Talk:Hamas/Archive 6

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Origin of Hamas

These is much missing from Hamas origins. I'll see if I can rewrite the following to get around copyright and make it Wiki compatable by finding links if no one objects or someone else can do it if they prefer. I'm not all that fussed as I only came here from link on another page and noticed how sparse that section was.

"According to current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel "aided Hamas directly as the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO," said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies. Israel's support for Hamas "was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative," said a former senior CIA official.

According to documents obtained from the Israel-based Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT) by UPI, Hamas was legally registered in Israel in 1978 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as an Islamic Association by the name Al-Mujamma Al Islami. Funds for the movement came from the oil-producing states and directly and indirectly from Israel, according to U.S. intelligence officials. With the triumph of the Khomeini revolution in Iran, with the birth of Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorism in Lebanon, Hamas began to gain strength in Gaza and then in the West Bank, relying on terror to resist the Israeli occupation. Israel was certainly still funding the group at this time. Violent acts of terrorism became the central tenet, and Hamas, unlike the PLO, was unwilling to compromise in any way with Israel, refusing to acknowledge its very existence. Even then, some in Israel saw some benefits to be had in trying to continue to give Hamas support: "The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the other groups, if they gained control, would refuse to have anything to do with the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place," said a U.S. government official." Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved. Wayne 16:08, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I suggest having a seperate section called Origin of Hamas or Founding or Background etc and adding this in rather than trying to cram even more into the Lead Section. Having this section would also shrink the Lead slightly. Yas121 18:09, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Good luck! However, concerning the funding of Hamas, you can just add this other source to the subsection "Funding of Hamas". It's no news!... Tazmaniacs 18:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


Dear all, I am adding the {POV-check} tag on this article as I strongly feel it needs to be checked, in particular the Lead Section that is simply the most bias (and prob the longest) Lead section I have seen anywhere in Wikipedia. I understand some form of bias is inevitable when dealing with sensetive issues but surely it should not read like a daming report from the Israeli press office, and any attempt to change or suggest anything different has lead to speedy Rev by the same editors, again and again. The rest of the article gives little or no voice to the entire Arab world or Muslim World. Where is the NPOV in this article?! Yas121 17:06, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

For an example of NPOV, or much closer to NPOV see the Hamas article on the BBC 'Who are Hamas?' Yas121 17:12, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Please don't insert one-sided claims that are not supported by the sources used and have no consensus. Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 02:20, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi, I didn't know I had to get consesus first before putting the NPOV check tag at the top. I read the following on the Wikipeida page [1]...where does it say I need to get consensus?
The POV check template, {{POV-check}}, may be added to an article which you feel may need to be edited to comply with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. Add the template at the top of the article, and then explain your reasons on the talk page of the article that needs checking. Yas121 13:04, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Please avoid straw man arguments; the issue was the insertion of other material, as you know. Jayjg (talk) 22:26, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi, Can you please explain that a little further? As if the issue was not the POV-Check tag...then why did you promptly remove it asking its insertion to be discussed first and consesus gained on the Talk page, something that is unnecessary according to above info in Wikipedia. Cheers Yas121 00:16, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely correct Yas, I propose to disgregard Jayjg's latest garbage and get the POV check anyway. --Asucena 18:06, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
The BBC is censored on this kind of article on Wikipedia, isn't it a nice world? Tazmaniacs 03:11, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Hamas was created in 1973 by Israeli Intelligence in order to perpetuate the problem-solution-control strategy and allow Israeli government power to continue to wage war. Lizardkng9 23:43, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Yas is absolutely right. In particular in looking at the discussion and actions taken during this discussion it is blatantly clear that Jayjg has an extreme bias against this organization and has been using the most repulsive methods to get his way. I support the POV Check tag. Da'oud Nkrumah 22:51, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Jayjg, I can't see one single innacuracy in Da'oud's latest comments. What opposition do you have to a POV-Check. Something about your edits you want to hide? --Asucena 18:04, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
The POV-check tag flags an article for checking, not an editor. The flag that Yas121 keeps adding is the NPOV one, not the POV-check flag, and it requires one to have specific objections to specific statements which one feels are not in accordance with the NPOV policy. Please review WP:NPOV and WP:CIVIL. Jayjg (talk) 18:17, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Please note - I've gone ahead and warned Jayjg, this has gone too far - see below:

Jay jay jay... what's your opposition to a POV check on Hamas, it's just a standard procedure isn't it? A real answer please rather than fake quotes of policy --Asucena 18:07, 6 April 2007 (UTC) :Do not remove comments please, it was a legitimate question. I have a good mind to have you "checkuser-ed" from looking at your previous edits. And no - your admin, ArbCom and popularity status do not exempt you - this campaign you have going ends now --Asucena 18:18, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

As I explained above, the POV-check tag flags an article for checking, not an editor, and it was on this page for a month. The flag that Yas121 keeps adding is the NPOV one, not the POV-check flag, and it requires one to have specific objections to specific statements which one feels are not in accordance with the NPOV policy - no-one, including Yas121, has stated what those specific objections are. Please review WP:NPOV and WP:CIVIL, and especially review WP:POINT. In my view you are very close to being blocked for the latter. Jayjg (talk) 18:27, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

presenting hamas only as a terrorist organization is wrong hamas is is a pollitical movement and wealfare organization with a highly active indetacheble millitry branch that engafes in active terrorist attacks.

The article does not portray Hamas as "only" a terrorist organization, though. It covers their political and welfare causes as well as noting that the US, EU, and others designate it as a terrorist org, noting the reason why. Tarc 13:10, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I believe the version of the article as it exist today is fairly balanced. I would request permission to make some minor grammatical edits. I notice a number of incomplete sentences, missing pronouns and such throughout the article and I wonder if I could clean this up?Da'oud Nkrumah 23:34, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Blanking of fact tags

Please do not remove tag asking for references unless you also at the same time add a reference supporting the claim. There are now unsourced claims like "Antisemitism is a recurring theme in the Hamas Covenant and speeches of its leaders." and "Other examples of antisemitism in the Hamas Covenant include" looks like original research (unless a source can be found). // Liftarn

Neutral Point of View is NOT the same as Neutral per se

A lot of people have complained that this article focuses on the negative side of Hamas, and claim that this therefore makes the article violate NPOV. I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of NPOV. By the same token, one might argue that the Ted Bundy page focuses too much on murdering and should devote equal time to his activities helping in Sunday School. The fact is, Hamas is globally known for its terrorist activities. They are the main aspect of the organisation as far as the international community is aware, and that is why it is the most documented aspect of this article. 14:00, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the statement: "Neutral Point of View is NOT the same as Neutral per se", where "Neutral" means giving two opposing points of view equal weight. There are wiki policies about undue weight. If you go to the page on Global Warming or Evolution, then you see that the critics are mentioned, but only briefly. Unlike Evolution or Global Warming, there is no widespread consensus about the US or Israeli point of view. This article should give the facts about Hamas as can be found in the (preferably scientific, peer reviewed) literature, and not the opinion of (misinformed) people. Count Iblis 14:40, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Hamas is not *globally* known for its terrorist activities any more than the Republican party of the USA is *globally* known for bombing Iraqi civilians, kidnapping Italians/Saudis/Croatians/Indonesians/Malaysians/<insert favourite nation>, and abusing and killing thier prisoners. Thats just the perception in the middle east. Believe it or not, Palestinians, Eyptians, Brits, French, Italians, Lebanese, Russians, even Canadians don't watch a lot of Fox News and have a completely different perception of Hamas to Americans. Now, what is more relevant, the perception of people in Lebanon and Palestine to Hamas, or that of people in America? Or the corollary, what is more relevant to an accurate description of the Republican Party: the view of the American population, or that of the Iranian? aussietiger 15:14, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I have a good example of the arguement put forward by aussietiger. Some time ago there was a debate over using the term "Income Inequality" in the America economy section. Although the term is an important concept in economics it was considered "too negative" and the arguement went that articles must be as positive as possible. The compromise was replacing 2 well written paragraphs sourced from government agencies and a Predidential speech with this monstrosity "Although income levels in the U.S. are high, income is distributed less equally than in similar developed nations such as Austria or Sweden." The problem is the opposite for this article with some editors not wanting anything too positive.
Although we dont want to gloss over the bad Hamas does, neither should we turn the page into an anti Hamas diatribe. I have no problem with the article having a slight anti Hamas bias as no one can excuse terrorism but NPOV has to come before the obvious bias shown by some editors. However, that said, I do applaud these same editors for moderating the pro Hamas stuff some try to sneak in. Wayne 01:44, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Terrorist organisation (how can we take you serious if you can't spell?) listings are WRONG

OK, I thought something must have changed because Australia is noted in this article as having listed Hamas as a terrorist organistion. So I followed the link.

Australia does not list Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades is listed. Read the listing. At no time is Hamas referred to as being listed. At ALL times "Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades" is used. This is done for a reason, they are differentiating between the two DELIBERATELY. It wasn't a mistake by DFAT and really they meant Hamas but got carried away on the keyboard.

"Ansar Al-Islam" is listed. Can I add to the Islam article that Islam is a listed terrorist organisation? And as "Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan" I better go and make my contribution to that country's article.

It is simply, and unequivocably WRONG to state that Hamas is listed. ONLY the military arm of Hamas known as "Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades" is listed. Being a memeber of Hamas IS NOT ILLEGAL IN AUSTRALIA as Hamas is NOT listed as a terrorist organisation. It isn't good enough to just say 'oh near enough, we can include that cos it suits our agenda'.

It's not that hard to understand. The military armn is listed, Hamas itself is not. Just like the IRA an Sinn Fein, one is part of the other, but they arent the same thing.... Just like Texas and America. Do you understand it yet? I'm taking Australia out of the list. At least it wont be wrong for a short time although I already realise that some simpleton who just wants to see the world in nice big chunky black and white regardless of the facts will change it back, or maybe just redirect the whole article to Bad.

I'll leave the other nations listed for thier nationals to verify. If you want to put back that Australia,[1] lists Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, then you should. But if you put back that Australia lists Hamas then you are wrong, regardless of how firmly you believe otherwise. aussietiger 16:36, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Correct! We may as well say that all Americans support the fascist organisation Move America Forward --Asucena 19:01, 26 March 2007 (UTC)


Ascuneas, please discuss your changes here first. Forgetting about various points-of-view, the changes made were unsupported by reliable sources and just enhance the "conflict-of-interest"-ness (if you'll pardon the neology) of the edits. Thanks. -- Avi 15:50, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

I am sorry but I believe he did state that he followed the references currently considered valid and accepted and included in the article. He stated that the claim that Australia list Hamas as a terrorist group is not accurate. He stated the currently cited references claiming Australia to list Hamas as a terrorist group only apply to its militia and not the organization at large. If thats true then certainly that adds to the inaccuracy of this POV garbage.

Perhaps Avraham you would be so kind as to cite an official government reference from Australia clarifying the issue. Da'oud Nkrumah 22:44, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Hi, can people please see the history of this article before trying to remove the NPOV tag! This tag has been put there after discussion. I personally added on the NPOV-Check tag to see if another Admin can have a look at this article (see talk history), the reason of course wasn't for a NPOV tag on there!! That was already there for a very long time after discussion (see talk history) but that the article be checked and changed to be even just a little unbias especially the lead that's just out right propoganda. Anyway since no Admin bothered to check it I've put the NPOV tag back....esentially rev back to what it was before. So I don't understand how people like user:Jayjg and user:Avraham are justifying removing it. Thanks Yas121 00:59, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for the late intrusion, but I am impartial on whether the article has the tag or not, as I have not followed the discussion that closely as of yet. However, user:Asucena is not supposed to be editing this article per WP:COI, and my revert was an administrative action, not a comment as to the article itself. If you notice, I believe my edit summary makes that clear. Thanks. -- Avi 18:11, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
What specific issues do you have? You can't place the tag there without listing specific statements you think violate NPOV, and explaining how they do so. I'm removing the tag until you come up with some. Jayjg (talk) 03:13, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
He didn't place the tag, the tag was already there (placed by him a long time ago). You removed it without discussing the issue on the talk page first. When I did the same thing with the Hezbollah article I first went to the talk page and asked if there were objections to removing that tag. After one or two weeks of input from others there was a consensus that the differences of opinions were minimal and the tag could be removed. Count Iblis 14:51, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Um, he didn't place the tag, he placed the tag a long time ago? Huh? Anyway, exactly which statements in the article do you think are NPOV? As far as I can tell there are no existing issues, and the tag explicitly states that there are current issues in Talk. Jayjg (talk) 14:55, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I.m.o., the focus of the article is completely wrong. The emphasis is too much on the violent and anti Semitic aspects of this organization as perceived by Israel and the West. This can only be fixed by a complete rewrite from scratch. Count Iblis 15:05, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Do you have any specific criticisms? Aside from "the whole thing needs to be re-written"? Any specific sentences which do not abide by WP:NPOV? By the way, after reverting in the tag many times, it's a little late to be finally inventing a reason for doing so. Jayjg (talk) 15:08, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
There are no real issues i.m.o. about specific sentences (I think Yas disagrees with me here). It's the complete article in its totality. I mean, you could compile a large amount of negative information about the US or Israel and present that as a comprehensive article about the US (Israel). You can't then say that just because none of the facts are disputed, the article is not POV. Such an article would be POV because it only looks at the US (Israel) from a very narrow perspective. Count Iblis 15:31, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually I don't disagree with you, in other words i dont disagree with any of the information in this's all well sourced, but like u said I could quite easily just compile a well sourced article labelling israel an apartheid state without using any other views I could hardly claim it's NPOV! Yas121 23:43, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure how the NPOV tag can deal with that. We have to face the facts; Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist group that has been designated as a terrorist organization by most Western countries, so there's bound to be a lot of negative information about it - that kind of goes with the "suicide bombs on buses and in pizzerias" territory. One could equally strongly argue that the article is too favorable towards Hamas. Please come up with more specific issues about which people can take specific actions. Jayjg (talk) 16:15, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

I can give some specific criticisms. I saw this entry for the first time yesterday, and to me it had an obvious POV -- supporting the Israeli government. From the start, it describes how Hamas "is known" outside the Palestinian territories by its enemies. That's the POV of their enemies. It doesn't give the POV of Hamas or its supporters. I would start out wanting to know why Hamas is so popular and significant in the first place -- the POV of their supporters. What's the POV of Hamas? What's the POV of their supporters? Whether you like Hamas or not, you should want to understand them.

Here, for example, is a story from the Wall Street Journal, a newspaper that is certainly not sympathetic to Hamas. This is my idea of NPOV writing. Notice that he starts out with the POV of the Palestinians on the ground, who are Hamas' actual supporters. This is the basic political science question: What does the organization do for its supporters to win their support? Only later in the article does Trofimov itemize their terrorist acts.

December 17, 2001

After Brandishing Both Weapons and Aid, Hezbollah Tests Resolve of War on Terror



AYN-AL-ARAB, Lebanon -- Surveying his hilltop farm, Ali Alout points to a field of olive saplings. They came from Hezbollah, he says, which also sent a bulldozer last year to clear the field. Mr. Alout's first nine goats came from Hezbollah, too, as did a veterinarian who visits every few weeks.

The 33-year-old father of two says his family abandoned this southern Lebanon village soon after Israel invaded the country in 1982 to try to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Alouts returned to Ayn-al-Arab after Hezbollah's guerrilla campaign prompted Israel's withdrawal in May 2000. "Without Hezbollah, I would have never been able to do any of this," Mr. Alout says.

As the U.S. weighs the next targets in its war on terrorism, perhaps no group presents as complex a challenge as Hezbollah, a Shiite militant organization backed by Iran and Syria.[2]

Jayjg, do you think this entry should have the POV of the Palestinians who support Hamas? Where is that POV in the entry? Nbauman 16:38, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

A little problem with the above WSJ example is that it is not about Hamas. (SEWilco 17:50, 8 April 2007 (UTC))
Did you look at the footnote? The fact that Hamas is known outside the Gaza Strip etc. for its suicide bombings is hardly the POV of Israel or the "enemies" of Hamas. It is actually, in this case, the POV of The Baltimore Sun, PBS FRONTLINE, Time Magazine, ABC News, Der Spiegel, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, and many other sources. None of those are the enemies of Hamas, nor are they Israel or "supporters of the Israeli government". The POV of Hamas' supporters is also well-captured in the lead; "Hamas's supporters see it as a legitimate resistance movement defending Palestinians from what they see as a brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Hamas has further gained popularity by establishing extensive welfare programs, funding schools, orphanages, and healthcare clinics, throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip." Jayjg (talk) 16:45, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I did check several of the footnotes.
(BTW, footnote 4 seems to be inaccurate: "Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's destruction" Dinnick, Wilf. "High-Stakes Political Poker: Forcing Hamas' Hand", ABC News, June 6, 2006. I couldn't find the quote, "Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's destruction". I don't understand what idea this ABC article is supposed to support.) Nbauman 17:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
No, you haven't looked at the footnote. It's footnote 2, which links to 8 different articles. Please look again. Jayjg (talk) 19:11, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The NYT article, and the BBC article, say that Israel and the U.S. call Hamas a terrorist organization. Everybody agrees that that's what Israel and the U.S. believe.
You cite the Guardian [3] but only to support your statment that Hamas is known for terrorism. The Guardian also says, "Rhetoric and reality may, however, be different: Hamas's election manifesto did not repeat the call of its charter for the destruction of the Jewish state. It has been disciplined enough to largely observe a year-long ceasefire and has hinted it may continue that indefinitely." That contradicts your statement, "The charter states: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad." That's the other POV. Would you allow me to insert that quote from the Guardian after that statement? Nbauman 17:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Please read the article more carefully. As it makes quite clear, Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by Canada,[2][3] the European Union,[4] Israel,[5] Japan,[6] and the United States,[7] and is banned in Jordan.[8] Australia[9] and the United Kingdom[10] both list the militant wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, as a terrorist organization. That's vastly more than just "what Israel and the U.S. believe". If you won't read the article or the footnotes, how can we have a meaningful dialogue? Jayjg (talk) 19:11, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I read the article and the footnotes. Let me make myself clearer: All of those articles say that Israel, the U.S. and those other entities call Hamas a terrorist organization. Everybody agrees that's what those entities believe. That fact is not under debate.
The debate is about whether Hamas would be willing to make peace with Israel. Your POV is that Hamas would not make peace with Israel. The other POV is that, despite whatever the charter says, Hamas would make peace with Israel, under certain reasonable conditions. That's the POV which is missing from this entry. Nbauman 19:54, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
One POV is that Hamas is irrevocably dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The other POV is that Hamas is willing to make a permanent peace with Israel, under Resolution 242 or similar terms. The other POV is that Hamas has repeatedly stopped their terrorist attacks for a de facto truce, but the Israelis broke the truce by further killings. You may not agree with that POV, and I don't know whether it's true, but it's definitely the POV of reliable sources, like the ones at the Intelligence Squared debate that I linked to below, or Juan Cole, or Norman Finkelstein. That's the POV this article doesn't give. Would you allow me to insert a quote from Juan Cole giving that POV? Nbauman 17:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The former POV is that of Hamas; they make it clear in their charter, and continually reinforce that with public statements. The latter POV is wishful thinking on your part, unsupported by any reliable sources. Jayjg (talk) 19:11, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Jayjg, your interpretation of the Hamas charter is that Hamas is irrevocably dedicated to the destruction of Israel. When you say, "They make that clear in their charter," you're doing original research by interpreting their charter. Other people, like Juan Cole and Norman Finkelstein, have interpreted their charter, their other statements, and their actions, to mean that they are willing to make a permanent peace with Israel. That includes your own reliable source, the Guardian.
For you to say that it's wishful thinking is your own interpretation, and original research. That's one POV; there are others. The entry should give both POVs.
Otherwise, at the least, it deserves an NPOV tag. The neutrality of this article is certainly disputed. I dispute it, other editors dispute it. Nbauman 00:01, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we can assume as self-evident that Hamas categorically opposes compromise with Israel, on the basis of their charter. That would be like assuming as self-evident that Likud is still categorically opposed to Palestinian self-determination and statehood in Gaza and the West Bank, on the grounds that the Likud constitution (which is still in effect) is dedicated to the goals of

preserving the right of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel, as a perpetual right that cannot be questioned, constant settlement and development of all parts of Eretz Israel, and imposition of the State's sovereignty over them.

How about expanding the relevant sentence in the lead as follows: Hamas' charter (written in 1988 and still in effect) calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip; if and to what degree Hamas sees this stance as negotiable is a matter of considerable dispute among commentators.--G-Dett 19:58, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

G-Dett, I agree. How about quoting the Guardian article, which Jayjg already cited as a reliable source:
"Rhetoric and reality may, however, be different: Hamas's election manifesto did not repeat the call of its charter for the destruction of the Jewish state. It has been disciplined enough to largely observe a year-long ceasefire and has hinted it may continue that indefinitely."[4]
We could preface it with, "According to the U.K. Guardian, a liberal newspaper...." or something. How would you describe the Guardian in this context?
We could also use similar statements from people like Henry Siegman, the former director of the American Jewish Committee. Nbauman 22:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why WP should join a cheerleader choir and come up with excuses for unrepentant terrorist group sworn to commit genocide. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:31, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Neither I nor Nbauman is suggesting that WP "come up with excuses" for Hamas, and frankly I find that implication insulting as well as very foolish. What we're saying is that the article should accurately describe an important contemporary debate about Hamas, namely whether or not it can be "tamed" – negotiated with, brought into the political process, and so on.--G-Dett 23:00, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
1. The reason why we should include this comment is that Wikipedia requires significant points of view in a controversy. Giving only one view would violate NPOV.
2. Henry Siegman is not part of a "cheerleader choir". He is trying to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the minimum possible loss of life.
3. The view that Hamas is an "unrepentant terrorist group sworn to commit genocide," whether it's true or not, is your opinion. People like Siegman have other opinions. Under Wikipedia rules, we must give other opinions. If you disagree, you are welcome to give evidence to support your opinions. But you can't suppress Siegman's opinion.
4. For 2,000 years, Jews have survived by considering and debating all sides of political questions like this, as Siegman is doing. If we did not consider all POVs about Hamas, including the possibility that Hamas would agree to peace with Israel, then we could be sacrificing Jewish lives (and Palestinian lives) if it were true.
I don't know if you're Jewish, but I am, and I don't want to sacrifice Jewish lives by stifling debate. Nbauman 23:11, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
In addition to putting it in their acting charter, Hamas explained many times that their goal is the destruction of Israel. What's there to debate? See Munich Agreement, Appeasement of Hitler and please don't make this personal. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:24, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
You interpret the significance of the Hamas charter your way. Siegman, who probably knows some things about Hamas that you don't know, interprets it a different way. That's the debate. Do you recognize that there are two POVs -- yours and Siegman's? I realize that you think that Siegman is wrong, but do you recognize that he has a different POV? Nbauman 23:41, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
There are many other reliable sources besides Siegman who believe that Hamas has indicated a willingness to consider a pragmatic, politically negotiated resolution to the conflict.--G-Dett 23:49, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Despite the fact that Hamas still seeks Israel’s destruction, the history of this page shows repeated efforts to present Hamas as "moderates". Every such effort goes against Hamas' own insistence on their uncompromising position. ←Humus sapiens ну? 00:05, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Is anyone here suggesting that they presented as "moderates"? Nbauman and I are saying that the article shouldn't suppress a notable RS-debate about whether Hamas has indicated a willingness to consider a political resolution to the conflict. What are you saying?--G-Dett 00:10, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Humus sapiens, if you want me to understand your position, you could help me a lot if you would answer one simple question: Do you believe that Henry Siegman has a different POV than you? Nbauman 00:18, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
So far I haven't seen "a notable RS-debate". My POV does not matter, as I am not notable. Who is Henry Siegman? ←Humus sapiens ну? 00:22, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
If he didn't write anything on the subject after April 27, 2006, don't bother. ←Humus sapiens ну? 00:39, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Henry Siegman is a Senior Fellow on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations, a former executive head of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America, and has served as general secretary of the American Association for Middle East Studies. This information is from his author bio at the New York Review of Books, where he's an occasional contributor.
Did you read the Siegman article in the five minutes since your post asking who he was? Or did you google his name, find this article, then look at the date and decide it was a year old and therefore past its shelf life?
Are you genuinely unfamiliar with the wider debate about Hamas' intentions?--G-Dett 00:46, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I consider it "past its shelf life" and I am "genuinely unfamiliar" with anything notable. Let's recall that many hopes were raised that Hamas will rewrite their charter and change their stance after they won in January 2006. We can mention that, after more than a year went by and nothing happened. ←Humus sapiens ну? 01:08, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, you do appear to be genuinely unfamiliar with the discussion (including the argument of the piece you're waving off as too old). You're quite wrong that "nothing happened" in the year since Hamas' election. Israel made very clear that it would never negotiate with the new majority party; the United States made very clear it would not recognize the results of the elections it and Israel had insisted upon; and economic and political sanctions were put into place that have had a devastating effect on the well-being of the Palestinian people. You're right that Hamas did not respond to this state of affairs by softening its stance towards Israel. It has, however, continued to put out feelers. In any case, the discussion you're unfamiliar with isn't and never was (even in the distant past of last spring) a wait-and-see debate about whether Hamas would change the wording of its charter. It is and was a debate about the multiple factions within Hamas, and whether given the right political conditions and U.S./Israeli incentives the wing of Hamas that's interested in political resolution and has aspirations of international legitimacy might gain some ascendency over the rejectionist faction. It is still very much a live discussion. You could begin to familiarize yourself with it by reading George Soros's piece[5] in the April 12, 2007 issue of the New York Review of Books.--G-Dett 01:24, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Henry Siegman knows about Munich. He was born in Berlin in 1930.

The American Jewish Committee was one of the lead organizations in evacuating Jews from Europe to the U.S., or anywhere else that would take them.

They were also one of the lead organizations in promoting Zionism and the foundation of the state of Israel (in contrast to the American Jewish Congress which opposed Zionism).

The American Jewish Committee was also one of the lead organizations in getting Jews out of the Soviet Union during the time Siegman was executive director. Any Soviet Jew who is now living in the U.S., Israel or anyplace else should honor Siegman and the AJCommittee for his work. If it wasn't for Siegman, they would be repairing air conditioners in Odessa or driving taxis in Leningrad.

I remember those times because I played a small part in it. There were some people who believed that the Soviet Union was untrustworthy and the only way to deal with them was to confront them and destroy them. There were other people like Siegman who believed that, if we cooperated with the Soviet Union, we could get what we wanted, get the Jews out, and accomplish many other things. And Siegman was right.

If we had the nuclear war with the Soviet Union that some people (like Edward Teller) seriously recommended, those Soviet Jews would be dead.

Now Siegman is saying that, if we try to cooperate with Hamas rather than ignore them and try to destroy them, we might also get what we want. He might be right, he might be wrong, but that's his opinion and, according to our Jewish traditions of debate, we should hear him out. And we should present his viewpoint along with the others on Wikipedia, according to [Wikipedia:Neutral point of view]. Nbauman 01:31, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Amen to that! Yas121 02:46, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, Humus sapiens, what do you think? Have we given you a satisfactory response to all of your objections? Nbauman 03:45, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the article can mention Siegman's one year-old piece as a failed hope. It seems that Soros would do anything just to displease Bush. He may be a capitalist genius, but what makes him notable here? Whom are you going to bring next, Hollywood celebrities? ←Humus sapiens ну? 08:55, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
If we "mention Siegman's one year-old piece as a failed hope," we'll be editorializing as well as seriously misrepresenting his article, which is a political analysis not a coin thrown in a wishing well. Far better, I think, to introduce Siegman's argument in neutral and accurate terms as part of the broader debate about Hamas' intentions.--G-Dett 12:38, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
As for the "devastating effect on the well-being of the Palestinian people" - Hamas knows the 3 conditions it has to meet. Israel says Hamas planned Tel Aviv truck bombing - some peace partner. ←Humus sapiens ну? 10:17, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Interesting analysis/editorial comment, but it doesn't trump or obviate the wider RS-debate.--G-Dett 14:08, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
As Siegman and others pointed out, Hamas kept their truce until the killing of the Ghalya family[6]. That's the point at issue. If the Israelis stopped killing Palestinians, Hamas would stop killing Israelis, Siegman and others say. If the Israelis kill Palestinians, Hamas will kill Israelis. I don't understand your position, Humus sapiens. Do you want to have a truce, and have the Israelis and Palestinians stop killing each other? Or do you want to reject a truce, and have them continue to kill each other? Do you want to stop Jews from even discussing a truce? Nbauman 15:47, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Nbauman, I already asked you to stop making this personal. My POV - just as yours - does not matter, see WP:SOAPBOX. The reality is, Hamas has to meet the 3 conditions, and there is no serious debate about forfeiting those conditions. ←Humus sapiens ну? 21:41, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean when you say, "The reality is, Hamas has to meet the 3 conditions."? Is that just your personal POV which we should ignore in the entry? Nbauman 21:37, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
"It is the view of the Quartet that all members of a future Palestinian government must be committed to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the road map." [7]. ←Humus sapiens ну? 21:44, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
OK. Siegman has met with Hamas, and believes that Hamas is willing to meet those 3 conditions (and has already met some of them), provided Israel agrees to nonviolence against Palestinans.
Siegman is a reliable source, notable, etc., and represents a significant POV. Therefore his POV should be included in the entry, according to Wikipedia NPOV policy.
I think we have a consensus on that. Right? Nbauman 22:40, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not part of the Quartet. It's not our role to be spokepeople firmly articulating our demands, conditions, etc. Our role is to compile, integrate, and accurately represent what the reliable sources say. There is a serious discussion, especially among the more knowledgeable and scholarly (as opposed to journalistic) sources, about Hamas' intentions, about rival factions within their party, and about the various indications that they are open to a negotiated settlement. No serious justification has been offered for suppressing that discussion from our article.
I'll draft something, and we can go from there.--G-Dett 23:29, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

(l.shift) Let's stisk to facts rather than wishful thinking: a year ago, Siegman believed that Hamas was willing to meet those 3 conditions. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:47, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

With respect, you don't appear to have gotten past the dateline of his article. I'll post a draft here tomorrow, and we can go from there.--G-Dett 01:58, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Great! Here are some links and excerpts that may be useful to you. There are actually several summaries here. All we need is a 250-word excerpt or paraprhase that addresses all the concerns that Humus Sapiens raised.

[8]Siegman on What Hamas Wants, Phil Weiss, New York Observer, June 29, 2006

Last night on Charlie Rose, the great Henry Siegman said that he had met recently with Hamas leaders in Beirut. He related Hamas's aims.

Hamas is prepared to explicitly recognize the state of Israel. But it cannot do so without Israel recognizing the legitimacy of the Palestinians' aspirations. That means a recognition of the Palestinians' right to a "viable state" in Gaza and the West Bank, within the '67 borders, and a recognition of the legitimacy as a negotiating point of the desire by Palestinian refugees to return to lands lost in Israel, even if they never get to return there. ...

[9]Siegman: U.S., Israel Should Recognize Hamas Can Deliver Peace Agreement, Council on Foreign Relations, Interview with Henry Siegman by Bernard Gwertzman

Henry Siegman, CFR's expert on Israeli-Palestinian affairs, says that despite the refusal of Israel's government or the United States to deal with Hamas he believes there is a strong potential for Hamas to transform "in the direction of moderation and responsibility and away from violence and terror."

He says there are indications that such a transformation is taking place. "So what we ought not to be doing is to undermine the moderates and strengthen the extremists," says Siegman, who is a Senior Fellow and Director for the U.S./Middle East Project.

[In the New York Review of Books he wrote] I believe that Hamas is undergoing a transformation, or at least there is a very strong potential for a transformation in the direction of moderation and responsibility and away from violence and terror. And in fact a great deal has happened to indicate that that transformation is actually taking place. So what we ought not to be doing is to undermine the moderates and strengthen the extremists.

Hamas declared well over a year ago that it will no longer sponsor terror bombings, and it has in fact stopped doing that. And it seems like this great change, which has been so important to the lives of Israelis, has occurred with hardly an Israeli acknowledgment...

Hamas has been meeting quietly with Islamic Jihad, trying to persuade them not that they are evil, but that the time has come for new and different national priorities... They're trying to persuade Islamic Jihad and the other rejectionist groups to stop the suicide bombings, as they themselves have for over a year...

Four years ago, Ephraim Halevy, a highly respected, responsible, and knowledgeable person who headed the Mossad [Israel's intelligence service] for many years, said something very important. This very tough, hard-nosed realist, who is not a starry-eyed "leftist," wrote in an article that Israel must fight Hamas terror, but it must also encourage Hamas to become part of the political process. This, he said, is essential because of the large support Hamas enjoys with the Palestinian public. Given its popularity, Israel cannot hope to conclude a peace agreement that is not supported by Hamas.

[10]Hamas: The Last Chance for Peace? By Henry Siegman, New York Review of Books, April 27, 2006

In response to a call by Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's second in command, to Hamas to continue a violent jihad to recover every last "grain of soil from Palestine which was a Muslim land that was occupied by infidels," a Hamas official pointedly stated that "Hamas believes that Islam is completely different [from] the ideology of Mr. al-Zawahiri." He added, "Our battle is against the Israeli occupation and our only concern is to restore our rights and serve our people."[2]


In the choice of candidates for the Palestinian Legislative Council, Hamas's "pragmatists," led by Ismail Haniyeh, the new prime minister, and Abed al-Aziz Duaik, the new speaker of the council, have visibly prevailed over those who are identified as Hamas's hard-liners. And many hardliners themselves have adopted an increasingly moderate tone.


The likely direction of that trajectory was recently described to me by a prominent senior member of Hamas's Political Committee in the following terms:

* Members of Hamas's political directorate do not preclude significant changes over time in their policies toward Israel and in their founding charter, including recognition of Israel, and even mutual minor border adjustments. Such changes depend on Israel's recognition of Palestinian rights. Hamas will settle for nothing less than full reciprocity.

  • Hamas is not opposed to negotiations with Israel, provided negotiations are based on the provision that neither party may act unilaterally to change the situation that prevailed before the 1967 war, and that negotiations, when they are resumed, will take the pre-1967 border as their starting point.

* Hamas will not renounce its religious belief that Palestine is a waqf, or religious endowment, assigned by God to Muslims for all time. However, this theological belief does not preclude accommodation to temporal realities and international law, including Israel's statehood.[6]

* Hamas is prepared to abide by a long-term hudna, or cease-fire, which would end all violence. Here again, complete reciprocity must prevail, and Israel must end all attacks on Palestinians. If Israel agrees to the cease-fire, Hamas will take responsibility for preventing and punishing Palestinian violations, whether committed by Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Intifada, or its own people. Hamas understands that it cannot demand recognition as the legitimate government of Palestine if it is not prepared to enforce such a cease-fire, in the context of its responsibility for law and order.


These views are exceptional only in their comprehensiveness. Similar views have been expressed for some time by other Hamas moderates as well. Ismail Abu Shanab (assassinated by Israel) said that Hamas would halt its armed struggle if "the Israelis are willing to fully withdraw from the 1967 occupied territories and present a timetable for doing so."[7]

The Hamas leader Mohammed Ghazal said last year that Hamas's charter is not the Koran. "Historically," he said, "we believe all Palestine belongs to Palestinians, but we're talking now about reality, about political solutions.... I don't think there will be a problem of negotiating with the Israelis."[8] It is a sentiment echoed by Hasan Yousif, the Hamas leader in the West Bank who is now in an Israeli jail: "We have accepted the principle of accepting a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders."[9]

More recently, and by far more importantly, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that not only did he approve a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert but added that if Abbas brings back something that the Palestinian people approved, Hamas would change its positions.

These sentiments are in striking contrast to the odiousness of Hamas's founding charter (of August 18, 1988), which relies on an extreme anti-Jewish reading of Islamic religious sources and on classical anti-Semitic defamations such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Such hateful language was not entirely absent from PLO documents and statements in its pre-Oslo days, and one can find comparable demonization of Palestinians by some Jewish groups, including official Israeli political parties that advocate ethnic cleansing of all Palestinian residents of the West Bank. As noted by Henry Kissinger in a recent Op-Ed article,[10] rejection and demonization are all too common in ethnic and political conflict, as is unexpected moderation by former extremists after they enter a political process and assume responsibility for the well-being of those who brought them to office.

Nbauman 05:08, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the links Nbauman.--G-Dett 16:10, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Oxford-style debate on Hamas

Here's a good Oxford-style debate which gives good, well-supported arguments for and against Hamas. The entire transcript is available on their web site. It was also broadcast on NPR. So it would all be a reliable source. These are my notes. According to these speakers, Hamas decided to stop killing innocents, and stop suicide bombings. They had a ceasefire, until the killing of the Ghalia family.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A democratically-elected Hamas is still a terrorist organization


Intelligence Squared Debate, 29 Nov 2006, Resolved: A democratically-elected Hamas is still a terrorist organization.

Moderator: Judy Woodruff.

For: Daniel Ayalon, Israel embassador to the U.S. Steven A. Cook, Council on Foreign Relations. John O'Sullivan, Hudson Institute.

Against: Stanley L. Cohen, Mahmoud Mohamedou, Harvard program on conflict research.

Mark Perry, journalist. Israel also engages in terrorism. Hamas has agreed to a peace agreement, but Israel makes unilateral demands.

Cook: Only after Hamas renounces violence and lays down its arms can it be a legitimate participant in the political arena. "Israel has killed Palestinian civilians, though unlike Hamas not intentionally."

O'Sullivan: "A terrorist is a man who murders indiscriminately, distinguishing neither between civilian and innocent and guilty nor soldier and civilian." A terrorist group has "run itself out of democratic politics and we should refuse, refuse to deal with it." Though sometimes we make compromises for purpose of reconciliation.

Mohammedou: Hamas observed a ceasefire for 15 months until the Israelis killed 7 members of the Ghalia family.

Perry: After long discussions with Hamas about the killing of innocents, they stopped. There hasn't been a Hamas-led suicide bombing since August 2004. Kahled Messhaal said that he will have talks if Israel recognizes their legitimate grievances.

Perry and Cohen argue that the U.S. supports non-democratic countries like Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood would win an election, because Egypt supports us politically, but not democratically elected governments like Hamas that don't support us. Nbauman 07:44, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Hey why is the NPOV tag on there!?! I’ll give you a hint…

For detailed discussion see the archived history for this talk page, and since nothing has changed since then all arguments still hold equal weight - Thanks

I’m only going to point to the lead section and not even bother talking about the rest of the article…

    • 1) This is “A CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC” Not many (if any) edit here without some kind of bias or prejeduice.
    • 2) The lead states “Hamas is known outside the Palestinian territories for its suicide bombings” REALLY? Is this what Hamas is known for by the entire Arab population?? By the entire Muslim world? By millions in Malaysia who regularly hold pro-palestinian ralies demanding freedom for the Palestinians from the Israeli occupation?
    • 3) The lead meticulously states every country that list Hamas as a terrorist organizationEU and UK are listed separately! even though UK is part of the EU….why are countless attempts to point out that Russia, China, the quartet and MANY other countries don’t see them as such... REVERTED!?!
    • 4) The lead talks about an old Human Rights Watch report from 2002 but any attempt to mention that up to 50,000 people rallied in support of Hamas in Gaza City in December 2002[11] is reverted because it is old and irrelevant!?!
    • 5) Why on earth is the lead section on this article longer then almost any other article in Wikipedia?
    • 6) Hamas were democratically elected…where on earth are the views of their supporters in this article??
    • 7) Read the BBC page on Hamas [12] ….enough said.

Yas121 19:11, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

  1. Irrelevant. Show specific violations of NPOV.
  2. That's what 8 highly reliable sources say as well. No violation of NPOV.
  3. The UK listed Hamas separately from the rest of the EU states. By definition, no other countries that we are aware of have listed Hamas this way. There's no point in listing 150 countries who haven't said something. This has been explained to you many, many times. No violation of NPOV.
  4. Allegations of Human Rights crimes are notable, but a rally in 2002 is not. This has been explained to you many times. No violation of NPOV.
  5. The length of the lead section follows the guidelines of WP:LEAD, and is no longer than the lead of many articles. See Rudolf Vrba for a lead of a featured article that is similarly lengthy. It is a requirement to become a featured article. No violation of NPOV.
  6. Right in the lead; "Hamas's militant stance has found a receptive audience amongst Palestinians; many perceived the preceding Fatah government as corrupt and ineffective, and Hamas's supporters see it as a legitimate resistance movement defending Palestinians from what they see as a brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Hamas has further gained popularity by establishing extensive welfare programs, funding schools, orphanages, and healthcare clinics, throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip." See also Hamas#Provision_of_social_welfare_and_education. No violation of NPOV.
  7. The BBC's policies aren't Wikipedia's policies. No violation of NPOV.
You can't hold an article hostage forever, simply because you haven't been able to successfully POV it. Please try again, with meaningful, new alleged violations of NPOV, not non-arguments, or old arguments that have already been refuted. Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 19:22, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for taking the time to go through the list...but I think you missed the actual point being made...these points/views are not violation of NPOV per se BUT the exclusion of any other views/points equals to violation of NPOV. Anyway, are you claiming that "The neutrality of this article is NOT disputed?" all that NPOV tag does is point out to people visiting this page that "The neutrality of this article is disputed" nothing more. If it wasn't disputed do you really think there would 100s of constant discussions of content, Edits, Rev, Edits and Rev.... in this article? Yas121 20:33, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Which non-original search "other views/points" have been kept out of the article? The NPOV tag indicates that there is some on-going unresolved NPOV issue regarding specific content, not a box meant to deface an article because an editor can't get his way trying to POV an article. You have yet to name that specific issue. Jayjg (talk) 22:05, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Hi, does this article have unresolved NPOV issues thus deserving the NPOV tag?...I think your numerous edits today and 3 Rev speak for themselves in answering that Q. Yas121 23:31, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
No, obviously not, since you haven't been able to articulate any new ones. As for the 3 revs on that day, they were of a editor who insisted that an NPOV tag should stay there because he didn't think the proper process for removing it had been followed, not because he had any specific issues. Jayjg (talk) 02:35, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Item 2 about suicide bombings is a partial quote; the full sentence mentions that Hamas has done terrorist acts other than suicide bombings (although the article lists few of the other). The footnote for the suicide bombing phrase [13] shows the phrasing is based on the cited source. (SEWilco 20:12, 8 April 2007 (UTC))

My mistake

Thanks faysal for removing this: "Now the Muslim militant group appears to be spoiling for a fight, especially in the absence of any progress toward the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit." including it was by mistake. Zeq 13:29, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

No worries mate. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 13:58, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

NPOV - Lead section

Hello all, the only sentence expressing the views of Hamas or their thousands of supporters is expressed in just one line in the lead...

Hamas's supporters see it as a legitimate resistance movement defending Palestinians from what they see as a brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.[12]

....minus of course the wiki-links which for some reason people keep removing....

Anyway, why are we burrying this only 1 sentence right at the bottom. We may or may not agree with it, but Wiki NPOV demands that we at least try to show both sides. Yas121 08:27, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Feel free to suggest changes (sentences and edits) and tell us what you think it should go into the article so we can check if they abide by the NPOV policy and from there we can move forward. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 11:37, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you keep saying this; in fact, the lead section has a whole paragraph devoted to the Palestinian reaction to Hamas (not all of which is positive, of course). For some reason, though, you keep insisting on taking one sentence out of that paragraph, and sticking it into an entirely unrelated paragraph, and prefacing it with the word to avoid "However". Please allow the lead to have a logical order and readability, rather than whatever POV point it is you are trying to make. Jayjg (talk) 12:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Another WTA is terrorist. You are using the lead as a soapbox to advance your view that Hamas is a terrorist organization which is irrevocably committed to killing Jews simply because it is anti-Semitic. You are ignoring the other view that Hamas is responding to violent provocations by the Israelis (and has repeatedly suspended violence until the Israelis attacked again). We are trying to add other POVs to comply with WP:NPOV, but you keep deleting them. Nbauman 13:49, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
What nonsense. The article no-where says Hamas is a "terrorist organization". Instead, fully in line with WP:WTA#Terrorist.2C_terrorism, it lists the countries which have designated it as a terrorist organization, quite a different thing. As for "the other view", if there are reliable sources that have that view, and it doesn't violate WP:NPOV, then go find them. Finally, regarding your false claim about "deleting" other POVs, I haven't deleted them at all; I've just moved them back to their logical location, the paragraph discussing Palestinian views of Hamas - and by the way, there are plenty of Palestinians that hate Hamas; those would be the ones shooting them down in the street. Jayjg (talk) 14:05, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Lets create a section on western governments views of the hamas, and move the terrorism stuff there. That should keep everyone happy. ابو علي (Abu Ali) 14:16, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
No, let's leave the well-written, neutral, consensus intro as it is. That should keep everyone happy. Jayjg (talk) 14:23, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
It certainly isn't a consensus intro, since we disagree about whether it is neutral. Nbauman 16:59, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Consensus doesn't mean 100% agreement; never did. Jayjg (talk) 19:32, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Jay. You know better than many people here what NPOV means. You have to tell us WHY the ref should not appear there instead of talking about pelestinians who hate Hamas and the logical location. You got the NPOV policy and the BBC ref there which have more weight than your arguments.
I don't know how would you react if the lead of Israel would mention something like "it is best known for occupying the occupied territories" instead of the praising edits shown there? -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 18:22, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
There are eight reliable sources which state that Hamas is best known for its suicide bombings, and many more can be produced if necessary; that's far more than the one source which indicates it is "a legitimate resistance movement defending Palestinians from what they see as a brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories". NPOV demands we give weight to all views, while recognizing majority and minority views. The first paragraph neutrally describes the organization. The second paragraph gives the view outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip, along with its raison d'être. The third paragraph lists the major groups/countries that consider it terrorist, or having committed war crimes. The entire last paragraph (the largest one) is devoted to the Palestinian view of Hamas, and includes many positive things about Hamas. Inserting a random piece of support for Hamas from paragraph four (the Palestinian view) into paragraph 2 is not the way one goes about writing articles, much less creating NPOV. Jayjg (talk) 19:32, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
So you wouldn't object, Jayjg, if we put the statement, "Hamas's supporters see it as a legitimate resistance movement defending Palestinians from what they see as a brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories," in paragraph 4? Nbauman 20:22, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
It's already there!!! It has been there all along!!! I've told you that at least three times now!!!. Do you read my comments, or actually look at the stuff you are reverting? Jayjg (talk) 21:14, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
You're right, I'm sorry. I was reading it from the history page, and it was so far down that I didn't see that it was moved. I thought it was deleted. My mistake.
I still think that it's too far down, and that NPOV requires NPOV from the first paragraph, like a newspaper story. I still think FayssalF, Abu Ali, and Yas12 are right. But I'm willing to compromise on that provided the entire article is NPOV. Nbauman 23:15, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
You illustrated my point well. Which is that it's burried too far down. If some people want to keep it together than surely the views of Hamas, Palestinians and other Hamas supporters should be 1st not the views of a Human rights report published 5 years ago!!! in 2002. Again, how would it be if one were to write in the lead of israel in the 2nd paragraph about the countless UN security council resolutions that Israel currently has against it....there would be a NPOV outcry! So I suggest we move this sentence up that is a good introduction of the views of Hamas supporters AND stop removing perfectly valid Wiki-links israeli occupation & Palestinian territories...even if you dont like them Thanks Yas121 13:29, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
It's hardly buried; in fact, the Palestinians get the last word in the lead. Jayjg (talk) 14:42, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Important facts should be listed before supporters/protestors' opinions. This is not Hamas fan site and you failed to provide a reason to push POV how "Hamas's supporters see it" first other than your own POV. Speaking of "report published 5 years ago" - Hamas has not changed its genocidal goals in those 5 years, and their genocidal charter was not changed since 1988. This page seems to attract many extremists, but nobody canceled WP:NPOV and other core WP policies. ←Humus sapiens ну? 20:46, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
It depends on how you define important Humus. Which is important for you can be much more important for others. So what you say is relative. For you, getting injured or killed in a terrorist attack, it is more important to cry foul. For palestinians, being occupied for more than 50 years and killed in many occasions is more important to cry fouls. Thats why we are talking about NPOV Humus. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 20:55, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

This article will never be NPOV without a rewrite. Positive comments are almost buried and negative comments are mentioned multiple times for reinforcement. For example there are more mentions of the Hamas Charter than required and they lack context. I had not even heard of their charter until I read of it here because our newspapers never mention it and many of Hamas' actions are contrary to what the charter actually states, yet the article emphasizes it is still in force as if it were policy. A minor mention in the lead and an expansion in another section is all that should be required.
The third paragraph of the lead should be the last paragraph for proper grammatical formatting. The Human Rights Watch sentence should be in one of the sections not the lead as HRW makes similar statements about other organizations that are not given prominance in their articles so having it in the lead can be seen as a POV issue
Unfortunately I can't see the article improving much until certain editors leave their bias at the door and accept that what is NPOV is not pro-Hamas. Wayne 04:02, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Well said, Wayne. FayssalF, good encyclopedias list facts before opinions - the distinction I emphasized but you ignored. Regarding what's important: unlike information from notable and reliable sources, our POVs are not important. According to RS, Hamas is a terrorist organization.
Regarding "cry fouls", many areas on this planet are under military occupation, but you'll have to search hard to find another terrorist group winning elections. As for "being occupied for more than 50 years": please tell us when was the last time the region was not occupied. Had the Arab leaders make a choice to live in peace with their neighbors in 1937, such decision would save many lives on all sides and we would be celebrating 70 years of a Palestinian state this year. Alas, they consistently chose violence and refused even to negotiate. ←Humus sapiens ну? 04:30, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
We are talking about facts Humus. When Hamas leaders talk all the time about occupation and opression and justify their terrorist acts based on that, then it is a fact! If you still have some doubts you can refer to Iraq War article and see how the lead talk about Rationale for the Iraq War. Is that rationale a fact or an opinion? I say it is a fact because you never can talk about the war w/o bringing the rationale to the surface.
No that is propeganda Zeq 13:25, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Could you elaborate further Zeq? -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 18:58, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
As for you assertion re history, i say it doesn't matter as it wasn't my point on my prior comment. Indeed, this talk page is not fit for that. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 13:07, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing unusual about this sort of conflict at all. Just look at Hindus/Muslims in India around time of independence, Serbs/Croats/Muslims in Yugoslavia etc. etc. The violence you see in such conflicts is perpetrated by civilians and directed against civilians. British India was split into India and Pakistan. You can only imagine what would have happened if the outcome had been more like the situation in Palestine, e.g. Pakistan occupying large parts of what is today India and many Hindus finding themselves living under occupation.
The truth we don't want to see is that "normal people" like you and me could well have become what we could call "terrorists" or "supporters of terrorists" if we had grown up under such circumstances. We should use sociological/political or psychological scientific studies about this topic and include what the experts have to say in this and other wiki articles about conflict situations in the world. Count Iblis 13:59, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, there is something extremely unusual about this. You bring up Hindus/Muslims in India, something that happened around the same time; well, in that conflict 12 million people were displaced; however, the displaced people on one side did not become permanent "refugees" - not just them, but their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. This hereditary "refugeeness" is, in fact, unprecedented. Palestinians have a special, unique definition of what makes them refugees that is completely different from the usual U.N. definition of a refugee. They have a special refugee agency, UNRWA, that is only for Palestinians; all other refugees world-wide use a different agency. And more than that; for the first 20 years after the war, exactly which Palestinians were "living under occupation"? Keep in mind, the West Bank and Gaza Strip were in Arab hands at the time. And, more to the point, the section on Palestinian views is the last paragraph in the lead; they get the final word. Jayjg (talk) 14:42, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
All of Israel is occupied territory according to Hamas. --Kirbytime 20:10, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
That's true, and you're free to describe it that way on Hamasipedia, where things are written using the HPOV (Hamas POV) and PEZT (the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are True) policies. On Wikipedia, however, we use WP:NPOV and WP:V. Jayjg (talk) 20:16, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

(break) I am taking the liberty and moving the part I found a little too personal to User talk:MetsFan76#From Talk:Hamas. Thanks. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:42, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

To anyone that is interested or even cares, the link Humus provided does not work as I have deleted it from my talk page as it did not belong there in the first place. MetsFan76 04:28, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Yas121, pro-Hamas arguments were refuted, see above. Don't expect to be able to push POV by revert warring. ←Humus sapiens ну? 20:15, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Siegman insertion

A section outlining the opinion of a former director of the AJC was inserted without prior discussion or consensus into the lead. I've brought it here for discussion:

Henry Siegman, former director of the American Jewish Committee, met with Hamas leaders in Beirut, and said that Hamas is prepared to explicitly recognize the state of Israel. But it cannot do so without Israel recognizing the legitimacy of the Palestinians' aspirations. That means a recognition of the Palestinians' right to a "viable state" in Gaza and the West Bank, within the '67 borders, and a recognition of the legitimacy as a negotiating point of the desire by Palestinian refugees to return to lands lost in Israel, even if they never get to return there[13].

I believe this insertion is inappropriate for the lead on a number of grounds:

  1. It comes from a blog.
  2. Access to that blog is actually denied.
  3. It claims to give the opinion of one non-expert regarding the opinion of another non-expert.
  4. Siegman can hardly be considered to be a reliable or neutral source regarding Hamas's aims.
  5. It contradicts many explicit statements made directly by Hamas, and thus fails the "exceptional claims require exceptional sources" clause of WP:V.
  6. Even if the information were from an expert source and a reliable source and was not an exceptional claim (none of which are true), it is still inappropriate to devote so much of the lead to one individual's opinion.
  7. Per WP:LEAD, the lead should summarize material found in the body of the article, not introduce entire new paragraphs of contentious and dubious claims.

-- Jayjg (talk) 23:05, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

We discussed this above under Talk:Hamas#.7BNPOV.7D_TAG, and I even inserted the paragraph there first for discussion before inserting it in the entry. Please read that discussion. Everyone had a chance to offer their objections, and we answered all of their objections. Humus sapiens agreed to insert Siegman's position. You raised no objection. The consensus was therefore to insert this into the entry.
To summarize, there are 2 significant points of view. The first is that Hamas is irrevocably committed to the destruction of Israel. The second is that Hamas is willing to recognize Israel and make peace, if Hamas' reasonable demands are met. This second view is held by a significant number of reliable sources such as Ephraim Halevy, the former head of the Mossad, Henry Siegman, others cited above, and the same sources you cite selectively to argue that Hamas is a terrorist organization. This entry only gives the first POV. According to WP:NPOV, we must give the second POV. In other words, we must give the other side of the sources you quoted.
In order to reach consensus, I will concede to you, for purposes of argument, that Hamas is not willing to recognize Israel and make peace. I don't know their state of mind. But we do know that they say they are willing to recognize Israel and make peace, based on your own sources, and this is what we should say in the article. It is irrefutable that they say that, and readers can make their own decisions about the credibility of what they say.
To answer your objectons.
1, 2. Blog. It comes from a blog, but that blog is a blog from a published newspaper, and the blogger is also a columnist for that newspaper. I used that passage rather than many others because I thought it was the most direct and concise statement of Siegman's position.
To resolve the issue, however, I will use Siegman's article in the New York Review of Books.
3. Expert. Siegman, the former director of the American Jewish Committee, now at the Council on Foreign Relations. He spoke with Hamas, and and he regularly deals with middle-east experts at the Council on Foreign Relations (just as he spoke to the Soviets when he helped the Soviet Jews leave the Soviet Union). The NYRB thought he was expert enough to publish a lengthy article. He is as much of an expert as anyone else you quoted. You're simply asserting, based on your own opinion, that he is not an expert. What standards do you have for expertise, other than your own personal opinion?
4. Neutral. Siegman is not neutral. As a Jew, as evidenced by his long service to the Jewish community, and his long support of Zionism, he supports the interests of the Jewish community. What's wrong with that?
Reliable. Siegman spoke to Hamas leaders, and he can therefore report reliably on what Hamas leaders said. You're asserting your own personal opinion that Siegman isn't reliable. Why isn't he reliable?
5. Exceptional claims. As Siegman said above,"These views are exceptional only in their comprehensiveness." The claim is what Hamas leaders said. Why is it exceptional that Hamas leaders said that?
Hamas has repeatedly stated that same position in the same sources that you have selectively cited, and called "highly reliable" above, such as the Guardian ("Rhetoric and reality may, however, be different...") and the BBC, as we already discussed above. Furthermore, Ephraim Halevy, the former head of the Mossad, as we discussed above, said that Hamas could (and should) become part of the political process.
6. One individual. I was only quoting Siegman since he is Jewish, and has a history of service to the Jewish community, and so no one could credibly doubt that he has the interests of the Jewish community at heart. If it would resolve your objection, I can add links to all the other sources I quoted above. Or you can add the links yourself.
7. Lead. There should be a discussion in the body of Hamas' statements about their willingness for peace, and the lead should summarize it. If you don't want this in the lead, then you should move it into the body, not delete it completely. Nbauman 01:56, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

To begin with, the mention of Siegman was buried in a lengthy, long-ago discussion. And you mischaraterize Humus Sapiens' position; in fact, he thought the article was unworthy of mention, or at best of mention as failed naivete. He certainly never agreed that it belonged in the lead, and please don't pretend there was any "consensus" for this.

  1. It's an extraordinary claim, and blogs don't qualify to support those.
  2. Same.
  3. He's hardly an expert on the Middle East or Hamas, and you wouldn't consider him a reliable source and place him in the lead if his opinion were negative.
  4. See above.
  5. Siegman only claimed that an anonymous "prominent senior member of Hamas's Political Committee". A single individual quoting another anonymous single individual. If they're not even willing to put their names to it, then it's not worth the paper it was written on (and it wasn't written on anything). Also, Hamas has never officially made any such claims; it's always unofficial, anonymous claims, or the claims of outside analysts. Hardly good enough; indeed not even noteworthy.
  6. See above.
  7. I've moved it to where it best fits for now, but it probably doesn't belong at all.

--Jayjg (talk) 02:25, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

1. Why is that an extraordinary claim? Even your own sources, the Guardian and the BBC, in the parts of the articles you did not quote, support Siegman's claim.
3. I repeat, what standards do you use for expertise, other than your personal opinion?
Siegman is the expert on Israeli-Palestinian affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations. The NYRB chose Siegman to write an article on Hamas. Siegman is widely published and quoted. This meets WP:RS. If the CFR and NYRB believe that Siegman is an expert, why do you decide that he is not?
5. Please read Talk. Siegman did not make his claims on the basis of only one anonymous individual. (Furthermore, other writers make the same claims in the same articles that you quoted about terrorism.) According to the quote from Siegman I gave above:
The Hamas leader Mohammed Ghazal said last year that Hamas's charter is not the Koran. "Historically," he said, "we believe all Palestine belongs to Palestinians, but we're talking now about reality, about political solutions.... I don't think there will be a problem of negotiating with the Israelis."[8] It is a sentiment echoed by Hasan Yousif, the Hamas leader in the West Bank who is now in an Israeli jail: "We have accepted the principle of accepting a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders."[9]
Nbauman 03:57, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Nbauman, Siegman had an old hope that never materialized. There was no consensus and I asked you to stop soapboxing. "Humus sapiens agreed to insert Siegman's position" - where?? ←Humus sapiens ну? 10:52, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I think the article can mention Siegman's one year-old piece as a failed hope. It seems that Soros would do anything just to displease Bush. He may be a capitalist genius, but what makes him notable here? Whom are you going to bring next, Hollywood celebrities? ?Humus sapiens ??? 08:55, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
If we "mention Siegman's one year-old piece as a failed hope," we'll be editorializing as well as seriously misrepresenting his article, which is a political analysis not a coin thrown in a wishing well. Far better, I think, to introduce Siegman's argument in neutral and accurate terms as part of the broader debate about Hamas' intentions.--G-Dett 12:38, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Nbauman 15:12, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Please stop this deception. I always objected to adding Siegman's quote into the intro, and to presenting that old quote as nothing but a failed hope. ←Humus sapiens ну? 20:14, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Regarding your points:

  1. It's an extraordinary claim because Hamas has been very clear in its charter and in every public statement it makes that it will never accept the existence of Israel, notwithstanding the "but maybe they would..." speculations by various pundits and commentators.
  2. An expert would be someone who was a recognized expert on Middle East politics, typically an academic of standing, or someone who had written a well-regarded book on Hamas, or Islamist groups, etc. Regarding writing an op-ed in the NYT review of books, that doesn't mean you are an expert source, not by a long shot. As for the Council on Foreign Relations, you seem to misunderstand what it is; it is a national club, with over 4,200 members. The only thing required to become a member is to be nominated by a member, and seconded by 3 others.
  3. The claims made in the article are specifically stated by Siegman as coming from "a prominent senior member of Hamas's Political Committee", and even then, it would only agree to a "long-term hudna" - i.e., a ceasefire. As has been pointed out by many other pundits, a hudna is a strategic cease-fire, used to regroup and build strength in preparation for the next attack. As for the actual quotations you've used, they're double-talk; none of them actually talks of recognizing Israel at all. The first talks of negotiation - and of course, they've already said they would negotiate a temporary ceasefire; that's hardly recognizing Israel's right to exist. The second talks of accepting "the principle of accepting a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders" which means, well, anything you want it to, doesn't it? It doesn't even mention Israel.

-- Jayjg (talk) 20:41, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Your statement is incorrect. Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar was interviewed on one of our current affairs programs and said Hamas would recognise Israel if Israel recognised Palestine, accepted the 1967 borders and gave right of return but he is forced to take the public stance he does because Israel can't be trusted to honour the conditions even if they accept them. If Hamas offers an olive branch however withered, why is it so wrong to even consider it? Wayne 02:47, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

for those who can appriciate the irony

they blame america and use Micky Mouse: see the video at: [14] Zeq 19:11, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

A Reiteration of Previous Points

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when I casually stroll by the Hamas article and find it to be an impeccably sourced but seething screed against Hamas that two of the primary influences are Jayjg and Humus Sapiens. Still flying the Star of David on your homepage, Humus? Still making arbitrary decisions as to who qualifies as an “expert” and thus what evidence you will allow onto “your” wikipedia article, Jay?

While I would expect any article on Hamas to mention things like suicide bombs it serves no one and nothing but the agenda of Revisionist Zionists to have the Hamas article start off with four thousand words that’s a laundry list of every time every Hamas leader has shaken his rhetorical fist at Israel coupled with a summary of their covenant that is almost entirely quotes regarding Hamas’s dire plans for Israel.

Please, don’t take my word for it: read another source on Hamas. Shit, read another Western pro-Israeli source:

Here are some specific suggestions:

1. Header: Yes, yes, yes. Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by the West. What does the Arab League think of them? At least as relevant and important, right?

2. Beliefs Header and Following Sections: This section actually makes me laugh. Every single sentence is nothing but a description of how much Hamas hates Israel. Do people in Hamas have an opinion of anything besides Israel, I wonder? Three thousand words later, there are three paragraphs regarding Hamas’s social beliefs.

3. Accusations and Denials of Anti-Semitism: Hamas might be completely anti-Semitic, but no reader will take wikipedia’s word for it. There is virtually no sourcing anywhere here regarding the anti-Semitic quotes from Hamas people and the Covenant. Hamas throws around aspersions and bizarre Jewish conspiracy theories rampantly in their charter: it shouldn’t be hard to source.

4. Overall Covenant Observations: anyone else note that the sections of the Covenant that speak about international efforts to advance the peace process and western interventions in the Middle East (Articles 7, 13, 15, 22, 32) are the longest and most repetitive in the Covenant? There is clearly a deep-seated bitterness regarding Israel and the West and a belief that they are essentially the same.

5. What commonalities does Hamas have with other militant or fundamentalist Islamic organizations?

6. Note the misogyny in Hamas’s Covenant: “The Muslim women have a no lesser role than that of men in the war of liberation; they manufacture men…” Well! There you go! Women are important because they make men!

I might write an article on Israel, with the header composed of nothing but a laundry list of UN Security Council resolutions they’ve violated followed by excoriations at the hands of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International with a little paragraph at the end mentioning the fact they’re a democracy with this and that industry and that header would be about as shitty as the current one is.

Yas 121, Asucena, Da’oud Nkrumah, and Wayne are right. The header and the first part of this article are an unrelenting screed. I couldn’t find another header on any political party or militant organization on wikipedia that was as furiously negative, and that includes the articles on Irgun, the Contras, and the Shining Path! Not even the Khmer Rouge article approximated this level of vitriol. MarkB2 06:05, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Indoctrination of Children

I want to take issue with the passage entitled “Indoctrinating Children.” I think it may be an example of original research. I don’t have any issue with the facts as outlined in the passage or any of the quotes. They seem to be accurately referenced and from reliable sources. However, the conclusion that Hamas is “indoctrinating children” is not referenced in a reliable source. The passage cites several sources, including the Associated Press, Haaretz, Kuwait Times, The Daily Telegraph, and Palestinian Media Watch but with the exception of the article in Palestinian Media Watch the stories deal with factual issues and don’t come to any conclusions or offer any analysis. I’m not sure that Palestinian Media Watch qualifies as a reliable source under Wikipedia’s policies. It is an online advocacy group with a specific agenda. According to Wikipedia, reliable sources are “books and journals published by university presses; mainstream newspapers; and magazines and journals published by known publishing houses. As a rule of thumb, the more people engaged in checking facts, analysing [sic] legal issues, and scrutinizing the writing, the more reliable the publication. Material that is self-published, whether on paper or online, is generally not regarded as reliable.” I think it would be best to rename the passage using a more neutral, such as “Television Show” or even “Children’s Television Show.” Umer Al-Amerikee 02:37, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

This is a good example of what is wrong with Wikipedia. You want to just name it “Children’s Television Show” - such a nice name that hides what it is. If Hamas would just do a “Children’s Television Show” there would be no reason to write about it nither in the press nor in Wikipedia. this is a Mickey Mouse-like character who urges Palestinian children to support armed resistance, kill jews and explain them about muslim domination of the whole world. Is this "Indoctrination of Children" or not ?
Let me help you. Think of an israeli TV show that would encourage jewish children to put all the palestinians on trucks and drive them to the desret - how would you describe it ? “Children’s Television Show”. ? Zeq 05:54, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
The point is not whether you or I consider it indoctrination or not. The point is whether the sources cited are reliable and include sufficient analysis to include that it is indoctrination. Baring that I think Wikipedia policy requires that the reader draw their own conclusions. I also think that using the heading “Indoctrination of Children” limits the possibility of presenting opposing points of view as is done in the article Tomorrow’s pioneers.Umer Al-Amerikee 01:32, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the Israeli media and even school textbooks do justify the illegal occupation of the West Bank. Also, they don't recognize the fact that Palestinians were forced out of their homes. And similar things can probably be said of any country that is engaged in some sort of conflict today or was in the past.
Also, since religion is proven nonsense, all religious people are victims of indoctrination. Religion is the driving force of so many conflicts in he world. Let's end this asap! Count Iblis 13:19, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Not sure if going all the way down to something bland like "Children's TV" is good, but Umer does have a point which Zeq completely side-stepped with a flippant response. A better header should probably be found if the sources cited do not support the present form

Another issue is that this information just being pretty much cut and pasted in several locations, such as here, Tomorrow's Pioneers, Child suicide bombers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, etc... We really need to decide which article should be the one to cover it in the greatest detail, then reduce the others to a brief summary and a {{main|wherever}} tag to point to the larger one. Tarc 13:33, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

The article Tomorrow’s Pioneers seems fairly straightforward and factual, at least the version I read. It does repeat some of the information included in the Hamas article and again it quotes Palestinian Media Watch, a source of questionable reliability. However, it does offer expanded coverage of the program so I think it’s appropriate to break it out. I also think it’s important to reference the show in the Hamas article, although in a more abbreviated form. The article on Child suicide bomber’s in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also deals with a subject that is related to Hamas but since other Palestinian factions have been accused of using them I think it is probably appropriate to break it out as well. The only misgiving I have is that the material could also be included in the article Military use of children or a general article Child suicide bombers, again in abbreviated form.Umer Al-Amerikee 01:32, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Disparity between Hamas and Irgun articles

The Hamas and Irgun, two similar organisations with regards to civilian casualties, with Irgun being a much worse perpetrator on a year-to-year basis, with both movements deemed "liberation movements" by their supporters and "terrorists" by detractors. See:

Despite the above, this was tucked away in the last paragraph of that article, while Hamas' primary activities of charity and social care are drowned out by all the screaming terrorist branding, especially in the lead. This article should be delicately balanced in the direction of the article. Ulritz 14:25, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Hamas in "biblical Hebrew"?

Can this edit [15] be verified independently? An initial search only turns up this single person's editorial, or others that reprint it. Tarc 19:53, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Here's several other sources:

Greenshed 20:42, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Biblical Hebrew

I notice the claim in the article that "In Biblical Hebrew, Hamas literally means 'violence'." I have no idea whether it is true, but I have serious doubt over whether it is relevant. Unless someone can show a reasonably neutral citation for this being believed to be a deliberate usage, or unless we can include some citable discussion of whether it was deliberate, I think this should not be in the article. - Jmabel | Talk 22:39, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

  • it is true.
  • relevant ? I don't know. If you think it is relevant to understand how israelis see Hamas ? Zeq 09:22, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

the whole article needs to be written again preferably from a neutral or a s close as standpoint, the beginning of this article does not read at all as an informed or balanced intro, no wonder readers go elsewhere for information on HamasDionysosreborn 08:50, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

  • maybe start with other articles to re-write. this one has been kept NPOV for a long time. Zeq 09:22, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Non-controversial grammar-based copy edit

Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by Canada,[8][9] the European Union,[10] Israel,[11] Japan,[12] and the United States,[13] and is banned in Jordan,[14] Australia,[15] and the United Kingdom[16] both list the militant wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, as a terrorist organization.

The statment above is an incorrectly written English sentence. It could be modified to proper form by replacing the comma after the word "Jordan" with a period, and beginning a second sentence with "Australia" and removing the comma immediately after this word. However, the sourcing is too intricate for me to even read the code on the "editing" page, and I am unsure if the sources cited indicate the changed I propose (or if they perhaps refer to something else, and the modification into proper English sentences should be performed some other way). Please fix if you are able to. DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 15:07, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Critique: The lead paragraph is ridiculous

I'm sorry guys, but these are the types of articles that tarnish the legitimacy of Wikipedia and make it hard for people like me, who edit primarily science articles, to have readers take what is written as unbiased. Whether the allegation of Hamas is true or not, the lead paragraph reads like KKK website. The writers of this article, especially the lead paragraph, have focused so much on "anti-Hamas" rhetoric that the authors don't even define what the organization does until the very end. The individuals who contributed to this article should feel embarrassed and ashamed; this is not a slight, but an observation, as the lead paragraph is sopping wet with venom

I understand the Middle East is a contentious topic but this all the reason more that Wikipedia editors should be more vigilant in identifying bias in articles. In my opinion, removing the second and third paragraph from the lead article would be a step in the right direction in making this article NPOV. Ultimately, however, the lead paragraph needs to be rewritten. Winter Light 16:33, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree. This is why there is a POV tag. And it was difficult enough to keep the POV tag in this version, let alone trying to make small improvements to this article. I guess the best way to improve the article would be to rewrite it from scratch and uploading it here all at once.
I also mainly edit science articles on wikipedia. The problem with editing this article is similar to editing some pseudoscienctific articles. Take e.g. the article about Heim theory. It is very bad, but it used to be even worse. After it survived an AFD, I decided to rewrite it (I voted against deletion and some other editors had said to me that I therefore had the moral obligation to put in the effort to rewrite it :) ). But gradually the edits of the supporters of this pseudoscientific theory made the quality of the article go downhill. Count Iblis 16:59, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I also agree. The lead section is extremely negative. There is scarcely a context provided and no mention of the historical setting in which Hamas came to power. But for some reason the intro needs to have a lengthy listing of countries that think Hamas is a terrorist organization.... Odd. Organ123 22:02, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Don’t hold your breath waiting for this article to get even close to NPOV. It’s hard enough now getting even minor NPOV edits past those who appear magically with convoluted explanations of why the edit is actually POV regardless of how many reliable sources you supply. I will give them brownie points for diligence in cleaning up the more suspect edits that the page attracts, however it’s disappointing that only a handful people have control of what gets written. As an example someone added mention that Hamas gained a majority in the recent democratic elections (the first ever in Palestine and even the U.S. admits they were democratic). Admittedly it was badly written grammatically, but instead of being rewritten, the word “democratic” was deleted as POV according to the summary lol. Wayne 18:34, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Regarding page vandalisation dated 15/06/2007 (date of Hamas takeover)

I find this edit fascinating if it's from any genuine terrorist organisation (rather than the usual impotent adolescent). Could this be kept for posterity? User:csgbh 18:22, 15 June 2007 (BST)

Protocols of the Elders of Zion etc.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an antisemitic document, as are the conspiracy theories surrounding it. They have nothing to do with "Zionism". Why has this been removed? Jayjg (talk) 20:51, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

If this is in reference to my edit -- from what I gather, the Hamas charter does not endorse the document and incorrectly claims it to be the general plan of the Zionists. What the charter is taking issue at that point with is Zionism, not Semitism. Here is what I'm referring to: "After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion', and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying" Organ123 21:05, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an antisemitic forgery that claims various Jewish conspiracy. The Hamas charter refers to it as if it were factual and legitimate. Repeating antisemitic canards, and enshrining them in your charter, is antisemitic; I've added a number of sources that specifically state this. Jayjg (talk) 01:56, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
The section in question does not "repeat antisemitic canards" -- it repeats anti-Zionist canards, and there is a very important difference. The charter only refers to the "plan" in the Protocols document, not to the antisemitic analysis of the plan. I understand that the document is a forgery, but I think that it's a stretch to call the quote above clearly antisemitic. I do not believe that new quotes inserted to the article contradict what I'm saying; they more or less just reference the document and link it to antisemitism. In any case, I think the antisemitism section is now well beyond its due weight. It's very long, lacks conciseness, and uses myriad quotes to make a single argument. Organ123 02:30, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
The new citations specifically refer to this material as antisemitic, and the canards in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are not "anti-Zionist". Despite the word "Zion" in the title, the Protocols was about Jews, not Zionists or Zionism. Jayjg (talk) 02:35, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
From what I have read, I agree that the canards in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are not "anti-Zionist", but anti-Semitic. But it seems like the argument here is that Hamas says "Zionist" but means "Semitic" because it references an anti-Semitic forgery. This argument is tenuous to me. But I'm not going to revert it at this time so I don't see any reason for me to keep debating the topic. I'm now more concerned about the undue weight issue. Organ123 02:44, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
"This argument is tenuous to me" What is so tenuous, the promote a known anti-Semitic forgery as fact and use it as a justification of mass murder. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were created by the Russian Czarist Empire to create hatred of the Jews. They were then used by Stalin to create hatred of the Jews, they were also used by Hitler to create hatred of the Jews. So Hamas use them to what? Create love and harmony with the Jewish people? Hypnosadist 08:07, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
"...promote a known anti-Semitic forgery as fact". They may genuinly not accept these facts. Compare e.g. Bush alledged to have lied about WMD on the grounds that according to the available facts like what Blix reported back from Iraq, the fact that the reports of Saddam trying to acquire Uranium from Niger was a forgery etc. he could have known that what he was telling to the US public was false.
However, we don't know if Bush indeed had an open mind abut these facts, so we cannot positively conclude that he did indeed lie. E.g. it is possible that he explained these for him problematic facts away by postlating conspiracy theories, like "Can Blix be trusted?", Did Saddam move all his WMD to Syria, etc. etc. So, the wiki articles on Bush, the Iraq war etc. etc. do not say that Bush lied, despite strong evidence that he did. I don't see why it should be different for amas. Especially considering that this case it is well known that many people in Arab countries do not accept or know about many facts about Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust etc. etc. Count Iblis 13:13, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Hamas say "Their plan is embodied in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying" That seems to be refering to the protocols as fact OR is repeating the same lie as is in the protocols. Either way its lieing to push anti-semitism.
"Especially considering that this case it is well known that many people in Arab countries do not accept or know about many facts about Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust etc. etc." Bingo! Yes because "respected" groups like Hamas mention the Protocols in there founding documents as a corner stone of the justification of there actions. Hypnosadist 17:45, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm not surprised that many people in Arab countries do not accept or know about many facts about Anti-Semitism. After all Palestine was the only country that willingly accepted Jewish refugees before WW2.

The Charter does not refer to the Protocols as "factual and legitimate", it mentions only one part without making judgement on the rest. This part, "After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates." from what i have found from reading Jewish sources is a factual Zionist view and not a lie and thus i assume can not be an anti semitic statement. "they will aspire to further expansion" is an extrapolation from that and not factual but that doesn't equate to endorsing the document as a whole. I can point out several recent examples where Bush and Cheney both quoted as factual parts from several documents yet, if asked, readily admit the documents themselves were forged.
The Protocols themselves are anti semitic and possibly those who wrote the Hamas charter had that intent but we can not assume this intent based on the section they quoted. If the sources quote the Charter authors confirming that intent then ok, but if they do not, then it is unsupported OR on their part. We must not let our own beliefs dictate what we put in the article. Wayne 05:19, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't care if bush lied i'm not american, stop trying to move the debate away from the fact we have loads of notable sources that say the use of the anti-semitic Protocols in the charter is anti-semitic."reading Jewish sources is a factual Zionist view and not a lie" Naturally you believe the protocols wayne or you would not support Hamas. Hypnosadist 08:59, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I remind you of WP:NPA. I do not and have never claimed to support Hamas nor do I believe the Protocols. What i support is NPOV in an article about Hamas. I can accept a mention in the article that use of the Protocols is anti semitic in itself (as they should have used a reliable source to reference), but I don't feel it is right to include the quote from the charter along with it. You claim refering to a real fact found in an otherwise anti semitic document is anti semitic which is clearly POV even if from a reliable source. Please point out to me how Hamas' mention of Eretz Israel is anti semitic if this is not the case. Wayne 00:36, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed: per WP:NPA and WP:Civility, editors should avoid rudeness and lies; specifically I'm referring to the accusation that Wayne "believes" an anti-Semitic document and "supports" Hamas. It is seriously uncivil and is defamatory towards Wayne. I am secondarily referring to comments below beginning with "Or not!" or using an excess of exclamation points and an impolite tone. Editors should avoid rudeness, using a judgmental tone, and belittling contributors. Per WP:Civility, I will suggest that if editors cannot act in a civil fashion, they should cease participating in the discussion on this page, or perhaps any controversial page. Organ123 18:56, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Why do you believe then that Hamas mentions a known anti-semitic forgery? If it had real facts about the Jewish conspiracy then why are they not in the charter, it has to use lies because thats all that exist. The defence of the use of this document which has lead directly to the deaths of thousands of humans as some kind of "well if the jews were trying to take over the world this is what it would look like" is insane coming from western educated people. We've got loads of sources that say its use is anti-semitic, end of discussion. Hypnosadist 10:49, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Again with the personal attacks but I will answer each of your accusations as your anger seems to come from having trouble with a few points.

  • I have no idea why because the author never said. Maybe that was their intent as I already said earlier or maybe it was only because no one had another handy source available. If I was to say either reason it would be OR and POV. If they had quoted lies from the Protocols then I would have no problem saying anti semitism was the reason.
  • The Charter does not say that the Protocols are factual. The Charter mentions one "fact" from the Protocols.
  • I never defended use of the document so I'm not insane. If you had read what I wrote you would notice that I said I have no problem with including Hamas' mention of the Protocol itself as anti semitic just not the quote they used from it which is the main point of my argument.
  • What are these sources you have loads of that say mention of the concept of Greater Israel is anti semitic? Wayne 18:04, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Wrong question. The correct question is, what evidence gave rise to the conclusion that "After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on", or is that just based on nothing but antisemitism? And given that the evidence provided is "Their plan is embodied in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion', and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying", the answer to that question is that it's just plain antisemitism. Gzuckier 18:18, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Moving on, do you have any questions re suggestions of antisemitism elsewhere in the document, for instance "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.", because they were merely quoting the Koran? Gzuckier 18:22, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I already answered that question. And again I say, no it's not, because "their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying" qualifies the extrapolation they made.
Moving on...why would I question it? If a Christian organisation had quoted similar racist passages found in the Bible I'd still call them racist. You don't promote racist ideas in todays world just because your God did so thousands of years ago and some racist zealot put it down in writing and called it the word of God. Wayne 20:09, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Whatever; don't delete perfectly valid links because they have "died"; the full citation is good enough regardless of whether or not the link is live. Jayjg (talk) 22:00, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Idea for shrinking lead section in accordance with WP guidelines

I think the second paragraph can be siphoned off into other sections of the article, such as the beliefs and history section. And I propose making a new section called "International perception of Hamas", or something similar, and then placing the fourth paragraph there. With its own section, "international perception" could be elaborated on and maybe that would ease some resentment that some editors have about that paragraph being in the intro. Any thoughts? Organ123 23:28, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

RE: "International perception of Hamas" That sounds like a fantastic idea. Winter Light 01:48, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Or not! The facts that this organisation is listed my many democaratic nations (i count 32 infact) as a terrorist organisation are very notable for the lead, as are its constant and repeated human rights violations and its war crimes. Hypnosadist 07:47, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Is it equally notable then to note that approx. 170 nations do not list them as terrorists? Tarc 12:38, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
How many of those 170 countries have lost nationals to Hamas attacks? Hypnosadist 17:37, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Exactly -- it's because of these differing opinions that I'm proposing to have a section devoted to it. The lead section can have a sentence stating that various countries think Hamas is a terrorist organization, and various others don't. Then it can be elaborated on in the new section. Organ123 14:36, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for shrinking & improving article.

This article is enormous and not fantastic. Here are some ideas for shrinking and improving it, which I will be happy to implement if there is support.

1) Create a new page called History of Hamas. Turn turn the current history section into more of a summary and move the bulk of the information to the new page. (For reference see History of the United States Democratic Party and the "History" section of the main page.

2) Shrink "Covenant of Hamas" section. It is not necessary to have so many block quotes. The covenant itself is not that long. Readers can be directed to the document itself if they want to read lengthy excerpts of it.

3) Shrink antisemitism section. For those for whom this section is particularly important, I'll note that conciseness will strengthen the section rather than weaken it. It doesn't take so many quotes to argue that Hamas is antisemitic. As a suggestion: a) A one/two sentence intro. b) Write a couple of the strongest arguments/quotes saying that Hamas is antisemitic. c) Briefly describe a couple of the strongest arguments/quotes saying that Hamas is not antisemitic. d) Briefly present the argument that Hamas is primarily anti-Zionist but associates all Jews with Zionism. I think this could be done in half the space and make the section more effective for all, regardless of one's POV.

4) Shrink lead section as described above. I think the second paragraph can be siphoned off into other sections of the article, such as the beliefs and history section. And I propose making a new section called "International perception of Hamas", or something similar, and then placing the fourth paragraph there. With its own section, "international perception" could be elaborated on and maybe that would ease some resentment that some editors have about that paragraph being in the intro.

I don't think these changes would make this a good article, but I think they would make it a better article. Any thoughts? Organ123 14:54, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

"Briefly present the argument that Hamas is primarily anti-Zionist but associates all Jews with Zionism" therefore they are anti-semitic!!! What happened to the teaching of logic? Hypnosadist 17:48, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
It's not my argument; it's from one of the sources in the article. Please, if editors have constructive comments or criticisms with my proposal, say them in a polite and calm fashion per Wikipedia policies. Otherwise, please do not say them. Organ123 21:54, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Article just needs to be shortened - there are no issues with NPOV in my opinion. HAMAS by definition is a quintessential terrorist organization and it's a bit difficult here to portray them as anything else. If anyone has any positive things about Hamas - they should be included but they should not counterbalance the fact that HAMAS is a terrorist organization which endorses the killing of innocents to reach it's political goal. This is documented with facts and references. Arverni 21:21, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

So in terms of the above proposal, is there anything you would specifically object to? I am not talking so much about fixing POV issues as I am about shrinking the article -- which it sounds like you agree with -- by, in part, going after overlong sections. Organ123 22:00, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like a good start to me. However you forgot to mention cutting down on the same quotes/facts being written in full multiple times. Very annoying habit and detracts from the flow. Wayne 05:32, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Created History of Hamas page

I tried to turn the current section into something much shorter without losing a sense of the general flow of events or changing language in a way that would be controversial. I tried to include the events that seemed to be most directly related to Hamas itself, and tried to cut out pieces of analysis or individual events that didn't seem suitable for a brief synopsis of a 20-year time frame. Organ123 23:33, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Grammar Check

The last sentence of the lead paragraph seems very awkward. I have no previous knowledge of Hamas (hence, the reason I was reading the article), so I don't want to stipulate what is trying to be said there. Could some one please revise the wording. Thanks. Lau_ash 29:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

New section needed : limitations on freedom of the press

and use of the media:

we will hear more about it the next few days. Zeq 06:41, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

This article needs updating

It certainly needs a sections on the Hamas in Goverment, the National Unity government and on the Hamas Fatah conflict and its crushing victory over Fatah forces in Gaza. ابو علي (Abu Ali) 11:36, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

I found a couple of good sources for background on the failed Fatah coup and some UN documents have sufaced to back them up so I will see what can be done with them once I get some reliable sources for the elections etc as well. Wayne 08:07, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Where is Hamas best known for what?

It is not reasonable to say that Hamas is best known outside the Palestinian territories for its suicide bombings. I don't believe that any editor here really thinks that in Syria, for example, Hamas is best known for its suicide bombings. None of the 11 sources provided are based on scientific polls. Editors can list a thousand sources saying the same thing, but it doesn't increase the truth value without a poll. Anyway, I included a reliable source stating that "Hamas is an Islamist movement known among Arabs for its charitable work". An editor removed it twice, stating only that "the source doesn't say it". What doesn't the source say? The source states exactly the quote above. If we are going to use these types of unscientific articles to make claims, then we must do so in a fair fashion. Editors cannot only include sources which state things that support one given perspective. So: editors should restore the quote I provided along with the changed text, or they should delete the entire sentence. Organ123 21:00, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree. Your quote of the above source is accurate, and I think the article would be well served to mention why Hamas is popular among many Arabs when the subject arises. MarkB2 21:40, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I also agree. I guess one can always find references in the form of newspaper articles that make overly simplistic claims. What matters is not what the author of the article says but what facts are reported in the article that can reasonably be assumed to be facts. E.g. an article about recent developments in Gaza could contain a sentence like: "Hamas, best known for terror attacks outside the Palestinian territories, now rules Gaza". Count Iblis 00:04, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
You can't combine sources saying two different things to have them say a third thing that neither one says; that's WP:SYNTH. Many reliable sources say that Hamas is best known outside the territories for suicide bombings etc. You have brought one source that says Hamas is known in the Arab world for charitable works. You can't add them up to make the claim that Hamas is best known outside the Arab world for suicide attacks. Aside from the WP:SYNTH problem, the fact is that your source doesn't say Hamas is best known in the Arab world for charitable works. I'm sure it's known in the Arab world for charitable works; I'm sure it's even better known for its attacks on Israelis and Israel - and probably more highly admired for the latter than the former. Your source in no way contradicts what the other sources say, and it cannot be added to the other sources to create a novel claim. Jayjg (talk) 00:56, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
It's not the editors above and I who have a WP:SYNTH problem; it's the sources themselves. This is because none of them are based on scientific polls. The phrasing of the quote I included clearly implies that the article means "best known for" or "primarily known for", since they stated it as part of the definition of the organization. The current sentence should go, and if editors force it to stay, it should be qualified by something like "While there is no polling data available, several Western media outlets have stated that..." Would editors object to that? Moreover, if the sentence stays, then there should be some mention of charity in accordance with WP:NPOV, especially given that editors have insisted on leaving the out-of-place fourth paragraph (listing countries that think Hamas is terrorist) in the intro. Organ123 02:10, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
You have no idea what the sources based their conclusions on, and polls generally come to the conclusions that their authors want them to. Your "qualifier" is pure original research as well; you've just invented that, and have no source for it. As for "some mention of charity", the lead indeed does mention that. Jayjg (talk) 14:48, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, if the sources don't say how they reached a conclusion then, by definition, they are not reliable sources on that issue. E.g. in the global warming article we don't include information from the Wall Street Journal, because for that particular topic, it is a notoriously unreliable source. Count Iblis 15:41, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Sources are reliable because they have editorial oversight; Time magazine, PBS, etc. are reliable sources. Jayjg (talk) 20:34, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Jayjg appears to be arguing that while polls "generally come to the conclusions that their authors want them to," sweeping generalizations based on no evidence at all (i.e. "Hamas is best known outside the Palestinian territories for suicide bombing") can be trusted and should be used in Wikipedia intros. Also, parsing the syntax of the English language is not original research. At some level, editors must interpret what the sources mean and decide what to include in the article. I encourage editors to re-read the WP:NOR policy page. Organ123 18:47, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Suggesting that Hamas is "probably more highly admired" in the Arab world for suicide attacks than for charitable works comes off like a racist comment to me. I'll presume that that's not how it was intended and I'd like to avoid confrontation, but that's how it comes off, and I think it should be erased. Organ123 02:10, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Have you read the lead? What do you think the "resistance to a brutal Israel occupation" involves, in the eye's of Hamas's admirers. Letters to the editor of the New York Times? Jayjg (talk) 14:49, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
To answer the uncivil rhetorical question above, yes, I have read the lead many times. The comment in question is about the Arab world, not "Hamas's admirers". Hopefully editors distinguish between the two. Suggesting that Hamas is "probably more highly admired" in the Arab world for suicide attacks than for charitable works comes off like a racist comment to me. It implies a correlation between being Arab and preferring suicide bombing to charity. That is why it appears to be racist, and I think it should be erased. Organ123 18:47, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I've been trying to make the statement more NPOV but have hit an obstacle. I tried to change this:

  • It is best known outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip for its suicide bombings and other attacks directed against civilians and Israeli military and security forces targets.

To this:

  • The organization is best known outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the actions of its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, such as suicide bombings and other attacks directed against civilians, Israeli military and security forces targets.[16]

I feel it could be a stop gap solution to the different views presented by editors. It was reverted because "The U.S. and Israel list Hamas (as a whole) as a terrorist organisation so you can't make the distinction". I argued that Australia and Britain only list the Brigades as terrorist and accept the political and welfare arms as legitimate (as does most of the world) but that was not accepted. I don't want to get into a revert war so I bring it here for discussion on the edits validity.
I would also point out that one of the links used to support "best known for" actually says: "Until it participated in this election it was best known in Israel and abroad for the suicide attacks it used." which shows that perception outside the Arab world is changing to accept that Hamas has different branches with different agendas. Wayne 08:25, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

You don't have any source which states "The organization is best known outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the actions of its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades". Almost all of them refer only to Hamas. Please review WP:SYNTH. As for your argument, it's like arguing "since I'm only hitting you with my right hand, and use my left hand for giving charity, you must make sure to distinguish between the two". Jayjg (talk) 14:48, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
What's this? Jayjg fighting a desperate rearguard action against the hordes of editors who want to improve the article he owns? No! It can't be true!
Who "wasn't accepting" that information, Wayne? Why not? It's certainly relevant, is it not, Jay?
Organ123: where is that quote in the article? It certainly sounds questionable.MarkB2 00:05, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Any particular reason for that egregious violation of WP:CIVIL? Jayjg (talk) 04:09, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
MarkB2, which quote are you asking me about? The quote "Hamas is an Islamist movement known among Arabs for its charitable work" is not in the article. This is one edit I made that was reverted. There have been several other failed attempts by editors to modify the sentence. Organ123 03:14, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

If you are just nitpicking that the source doesn't say "West Bank and Gaza" then you are using a flawed arguement as it is indisputable that Hamas is not "best known for" in Arab countries. I gave an acceptable link and It's the first sentence in the third paragraph. This is a direct quote from it to save you searching all day.:
The organization is best known for the exploits of its military wing, the Izzedine Al Qassam brigades. which is exactly why Australia accepts Hamas as a legitimate political party and lists the Brigades as a terrorist organisation.
What is the political arm best known for? Winning a fair and honest democratic election. The welfare arm is best known for? ..... Welfare! Very few countries list these parts of Hamas as terrorist organisations. The reason most sources say "Hamas" is... it's easier to write down, it's easier to remember, it suits the political agenda of certain countries (The U.S. for example says Palestine can have free and democratic elections as long as they don't elect Hamas) and it's good propaganda as most people don't realise it has separate arms. The hand analogy is a cop out to keep the article POV. You are using argumentum ad populum. Wayne 01:58, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

No, the sources don't say that the "military arm" is best known for the attacks; it says "Hamas" is best known for the attacks. As for the reasons they do, I can think of much more plausible reasons, such as the obvious fact that the "division" between the "military" and "welfare" arms is a legal fiction used to bamboozle potential aid donors, and confuse Western governments. Regardless, neither your speculation nor mine is relevant; instead, what is relevant is that the sources (except one) say "Hamas", not "its military wing". Jayjg (talk) 04:08, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
So you are saying that the views of those countries that list Hamas as a whole as a terrorist organisation trumps the views of the rest of the world as far as this article is concerned? Wayne 08:01, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
What does that have to do with anything? A number of reliable sources say Hamas is best known for suicide and other attacks on civilians etc. We repeat what reliable sources say, we don't change them to say what we wish they said, or think they really meant but "Hamas was easier to write down and remember". Jayjg (talk) 17:44, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Arguments about what a person/group is 'best known for' should not be part of wp. Whatever is written would be POV. 'The Nazi party is best known for... the Volkswagon...efficient organization...genocide...motorways...leather jackboots...Auschwitz...'. 'George Bush is best known for....' These would be pointless discussions, as is the one on what Hamas is best known for. Cooke 14:40, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
In fact, Wikipedia articles should explain what the subject is best known for, and tens of thousands of Wikipedia articles do so. Jayjg (talk) 16:02, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Good point! I don't think Jayjg would want to include the things Bush is best known for in the article about Bush. And the same m.m. in case of the article about Israel :). So, I guess we should delete this sentence. Count Iblis 14:57, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't take advice on what "should be part of wp" from an editor with 20 edits. Also, don't make assumptions about me; the point is significant and well sourced, and a key to understanding the significance of and controversy around Hamas. That's why we'll keep it. Jayjg (talk) 16:02, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

A number of reliable news sources do say Hamas and a number of reliable academics and some news sources say the Brigades. Do popular news items decide what is fact because they choose to not make the distinction? Cooke and Count Iblis make an excellent point. I can accept deletion of the "best known for" claim to avoid it being POV to editors however it is written. Wayne 15:57, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Which "reliable academics and some news sources say the Brigades"? You appear to have totally invented that false claim. Jayjg (talk) 16:02, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Salamm alaikum.

In the name of Allah the mercieful may there be a peaceful agrement and the fighting to end.

Summary of fourth paragraph of intro

I've attempted to summarize the fourth paragraph of the intro in different ways, but it keeps getting reverted for vague, false, or meaningless reasons. I would appreciate if editors and administrators would try to edit rather than revert reflexively, as per WP guidelines and policies. As it stands now, the fourth paragraph is duplicated in its entirety later in the article. So if we are to adhere to WP:Lead Section as well as style guidelines, we should try to summarize in the intro portion rather than duplicate. For example, there is no need to list every country that thinks Hamas is a terrorist organization in the article's intro, especially if it is done in exactly the same language later in the article. Organ123 04:20, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

If the information is listed as part of the introduction, should it be deleted from the main body of text?Delad 06:29, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, there is no need to write it out word for word in two parts of the article. Intros are for summaries. The fourth paragraph has a neutrality problem given its level of detail, but it also has a WP:lead section problem given that it does not summarize, but restates word for word, text already in the article. Organ123 13:51, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Recent changes

A recent change to the intro (5th paragraph) states that Abbas has issued a decree outlawing the Hamas executive and militia. I thought the legality of what has been happening recently was ambiguous. If so, should'nt the article reflect this ambiguity until it is cleared up?Delad 07:37, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

As you have guessed the paragraph is blatant POV.
"On June 18, 2007, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah) issued a decree outlawing the Hamas militia and executive force, and two days later called the group "murderous terrorists," after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip.”
I point out the following from an Israeli Newspaper (my bold):
"It is not very pleasant to admit it, but in the battle for control of the Gaza Strip, Hamas was in the right. Hamas is cruel, disgusting and filled with hatred for Israel, but it was victorious in democratic elections. Hamas did not 'seize control' of Gaza. The US, Europe and Israel encouraged Fatah to cling to power last year despite losing its mandate. Hamas took the action needed to enforce its authority, disarming and destroying a militia that refused to bow to its authority."
Abbas caused the conflict by refusing to give up control of the security forces and then had Mohammed Dahlan (a terrorist every bit as bad as any in Hamas) attempt a coup against the elected Parliament. The Hamas account of the conflict is supported by the account from the UN envoy to the Middle East. This version should be in the article not the rubbish there now. It should not be in the lead either but a section on the elections/aftermath. Wayne 07:15, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Intro. Terror

The issue how to address the terror label was resolved long ago. Recently there are revertesr who try to remove the compromise. This has to stop. The long standing intro must be restored. Zeq 14:40, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

The issue was not really resolved. What happened was that a sort of acceptable stalemate was reached where on the one hand the fact that Hamas is listed as a terror org. was prominently mentioned in the intro. The people who found this to be POV agreed to disagree and a POV tag was put on the article for that reason.
It would be a good thing to open that debate again. The first goal should be to remove the POV tag by consensus (this then means that all POV issues will have to be addressed). That could be the start of more constructive editing. This is precisely what we did in case of the Hezbollah article, which was recently awarded Good Article Status. Count Iblis 15:30, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
I would love to see some consensus building here. Organ123 17:49, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I think that is is entirely appropriate to say that "Hamas has been officially classified as a terrorist organization by four countries and the European Union. The remark about "it has been criticized by Human Rights Watch for war crimes" seems to be very out of context because HRW has said the same about the State of Israel, and we would never put anything like that in the lead of the Israel article. If HRW's accusation against Hamas in this respect is to be mentioned in this article, it should have the context that they have made the same accusation against the State of Israel. I think it belongs (contextualized) in the article, but not in the lead.

I also think that, given the lack of general agreement as to whether Hamas's violence should be characterized as terror or as valid national struggle, this mention of who considers them terrorist should be followed by a mention of prominent governments (and not just "pariah regimes") and/or NGOs that continue to have normal dealings with them. - Jmabel | Talk 18:46, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I included Human Rights Watch because I was trying to summarize without changing the general content of the previous paragraph, so as to avoid too much confrontation. What Jmabel is suggesting is a step or two ahead of what I was trying to achieve. Organ123 19:00, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Hamas wasn't labelled "terrorist" by just any four countries. Who did the labelling is extremely significant. The fact that the summarising also takes the liberty of removing mention of the other countries who maintain similar designations is also removing significant information that belongs. I can see some people yielding on the HRW passage if it is indeed something that is less than significant, but is not really helpful to deemphasise what characteristics that are a great part of Hamas' notability. TewfikTalk 22:40, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

To respond to the edit comment that the talk should come "before" the rewrite, I'll note that only after several reverts and two direct invitations to use the talk page did anyone who reverted my summary comment here. One editor reverted it three times, leaving only one very vague edit comment, and still has not posted to the discussion page. Organ123 00:03, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
To respond directly to the post above, Hamas is not especially notable for being banned by Jordan, or having its military wing is banned by two countries; certainly not so notable that it needs to be spelled out in the intro, especially when it is stated explicitly later in the article in the exact same language. Also, comparisons to the Wiki pages of Israel's militant political parties, such as Likud and Labor, are appropriate, and I think editors should keep in mind what they would find acceptable on those and other pages. Organ123 00:03, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Likud and Labor are "militant political parties"? That's a rather bizarre statement. Labor is left-wing, and Likud signed the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. The fact that Jordan would ban Hamas is indeed notable, and the fact that other countries list the militant wing as terrorists is notable. Jayjg (talk) 00:25, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Labor these days isn't all that left-wing. But, in any case, it does not maintain its own militia, which puts it in a very different category.
I'm unfamiliar with any claim that either Likud or Labor has, since the founding of the Israeli state, used non-state violence to achieve partisan means. If they have, that should certainly be discussed in the relevant article. Here, I guess my concerns are the following:
  • Several of what are widely considered credible lists of terrorist organizations include Hamas.
  • Nonetheless, clearly Hamas does not operate solely through violence. It is clearly also a social and political entity (in a way that, for example, Al Qaeda is not).
  • As for war crimes, the accusations by a prominent NGO probably belong in the article, but as long as they don't come from an international legal-judicial entity, I don't think they belong in the lead. And when they are mentioned, they should certainly be contextualized by the fact that that same entity makes the same accusation against many other participants in the I-P conflict, including the State of Israel. - Jmabel | Talk 00:39, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I regret if my comment about Labor and Likud has been taken out of context and subsequently used as part of a red herring argument. Jayjg: please immediately stop your uncivil behavior. The first definition of "militant" on is: "vigorously active and aggressive, esp. in support of a cause: militant reformers." Well, Labor and Likud both fit that definition, in my view. The second definition is: "engaged in warfare; fighting." Nobody would deny that both Labor and Likud have done that. So there is my "rather bizarre" statement broken down. Organ123 01:06, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Whether or not Labor and Likud maintain their own special party militia does not determine whether important comparisons should be made between their Wiki pages and Hamas's (or whether they are "militant", for that matter). Also, I did not say that the information about Jordan and the bans was not notable, as the second red herring argument above claims. I said that it's "certainly not so notable that it needs to be spelled out in the intro, especially when it is stated explicitly later in the article in the exact same language." I agree particularly with Jmabel's third bullet point. I'm done for today with this discussion. I request that editors continue to work towards consensus. Thank you. Organ123 01:06, 5 July 2007 (UTC

I believe it is extremely relevant to list the fact that numerous countires list Hamas as a terrorist organization(and to list it in the INTRO) It is a fact, and I believe that a majority of the people who visit this page here on the ENGLISH language wikipedia are going to be searching for info on Hamas as it is related to terrorism. WacoJacko 07:51, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

All well and good, but not as the second sentence of the lead. There is already a full paragraph of the lead section devoted to the topic of who considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization. Going beyond that, as you are trying to do, is POV-pushing at its worst. Tarc 12:44, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Point of view pushing??? Whether you like it or not, terrorism is what Hamas is most well known for in the western world, and this is the English language wikipedia. Because of that, I believe most people will be comming to this article to find out about Hamas as it relates to being a terrorist organization. Burying the fact that numerous countries list it as a terrorist organization into the fourth paragraph doesn't seem to make since.WacoJacko 13:15, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
In wikipedia articles we should write in the introduction about the (objectively verifiable) facts that define the organization. Opinions of groups/people/states should be avoided. If these opinions are factually correct, then the facts that these opinions are based on are more important. But if we don't choose to mention these facts in the intro, we certainly should not mention the opinions that are derived from that.
Example to make my point clear. It is a fact that Israel is best known for the occupied territories and that the status of these territories is not disputed by the international community except in Israel itself and in the US. If you mention Israel here in Europe, or in the Arab world or in Asia, then the first thing people think about is the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the Occupied territories etc. In the article about Israel we can write about this.
But we should not write in the intro about these opinions about Israel. The reason is that these opinions are not the primary facts that define what Israel is. And the same is true about Hamas. Strongly held opinions by many people do not define the organization.
There are some cases where such opinions do petty much define the organization. Take e.g. Al Qa'ida. But even in that case we can also just state the facts. Count Iblis 13:20, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunetley, I have to say that I agree with Wacko Jacko. Hamas engages in suicide bombings of innocent civilians. That behaviour has caused it to be labeled as a terrorist organization by a great deal of nations. I believe that info belongs in the first paragraph. When you send people to suicide bomb civilians you are going to be associated with that behaviour forever....that is what has happened with Hamas. I definitley think it belongs in the first paragraph, that is what they are most associated with. 13:50, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Similar things can be said about Israel. They violate other international laws and are "best known" for that. However, we don't (and indeed should not) mention that in the intro. You really have to ask how the organization is defined and mention the most relevant facts in the intro. The fact that Hamas has been classified as a teror organization doesn't define the organization, it only defines part of the public perception of it. Count Iblis 13:59, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Some editors believe it is notable enough to have terrorism detailed in the lead and then duplicated in the body, is it not then also notable to mention at least in the body that Hamas is cooperating in the war on terror in an attempt to improve their image? It is after all actively suppressing terrorist organisations (bar it's own) and more specifically targetting al Qaeda. Or are we only permitted to mention the negatives? Wayne 18:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article on "lead" uses the words 'briefly' and 'summarise'. The terror list and funding list are duplicated in the body of the article. Why?Delad 04:25, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Count Iblis I am sorry, but Israel is not known mostly for violating international laws, maybe in the arab/muslim world, but not the rest of the world. You are way off base my friend.WacoJacko 03:47, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

And why should the "arab/muslim world" perspective be any less significant than that of the Western world? That is the whole point here; we do not describe the group as primarily terrorist, nor do we describe them as primarily benevolent. The edits you have sought to introduce in the last few days have been tipping that balance towards the terrorist side, which is unacceptable. Tarc 12:47, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

WacoJacko 07, only a minority in Western Europe agree with Israel's position on the Occupied territories. But my point is that this is all irrelevant. Also from your point of view it would not be wise to write about the public opinion/perception in the lead. Because that opinion may not best describe the organization/country and it may be something you disagree with. Also, in many cases public opinions may be split which will lead to POV disputes in wikipedia.

It's therefore much better to stick to the facts. Then the fact that the public perception of the organization/country is X is not a primary fact about the organization and should thus be mentioned further on in the article or in another article specializing on these public perceptions. Count Iblis 13:09, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Elected as government ?

The second sentence of the intro says Hamas was elected "as the government of the Palestinian people". The reference for that statement, a BBC article, only says that Hamas won 76 of 132 parliament seats. Maybe Im missing the point somewhere but it seems like it should be re-written to reflect the actual outcome of the election. As it stands, you dont get the impression that Hamas was successful in parliamentary elections, rather it reads like Hamas was elected to single-handedly serve as the Palestinian government. Maybe something like "In the Jan. 2006 elections Hamas was successful in winning over half of the Palestinian parliament seats." 22:40, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Hmm... perhaps such additional information should be included, but essentially the upshot is the same. If a party wins more than half of the seats in a parliamentary democracy system, it has effectively been elected as government and has the right to choose a prime minister and all other key ministerial positions from among its ranks -- 13:09, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Ideology: Islamic Democracy/Islamism

In a table at the beginning of the article, there's a line that reads: Ideology: Islamic Democracy

Understandably, many viewers object, and sometimes someone changes it to Islamic Theocracy. These changes are quickly reverted though.

I find the claim that Hamas' Ideology is "democratic" is contradictory to some of the content in the article, namely, "4.5 Crackdown on dissent and on the Press". A democratic ideology isn't just about accepting the rule of the majority, but also about allowing free press, and granting rights to minorities.

I changed "Islamic democracy" to "islamism". Looking at the Islamic democracy and islamism articles, I found that they refer to the same thing, while the first term is controversial, while the second is widely accepted. Seem like NPOV requires this change, even if Hamas prefer using the first name.

Cederal (talk) 13:13, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Hamas participated in and won fair and free elections -- that makes them democratic. Calling them Islamist is far more controversial than calling their ideology Islamic Democracy. Any sources to back up your claim? pedrito - talk - 07.03.2008 13:46
I thought I was just omiting "democracy" (which is contraversial) while the "islamist" part was well-accepted. Here's a source: [14] Cederal (talk)
According to the Wikipedia article on Mahmoud Zahar, the guy quoted in your source, he is "one of [Hamas'] more stubborn hard-liners". Seriously, Islamic democracy and Islamism are two completely different things. One is a democracy (like Christian democracy) and the other is a fundamentalist Theocracy. pedrito - talk - 07.03.2008 14:24
I thought an Islamic democracy, is quite different from a democracy, but if that's what it means, I certainly cannot accept that this is Hamas' ideology. These actions can not be taken by a democratic movement:
Human rights groups and ordinary Gazans accuse Hamas of forcefully suppressing dissent. Hamas is using means which are criminal, including torture, political detentions, and firing on un-armed protesters who object Hamas policies.[17].
Hamas members have also been harassing and arresting Palestinian journalists in Gaza [18],[19]. On August 29, 2007 Palestinian health officials reported that Hamas had been shutting down Gaza clinics in retaliation for doctor strikes - Hamas confirmed that "punitive measure against doctors" who, according to Hamas, "incite others to strike and suspend services" have been taken. [20]
On September 6th, 2007 Hamas disbanded the Gaza Strip branch of the Union of Palestinian Journalists Union and arrested 5 journalists. [21]
On Feb 8, 2008 Hamas banned distribution of Al-Ayyam newspaper and closure of its offices in the Gaza Strip due to a caricature that mocked legislators loyal to Hamas[22],[23]. Hamas had later issued an arrest request for the editor[24].
Cederal (talk)