiguous. You state that Israel disputes "who should exert control over the land at this moment", but the term "disputed territory" is usually used to refer to an area where two parties disagree on who should exert control permanently (Kashmir, for instance). ← George [talk] 01:25, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I have no issue with "Occupied" in the lead, my main concern is that differing viewpoints and terminology will be excluded from the article as a whole. In previous edit-wars over the terms (prior to the RfC), there seemed to be an "all or nothing" stance from both sides of the issue. Regardless of outcome, the end result needs to be built on an overall consensus. --Nsaum75 (talk) 01:35, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I concur. I oppose the exclusive use of either term; a mix is best. However, I do favor the weighted use of the term "occupied" in the lead & infobox, as I view that term as representative of the majority viewpoint on the issue. ← George [talk] 01:40, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree, re: equitable use of terminology. I think we are both on the same page then. --Nsaum75 (talk) 01:49, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Is this exchange perhaps getting us closer to an edit compromise? I have created some section breaks here to show that perhaps this discussion here offers a possible edit compromise. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 21:15, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Further discussion

”’Reply to RFC” This is about international legality and standards. It's "occupied" territory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Remember:""Neutrality requires that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each. Now an important qualification: In general, articles should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and will generally not include tiny-minority views at all." I agree with George, "occupied" is the vast majority viewpoint, and should be in the lead and infobox, but this doesn't mean that we have to remove any other minority positions from the article, but yet, I have not even seen a tiny minority viewpoint. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 06:24, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Weight applies to the preponderance of a view in reliable sources, not to the opinions of individuals or governments. I performed a Google News search yesterday for "Golan Heights", and more than half of the results on page 1 did not use the term occupied (using instead "disputed" or "captured in 1967"). The fact that national governments believe something is not the same as having it reported in sources. Do you have evidence that the term "occupied" is the one used by a majority of reliable sources? Oren0 (talk) 00:57, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
As you yourself stated, the two terms are not mutually exclusive. Sources that label the region as "occupied" are not stating that the area isn't disputed, and sources that label it as disputed are not stating that the area isn't "occupied". The statistically accurate sample to take when attempting such a comparison is sources that describe it as "occupied" versus those that describe it as some form of not occupied – that is, "not occupied", "part of Israel", "soverign territory", etc. ← George [talk] 02:02, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

As perhaps not convincing but still somewhat interesting information in 2003 the Knesset passed a resolution declaring that "Judea and Samaria" (the West Bank) and Gaza are not occupied territories. The Golan Heights are not mentioned in that resolution. I have yet to see a source that says that Israel itself disputes that it is occupied territory. Even the Golan Heights Law excluded the use of the word annex, implicitly accepting that it is not Israeli territory. I would very much like to see a source where the government of Israel disputes that the Golan Heights are occupied. It is clear the dispute that for the West Bank and Gaza, but it has not been shown that the title is in dispute among anybody for the Golan. Nableezy (talk) 06:37, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

All this aruging over a single word will be unhelpful for both sides. Can we just say "a region which Israel occupied in 1967 after the Six-Day War"? --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 20:35, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The Israeli sympathizers are not allowing the word "occupied" in the article. --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 20:47, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Its best to avoid language like that, and the issue isnt the word (it is currently in the lead), it is whether or not in Wikipedia's narrative voice we can say "Israel occupied/occupies" at all. Nableezy (talk) 20:53, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I would suggest that this is not worth an edit conflict. I suggest that the article say "many notable groups consider the territory to be occupied. The government of Israel considers it to be the subject of legitimate diplomatic dispute, " or something like that. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 21:04, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Sm8900, the article already says something like that in the beginning, the problem is with the infobox.--Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 21:08, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
oh, ok. hmmm, have to think about that. thanks for your very helpful replies. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 21:19, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

improper categories

Since The Golan Heights Are Syrian, the categories 'regions of israel' 'history of israel' and 'voolcanos of israel' are wrong & and require deletion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wolof359 (talkcontribs) 02:13, 7 July 2009

I disagree with the removal of the first two: The Golan is considered, by at least Israel, to be part of its North District. Secondly, by virtue of such a lengthy occupation/control/administration by Israel (40+ years), the Golan is indeed part of Israel's history. The categories involving Volcanos of both Israel AND Syria does not belong, because the article is about the territory as a whole, not a specific mountain or volcano. That would be like adding to the Gaza Strip article the categories of "Deserts of Israel" or "Deserts of the Palestinian Territories". --Nsaum75 (talk) 03:43, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I just looked through the current categories, and I actually don't think most of them belong:
  • Regions in Israel & Geography of Syria – the article is already in the Golan Heights category. The Golan Heights category is a sub-category of both the Regions of Israel and Geography of Syria categories, so the latter two are redundant.
  • History of Israel, History of Syria, Jewish history, Islamic history – This is an article about a region, not specifically about the history of that region, so I don't think that any of these make sense. Tel Aviv isn't in the History of Israel category, and, likewise, Damascus isn't in the History of Syria category.
  • Volcanoes of Israel, Volcanoes of Syria, Volcanic plateaus, Volcanoes of the Great Rift Valley, Volcanic fields – five categories in an article that spends only two paragraphs discussing the volcanic nature of the area seems like too much to me.
I'm going to be bold and remove most of these categories. We'll see what other editors think. ← George [talk] 04:07, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
They certainly were excessive. Someone researching volcanic fields might want to be led to this article, though. I think I'll be bold too and put just that one back in. Hertz1888 (talk) 04:17, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Someone once told me Wikipedia is NPOV

Insightful epistemological discussions for tourists
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Well, maybe it once was, until people highly motivated by political interests joined in. I have nothing against politics, but I think someone who'd read this article would like to know the REAL situation in the Golan Heights, not the Syrian ambitions about it, or the opinion of the State Department or the Security Council about what should be in it. I just hope Syrian official views won't be adopted also in the articles about Hafez El-Asad and Bashar El-Asad, otherwise this site would become totally rediculous. (talk) 20:15, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

as opposed to Israeli official views? You have a few misunderstandings, the consensus opinion among international law experts is that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory occupied by Israel. That does not make it Israeli territory, at best it makes it Israeli administered territory (though the proper term is Israeli occupied territory). WP is NPOV but that does not mean putting the position of Israel ahead of the position everybody else. Nableezy (talk) 20:21, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Since you seem to be an expert in international law, please inform me of the implications of these experts' opinion. I would like to visit Majdal Shams. Am I supposed to visit the Syrian embassy to apply for visa? If you say it is occupied, maybe civilians don't have access to this region at all. And yet, some people told me they visited the region by landing near Tel Aviv and taking a bus northwards. Is there a similar bus from Damascus to Majdal Shams? There are also reports that Majdal Shams residents have been selling ski equipment to Israelis who went skiing in Mt. Hermon, and yet Israelis are usually banned from visiting Syria. Isn't that peculiar? And isn't it strange that people go skiining in an occupied territory, i.e. a war zone? Also, some reports mention that Majdal Shams residents occasionally go shopping in Israeli towns like Kiryat Shmona, and sometimes even as far as Haifa. Do Syrian usually go shopping in Israeli towns? (talk) 20:30, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I am not an expert in international law, but I can answer some of your questions. From your IP address it looks like you would be traveling from Israel to the Golan. You would not need to apply for a visa from Syria as Syria does not administer the region (it cannot because it is occupied by Israel). Travel restrictions from Israel may or may not exist, I would suggest you contact a government ministry in Israel to see what you have to do to go there. And no, it is not peculiar, because the territory is under military occupation by Israel Syria is not able to restrict access to it. You have this idea that because Israel controls the territory that means it is Israeli territory. It is not. This is an indisputable fact. And occupied territory does not mean a war zone, it means territory that belongs to another state being controlled by military means, captured during hostilities. It does not have to mean hostilities are currently being waged (though Israel and Syria are still at war). Wikipedia is not a travel guide though, so I do not see the relevance in anything that you wrote. Nableezy (talk) 20:42, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Don't feed the trolls... ← George [talk] 20:51, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, as you saw from my IP address I am not Scandinavian, so I can hardly be conisdered a troll. Now, I would like to get his straight - is this a debate about the meaning of the term "occupation" or about the Golan Heights? You said that you don't know whether there are restrictions over visiting the Golan Heights, but there are people who know. There are no such restrictions as long as you come from within Israel. For the common traveler, that makes this territory part of Israel. This information is very valuable, and yet some editors here put a lot of effort in hiding it. This information is also valuable for people who happen to have relatives or friends in the Golan Heights, for people who buy products manufactured in the Golan Heights, for people reading news related to this region, etc. Now, the term occupation has certain meanings in everyday English, in legal language, in diplomacy. Are you going to make your terminology clear? (talk) 03:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
There not being travel restrictions from Israel to the Golan does not support the idea that the Golan is not Syrian territory occupied by Israel, it only means that Israelis are free to travel to territory that Israel occupies. This is an encyclopedia article not a travel guide. Nableezy (talk) 03:24, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Dear anonymous editor, if you're not attempting to troll, then kindly review Wikipedia's policies. Wikipedia is not a travel guide, nor is it a soapbox. We don't dictate who can or can't visit the Golan Heights. We don't know if you, your friends, or your relatives can travel there, buy certain products there, apply for a visa there, or ski there. None of that has any bearing on whether or not the Wikipedia article should label the area as "occupied" or not. The only thing that matters is if such a label is readily verifiable from reliable sources. What you're suggesting is referred to as original research – something shunned on Wikipedia. If you have any specific questions, by all means feel free to drop by my talk page. ← George [talk] 03:47, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
It seems to me that you plunged so deeply into discussions about details, that you forgot the main duty Wikipedia took upon itself, which is to convey genuine useful knowledge. Right now, you are discussing what kind of regime would be legitimate in the Golan Heights, as if Wikipedia were an international arbitrary committee. It is not. If you want to convey genuine useful information, stick to the facts, and keep political ambitions aside. If describing facts is considered original research or soaping, then we reached a point where knowledge has no meaning anymore. Actually what you are doing is taking the rules of Wikipedia ad absurdum. If the discussion here is a precedent to other discussions in Wikipedia, then we have a serious problem. (talk) 09:36, 8 July 2009 (UTC)